Woodturning Blog: Articles, Tips & Ideas

7 Ways NOT to Turn a Bowl

by Paul Carter | September 23, 2016 | 2 Comments

Basic wood lathe bowl turning tips.

In the midst of how-to videos and articles, Nick Cook offers a different type of insight. 

  • Too big. Start by mastering crucial techniques on smaller, shallow bowls. 
  • Too hard. Start with green wood, it can be found inexpensively and will provide smooth, easier cuts.
  • Big gap at the tool rest. If the tool extends more than an inch over the tool rest it's time to stop the lathe and adjust the tool rest.
  • Wrong direction. For face grain bowls cut uphill. On the interior of your bowl, cut downhill or from rim to center. 
  • Wrong tools. Remember to never use a roughing gouge on bowl work. A 1/2" or 5/8" bowl gouge makes great beginners' bowl gouge. 
  • Rushing into finishing. Don't worry about finishing a piece, focus on basic shape and confidence. Practice pieces are most important as you begin turning bowls. 
  • Lack of body movement. Notice how most turners move with their work. This allows them to produce fluid curves. 
Find more insightful tips from Nick Cook here.


Stan Rowden
February 05, 2018

Stan Rowden


Ralph Ferree
December 23, 2017

Ralph Ferree

I just got your web sight it is very informative
thank -ya

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