Here’s one of the weirdest projects George ever did: he filled a mold with brass casings, poured epoxy over the top of them, let it cure and turned the whole thing into a bowl. The result; a bullet bowl. OK, they’re not bullets, but it makes for a cool name. You may never do an identical project, but you can get some good ideas from this video.
- – The mold for this project is an inexpensive plastic bowl. The epoxy does release from the bowl, so it can be used over and over.
- – Be sure you’re using the right epoxy. It needs to be an epoxy that’s suitable for deep pours.
- – Clean the casings if you want them shiny. George tumbled his with a brass cleaning product.
- – A pressure pot will eliminate bubbles from the casting.
Pour and Wait
Most epoxies need a lot of cure time before you can put them on the lathe, 5-7 days. Read the epoxy instructions, and don’t push it.
George toggled between high speed steel and carbide tools to do the turning. The casings really slowed the process down, and their shavings came off so hot he had to put a glove on his left hand. But in the end, the process was similar to any bowl turning project. Just slower. Epoxy projects typically don’t get finish, they get buffed. That was the final step of this project.
Working with Epoxy
If you’d like to try a bowl/epoxy project, but aren’t interested in casings in resin, you might like a wooden bowl with resin accents. We’ve got a lot of great info on incorporating resin into other projects, too.
When the blank goes into the pot it it’s on the top (rim) of the bowl.. But when it goes onto the lathe, the wood forms a tenon on the bottom.. Puzzled…
Good catch. I glued a second block to the bottom of the blank after it came out of the mold. This provided me with a way to grab the blank without cutting a tenon or recess into the epoxy/cartridge blank.
Woodworkers Guild of America
George — That is a very cool bowl. The cross section of the casings on the inside of the bowl is interesting. You’ve inspired me.
Love the idea, might I recommend the same idea with bullets too. That way your friend can have a Case bowl (brass casings) and a bullet bowl with a mix of caliber bullets of varying types (solid lead, jacketed, hollow point, etc).
“No one died”… classic.