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Carving A Live Edge Bowl - Part 2

01/09/2020 by Yoav Liberman

Carving A Live Edge Bowl - Part 2 1

Click for Part 1 of Carving A Live Edge Bowl

Gouging a shallow branch can be easy. All you need to do is secure your branch segment (read more about it in my previous blog entry) and then use gouges progressively to excavate the wood out. I usually employ #7 gouges. First I use a straight gouge and then a bent gouge. A Ā¾ā€ and wider are the common sizes that I like to use. In some situations, where a branch parameters or grain topography is irregular, narrow or simply put it - challenging, I would use smaller and curvier gouges (#9, #11) or even a ā€œVā€ gouge. And for smoothing out the gouged surface after the excavation is done we can use a # 5 or #3 gouges.

In the pictures and video below you can see how one of my 5th grade students is planning the keel of a walnut branch in preparation for hollowing out the inside.

Carving A Live Edge Bowl - Part 2 2



One of the easiest ways to hold a splitted/sawn brach secured for planning its keel is by affixing to it a block of wood using two lag screws. The block is then can be held in the vise to allow for some chisel work and planning to take place.
One of the easiest ways to hold a splitted/sawn brach secured for planning its keel is by affixing to it a block of wood using two lag screws. The block is then can be held in the vise to allow for some chisel work and planning to take place.



If your log/branch length allows it, you can also hold it in a vise for planning its keel.
If your log/branch length allows it, you can also hold it in a vise for planning its keel.


After the keel is flattened the branch can be glued onto a scrap piece of wood which will then be held in a vise to allow for an easy excavation. Other methods of holding the branch secure include an F clamp, a Sash clamp or a simple cleat and a clamp.

Carving A Live Edge Bowl - Part 2 5
With a #7 gouge I hollow out most of the bowl
With a #7 gouge I hollow out most of the bowl

To excavate the deepest parts of the bowl I use a bent gouge.
To excavate the deepest parts of the bowl I use a bent gouge.



Carving A Live Edge Bowl - Part 2 8
Carving A Live Edge Bowl - Part 2 9
One of a few Sassafras branch bowls that I carved recently. It can be used to hold keys, fruits, vegetables, and many more decorative of functional items.
One of a few Sassafras branch bowls that I carved recently. It can be used to hold keys, fruits, vegetables, and many more decorative of functional items.


Next time I will show two techniques to hollow out a bowl using some drill bits.
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