Bowl from a Plank

Sourcing, storing, and/or processing green logs can be a challenge for some people based on location and other circumstances. There are ways around it. I’ve written a few posts that feature bowls carved from dry wood, or other creatively-sourced blanks.

Among the several projects on my list is a smaller version of a bowl that I made in 2015. That’s a photo (from my post about it) of the original 2015 bowl below. That bowl was 26 1/2″ long, 7 3/8″ wide, and 3″ high. My current iteration will be about 20% smaller, while retaining the same general proportions. So it will be less than 2 1/2″ high. I’ve had a walnut plank hanging around my shed that is 2 3/4″ thick. The more I looked at it, I realized that it might do the trick. The plank is in the top photo, along with my initial chalk scribbling.

“A Little Bread” Walnut Bowl 2015

I traded the chalk for a pencil and got more precise about orienting the bowl in the plank.

I struck my longitudinal centerline parallel to the grain pattern, without regard to the edges of the plank. This initial layout changed a bit later, but it gave me enough to go by to cut the excess length from the plank. There are some major bark inclusions and splits just below the bowl edge, right above the vise jaw.

The 2015 bowl had an arched top that corresponded to the natural curve of the outside of the tree. In this case, I created a curve with a plane after striking the shallow arc on both ends of the blank.

The dark marks are from mutton tallow that I rubbed on the handsaw during the crosscuting.

I bought it from Lee Valley years ago, stuck it on a shelf and forgot about it — until Meeko the cat knocked it down a few days ago and stared at me with a sheepish grin. Still works.

I realized that my 18″ steel ruler wasn’t long enough to be a drawing bow for the sides of this bowl. Then I spied my tallow-covered handsaw lying there. I flexed it with a length of masking tape and laid out the side arcs with the back.

Now it’s ready for hollowing, which means I’ll be wishing it were green wood. I’ll snap some more photos along the way.

This entry was posted in bowls, finding wood, layout, patterns, Uncategorized, walnut and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Bowl from a Plank

  1. pfollansbee says:

    Mutton tallow and sheepish grin in the same paragraph? Was that intentional?


  2. Skip Florey says:

    Dave, this project of your is just in time for me. I came across a thick plank and several large blocks of walnut that an old friend passed onto me. They are crack free and well seasoned. One piece that’s about 24” long, 10” wide and 3 1/2” thick is marked $4.50, so it’s got to be old.
    I look forward to your future posts, so that I can do something with them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. francedozois says:

    ok can’t wait for the progress shots–

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Bob Easton says:

    gonna need some ointment…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Bowl from a Plank: Part 2 | David Fisher, Carving Explorations

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