This woodworking hack to make a wooden bowl is a table saw experiment and an alternative way to make a wooden bowl without a lathe.
On the internet, I had already seen ways of making a wooden bowl without a lathe but in a few cases, they looked very unsafe.
Because safety is a priority, I came up with this simple and easy solution.
At no time did I feel unsafe and the making of this bowl went more smoothly than I thought it was going to be.
That is why I would like to share my experiment with you so that you can get started making this beautiful wooden bowl yourself.
Before we start building
To prepare you for building this project, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipment that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this jig.
* Safety is always your own responsibility!
Safety first! Protect yourself!
Materials I used for this table saw hack
(power)Tools I used to make this wooden bowl
Building the wooden bowl without a lathe step by step
Now that we have gone through the list of what we all need for this project, I will explain step by step how to do this table saw experiment hack and make a wooden bowl yourself without a lathe.
Working with a table saw always involves risks.
If you want to make this wooden bowl yourself, always use small intermediate steps and do not force the saw.
If you lift the saw blade in a slow way, you will not experience any tension on the workpiece and you can comfortably make this wooden bowl.
If you don’t feel safe with this, don’t make this bowl.
Safety is always your own responsibility.
Step 1 | Preparation
To start making a wooden bowl, you need to know the dimensions of your saw blade. On this, you can base the final dimensions of the finished bowl.
Since you’re stuck by the dimensions of the saw blade, this is a major limitation when making a bowl with a table saw instead of a lathe.
The wood I used for this table saw experiment was laminated pine wood.
To make the wood connect perfectly to each other during gluing, it is important that the wood is flat.
That is why I use my thicknesser to prepare the wood and obtain a flat surface.
Be sure to watch my blog and video where I review my planer/thicknesser:
Affordable planer & thicknesser Belmash SDR2200 Initial thoughts.
I can recommend this power tool because of its compactness and affordable price.
As you have just read, it is important to know the dimensions of the saw blade.
In this way you can determine how wide the wood should be.
I took the dimensions of the saw blade and added 3 cm along the sides (saw blade width + 6 cm).
To make this block square, I determined the number of wood layers by dividing the length of the wood by the thickness of the wood.
However, this does not have to be completely correct, as long as you can cut a full circle from this block.
To give you an example, in my case the boards were 30 cm long and I needed 10 pieces.
To connect these boards together I used wood glue.
The fastest way to glue these boards is to place them side by side and spread the glue.
To distribute the glue evenly over the wood I used an old bank card.
After gluing, it is important to assemble the wood as soon as possible and let it dry under high pressure.
To apply as much pressure as possible, use different clamps.
In this way, equal pressure is exerted on each part of the block.
Allow the block to dry for at least a day to ensure a good connection.
Step 2 | Making the outside of the wooden bowl
After the glue has dried, you can cut the base from this block for the bowl.
First, determine the center of the block by simply measuring on 2 sides and placing a mark on half the measure.
Then take a (thin) board (I used a 6mm sheet of MDF for this) and measure half the width of the saw blade from 1 side (the side that will make contact with the saw blade).
Mark this point and drill a small hole through which you can place a nail.
Place the board with the nail on the block and hit the nail in the block at your center mark.
Now your block can rotate freely on this board.
Now place the board against the saw blade and clamp this board firmly on the saw table.
Switch on the saw with the saw blade just not touching the overhanging block.
When the table saw is running at full speed, you can carefully lift the saw blade.
When the saw blade touches the wooden block, rotate the wooden block one full revolution.
You can lift the saw blade again and rotate the block for another revolution.
Continue in this way until you have reached the desired height of the bowl.
Use small steps to cut out the circle!
In my case, the height of the wood I used was higher than the final height of the bowl so I had to update the edges until I had a full circle.
Step 3 | Making the inside of the wooden bowl
The principle for hollowing out the inside of the bowl is super simple.
By rotating the round block over the saw blade, the bowl can be hollowed out with a perfect arc.
To keep the round block in the right place, use a board with a hole in it. That hole must have the correct dimensions so that the round block is held firmly in place.
I explain how you can make that board.
Place the round block on the plank and mark the shape.
After drawing the shape you need to determine the center of the circle.
Below you can see step by step how you can determine the center.
How to determine the center of a circle
Draw a line anywhere on the circle with the line crossing the circle twice.
Make your compass larger than half of the line.
Place the compass where the line and circle intersect and mark a point both inside the circle and outside the circle.
Repeat from the other point where the line and circle intersect.
When you have marked well you will now get a marking cross both inside and outside the circle.
Now connect the two mark crosses with a line. This gives you a perpendicular line to the line you drew earlier.
Repeat all these steps from another point of the circle.
Try to determine that point so that the two perpendicular lines cross each other.
Where these two perpendicular lines intersect is the exact center of your circle.
Now that the center of the circle is known, it can be cut out.
For this, I used my router circle cutting jig.
This allowed me to accurately cut out the circle in which the block fit.
Be sure to watch my blog and video where I show you step by step how to build this router circle cutting jig (no centerhole).
This jig is easy to make and you can make perfect circles without a centerhole!
Now place the board with the hole over the saw blade.
Make sure the saw blade is perfectly centered in the hole. If not, the cutout will not be centered nicely in the bowl.
To make the hollowing of the bowl, work in the same way as if you made the outside of the bowl.
Rotate the bowl for one revolution, lift the blade, and repeat until you reached the depth you want.
Work in small intermediate steps and do not force the table saw.
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Step 4 | Finishing the wooden bowl
In a few places, I had small cracks where the boards were glued together. I filled this up with the gap filler from Starbond.
This is a thicker heavy fill that solidifies immediately when sprayed with the accelerator.
It not only closes the crack but also strengthens the connection. This Starbond gap filler is an absolute must-have for your workshop
To finish the wooden bowl neatly I have chamfered the edge at the bottom.
By placing the saw blade at a 45-degree angle and sliding the board with the hole so that the saw blade almost touches the side of the circle, I was able to finish the edge.
With the same circular movements, the bowl was turned over the saw blade until the edge was chamfered.
To finish the wooden bowl, it was sanded in several steps.
All coarse irregularities were first removed with P80 sandpaper.
Afterward, a sanding with P150 and P220 followed
If you want to know more about how to determine the right sandpaper for your project, be sure to check out my blog: The perfect sandpaper grit guide for woodworking.
Everything you need to know about sandpaper can be found in this article. It will no doubt give you a better understanding of the proper use of sandpaper.
There is also a FREE downloadable guide available to help you determine the right sandpaper grit.
To saturate the wood and finish the wooden bowl, it was rubbed with olive oil.
I used olive oil because this bowl will come in contact with food products.
To spread the oil I used the wood stain applicator from stainpad.
This is a handy tool that absorbs the product and distributes it evenly over the surface without leaving streaks or lint.
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I want to hear from you
There you have it! It’s that easy to make a wooden bowl without a lathe.
The design is simple and can be used as decoration in both a modern and rural interior.
Let me know in the comments below what type of wood you want to use to make your own wooden bowl.
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Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration