Cutting Bowl Blanks – Wood-Mizer Style

Log on the Wood-Mizer

Log on the Wood-Mizer

I recently watched a video of someone making bowl blanks from a log using a chainsaw.  Now, this is my normal method as well, but I thought I’d try something a little different.  I used my Wood-Mizer.

We had a large oak tree fall in our woods earlier this year, so I went about cutting it up into saw logs and firewood.  I usually cut my saw logs 100 inches long.  This allows for 2 inches of checking at each end and will produce 8 foot boards.

I got 7 – 100 inch logs and 1 – 14 footer out of the tree, along with a 57 inch long piece of crotch wood.  I couldn’t cut that crotch up into firewood, figuring I’d get some turning wood out of it.

After watching the video, in which the guy very carefully laid out and marked all of the cuts he would make, I realized I could take a lot of the guesswork out of it by cutting it on the Wood-Mizer.  I loaded the log up on the bed.

Log on the Mill

Log on the Mill

Then spent some time getting it aligned how I wanted it.

Log Aligned

Log Aligned

Then I made the first pass.

First Pass

First Pass

I moved the top piece aside and flipped the second piece over to make the pith removing cut.  I set the head at 1 1/4″  This would give me a nice quartersawn flitch.

Flipped for Second Pass

Flipped for Second Pass

And it did.  This piece is gorgeous.  The sun was bright, so you can’t really tell how nice the color is on this piece.

Quatersawn Flitch

Quatersawn Flitch

I then prepared to cut the top off of this piece.

Taking the Top Off

Taking the Top Off

I set the head at just over 3 1/2″.

Ready for Pass

Ready for Pass

And made the pass.

3 1/2 Inch Thick Flitch

3 1/2 Inch Thick Flitch

I got the other half ready, and cut the top off.  This one is 4 1/2″ thick.

Second Half

Second Half

I debarked all three flitches.

3 Flitches

3 Flitches

The dark lines are CA glue, trying to keep any splitting near the crotch at bay.

Stay tuned, in an upcoming post, I will cut the blanks out and then turn one.


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