In this Instructable, I take you through the process of reclaiming a large beam and turning it into a power carved bowl. It was a very fun project and a very messy one as well! Keep scrolling down to see how I did it!
- Speedcutter Graff blade- http://speedcuttergraff.com/
- Fast Cap Glue Bot- https://www.amazon.com/FastCap-Glu-Bot-Glue-Bottle...
- Jet Parallel Clamps- https://www.amazon.com/JET-70412-12-Inch-Parallel-...
- DeWalt 4 1/2 " Grinder- https://www.amazon.com/DEWALT-DWE402-2-Inch-11-Amp...
- RZ M2 Mesh Mask- https://www.amazon.com/RZ-Mask-M2-Black-X-Large/dp...
- Amazon Basics Tripod- https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-60-Inch-Lightw...
- Min Wax Wipe- On Polyurethane- https://www.amazon.com/Minwax-40910000-Wipe-Finish...
Step 1: Prepping the Wood
First off, let me say that this was a DUSTY and DIRTY experience! Probably the dirtiest I have ever been, and that is saying something!
I was sent a very unique package in the mail a few weeks ago. It was a blade for a grinder. A blade that is for power carving. What is power carving? Well imagine that you had a chisel and a hammer and were able to speed up your limbs to x1000, that is what a power carving blade is for. The blade is from Belarus, from a company called Speedcutter Graf, http://speedcuttergraff.com/.
Step 2: Assembly and Glue Up
While dumpster diving a while ago outside a construction site, I found this apx. 4 foot long laminated lvl beam. Basically really thick and good quality plywood. They are used as rafters in new house construction and this was apparently an off-cut that was thrown away. I was happy as a clam to find it. I love the look of all the layers in the wood. It looks like an archaeological dig site as I cut away the layers.
I took it to the shop, planed both sides smooth and co-planar and then chopped it up into 4 equal parts.I took the 4 pieces to the bench where I glued them into one huge block of wood. I used an excessive amount of glue at this phase because I needed to ensure that all the little nooks and crannies in this laminated beam were filled to make sure that there were no small pieces that could dislodge and shoot at my face at lightning speeds when I was carving.
Step 3: The Whirley Bit
Once everything was dried and set, I was ready to begin carving. First I must say, this blade scared me. Not that it wasn’t a blast to use, but the speed at which it took away material actually frightened me. When it first bit into the wood on it’s maiden plunge, the grinder shot back at me like a rocket. I showed my wife the footage and she yelled at me in anger. hahahaha. You need to remember, I do not have a variable speed grinder and the Dewalt rotates at nearly 9,000 rpms. The blade is rated for up to 12,000 rpms and I cannot even imagine…
Step 4: Holy Smokes Watch Out!
After securing the grinder tight against my body for a second go at it, I flicked the switch and began taking shallower passes. You would have thought I was using a hot knife through a block of butter. This blade sliced through the wood effortlessly and was a joy to use. I quickly hollowed out the bowl and rounded the corners and sides.
Step 5: Finalizing the Shape
After I had the rough shape, I used a flap disk on the grinder to smooth out the bumps and bring it to it’s final shape. You need to be careful because the flap disk is aggressive and can burn the wood when it is left in one spot for too long. After the flap disk, I brought out the random orbital sander and worked through the grits: 60, 120. 220.
Step 6: TA-DA!
After sanding, I gave it 2 coats of polyurethane finish to keep it water tight and to give it a shine. After cleaning up the piles of shavings and dust, the bowl was finished.
I hope you enjoyed the read through and learned a little bit about the process. As always, don’t forget to head over to my Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Patreon pages to show your support so that I can continue to make awesome content like this. Thanks for reading!