Handcarved Wood Bowl (ala David Fisher)
#11
  
Back in July 2019, after purchasing (yet) another great tool from Jack Edgar (known in these parts as "Timberwolf"), I mentioned that I was trying my hand at making hand-carved, Swedish-style Dough Bowls out of green wood.  I explained that I was following the methods used by an excellent craftsman/artisan by the name of David Fisher.  Jack asked to see a few photos and I obliged.  He then suggested I make a post showing the photos I shared with him.  After telling him of my reluctance at displaying my meager attempts at woodworking, he pointed out that my post could spur others to attempt this style of woodworking.  Out of respect for his experience and willingness to share good tools at very reasonable prices, I agreed to do so.

As an obvious caveat, this thread is in no way a tutorial on this subject.  Rather it is simply meant to give one an idea of how these types of bowls may be carved using only hand tools.  



[Image: 49336674343_1bf8d86616_z.jpg]
After obtaining a freshly cut Pine log from a local homeowner on CraigsList, I used a froe to split the log in half.  (Now that was a feat in itself!)  Using a carving axe (and drawknife - not shown), I flattened one side, which would them become the bottom of the bowl.  



[Image: 49337138196_f0aff3f1fb_z.jpg]
Once the bottom was reasonably flat, I placed it on my workbench and marked the rough exterior dimensions of the bowl using a square and compass.



[Image: 49337357232_62c0ab6678_z.jpg]
Here I have the workpiece mounted in a Bowl Horse (similar to a drawknife horse, but able to hold heavier/larger work pieces).  I am using a drawknife to shape the outside of the bowl down to the semicircle drawn in pencil.



[Image: 49337357107_5319b822bb_z.jpg]
Once the exterior has been shaped, the workpiece was returned to the bench where the interior size of the bowl was marked.  The oval shape was obtained using a compass, two finish nails, and some twine.  The inner oval represents the interior of the bowl.  The exterior oval represents the rough dimensions of the bowl's exterior.  



[Image: 49337137726_088a610b5b_z.jpg]
The workpiece was then placed on a Bowl Bench, which is located at just above knee level.  This is done to make the hollowing process more efficient.  Note the red pencil marks on the workpiece.  This represents the final markings for the bowl's exterior.

Using an adze, the interior of the bowl was carefully hollowed out.  Holdfasts are not used during this process.  The weight of the green workpiece is such that it really doesn't move around too much.  As shown, I used a piece of a yoga mat to assist in stabilizing the workpiece.  Also, since the workpiece is constantly being turned side to side, any work holding devices used would definitely slow down the process.  (On a side note, this is probably my favorite part of the bowl making process!)



[Image: 49336674178_bd5ba9626b_z.jpg]
This is another photo of the hollowing process.



[Image: 49337356817_a21f05c7cf_z.jpg]
This is about as close to the lines as I dared go using the adze.  



[Image: 49337137301_807d31cd3b_z.jpg][/url]
A gouge was then used to clean up the marks left by the adze.  



[url=<a][Image: 49337140401_a121fdd2cd_z.jpg]

Another shot of the gouge being used to clean up adze marks. 



[Image: 49336670468_410dea314b_z.jpg]
Because this is a Pine log, there were a few knots.  On this piece, I was able to situate a knot near the center of the bowl.  Once the hollowing process was complete, an axe was used to begin shaping the bowl's exterior by removing the bulk of the waste.  



[Image: 49337356027_1b66e902ea_z.jpg]
This is another shot of the shaping of the bowl's exterior using an axe.   



[Image: 49337355827_959b3a7bb2_z.jpg]
I failed to take photos of the drawknife work on the bowl's exterior.  Basically, the workpiece is returned to the Bowl Horse, and a drawknife is used to further refine the exterior.  In the above photo, I have completed the axe work on the exterior, but before using the drawknife, I wanted to clean up the interior a little more.  



[Image: 49337355527_7b9f5c1e53_z.jpg]
In this photo, the bowl is about 75% complete.  It appears wet because I usually soak my workpieces in a bucket of water between sessions.  This is done to prevent the bowl from drying out too soon.  David Fisher suggests placing the workpiece in a plastic bag.  



[Image: 49337355207_851128f0d2_z.jpg]
In this photo, I am using a gouge to hollow out and shape the area under the handles.  



[Image: 49336669043_459aa81c3c_z.jpg]
Another photo showing gouge work on the bowl's interior.  Once satisfied with the overall shape and finish of the bowl, it is set aside to dry completely.  I let this particular bowl dry for about six months.  The thinnest parts of the bowl are approximately 3/8" thick. 



[Image: 49336668633_968336eaff_z.jpg]
After completely drying, the entire bowl is gone over once again with gouges, a drawknife, and a spokeshave.  One of the things I try to remove at this stage are the "tick" marks left behind by the gouge when the bowl was still wet.   



[Image: 49336672823_b5fc125fbd_z.jpg]
This is a photo of the finished bowl with a light coat of Kramer's Best oil.  Note the knot in the center of the bowl.  I considered filling it with epoxy, but ultimately decided against it.  



[Image: 49337358232_b502c08a01_z.jpg]
Another angle of the finished bowl.



[Image: 49337138906_832aa55412_z.jpg]
Another photo of the finished bowl.  



[Image: 49337357692_8d01a9127b_z.jpg]
On the left is the completed Pine bowl.  On the right is a nearly dried Breadfruit (known in Hawaii as 'Ulu) bowl.  This bowl still needs its final cleanup to be done.  These were my third and fourth attempts at bowl carving.  



[Image: 49336668453_922cc27051_z.jpg]
As an aside, I wanted to show my first two attempts at carving these bowls.  These were made from Monkeypod wood.  These bowls were made after watching a few YouTube videos and reading Blog posts from David Fisher.  (These bowls were promptly relegated to the wood pile after these photos were taken. LOL)  

As I mentioned earlier, I relied totally on the methods of David Fisher in carving the Pine and Breadfruit bowls.  Those methods are shown in great detail in his FineWoodworking Video Series.  This series contains over six hours of detailed instruction, broken up into 13 separate episodes.  Prior to posting this thread, I contacted David and received his permission to share this info.  

Mahalo for taking the time to read through this very long thread.  Happy Woodworking and Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

Earl
Reply
#12
  Re: Handcarved Wood Bowl (ala David Fisher) by thomaskila (Back in July 2019, a...)
Norfolk Pine is a great wood for what your doing.
Well done!

What island are you on?
VH07V  
Reply
#13
  Re: Handcarved Wood Bowl (ala David Fisher) by thomaskila (Back in July 2019, a...)
Earl, thank you for sharing the process.  About how many hours do you have in the featured bow?

Your first two bowls looked great from here; cannot believe you tossed them.
"I tried being reasonable..........I didn't like it." Clint Eastwood
Reply
#14
  Re: Handcarved Wood Bowl (ala David Fisher) by thomaskila (Back in July 2019, a...)
(01-06-2020, 01:53 AM)thomaskila Wrote: Back in July 2019, after purchasing (yet) another great tool from Jack Edgar (known in these parts as "Timberwolf"), I mentioned that I was trying my hand at making hand-carved, Swedish-style Dough Bowls out of green wood.  I explained that I was following the methods used by an excellent craftsman/artisan by the name of David Fisher.  Jack asked to see a few photos and I obliged.  He then suggested I make a post showing the photos I shared with him.  After telling him of my reluctance at displaying my meager attempts at woodworking, he pointed out that my post could spur others to attempt this style of woodworking.  Out of respect for his experience and willingness to share good tools at very reasonable prices, I agreed to do so.

As an obvious caveat, this thread is in no way a tutorial on this subject.  Rather it is simply meant to give one an idea of how these types of bowls may be carved using only hand tools.  



[Image: 49336674343_1bf8d86616_z.jpg]
After obtaining a freshly cut Pine log from a local homeowner on CraigsList, I used a froe to split the log in half.  (Now that was a feat in itself!)  Using a carving axe (and drawknife - not shown), I flattened one side, which would them become the bottom of the bowl.  



[Image: 49337138196_f0aff3f1fb_z.jpg]
Once the bottom was reasonably flat, I placed it on my workbench and marked the rough exterior dimensions of the bowl using a square and compass.



[Image: 49337357232_62c0ab6678_z.jpg]
Here I have the workpiece mounted in a Bowl Horse (similar to a drawknife horse, but able to hold heavier/larger work pieces).  I am using a drawknife to shape the outside of the bowl down to the semicircle drawn in pencil.



[Image: 49337357107_5319b822bb_z.jpg]
Once the exterior has been shaped, the workpiece was returned to the bench where the interior size of the bowl was marked.  The oval shape was obtained using a compass, two finish nails, and some twine.  The inner oval represents the interior of the bowl.  The exterior oval represents the rough dimensions of the bowl's exterior.  



[Image: 49337137726_088a610b5b_z.jpg]
The workpiece was then placed on a Bowl Bench, which is located at just above knee level.  This is done to make the hollowing process more efficient.  Note the red pencil marks on the workpiece.  This represents the final markings for the bowl's exterior.

Using an adze, the interior of the bowl was carefully hollowed out.  Holdfasts are not used during this process.  The weight of the green workpiece is such that it really doesn't move around too much.  As shown, I used a piece of a yoga mat to assist in stabilizing the workpiece.  Also, since the workpiece is constantly being turned side to side, any work holding devices used would definitely slow down the process.  (On a side note, this is probably my favorite part of the bowl making process!)



[Image: 49336674178_bd5ba9626b_z.jpg]
This is another photo of the hollowing process.



[Image: 49337356817_a21f05c7cf_z.jpg]
This is about as close to the lines as I dared go using the adze.  



[Image: 49337137301_807d31cd3b_z.jpg][/url]
A gouge was then used to clean up the marks left by the adze.  



[url=<a][Image: 49337140401_a121fdd2cd_z.jpg]

Another shot of the gouge being used to clean up adze marks. 



[Image: 49336670468_410dea314b_z.jpg]
Because this is a Pine log, there were a few knots.  On this piece, I was able to situate a knot near the center of the bowl.  Once the hollowing process was complete, an axe was used to begin shaping the bowl's exterior by removing the bulk of the waste.  



[Image: 49337356027_1b66e902ea_z.jpg]
This is another shot of the shaping of the bowl's exterior using an axe.   



[Image: 49337355827_959b3a7bb2_z.jpg]
I failed to take photos of the drawknife work on the bowl's exterior.  Basically, the workpiece is returned to the Bowl Horse, and a drawknife is used to further refine the exterior.  In the above photo, I have completed the axe work on the exterior, but before using the drawknife, I wanted to clean up the interior a little more.  



[Image: 49337355527_7b9f5c1e53_z.jpg]
In this photo, the bowl is about 75% complete.  It appears wet because I usually soak my workpieces in a bucket of water between sessions.  This is done to prevent the bowl from drying out too soon.  David Fisher suggests placing the workpiece in a plastic bag.  



[Image: 49337355207_851128f0d2_z.jpg]
In this photo, I am using a gouge to hollow out and shape the area under the handles.  



[Image: 49336669043_459aa81c3c_z.jpg]
Another photo showing gouge work on the bowl's interior.  Once satisfied with the overall shape and finish of the bowl, it is set aside to dry completely.  I let this particular bowl dry for about six months.  The thinnest parts of the bowl are approximately 3/8" thick. 



[Image: 49336668633_968336eaff_z.jpg]
After completely drying, the entire bowl is gone over once again with gouges, a drawknife, and a spokeshave.  One of the things I try to remove at this stage are the "tick" marks left behind by the gouge when the bowl was still wet.   



[Image: 49336672823_b5fc125fbd_z.jpg]
This is a photo of the finished bowl with a light coat of Kramer's Best oil.  Note the knot in the center of the bowl.  I considered filling it with epoxy, but ultimately decided against it.  



[Image: 49337358232_b502c08a01_z.jpg]
Another angle of the finished bowl.



[Image: 49337138906_832aa55412_z.jpg]
Another photo of the finished bowl.  



[Image: 49337357692_8d01a9127b_z.jpg]
On the left is the completed Pine bowl.  On the right is a nearly dried Breadfruit (known in Hawaii as 'Ulu) bowl.  This bowl still needs its final cleanup to be done.  These were my third and fourth attempts at bowl carving.  



[Image: 49336668453_922cc27051_z.jpg]
As an aside, I wanted to show my first two attempts at carving these bowls.  These were made from Monkeypod wood.  These bowls were made after watching a few YouTube videos and reading Blog posts from David Fisher.  (These bowls were promptly relegated to the wood pile after these photos were taken. LOL)  

As I mentioned earlier, I relied totally on the methods of David Fisher in carving the Pine and Breadfruit bowls.  Those methods are shown in great detail in his FineWoodworking Video Series.  This series contains over six hours of detailed instruction, broken up into 13 separate episodes.  Prior to posting this thread, I contacted David and received his permission to share this info.  

Mahalo for taking the time to read through this very long thread.  Happy Woodworking and Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

Earl
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Earl!!!!!!!!!!! To say I am impressed is a gross understatement!!!!!!!!! Big eek ..All the bowls look great!!!!!!!!..I love to see the marks left by the gouge...I have seen examples of carved "dough trays" and bowls that were hand carved in the mountains of Appalachia many years ago, and have an idea of the work and craftsmanship that it took to make them, so in that regard alone, they are wonderful keepsakes!.I would just encourage you to sign and date each one...They each have a story to tell...and for that purpose, I recommend you use a pyrography pen and burn your name, location and date into the bottom of the bowl...the information you burn into the wood will last as long as the bowl, unlike the marks left by other means. Future generations will appreciate that..I wish other craftsmen would sign and date their work!!

I also enjoyed the photos...it appears to be another skill you have mastered, old friend!!!!! Thank you very much and keep 'em coming!!!!! Pictures really can say a thousand words!!!!! Winkgrin
"Retreat hell, we are attacking in a different direction"
Col. Chesty Puller C/O Ist Marines....Chosin Reservoir 1950
Jack Edgar, Sgt. USMC Korean War 51/52
Get off my lawn ! Upset





Reply
#15
  Re: Handcarved Wood Bowl (ala David Fisher) by thomaskila (Back in July 2019, a...)
+1 to what Jack said. I have the tools, and such a bowl is on my bucket list. Living in Orlando, there are plenty of clear cut construction sites with beacoup sources of green wood for bowls and turning.
Still Learning,

Allan Hill
Reply
#16
  Re: Handcarved Wood Bowl (ala David Fisher) by thomaskila (Back in July 2019, a...)
Very nice work, they are bowls I would display in MY home. Excellent job.
Wink
Jim in Okie
You can tell a lot about the character of a man -
By the way he treats those who can do nothing for him.
Reply
#17
  Re: Handcarved Wood Bowl (ala David Fisher) by thomaskila (Back in July 2019, a...)
David Fisher's work (and now yours) is so inspirational that I have a dozen or so log chunks from Hawaii (thanks ebay) awaiting my getting started.
As a NYR I've started on a piece of aromatic cedar. The piece is dry but soft enough I'm enjoying the hollowing process.
Reply
#18
  Re: Handcarved Wood Bowl (ala David Fisher) by thomaskila (Back in July 2019, a...)
Terrific job! those look fantastic. I love the interior texture. 

Keep posting!
Best,
Aram, defying laws of geometry

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery


Web: http://awacs.smugmug.com/Woodworking
Reply
#19
  Re: RE: Handcarved Wood Bowl (ala David Fisher) by EightFingers (Norfolk Pine is a gr...)
(01-06-2020, 04:03 AM)EightFingers Wrote: Norfolk Pine is a great wood for what your doing.
Well done!

What island are you on?

I live in Kapolei, on O'ahu.  How about you?

Earl
Reply
#20
  Re: RE: Handcarved Wood Bowl (ala David Fisher) by Timberwolf ([quote='thomaskila' ...)
(01-06-2020, 09:59 AM)Timberwolf Wrote: ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
Earl!!!!!!!!!!! To say I am impressed is a gross understatement!!!!!!!!! Big eek ..All the bowls look great!!!!!!!!..I love to see the marks left by the gouge...I have seen examples of carved "dough trays" and bowls that were hand carved in the mountains of Appalachia many years ago, and have an idea of the work and craftsmanship that it took to make them, so in that regard alone, they are wonderful keepsakes!.I would just encourage you to sign and date each one...They each have a story to tell...and for that purpose, I recommend you use a pyrography pen and burn your name, location and date into the bottom of the bowl...the information you burn into the wood will last as long as the bowl, unlike the marks left by other means. Future generations will appreciate that..I wish other craftsmen would sign and date their work!!

I also enjoyed the photos...it appears to be another skill you have mastered, old friend!!!!! Thank you very much and keep 'em coming!!!!! Pictures really can say a thousand words!!!!! Winkgrin

Thanks, Jack!  And I will take up your suggestion to use a pyrography pen.  I normally just use a rotary tool, but I think the pyrography pen would be a nice touch!

Mahalo!
Earl
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