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Old 01-13-2010, 06:03 PM   #1
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Default Plywood bowl mini tutorial

While I'm waiting for the DeWalt to come home, I've been busy gluing up new blanks. Once I'm back in gear, I'll prepare a proper video tutorial on both working with plywood and gluing up swags. In the meantime, using the camera on my cell phone so I wouldn't be too conspicuous, I was able to take some pictures that should shed some light on how these interesting effects emerge.

There are two effects I've been working with. One is to create a center ring out of plywood, that has been glued up using an octagon (footed candy dish has details). I use 3/4" plywood, striped side up, so I can cut a straight center ring (as done with the vases and jar, Ch. 5) that is about 3/8" wide, perfect for using with regular blanks. The outer diameter of the angled rings are either the same as the plywood ring, or about 1/8" smaller so the plywood ring protrudes a bit. It depends on the effect you want--more or less rounded. I've included a picture of one of those rings glued to two angled rings. It has to be sanded at this stage, using the inflatable ball, or you can't access it. Then you add rings to both sides, depending on the shape of the vessel.

The other effect uses three sets of hexagonal laminations. One of the sets is done as a straight ring. The other two are done like the footed candy dish. These are then glued together. The only problem is that when you try to match swags from different ring sets, it's just about impossible to get a really good alignment. It's OK with plywood, which is inherently irregular, but when you glue up your own wood, it's not OK. So, I've posted pictures of something I'm going to try that should solve this problem.

I have glued up two blanks with a "plywood" made of yellowheart and bloodwood. I am going to glue them to a conventional straight ring made of yellowheart surrounded by maple veneer. This should break things up enough so that any mismatches won't be too apparent. The picture shows the unsanded completed glue-up, and also how I tried to get the two blanks to match each other as much as possible. I have the center lamination gluing up at the shop, and will cut a ring from it. It will be about 1/4" thick.

I've also included a picture of my bowl press. I think we cut the threaded rods a little too long, but we can always trim them.

Hope this sheds a little light on how this stuff works. It's not the place to start, but once you've done a few basic projects, it is just a variation. And please ask questions if you want to go ahead. It may be a while before I get the video completed, but in the meantime, I'll post updates on this new project.
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg plywood center ring glued to plain blanks.jpeg (22.6 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg two blanks partly glued up.jpg (42.6 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg matching the blanks.jpg (45.2 KB, 88 views)
File Type: jpg blank glued up not trimmed or sanded.jpg (52.4 KB, 95 views)
File Type: jpg bowl press.jpg (58.4 KB, 95 views)
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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Excellent information Carol.
I have already ordered your book and look forward to making bowls on the SS in the very near future. I will start with simple but now have this info to expand on. Should be great gifts for B-Day and X-mas.

Thank you.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:21 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Carole. Nice presentation of the information and the pictures help. I like your bowl press!
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:30 AM   #4
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I'm soaking this all in - and waiting for my sanding parts to come in the mail.

I have parts for the octagon candy dish cut waiting to be glued together, but then realized that I didn't copy the pattern at 125 percent - so the main piece of wood I have is not large enough. I figure I can still make the bowl but... what do I do? The outside diameter will have to be smaller, but with the swags along the outside - what do I do with the first ring? Make it thinner? same width but smaller diameter?
I haven't experimented enough to figure this by myself, and don't want to ruin the wood I've started with.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:34 PM   #5
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Hi Theresa

No problem. Glue up the octagon as per instructions, but instead of using the pattern in the book, mark the center of the octagon and draw the largest circle you can. Then, draw another circle 3/8" from the first to give you your first ring. Complete the bowl as per instructions. For the base, you'll need a circle that's less than 3", so use the base of the bowl to figure out the size you need. Should work out just fine. Let me know if you need any help.
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:38 PM   #6
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Thanks Carole! and I know - Pictures! lol
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