Tampa BowlMates


Charlie pares the hollow of his bowl.

Last weekend’s Fine Woodworking Hands-On event in Tampa was a rich experience.  Never having been to Florida, it was a bit surreal for me; temperatures in the upper 70s in February, palm trees, a manatee…like another world.

Kate Swann, Carl Johnson, and the rest of the crew at the Florida School of Woodwork did an outstanding job hosting the event and getting materials and equipment ready for us, including these adaptations of Robin Wood’s BowlMate.  Not having much access to appropriate logs, Carl designed and built these from  tulip poplar timber — with removable legs for storage.  They worked great, as do many other options.

There are lots of methods for holding a chunk of wood or a bowl in place.  The best one depends upon the situation, including the resources available.  For more ideas, check out the “holding” topic from the pulldown menu on the right.  The BowlMate relies on an old idea of wedging the workpiece between two stops.  Opposing wedges with a slim taper can hold with a rock-solid grip.  The notch at the end can be used in creative ways, including holding a bowl between it and the carver’s body.

I wish I had thought to take more photos of the event overall, but I was able to snap some photos of the students at work on their bowlmates.  Here’s the slideshow:

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There’s a couple people missing from the photo, but here’s most of the crew with their bowls in progress.  The bowls will be nice reminders of our time working, learning and laughing together.



They’ve got strange pointy trees down there.


This entry was posted in classes, events, holding, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Tampa BowlMates

  1. RICK Erman says:

    Morning David – sounds like you had a great time “in the south – out of the cold”

    Noting the link to your slide show in the 4th ppg did / does not appear in the mail I received ?

    Thake care my friend

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10



  2. Eric Goodson says:

    Hi Dave,
    So glad to see you teaching and spreading the word. And a perfect time of the year for Fla. You timed that just right!
    Those bowlmates look amazing. Kudos to Carl. Very pro. I would not be surprised it people start enquiring if they are for sale.
    Hope all is well with you and yours.


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