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Tip #112
Turning Laminate Bowls

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You know how fascinating and rewarding bowl turning is, but turning a solid block of wood into a bowl wastes a lot of stock. Lamination is a simple technique that makes the best use of stock and permits you to easily turn deeper bowls. Simply put, lamination is the gluing and stacking of woods. Either way, laminating offers a whole new facet to bowl turning.

To get started, here's a simple step-by-step procedure for an 8-in. bowl. For safety's sake, read the instructions, turn the machine off before making any adjustments, and wear a dust mask and eye protection.

Step 1:
Selecting the wood. Use one type of wood such as cherry, or alternate layers of light and dark woods such as maple and walnut. Select woods with unique grain patterns and color. Don't turn stock with cracks, knots and sap pockets, and do not laminate softwoods to hardwoods.

Step 2:
Preparing the wood. To turn an 8-in. laminated bowl use four pieces of wood. These four pieces of wood are cut from three pieces of stock 8-in. x 8-in., 7-in. x 7-in., and 6-in. x 6-in.. All stock for this bowl is 3/4-in. thick and should be surfaced on two sides to obtain smooth glue surfaces. If you use a thickness planer, surface long stock and cut it to length after planing.

Step 3:
Cutting the stock.
Next, mark the stock for cutting. Using a compass (see Fig.1), draw two circles -- 8-in. diameter and 5-1/4 in. diameter on the 8-in. square piece of stock. Then draw 7-in. and 4 1/2-in. diameter circles on the 7-in. square piece, and a 6-in. diameter circle on the 6-in. square piece of stock.

Fig. 1 Click image for larger view.

Drill a 1/4-in. diameter hole anywhere on the circumference of the smaller circles on the 8-in. and 7-in. pieces of stock. Cut each outside circle with a bandsaw or jigsaw then cut out each inside circle with a jigsaw or saber saw (see Fig. 2).

Fig. 2 Click image for larger view.

Continue to Steps 4-8

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