George Vondriska

Making a Three-Point Bowl

George Vondriska
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Duration:   12  mins

Have you ever seen a bowl that has a rim with three pointy tips rather than a contiguous round shape? This is commonly referred to as a three-point bowl, and many experienced woodturners are perplexed when asked to guess how one would make such a bowl. By its appearance, one might guess that you would start with an odd-shaped blank that would be very challenging to form on a bandsaw. Perhaps some fancy math and a protractor are involved in designing the blank for a three-point bowl?

While the method for creating a three-point bowl does require some intermediate to advanced skills on the lathe, the steps that are taken to produce one are actually pretty straightforward. To turn a three-point bowl, you will:

Prepare your blank. Follow the guidelines that George describes in the video to create a perfect cube that will serve as the starting point for your three-point bowl.

Create your mount points. Following the procedure that George demonstrates, prepare the flat spots on your blank that will be used for mounting the blank on the lathe.

Mount between centers. Why would you mount a bowl blank between centers? Why not use a face plate? As you watch the video, the answers to these questions will become apparent.

Turn a tenon, flip, mount, finish. From there you will turn this as you would a normal bowl, being very careful because this project requires you to “turn a lot of air,” which can be intimidating to novice turners. Be sure to proceed slowly as you extend your lathe tools into the spinning blank, as plunging too quickly can cause a dangerous catch condition.

This is a fun turning project, like many of the turning projects that you will find on the WWGOA site. Be safe and have fun!

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