The Biggest Woodturned Bowl

Some woodturning enthusiasts in Austria took the philosophy of “go big or go home” to extremes. They decided to turn a giant spruce wood bowl measuring more than 13 feet in diameter and more than 3 feet deep.


Of course, the first challenge faced by Peter Andres and Werner Rumplmayr of Gurtis, Austria, was finding a woodturning lathe to spin such a massive piece. Their solution was to use a tractor mounted on a stacked wood crib platform. Then they removed a tire and wheel to mount their turning blank directly to the tractor drive hub.

Another challenge was creating the turning blank itself. Using a technique known as segmented turning. They created a blank by gluing together 486 segments of spruce in a bricklaid pattern using special glue. The gluing process alone took 430 hours.

Then they had to mount a metal ring on the back of the turning blank so it could be mounted to the tractor hub. The mounting itself required a special framework and a forklift to move the giant blank.

When it came to the actual turning, they did everything with handheld gouges on heavy-duty metal tool rests. By the time they were done (20 hours later across three days) they had created more than 650 pounds of wood shavings.

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