Part of Unit: Beginning and Advanced Projects
Lesson Plan Overview / Details
Step by step instruction on turning a small bowl ( 6"dia.) on the wood lathe. A slide show walks you through the process. Great Beginning or Advanced student project.
- A small bowl can be completed in one week
- 5 Days
California Career and Technical Education Standards
- BTC.A.A1.1 Know design solutions to common cabinetmaking and wood products problems.
- BTC.A.A3.1 Use portable power tools, such as single and compound miter saws, drills, sander...
- BTC.A.A4.1 Understand the proper and safe use of stationary power tools used in the milling...
- BTC.A.A5.1 Know how to read, understand, design, and construct cabinets accurately from cab...
- BTC.A.A6.1 Know the safety rules in the cabinetmaking work environment.
- BTC.A.A7.1 Design and create cabinet and wood products.
- BTC.A.A7.4 Use stationary and portable power tools in the assembly of cabinet and wood prod...
- BTC.A.A7.5 Use finish tools (e.g., airless sprayers, palm sanders) and techniques for finis...
California Academic Content Standards (Reinforced)
Objectives and Goals
- Students will demonstrate understanding of safety related to woodturning during the process of creating a faceplate turned project.
- Students will create a beginning level faceplate turning and build neccessary skills to produce other types of woodturnings.
Activities in this Lesson
- Professional Woodturner - Hooks / Set
The difference between being a woodturner and a Professional Woodturner is that a professional woodturner is able to sell their product to the public and make a business from their work.
Many students from high school wood shops can make a profit with their wood turning skills.
The quality of your work and reputation for producing unique interesting one of a kind pieces will determine your success as a Professional Woodturner.
Show students the website of 2 extraordinary woodturning professionals (attached below ))))). Go to their Gallery sections to review their work. You can show various types of woodturners and their prices.
Explain that these artists have been turning and experimenting with turning as art for many years developing their unique styles.
After, show students the power point (attached below) that features a few bowls made by students. These are examples what they are expected to produce.
- Examples of Student Turned Bowls [ Download ] Use this to give students an idea of what they can create on the lathe.
- Professional Wood Turner Mike Mahoney [ Go to Site ] Go to his site to see prices for his work - Go to his Gallery
- Professional Wood Turner Richard Raffan [ Go to Site ] Go to his site to see examples for his work - Go to his Gallery
- Lathe Safety - Check Understanding
All students that are planning on making a bowl turning need to have completed a Safety Test and demonstrate understanding of proper wood lathe operation.
There is a Lathe Safety Lesson located on the CTE Online website that covers all neccessary safety information related to lathe usage.
- Turning a Bowl Demonstration - Demo / Modeling
It is highly recommended that the teacher learn how to turn a bowl and provide a complete demonstration in front of all students. With a little bit of experience this demonstration can be done in 2 class periods.
Doing the demonstration at the beginning of the year is a great way to excite students and also show your abilities as their teacher.
I usually have beginning students do an bowl or oil lamp later in the year as one of their choices of 4 required projects.
IMPORTANT!! Only wood lathes with 1/2 horse power or more can be used to turn an oil lamp. The smaller pen turning lathes are normally only 1/4 horse power. Some mini-lathes are 1/2 horse power and med-size and larger lathes definitely have the power to turn these pieces.
There is a Power Point presentation (attached below) that shows the step by step process of created the bowl turning.
Print photocopies of this power point presentation and put a copy in a few different folders that students can refer to quickly. Write "Bowl Turning" on the cover. This will help them answer their own question - "What do I do next".
Show the power point to all students. Discuss these steps with students and address safety again at this time.
Turn a bowl for your students and demonstrate proper stance and technique. The shape is their choice but guide them with advice to produce an pleasing result.
Make sure to emphasize consistent wall thickness. The bottom can be a little thicker. Also, very important, show them how to check the depth of their cut on the inside of the bowl so they don't turn through the bottom.
This can be done by looking directly down over the turning with the lathe off and inserting a turning tool horizontally into the bowl and touching the bottom. Place your thumb on the steel of the turning tool at the top lip of the bowl. Do not change your hand position on the tool and slide it out of the bowl. Place the tool over the outside of the bowl and place your thumb at the top lip again. This will give you an idea of how thick your bottom is and how much wood still needs to be removed.
- Bowl Turning Power Point [ Download ] Step by Step Instructions and Tips for bowl turning.
- Students Turn to Turn - Independent Practice
Help students choose a piece of wood. Burl wood, stump wood, 8/4 hardwood and laminated boards all work wellfor turning blanks. Blanks can be purchased from wood turning companies such as Craft Supplies or Penn State. There are more to choose from and also many suppliers advertise in the back of woodworking magazines.
Glue the wasteblock on to the blank for the student.
Sharpen their turning tools for them before they begin.
Have the student attach the faceplate on to the headstock spindle.
Check the speed setting of the lathe. 800 rpm is recommended for roughing.
Have student adjust the tool rest about 1/4" from wood blank. Spin the blank to check for clearance.
Demonstrate proper stance and how to hold the tool properly.
Have the student make light cuts and get a feel for the tool on the wood.
Check students progress as needed.
Have students refer to the Bowl Turning Folders to assist their progress.
After rough cutting, increase the speed of the lathe to around 1800 rpm. This will produce cleaner cuts with minimal tear out.
Using a jig for support, cut through the faceplate about 1/4" from bottom of turning on the bandsaw. I do this step for safety reasons. Or follow the steps to turn the bottom of the bowl.
Have students sand the bottom of the turning on the disc sander. They need to remove the wasteblock and CA glue. The CA glue has a very strong smell. A small fan can be used to blow fumes aside. Or again use the method in the power point to finish the bottom on the lathe.
Next, sand bottom to remove scratches created by the disc sander.
Apply finish. I like to use Deft Semi Gloss Polyurethane.
- Photo Time - Closure
Take a picture of the students turning. Take one with them holding it and one of just the turning. Post them in class and use them to promote your class. You could also put pictures on display with a price and see if you get interest from an teacher, administrator or parent .
- Assessment Types:
- Rubrics, Observations,
Students will ask for help throughout the process. Guide them through and observe their progress. Have them refer to the step by step project folder.
Also, have students follow the rubric (attached below) to see how they will be graded on their project.
- Grading Sheet for the Bowl Turning [ Download ] Use to show students how they will be graded on the bowl turning.