1st Bowl on New Powermatic 2014 Lathe

Photo: 1 of 6 Blog Posts (pm2014_1st_bowl_00)

1 of 6 Blog Posts

This is 1 of 6 blog posts on the Powermatic 2014 Lathe. The posts are:

  1. "Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe"
  2. "Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe Stand"
  3. "1st Plate on New Powermatic 2014 Lathe"
  4. "1st Bowl on New Powermatic 2014 Lathe"
  5. "1st Hollow Form on New Powermatic 2014 Lathe"
  6. "Revolutionary New 110 Volt Lathes"
Note: Below. "PM" = Powermatic. "PM 2014" = Powermatic 2014 Lathe

1st Bowl on New Powermatic 2014 Lathe

Photo: 1st Bowl on New Powermatic 2014 Lathe (pm2014_1st_bowl_02)

The second thing I turned on my new Powermatic 2014 Late was a bowl. I turned a Live Edge bowl that features the natural tree bark on the edge of the bowl.

I decided to make a live edge bowl because they put more stress on a lathe. They run out of balance from start to finish. You start with a very out of balance rough cut log. After you make them round, they are still a little out of balance because the bark edge is often higher on one side and thus does not balance with the bark on the opposing side.

I turned this bowl after I made a stand for my new Powermatic 2014 lathe. See photo. The stand has 200 lbs of stone weight on the bottom. See my "Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe Stand" blog entry.

Note: "Live Edge", "Natural Edge" or "Bark Edge". They are all the same thing. A bowl or hollow form with the natural tree bark on the edge. I have given into Etsy and started calling things "Live Edge" rather than "Natural Edge".

Step by Step

I only ran into one minor problem while turning the bowl. It was really, my fault. My 12" long J tool rest was a "bridge to far" for a $2000 lathe. I think a 9" long J tool rest would be ok. For more info see "12" J Tool Rest To Long" below.

Otherwise, no real problems. My new Powermatic 2014 lathe handled an out of balance 10" log blank. No problem.

Thus the rest of this blog entry is mostly just a "step by step" how to turn a bowl blog entry. With some videos showing the PM 2014 lathe in action.

Photo: The Raw Log (pm2014_1st_bowl_01) The Raw Log

I started with a raw maple log. Roughly 12" in diameter. See red arrow in photo.

You can see it was a nice January morning. Not enough snow to go skiing. Thus I a good day to be turning.

I prepared the log by removing 1-1/2" from each end with my chain saw. I did this to remove any cracks. Normally, I like to remove 3" from the ends. But, this log was not long enough.

Then I rip cut the log in half. I cut right thru the pith in the center of the log. See next photo. This is how I do things. Other people cut the pith out. I do not. I use the wood on either side of the pith to mount my face plate or chuck. Waste not, want not.

Photo: The Blank (pm2014_1st_bowl_03) The Blank

This photo shows the blank that I cut out of the raw log. I forgot to cut the corners off with my chainsaw. Thus, I had to take it back outside and cut the corners off. See next photo.

Note: In my not so humble opinion the chainsaw is the proper tool for cutting green wood. I DO NOT use the bandsaw on green wood for any reason.

Photo: Attach Face Plate (pm2014_1st_bowl_04) Attach Face Plate

In the photo you can see the blank is roughly 10" long and 10" wide after I cut a little off the sides. I always cut a little off the sides because you can not use that part of the log. It contains the pith.

I attached a Oneway 4" Steel Face Plate to the center of the blank. This is going to be a Live Edge bowl thus I have attached the face plate on what will be the bottom of the bowl.

The 3" cast iron face plate comes with a PM 2014 lathe is ok. But, a bit to small for ME in this case. I prefer to use a 4" face plate.

I strongly prefer to use face plates rather than chucks. With proper screws they are the most secure way to mount something on the lathe. Going to the emergency room to get patched up is not fun and takes to long.

I like to use #14 stainless steel sheet metal screws. I prefer square drive. McMaster-carr ( www.mcmaster.com ) item #93945A073 for 1.5 inch long screws. I can easily drive the screws in with a cordless 1/4" impact driver.


  1. Click here for a picture of the 3" face plate that comes with the PM 2014 lathe.
  2. Is it "Face Plate" or "Faceplate". I don't know. They both appear on the web. I decided to go with "Face Plate" in this blog entry.

Photo: Mount The Blank (pm2014_1st_bowl_06) Mount The Blank

This photo shows the blank mounted on the lathe. Notice, the blank fits over the banjo. Thus, I can still slide the banjo back and forth under this 10" blank. Because, the swing over the banjo (tool rest base) no a PM 2014 lathe is 10-3/4".

When the banjo does not get trapped on one side of a blank it makes life easier!

In my "Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe" blog entry I conclude that the 14" swing of the PM 2014 lathe is adequate because it allows you to turn 10" diameter things. 10" is dinner plate size. Thus, people tend to judge things based on this size.

Note: I can live with the PM 2014 banjo. I DO NOT recommend replacing it with a Oneway banjo. I can not live with the low height of the PM 3520 banjo. For more discussion see my "Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe" blog entry.

Photo: Ready To Go (pm2014_1st_bowl_07) Ready To Go

Notice that I have not run the live center (in the tailstock) into the bark with the lathe stopped! I am going to turn the lathe on SLOWLY and then crank the tailstock in with the lathe running. This will allow the center to find it's own natural "dead on center" location.

The 8" wide tool rest that comes with the PM 2014 is ok. It would be ok for this bowl. See previous photo. But, it is a bit to small for ME in this case. I don't want to waste a lot of time stopping the lathe to move the tool rest. Thus, I switched to my own custom 14" wide tool rest. See my "Carl's Tool Rest Design" blog entry.

I recommend purchasing a second 12" long tool rest for the PM 2014 in my "Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe" blog entry.

I supplied my own Oneway Live Center. I am NOT using the 60 degree live center that comes with the PM 2014 lathe. It is a WOOD SPLITTER! For more discussion see my "Carl's New Powermatic 2014 Lathe" blog entry.

Photo: Stability Test Video (pm2014_1st_bowl_09) Stability Test Video

We need to be able to spin a blank at 500 RPM to turn a bowl. Going less than 500 RPM is just to painful. The wood is not there often enough to cut it. Going more than 500 RPM with a rough blank like this one is not SAFE!

This 1.5 minute video shows the PM2014 lathe is stable at 500 RPM on my beefed up "Harbor Freight Workbench Stand" .

Photo: Roughing Out (pm2014_1st_bowl_11) Roughing Out

This photo shows that I have started to rough out the bowl using my 5/8" Bowl Gouge with John Jordan grind. I love this gouge! See my "Carl’s Modern Woodturning Tool Set" blog entry.

The bottom of the bowl needs to be roughly 1" above the face plate to avoid the face plate screws. I have left room for this on the left.

On the right, I stopped BEFORE I got to the top of the bark. If I cut from left to right thru the bark I may rip the bark off. No more live edge!

Photo: Make It Round (Roughing Out) Video (pm2014_1st_bowl_10) Make It Round (Roughing Out) Video

This 1.5 minute video shows me roughing out the the bowl using my 5/8" Bowl Gouge with John Jordan grind.

Photo: Getting Closer (pm2014_1st_bowl_12) Getting Closer

I have switched to my 5/8” Bowl Gouge with Ellsworth grind. I also love this gouge. I have find that cutting the shape using the "wing" on a 5/8" Ellsworth gouge works best.

I cut from right to left thru the bark. You can see a little tear out in the bark. But, it is pretty good.

So far, so good. No problems with the PM 2014 lathe being only 1 HP, etc. It is handling everything, no problem!

My conclusion: The PM 2014 is only 1 HP, but it is REALLY a good old fashion 1 HP into a load. Not this modern crap where lathe manufactures rate things as xyz HP into no load. Then it turns out to be a lot less than, xyz HP when you try to use it in the real world under load.

Photo: Outside Shape Video (pm2014_1st_bowl_14) Outside Shape Video

This 3.5 minute video shows me turning the outside shape of the bowl. 1 HP is enough! No problems.

Photo: Outside Done (pm2014_1st_bowl_15) Outside Done

This photos shows the outside shape done. I finished up the shape with my Ellsworth bowl gouge.

Now we need to convert the soft bark on the edge into nice hard bark that will not come off. I supper glued the bark on with thin CA glue. JUST the bark and the cambium layer under the bark. Not the wood. Super glue on the wood will screw up your finial clear finish. The super glue on the bark will make it hard like wood.

Then I shear scraped everything with my Ellsworth gouge. I removed any lines in the wood. I also shear scrapped the supper glue off the surface of the bark. This left a nice, cleanly cut bark surface, ready to take a finish.

Photo: Ready To Go Inside (pm2014_1st_bowl_16) Ready To Go Inside

This photo shows what the bark on the top of the bowl looked like before I cut it out.

Photo: Inside Started (pm2014_1st_bowl_19) Inside Started

I have started to turn the inside of the bowl. I am still using my 5/8” Bowl Gouge with Ellsworth grind.

Bevel riding only cuts on the inside! No shear scrapping on the inside! Thus, I am keeping everything clean as I go. Making a mess and then trying to clean it up later is NOT a good plan.

Photo: 12 12″ J Tool Rest To Long

I decided to switch to a "J Tool Rest" shape to finish up the bottom. It was suppose to make my life easier. It turned out to be a mistake.

I only have a 12" long J rest. It works good in my bigger lathes. It did not work well in my PM 2014 lathe. When I got out to the end of the rest, it was flexing up and down to much. I could not get a clean cut. Too much flex in the banjo or it's connection to the bed.

I had to switch back to my 14" straight tool rest. It only sticks out 7" on each side of the tool post in center. It worked fine.

You can see in the photo that my 12" long J rest is a lot longer than I needed. I think a 9" J rest would be ok. Therefore I recommend getting the 9" J rest made by Robust, if you need one.

This is the only problem, I encountered while turning this bowl on my PM 2014 lathe. It was my fault. Not the lathes fault.

Photo: Inside Done (pm2014_1st_bowl_21) Inside Done

This photo shows the inside all done. The wall thickness below the bark is roughly 3/16". I left the bark edge a little thicker. Less chance it will break off. Well, at least that is the theory. I am happy with the consistent rim thickness.

Photo: Jam Chuck Time (pm2014_1st_bowl_24) Jam Chuck Time

Time to remove the face plate and finish up the bottom. I have installed a home made jam chuck on the headstock. Then, I jammed the bowl up against it.

Note: The design for my jam chuck is on pages 14 & 15 of my old "Vacuum Chucks Demo" handout. The vacuum pump part of the handout is outdated. The jam stuff in the second half is still good. See "Vacuum Chucks Demo" blog entry.

Photo: Missing Photos (pm2014_1st_bowl_25) Missing Photos

I forgot to take photos of me finishing up the bottom. This photo sort of gives you the idea. But, not really.

I removed the screws in the face plate WHILE it was still mounted on the tailstock. Then I removed the face plate with my right hand WHILE holding the bowl in place with left hand. Then I ran the center back into the bottom of bowl after removing the face plate.

I turned the lathe on and carefully turned away all the waste down to a small nib. I removed most of the waste with my 1/2” Bowl Gouge with Al Stirt Grind. I removed the nib with my 1/2” Detail Gouge with Michael Hosaluk Double Bevel Grind.

Photo: Disaster (pm2014_1st_bowl_26) Disaster

Time to kiss the bark good bye. I accidentally ran into the bark while finishing the bottom, I should know better. Err…

However, losing the bark was inevitable. The raw log I started with was cut in July. To wet and to old.

If you want the bark to stay on a live edge piece, then you need a log that was cut in the late fall or winter. Trees cut in the summer have to much water constantly moving thru the cambium layer under the bark. The bark comes off way to easy, because everything is wet and slimy.

Logs that have been down for more than 6 months are also no good. To old. The bark is already separating from the log.

Photo: The Finished Bowl (pm2014_1st_bowl_28) The Finished Bowl

I knocked the bark off, but all is not lost. I accomplished my goal. I found that a PM 2014 lathe could easily handle turning an out of balance live edge bowl.

Banana Bowl in Ash

Photo: Banana Bowl in Ash (202011neab02_00)

The above set of photos shows what I call a "Banana" bowl. I like this shape.

I am not really happy with the shape of the bowl I turned for this blog entry. It sucks! The overall height is to tall. I like to make low, shallow live edge bowls. What I call "banana" bowls. I think they look better when sitting on a table. You can see the bark easier. A bowl with steep sides does not do a good job of displaying the bark.