Bandsaw Bowl

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Introduction: Bandsaw Bowl

Hi there! Here is a bowl made with a bandsaw (using no lathe).

I use left over pine wood from another project. But any wider wood board would work.

I have a small bandsaw with a thin blade (but a scrollsaw would work even better).

This is the first time I make this design, and I think it turned out pretty decent. If you want there is a short video covering this build too.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and I will try to answer. Also consider following me here for more projects like this in the future!

For this build I used

- pine board (any kind of wider solid board will work)
- bandsaw(or scrollsaw even)
- wood glue
- pen
- compass (woodworking divider?)
- ruler
- square
- some clamps
- palm sander
- sandingpaper
- steelwool (optional)
- disc sander (optional)
- spray lacquer (optional)

The project is pretty easy and fun to make. The time to make this is a couple of hours over a couple of days. The glue needs to set over night and it is up to you how much you need/want to sand it.

This is a perfect project to make if you have the urge to make a bowl, but have no lathe! :-)

Step 1: Finding the Center and Drawing the First Circle

I find the center of the board by using a ruler from coner to corner - making an "X". The center of the board is where the lines meet (this is true if the sides are all straight). You can check that with a square first.

Then I use a compass and make the largest possible circle on the board.

Step 2: Cutting the Base and Setting the Angle

After the base is traced I set the bandsaw table at an angle. More about the angle on the next step! :-)

I cut around the circle, and I save one of the off cuts as a template piece. Also more on this in the next step.

Step 3: Getting the Thickness of the Other Rings

About the angle

Many people ask me what angle I use. That is really up to you. I have seen many other great woodworkers/makers having all kinds of mathematical calculations (and yes - its not advanced either). But I believe in-place-meassurment is faster, accurate enough and less prone to scale on misstakes. :-)

I used about 20 degrees in this bowl. But the choice is yours! :-)

Set the table to anything you fancy. The rule to remember is - the steeper the angle (or less angle from the base for instance 5 degrees) the thinner the walls will be). The thicker piece of wood you will need from start.

I used a small cut off piece and placed it behind the band saw blade after cutting the base plate. The template piece must be the same thickness as the bowl. Otherwise the angle will be wrong.

I trace a line with a pen, copying the angle of the blade.

You can see that in the first picture.

Then I use a square marking the sides from the line. From the top and the bottom of the line. This will give the thickness of the next rings. The base from the last ring will sit on top of the next ring. And you do not need any calculations. I use the template piece in the next step to mark the sizes of the other rings.

I hope this step is clear, otherwise just let me know in the comments! :-)

Step 4: Drawing the Other Circles

When I know how wide the rings/circles should be I can make as many rings I want for the size I want of the finished bowl. I use my compass and trace the circles.

As you can see in the picture I place the template piece, with the width and I make a mark. Then move it one ring closer to the center and make the next mark.

Step 5: TIP: Grain Direction

I made some arrows reminding me of the grain direction.

When you make the glue up, make sure to keep the orientation of the rings in the same grain direction. When the wood expands and contracts there will be less stress if the movement is in the same direction.

Step 6: Cutting the Rings/walls

I use the same angle at the bandsaw table.

I try to make each entry cut in the same direction as the grain.

TIP: When cutting at the bandsaw, you will get much cleaner cuts if you keep the work piece moving all the time. If you need to stop and turn or change grip, the blade will make a small ridge/cut. You can always sand afterwards but if you need the bandsaw cut to be as clean as possible - try to stop as seldom as possible.

Step 7: The Assembling (the Glue Up)

First make a dry fit. Just to see that you have the angles right.

I removed the burr from the bandsaw cutting with some light sanding.

The glue up is pretty straight forward. As you can see in the pictures I used a small clamp to close the ring while glueing the next ring. I try not to get the ring openings on the same spot. Twist each ring a little.

Try to wipe the glue squeeze out from the inside as soon as possible. It will save you some time later.

I let the glue set over night under preassure from my trusty anvil.

Step 8: Sanding

First I sanded the outside. I really recommend some kind of disc sander or mounted belt sander. It makes it so much easier. If you dont have a disc sander or belt sander - you can see my make shift sander (a drill clamped to my work table). I turn the bowl and grind down all the ridges.

The outside is easier than the inside. I used a small chisel to clear out the glue (that is right now my favorite tool at this moment). It is super sharp - and shiny!

Then I sanded using a palm sander from grit 80 to 240. I hand sanded and finally used steel wool to make the surface smooth and nice to the touch.

Step 9: Finish With Spray Lacquer

I buffed the sanded bowl with a scrubbing sponge (Is that really the correct word?) :-)

I used spray lacquer and sanded ligthly with steel wool inbetween coats. I hade about 4 coats of lacquer.

Step 10: Action Shots! :-)

Here is the finished result! If you like you can see a short video of this project too.

This was a fun project to make. If I make it again, I will have some more interesting type of wood or make my own lamination with different grain direction.

Thank you for reading this instructable - please leave a comment or follow me here - it would be much appreciated!

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    6 Comments

    I had to view this instructable just to find out the band saw trickery used to make a bowl. I was not disappointed. Thank you for sharing this technique.

    Many thanks for you kind words! I love the term "band saw trickery" :-) I must use that next time. Thank you for commenting again! All the best to you!

    Nice idea. I wonder whether it would be possible to use a similar technique, but cutting a continuous spiral to form the bowl? It would make for a more interesting appearance.

    Oh - that would be cool to try ou for suret! I have seen the sprial form made as a foldable or pop-up bowl. It locks by friction and is super cool. But I have not seen a glued spiral bowl. Must test that next time. Thank you very much for commenting and the idea! :-)

    I really like this technique - I need to give it a try sometime. Thank you for sharing how! : )

    Hi there and thank you for taking the time to comment! Much appreciated! I had fun doing this and I hope if you try this out - it will be successful (I'm sure of it!) :-). Thanks again!