How To Turn a Bowl With a Table Saw

Woodworking Workshop
How To Turn a Bowl With a Table Saw

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Lathes are an interesting piece of “maker gear,” but the typical garage would seem more likely to have a table saw than a lathe available. If for some reason you need to make a wooden bowl and only have a saw around, Izzy Swan now has a solution with his custom jig.

In his setup, the outside of the bowl is rotated using a hand drill. The jig pivots while the work piece is turning, allowing the saw blade to impart a smooth finish on the outside. The video below is, impressively, Izzy’s first attempt, so things should get even better with practice.

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The inside, as seen around 5:00, is cut out using the same fixture in a simpler setup. The bowl is turned with no pivoting, while the blade is slowly worked into the concave portion of the bowl. As with the outside, the results look quite good, although with some more experimentation, something even better could probably be produced.

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As useful as they are, I really try to avoid table saws, as they seem to be one of the most dangerous tools in the shop. As Swan says in the video, “Don’t mess around with stuff like this unless you really, really know your equipment.” Since lathes can also be quite dangerous as well, that’s seems like good advice since you’re combining the two!

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Jeremy is an engineer with 10 years experience at his full-time profession, and has a BSME from Clemson University. Outside of work he’s an avid maker and experimenter, building anything that comes into his mind!

View more articles by Jeremy S Cook

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