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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Changing the size of bowls

I came across a question on the scroll saw forum recently about changing the size of a bowl. If you're considering do this, please remember that when you enlarge or reduce a bowl pattern, you are also changing the width of the rings. Since the width of the rings is one of the factors that determines the cutting angle, you must re-calculate the cutting angle so your rings will stack properly.

If you have the bowl book, you'll find an easy to use formula in the Appendix. If you don't have the book, try the AngleCalc utility on scrollmania.com, adding a degree or two for safety.

And if you really get stuck, drop me a line and I'll help you figure it out. No point in wasting good wood if you don't have to!


  1. Hi Carole. I hope the move is progressing. Sounds like quite an undertaking! I just wanted to comment that I recently received my copy of Wooden Bowls and made my first bowl yesterday. I followed the instructions in the book and was surprised at how well it came out. I thought it would be leaning or something but it came out looking like a bowl! I made it from clear pine and treated it with lemon oil. I'm going to shellac it tonight. I didn't have all the sanding equipment you mention but I do have the flex drum sander from Intarsia.com. It worked great using that. After a while I got the feel of how to work the bowl on the spindle and along with feeling the bowls contour with my fingers, it came out pretty good. Thanks for the great book. I can see endless opportunities here.

  2. Glad your first effort was so successful. There really are wonderful opportunities, once you get the feel for it, and you're limited only by your imagination. Enjoy!