Wood Bowl

This is my seventh wood bowl!

Table of Contents


  • Start: Mar 6, 2021
  • End: Mar 14, 2021
  • Wood Species: Jack Pine

The burl for this bowl was collected at the same time and general location as the burl for a separate bowl project while in Minnesota. It was extracted and completed in the same manner as that burl/bowl.

Bark Removal

My first step was to remove the bark from the burl. Because I allowed the burl to dry with the bark attached, removing the bark was difficult. I initially used a hammer and wood chisel until I had removed the hardest bark.

Bottom View: Before Bark Removal
Top View: Before Bark Removal
Tools for Bark Removal: After Bark Removal

I then used a drill and red and orange nylon drill brushes1 2 to remove the remaining bark. The brush was soft enough to not damage the underlying wood.

Top View: After Bark Removal with Red Nylon Drill Brush
Top View: After Bark Removal with Orange Nylon Drill Brush
Red and Orange Nylon Drill Brushes
Remove the bark immediately after extracting the burl from the tree.


Next, I needed to find a way to safely and accurately hollow the bowl.
Precise control here was critical because penetrating through the bowl edge was a non-starter. I used a dremel with diamond wheel from Home Depot3 to progressively refine the thickness of the bowl.

Pattern Used to Remove Bulk Efficiently with Diamond Wheel
Removing Bulk with Diamond Wheel

I then used the Orbicut 40 bit4 to hollow the bowl.

Hollowing with Orbicut 40

I further refined the hollowing with a dremel and drum sander5.

Refining Hollowing with Dremel and Drum Sander
Constantly check the bowl thickness. Calipers are very handy for checking thickness. It’s better to work more slowly and cautiously when coring out the burl.

1st Pass Sanding

Next, I moved on to sanding the burl using wet/dry 150 grit sandpaper (to even out the divots formed from the Orbicut 40’s spherical shape), a dremel and several polishing wheels6.

Top View: Post 220 Grit Sandpaper Sanding
Top View: Post Polishing Wheels

Wipe Down

Before applying the finish coats of oil, I wiped-off as much of the residual sawdust from the burl as possible using a lightly dampened, paper towel.

Don’t wipe with a heavily damp fabric as this will raise the grain. Instead wipe with a mostly dry fabric or use a vacuum or soft brush to remove the residual sawdust.

Finish Coats

The last step was to apply finish to stain and protect the bowl as well as to enhance the chatoyancy of the bowl. For this I used Walnut colored Rubio Monocoat7 following the instructions on the back of the can. This finish is highly respected in the woodworking community as it is in-grain, requires just one application that takes about 15 minutes to apply and once dried (after ~5 days), is food-safe.

Side View: Drying Applied Finish

Finished Bowl

Finished And Dried Bowl On Display
Front View: Finished And Dried
Rear View: Finished And Dried
Top View: Finished And Dried
Bottom View: Finished And Dried


  1. https://www.amazon.com/Nylon-Abrasive-Wheel-Brush-Shank/dp/B07QDRCBBT ↩︎

  2. https://www.amazon.com/Dico-7200048-Medium-Nyalox-Wheel/dp/B002YDJU98/ref=psdc_2665581011_t1_B011ICDVJA?th=1 ↩︎

  3. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Dremel-7-8-in-Rotary-Tool-Diamond-Wheel-for-Marble-Concrete-Brick-Porcelain-Ceramics-and-Epoxies-545/100346850 ↩︎

  4. https://www.amazon.com/OrbiCut-Speed-Cutting-Tool-Plano/dp/B01N5YGI35 ↩︎

  5. https://www.amazon.com/Dremel-407-Drum-Sander/dp/B00004UDGV/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=dremel+sanding+drum&qid=1588277399&sr=8-6 ↩︎

  6. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075C72PGK/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 ↩︎

  7. https://www.rubiomonocoatusa.com/en?reset&country=us ↩︎

Software Engineer

My research interests include computer vision and deep learning.