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-  The Carving Process  -

'Loopy' - Carved Cherry Bowl
by Steve Schmeck

April 2007     12" x 14"

I don't always start out with a plan as complete as this one but I needed a little help in visualizing the idea of having the 'loops' penetrate the bottom of the bowl to create feet.

 The Carving



This project started out as a cherry log section about 14" in diameter and 18" long, split
in half with wedges and sledge. The half-log was very green and weighed about 35 lbs.

I started out by drawing the rough shape and features, in this case the areas to be left
uncarved for a while, and chopping down to a rough shape with a hatchet and the
60mm wide gouge shown in the tool photo below.

Above: The bottom has been smoothed
with gouges and Surform Rasps to help
visualize the overall shape of the bowl.


The bowl blank is securely fastened to
the bench and shaping of the top and rim

The looping shapes are more defined
here and the thickness of body of the
bowl is roughed in to about 3/8".


Coming along now. The blocks left
for the feet need to be shaped next. 
Quite a way to go yet to get the bowl
thickness down to 3/16" or so.

Here is a small "Chisel Plane" I made 
today to help clean up and thin the bowl
bottom. Those loops kept getting in the
way of larger tools. 


Thinning down with the help of a 
goose-neck scraper (in bowl, above) 
and a couple of custom made sanding
sticks. Bottom is about 1/4" thick, about
1/16" to go once the inside shape is done.

The rim and 'loops' are now their final
shape and I'm in sanding mode. The 35
pound half-log now weighs about a
pound. We'll use all those the chips to 
help heat shop. Last step is to apply an
oil finish.


Just about done! Final sanding and a few 
more coats of oil, final inspection, then 
sign it. I like to let a bowl like this sit in a
sunny spot for a week or so to allow the
finish to completely cure. Also, if there 
are going to be any surprises - like dull
spots, blemishes or cracks, I will find
rather than have a new owner be


These are the main tools used on this bowl.

   Updated 11/24/2017

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