Thursday, October 30, 2014

Turning Large Bowls on a Table Saw

This has been one of the most interesting projects we ever turned out on the table saw.  The video of doing this has won us awards on instructables and the bowl itself won awards at the fair.  Every once in a while someone will come up to me and say how they used to cut circles on a table saw, and occasionally I will see a small bowl turned in much the same way but never more than about 10 inches or so.  I am proud of this idea, not claiming I was the first to ever do it, far from it, but I can say that I thought it up myself independently.  There is some pride in that.

Some have raged against the practice, mostly on the side of either the saw is going to kick back/bowl explode, or that you can't see the cutters and might stick a finger into them.  I suppose those both have some validity but then they are true for nearly any other project as well.  As for not seeing the cutters, lots of tools, jointers, routers, plainers, even dado cutting on the table saw, obscure their cutters.  Why would this example be inherently any more dangerous than any other?  For the most part I dismiss that complaint as an internet expert.

The kick back... well this isn't something that can be feather boarded in place for each cut.  That would take days and I don't see an easy way to do it.  It is true that the project is captured only by that dowel but that is a substantial hardwood dowel and it would STILL have to lift and throw the sled on top of it.  I keep lots of weight on the sled and keep the sled contained in its tracks.  I have been doing this for quite some time now and other than blatantly forcing that dado blade to take huge cuts AND counter feeding it I just don't see how it could bite hard enough to blast that whole mess.  All woodworking is dangerous but I don't even see this as more dangerous than say ripping thin strips of figured wood.

Below you can find more videos of us using this unusual idea.

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