How To Make A Wooden Bowl On A Lathe?

How To Make A Wooden Bowl On A Lathe

Woodworking is one of the most interesting projects if you get used to the processes and the handling of the machinery. You can show-off your level of creativity and try your hand at new projects while creating useful instruments. But to do that, you will need a lathe. One of the most common items to turn on a lathe spindle is a wooden bowl.

So, how about we discuss the process of preparing a wooden bowl using a lathe? If you like the sound of that, let’s get to it:


Like any other project you have completed, working with a lathe also needs some preparation. If you have everything you need right near your hand, it will be quicker and easier. Before everything, you should complete these steps-

  • Get yourself a wood lathe in case you do not have one yet.
  • You should know every part of a wood lathe and what are their purposes.
  • You need to have some experience in handling a wood lathe. At least, practice how to control the machine.
  • Get a drilling machine. Some lathe comes with a drill combo. So, you can go for them. You will need it to drill minor holes on your workpieces.
  • Prepare the other items that you need in this project. These items will include-
    • A chisel set.
    • Finishing.
    • Soft cloth.
    • Sandpaper.
  • Getting a suitable wooden block.

See this diagram for a quick view of different parts of a wood lathe-

different parts of a wood lathe

Prepare the Wooden Block

There are two ways you can prepare a wooden block for your turning project. But whichever way you choose, if the way how you handle them will affect the outcome. We advise you to get a wood that is not that hard to cut, turn, or drill. Softwoods are a good example here. You can undergo one of these two ways to prepare the wooden block-

Gluing Different Wooden Blocks

If you want to have a much reliable way, then go for this one. The process is simple. Get some wooden pieces of the same size. Then glue them together to make the block. Wait for the glue to dry up. Now it is ready for cutting. Cut the corners of it to make it round shaped.

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Taking an Actual Stump

You can prepare the block from a tree stump too. In this way, you will get a much genuine result with even the tree barks left on the piece. But it can prove problematic if there is some sap left in the piece. Cut the stump to the right size to make the block.

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Once you have made your block, drill a hole right at the center of it. It must be accurate to the middle.

Attach the Block to the Lathe

Choose one of these two methods-

  • Prepare the spindle and attach it to the wooden piece. Attach it right at the center where you made the hole. Then attach the spindle properly to the lathe.
  • Connect the wooden block using the woodworm screw.
  • To keep the block in its place steadily, you should press down the tailstock to the other side of the block.

Follow these links for a better understanding of the process-

Woodwork Screw connection

Spindle Connection

Turning the Wooden Block

Now, this is where the main process begins. By turning a block for the first few times, you may not get the desired outcome. But your skill will improve gradually. Make sure to follow these steps to make a fine block-turning-

  • As we told you to know the tools above, we assume that you know the difference among many chisels. It is because of how different chisels creates different types of cuts.
  • Take a suitable chisel and start to chisel away the sides to give it a bowl-like shape.
  • Once the shape is clear and precise, it is time for the rim side. Start by taking the tailstock away and attaching a tenon and faceplate.
  • Drill a hole in the middle of the rim.
  • Keep chiseling to an ideal depth. Hollow out your bowl by doing this. Make sure that the base of the bowl does not turn out to be too thin.

Video description

Once the whole chiseling is done and your block completely shapes up like a bowl, you are almost done. What is left is a finishing touch.


To make the surfaces more precise, you may need to follow these simple finishing steps-

  • Apply sand to the bowl.
  • Rub it with sandpaper with the sand on it.
  • Clean the dust once you are done.
  • Apply any finish if you desire.

Final Note

Keep the RPM of the machine low while working to avoid damaging the bowl in case of a loose set-up. It is highly advised to avoid loose clothing as it is risky while working with a machine.

As you can see, there are various methods in every step. You can try them all to find a comfortable way. Make sure to practice it many times to master the turning.

Last Updated on 2 years by Richard Boyer

  • June 8, 2022
Richard Boyer

Richard Boyer has been a professional welder for over 27 years of his life, and now he is a trainer and blogger providing critical information to anyone interested in welding. He is helping out both hobbyists, novice and professional welders to learn newer and better techniques. Read more about me

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