A Bad Turn

I’ve been Keeking a lot lately about a project I started. It was something that I initially wanted to remain as ‘secret’ until a big unveiling with a YouTube video; laminating layer after layer of American lime from my offcuts stash, as the odd follower made their guess or suggestion as to what it might be. Two people were very close and in fact, it you were to halve each of their answers (bandsaw box and a turned bowl) and to bring two of those halves together, you would’ve come to the correct conclusion of a Bandsaw Bowl.

This is why you shouldn’t operate a bandsaw at 21.30…

It was all going so well until I mounted it on a circle cutting jig last night. Now, this beech lump o’ lime looks like to find a space in one of my stocked up bags of firewood, ready for collection by someone… From somewhere.

Looking up at the first photo, I can only imagine that the pivot point of my jig was slightly off from being square to the front tips of the teeth on this ¼in blade. Well, that’s at least what it looks like… What actually happened was that there were suddenly a lot of sparks and lots of noise after beginning the first quarter-turn. I chose to ignore this; fully aware that I was using an old blade with 6tpi, cutting a thickness of around 5in. Once I got as far as you can see above and decided to stop, I could see that the blade was riding ‘behind’ the right-hand guide bearing!

I didn’t help myself by starting with a blank so unnecessarily over-sized; given that I also needed to balance it, with the table tilted at 20°. A nightmare ensued as I fought to free the blank from the blade… It wouldn’t back out of the cut, even with the power off so, I had to take the whole lot over to my workbench and to free it by hand-sawing a small notch from one side.

And it was looking so nice…

It’s a shame to have to consign this one to the bin, after so much clamping and so many litres of food-safe glue… With a bit of oil splashed on and, in spite of the bad-sawn finish, it was coming up quite nicely. I particularly liked the way the narrower pieces appeared to be trapezoidal in section.

15° and it looks even better, I think.

Anyway, I’ve decided to persevere with a brand new blank of wood. I really do want and ‘need’ a nice fruit bowl – it’s either that or, I’ll be caught spending £5 on something blue and plastic from a local supermarket!! But before wasting any more wood, I decided to reinstall the same blade and to attempt to complete a bowl-shape, just to test my own methods in setting up. That was almost perfect although, far too small for a fruit bowl. I also chose to alter the tilt angle of the table to only 15° as I felt that 20° was looking too ‘aggressive’ and sharp on the top edges.

My next bowl will be created from a series of wall shelf offcuts, which I’m sure I’ve highlighted on here before. It’s mostly regular English oak, with a strip of brown oak down the middle of each (but also, deliberately off-centred).

A spiral effect of assembly.

As this one gradually comes together over the next few evenings, I’m looking to assemble the blank not only more ‘square’ in dimension but also, in a ‘spiral’ effect that may allow those contrasting strips to overlap… My only concern is that I cannot determine where my old biscuit slots are, without blatantly defacing the freshly-planed oak. But the clamping process has already begun!

Clamping the bowl blank – step one.

Thanks for reading.

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