I'm interested in creating two types of bowls. The first is relatively straightforward - in design, at least - as it will just be a large salad bowl. The second is going to mimic a bowl I was gifted recently that is more or less tear drop shaped.

My question is: how I would go about removing the inside (and outside for that matter) of the bowl? Would this process be the same for a bowl that is not circular?

Bear in mind that you're speaking to a beginner here. If possible, please provide the investment context, ie what are the low tech (cheap) and hi tech (expensive) tool options?

  • are you asking about turning or carving?
    – bowlturner
    Mar 18 '15 at 1:04
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    Yes. Turning = lathe carving is more hand work. I turn bowels, I don't carve
    – bowlturner
    Mar 18 '15 at 2:52
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    Yes, there are 2 ways that I know of, both use special chucks for the lathe
    – bowlturner
    Mar 18 '15 at 12:25
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    OR....turn green wood and allow it to recurve as it slowly dries. That is certainly asymmetrical! Mar 18 '15 at 12:26
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    @bowlturner - Can you provide a little more info about your last comment as an answer. That seems to be what I'm looking for. Then, I can mark it as the accepted answer. Thanks
    – fordareh
    Mar 18 '15 at 13:55

To turn an a bowl that is not round I am aware of 2 (3 counting BrownRedHawks comment!).

The first is to use an off-center jig, you will turn one half of the bowl, then change the jig and turn the other half, making an oval. The one I've linked to is for the Ruth Niles jig, it's fairly small, I've also seen some videos on making your own jig.

The other is an 'oval turning device' Not exactly sure how it works but I think it does all the work of moving it around. Here's a video of it in action.

And of course as BrownRedHawk pointed out, turning a bool green(ish) it will warp and be very asymmetrical. The biggest trick here to keep it from cracking is to make sure that the wood is a very even thickness all around (and still fairly thin), that way it dries at about the same rate and less likely to crack.

  • I have same woodworking problem. Thanks for your help. Wood working is my winter pass time. I build most all my own furniture. These projects are gradually filling up an empty room.
    – user1396
    Nov 13 '15 at 7:34
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    Just a tip for turning green wood: I've successfully dried my bowls after turning by running it in the microwave. Works unlike an oven which dries the outside of the wood first. =)
    – Allman
    Nov 13 '15 at 9:29

You want to use a bowl carving adze: https://www.etsy.com/listing/190787274/curved-bowl-adze-big-curve-steel-4150?ref=related-0 or http://www.japanwoodworker.com/Product/05Z97/CURVED-CARVING-ADZ.aspx?gclid=CMeq__TRl8kCFdcRgQodt5QAkQ You work from the sides into the middle. The trick is getting your walls to be of an even thickness. Peter Follansbee has some great photos here: https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/bowl-carving-tools-and-video-update/

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