I can say for sure I am on the eve of making my first bowl from some apple wood with my new to me 1442 Jet inboard ,outboard wood lathe. I finally found some time for myself to play with the lathe. I roughed out some blanks awhile back and just about killed my band saw finishing them so I wouldn't have so much roughing to do. I only got as far as rough shaping the bowl but I can see why you guys turn bowls . It sure is fun especially with some of my new tools that came with the lathe . I hope I don't screw it up.
I got the lathe from an elderly woman whose husband can no longer work with the lathe. She hired us too do some tree removal and trimming at her farm. She made me a good deal on it along with just about all the accessories to do bowl turning, tools like bowl gouges, face plates, a nice heavy duty self centering chuck from One Way in Canada ( Srtonghold model) . That is what her husband did with the lathe. She was glad to see it go to me because of my interest in wood otherwise it was going to be sold at auction.
Now for a few questions
How important is getting rid of the dreaded " pith " for turning these bowls. From what I have seen to be politically correct in eliminating this pith is to noodle a firewood length log in half . I have done this but to be honest there isn't a whole lot of wood left unless your doing some really big logs.
Next. what is a good food safe finish to put on these bowls?? So far I have come up with tung oil, shellac, and beeswax. I personally don't see any bowls I make as being used to serve food but more as decoration around the house but you never know I might sell a few and have no idea what they might be used for. Probaly jumping the gun on this part but it could happen.
I'll post a pic if I do a good job on this bowl. The wood is apple with spalting in it. It is a little on the soft side , this new to me lathe is a vast improvement over my old stuff when it comes to turning between centers , really bites down on the stock ,hope I don't split the piece.