After seeing a demo at a woodturning club of a large off center bowl, I had to try one myself. At another club meeting, I picked up a bowl blank that I thought was elm. The blank had bark on one side – not the normal position for a natural edge bowl. But why not combine a side natural edge and an off center bowl.

Well, here it is. The rim measures about seven inches in diameter; the bowl is about two inches tall.

To summarize the process:
1. Mark the center of the blank and an offset center. For the bark edge, I shifted the offset center about 3/4″ towards the bark edge.
2. Mount to a faceplate and rough turn.
3. Cut an expansion mortise on the bottom.
4. Reverse the bowl onto a scroll chuck.
5. Shape and form the outer portion of the rim including any rim decorations. It would be a good idea to sand also.
6. Reverse the bowl onto a faceplate at the other center position.
7. Shape the lower exterior of the bowl blending into the previously cut rim.
8. Cut a new expansion mortise.
9. Reverse the bowl into the new mortise.
10. Hollow the interior, sand the upper exterior of the bowl.
11. For my bowl, I cut a small groove on th
e inside of the bowl for another expansion hold. This will be used to finish the foot. Cole jaws are not an effective option because due to the offset rim.
12. Reverse the bowl onto an expansion hold into the groove.
13. Shape the foot.
14. Sign and finish. I used walnut oil and later buffed.

This was a small block of wood for an offset bowl due to the need for enough wood for an expansion mortise. For this reason, the lines of the bowl do not flow as well as I had originally intended. A larger blank would be preferable.

Another learning is at the beginning to smooth an area on one face big enough for the faceplate in both positions. I used the rough face of the blank. Consequently, the turning plate of the bowl shifted slightly from one mount to the next causeing the rim to be slightly thinner on one side.

Good turning.

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Music: Bach Guitar Calm under license via Adobe Premiere Elements Smart Sound.

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