Professionals and Amateurs Together

Re-attaching Natural Bowl Edge


What is the best method to re-attach bark to a natural edge bowl when it has come off? — Dick Davis


Mike Cyros replies: I have only had mixed success in re-attaching bark to a natural edge board that has started to peel off during the turning process. CA glue is the ideal method to attempt to re-attach the bark if a small chunk has come loose. However, if your bark is peeling away from the natural edge, my experience is to simply recognize that it will never stay attached and I just peel off the bark, and continue the bowl as a natural edge bowl, without the bark. Depending on the wood species, this still produces a visually interesting bowl. I find that the general rule of thumb applies — wood that is used for bowl turning that was harvested in the dormant season (late fall, winter) is the best for natural edge bowls as the cambium layer (the growth wood layer between the bark and the mature wood) is dormant and dry. In the spring and summer months, the cambium layer is very wet and prone to easily separate from the bowl. Even if you manage to keep the bark attached during the turning, further problems can arise as the bowl dries. I’ve had some cases where the wood dried at a different rate than the bark eventually causing it to separate. Gluing with CA glue at this point is difficult as the bark is now a different shape than the bowl.

Marty Milkovits replies: Think West System epoxy —

Tags: Bowl, Woodturning