Rainbow Stacking Bowls




Introduction: Rainbow Stacking Bowls

About: Retired teacher. Gardener, woodworker, bird enthusiast, and maker of things.

These are great for stacking, learning colors, and sorting. They require wood turning skills. Woodworking and wood turning can be dangerous if you do not follow basic safety guidelines. Always turn with a full face shield. If you can turn a bowl, this will be an easy project.


Safety equipment

I used hickory wood but any hardwood would probably do


Belt sander


Wood chuck for your lathe

A full size or midi lathe

Lathe cutting tools for bowl making

Spray paint in colors of your choice

Step 1: Getting Started

I glued up three pieces of 2”x6” hickory wood with wood glue. The size of the first bowl will determine the size of the subsequent bowls. The size of my first bowl was approximately 5” tall and 6” around.

After the glue had set overnight, I cut it into a circle on my band saw.
Mount the bowl blank onto the lathe and using your favorite tool, true it to round.
Once round, flatten one end and cut a tendon on it to fit your wood turning chuck.

Step 2: Hollow Out the Bowl

I used the largest forstner drill bit, 2” but this is optional. For me it makes the hollowing out process faster and easier. I used painters tape to make the depth to drill to.

Once I was finished drilling I began hollowing it with various lathe gouges. I consider myself an intermediate level turner so I used several different tools.

I couldn’t get the inside bottom as finished as I wanted to so I cut groves into it to disguise it.

Once I had it hollowed out and the sides of the bowl straight I began sanding both inside and out.
I sanded to 320 grit sandpaper.

Once sanded, take it off the lathe. We’ll worry about the outside bottom later.

Step 3: Repeat Step 1 Only Smaller

Repeat all the steps for the first bowl. Before sanding and taking it off of the lathe, make sure it will fit into the first bowl.

Step 4: Same Song, Third Verse

Once again, repeat all the steps to make the third bowl. I left the walls of the bowls nice and thick, approximately 3/8”-1/2” because I knew these would be taking a lot of abuse.

Step 5: Bowl Number 4

You guessed it, repeat step 1. With this bowl you can use a forstner bit for almost all of the hollowing.

Step 6: Last One, This One Is Not a Bowl But a Tube

I decided to add play value I’d make this one a tube. Just drill deep into the wood and part it off before it becomes solid wood.

Step 7: Address the Bottoms

I used a belt sander to sand off all the turning tendons on the bottom of the bowls. I think it’s the safest way.

Step 8: Paint

To speed up the finishing process, I painted one and put it under a box so that I could continue painting and finishing them with different colors.

Step 9: Time to Play

Stack ‘em up and knock them down, time to play.


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    8 days ago

    Looks awesome!


    Reply 5 days ago

    Thank you