Making a Kagamibuta Netsuke Bowl Part 3

Above, I’ve installed the hand turning tool rest on the cross slide of the lathe, and begun establishing the outer curve of the bowl with small hand turning tools.  I repeatedly STOP the lathe and hold the original ivory bowl nearby, and sight down the edge to make sure I’m matching the curves.  Incidentally, it is much more difficult to make a matching replacement bowl than an original bowl!  An original only needs to look nice, while a replacement must be the same as the original.  A much more finicky process…

With the top half of the outside curve finished, I reposition the tool rest and begin turning the interior.

Above are the original bowl and the replacement antler bowl.  Looking pretty closely matched in shape.

More of a side view.

And two views without the lid.

Here I’m sanding the inside and top half of the outside of the bowl.  These are 300 grit and 400 grit sandpaper strips (the two narrow ones), and emery polishing paper.

A little closer view.  Can you see the shine beginning to show?

Now that I’m satisfied with all of the curves and smoothness of the finish,  it’s time to remove the bowl from the rest of the material.  My little parting tool won’t cut all the way through, so I’m pressing my trusty jeweler’s saw into service.

Above are the original ivory bowl and the replacement.  Note that the bottoms don’t match.  I’ll now remount the antler bowl with the bottom out, and finish turning.

Here, I’ve remounted the bowl on a three jaw chuck (which is self centering) so I can turn the bottom of the antler bowl.

First, a little facing cut to make the antler bowl the correct thickness.

Above, I’m sighting down the original curve to make sure I’m duplicating it on the antler bowl.  I do this quite a few times, often marking on the antler with a pencil and cutting just a little bit at a time until it’s correct.

A view from above.

And a view from the bottom.  Turning and initial polishing is finished.

And a view from the side.  Pretty close match, even if I do say so myself!

And, above, through the magic of Adobe Photoshop, both bowls with the kagamibuta lid.  I’m pretty happy with it!

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