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My son showed me a dresser that has a couple of “dished out” areas on top where you can put your pocket contents after a hard day of woodworking. I really liked the idea and now I have a project going where I would like to make a similar area. The “dished out” area has a diameter of about 8” and it appears to be about 1 ¼ inches deep. I took a 12” dinner plate and that almost matches the depth and profile when plate is standing vertical in that area. If you are having trouble picturing this think of having a 12” ball sitting in the area, it would make contact with all of the surfaces of the wood in the cavity. I guess this has a mathematical term as some part of a sphere but math class where too many years ago to recall that.

My project is a ledge (think of it as a mantel) area in our bedroom. The board is a 2 x 10 7feet long. My first thought was to cut out a couple of sections and mount them on my lathe and then “bowl” them out. This would work but might not look as good as it could with the 4 cuts showing on the stained wood. My next thought was to use a router, but how can such a cut be made? Any thoughts?

Reible
 

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Using your lathe to make the dished out cavities is a good idea but maybe cut independent pieces with the lathe then inlay those pieces into your ledge.

1) Using pieces of maybe accent wood cut the dished out area with the lathe on one side and leave the other side flat.

2) Use external inlay techniques to cut the pattern and cavity in your ledge piece. We put the procedure in our book "the Router" page 72,73 called plaque inlaying.

This might be a good idea for a future router tip.

thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the ideas! I did a little scrap wood work using a smaller bowl design and found that my lathe craftsman ship is a little rusty. What seems to help is to leave a flat "rim" area of about a 1/4" then do the bowl. The contrasting wood is also a nice touch.

After telling my wife about this "new idea" she said that it reminded her of some of the bathroom sinks where a bowl is set-in to the cabinet top. Now she thinks maybe we should find some ceramic bowls to inset leaving a little lip up so she can take them out and wash the "pocket lint" out. Now we have to decide which way to go.....

Either way is not too bad, at least I get do make the holes with my router.

Thanks again,

Ed
 

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I did something similar to what you are describing in a desk set which you can see on the first page of my website. I used a rounded router bit which is about 2 inches across and maybe half an inch in depth. I routed it in layers so it wouldn't tear things out. I just blocked the piece of wood and the router to confine it to the area I wanted to route and went for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
garyb said:
I did something similar to what you are describing in a desk set which you can see on the first page of my website. I used a rounded router bit which is about 2 inches across and maybe half an inch in depth. I routed it in layers so it wouldn't tear things out. I just blocked the piece of wood and the router to confine it to the area I wanted to route and went for it.
Nice looking site and Wow on the woodworking! I especial like the wall hanging!

What you showed would be another option, and I had thought about using a bit and just dishing it out, but I was really looking for a more sphere shape cutout, more like the arc of a pendulum. I even thought about making a swing router with an 18” radius but I don’t know how safe that would be.

We have squirrels around our house too; they have been enjoying our sunflowers garden along with gold finches.

Ed
 
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