Bowl Carving: how do you get the bottom & top level?

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Bowl Carving: how do you get the bottom & top level?

Postby ToneWood » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:17 pm

I keep running into this issue, with carved (not turned) bowls: how do you get the top and bottom both level?

The classic symptom is this: you sit the bowl on a flat table and notice that two corners diagonally opposite each other are sitting higher than the other two corners.

This seems to be more of a problem with larger bowls. The problem is, I think, exacerbated by the small natural twist (or "non-straightness") that occurs in many/most blanks. Currently I am tackling this with a lot of trial-and-error tweaking but it can become very time consuming. I wondered if any of you bowl makers (or woodworkers) might have some tips/techniques/suggestions that might help?

I currently have 2 large bowls currently (made of different woods) that are "challenging me" in this regard. One is now finished - but only after considerable time making small tweaks: checking it, tweaking, checking it, tweaking, etc. The other one is still in the latter stages of rough-shaping - but might heart sank to today when I placed it on a flat table and saw the same classic symptom described above. :(
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Re: Bowl Carving: how do you get the bottom & top level?

Postby gavin » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:25 pm

Have you a scrub plane?
Failing that, a scorp or scraper should work.
Smear finely-crushed charcoal or chalk powder on a horizontal flat surface e.g a mirror. Place your bowl on that. Plane off the powdered area at one end. Repeat til level.
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