Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 1, Issue 3
March 2007
 
Turning Bowl Feet – Design
 

In woodturning, technique is obviously important, but design is critical to a good piece of work. The best turners in the world may use different tools and a variety of skills, but a common element of their world-class turnings is strong design and close attention to detail.

The detail, however, shouldn't be limited to what is seen when a turned bowl is resting on a table. Invariably, admirers of turnings will flip them over and inspect the base, which can shape their opinion of the bowl as a whole. It may be a work of art when it's sitting on its foot, but if its base shows neglect, the effect is ruined.

The Transition
The foot should be an integral part of the bowl – a part of the design. As with the rest of the layout, whatever you do should look like you meant it to be there. This includes the transition of the curvature of the bowl to the actual foot. While smooth transition is the most common method, a more obvious and intentional transition can be created with a groove or bead.

In addition to making the foot look like an integral part of the bowl, you can give it the illusion of being an addition – something that cradles the bowl or appears to be a stand. Either way, to ensure that the foot sits properly on the surface, it should be slightly concave. You can make this curve simply functional and almost unnoticeable, or very pronounced – a specific element of the bowl design.


A pronounced foot
A turned bowl with a pronounced foot.
 
 

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