Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Making a ladle

Lathe work, originally uploaded by andiwolfe.
This is another image from Michael Hosaluk's demonstration for the Central Ohio Woodturners on May 14, 2011. In this image he is finishing the handle of the ladle he is turning.

Here is the sequence of photos I processed for this project:

The ladle blank had about a 4X4 inch section for the bowl of the ladle and a 2X2 inch section for the handle (I didn't measure it, but that's close to what it was). It was mounted between centers (using a safety center).  the handle was trued and the bowl part of the lathe was shaped into a sphere.

A spindle roughing gouge was used to shape the handle.

 Michael turned wet elm for this ladle.  The orientation of the grain was parallel to the ways of the bed.

After shaping the handle, Michael turned a series of beads toward the end of the handle.

The knobs on each end are removed with a Japanese hand saw.  

This is the jam chuck that will be used to hold the ladle for turning the bowl.

The jam chuck has to be sized to fit the sphere of the ladle.

Checking for fit.

Michael used one of his hook tools to open up the interior of the jam chuck to fit the sphere.  The jam chuck is an end-grain turning, so the hook tool is perfect for this step.  The curve of the hook has a profile similar to a bowl gouge, and that's the edge that makes the cut.

Once the sphere fits the jam chuck it is seated securely with a strong whack from a heavy tool handle.  In this case, it is one of Michael's design.

Audience reaction.

 The handle is angled slightly toward the tool rest, which is positioned in such a way that there is plenty of clearance from the handle that is swinging around.  The speed is moderate.  I set my camera shutter speed to record some of the arc, which gives the illusion of more speed than is actually used here.

Hollowing the ladle is akin to turning a small bowl, except for the handle swinging around.

First the high spot of the sphere is taken down to an appropriate height to make a bowl that is proportional to the position of the handle.

Once the bowl height is established, it is hollowed using a bowl gouge.

I posted a larger version of this portrait a few days ago, but it's part of the sequence, so here it is again.

Michael is using a double ended bowl gouge.  One end has a basic fingernail grind.  The other end has a more oblique angle.  The fingernail grind is good for working the sides, and the oblique end is for turning the bottom of the bowl.

You can see the angle of the gouge used for cleaning up the bottom of the bowl.

Final cuts being made.  

Checking for depth.

To remove the ladle from the jam chuck, a bowl gouge is slid into the slot to leverage out the turning

The finished ladle.

Additional images from Michael Hosaluk's visit to the Central Ohio Woodturners can be found on my Facebook page: HERE


Steve Kubien said...

Thanks for posting this Andi. One question... Is the handle glued into the bowl block or is the whole thing a solid piece?

Andi Wolfe said...


It's one solid piece. The key is to orient the blank long grain for the greatest strength at the connection. You probably wouldn't want to turn the handle too thin, either.