Being able to create a functional tool or a beautiful masterpiece using your own hands is always exciting. There is nothing like the satisfaction of making things on your own that you and others can use. Any beginner or a professional woodworker knows how to use a good quality router and make some fantastic stuff.

We think you will agree with us when we say:

This machine is the most versatile tool, and there isn’t a better, more enjoyable way to use it than by creating wooden bowls. It is the perfect weekend woodworking project for both amateur and expert craftsman. When someone uses the things created by your hands, you will feel a sense of pride.

The wood router can operate through the most challenging curves. To make the inside of the bowl, add a collet extension to your unit, and you will have a deep enough cut. So, with this amazing appliance, you can come up with any design you want and be sure that it will do an incredible job for you.

In this article, we will show you some easy steps that will help you to make a wooden bowl.

Keep reading to know more.

1. Set Up the Wood Router

“Handle your tools without mittens.” says Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), “Poor Richard’s Almanac.”

Before you start making your bowl, first check that you set up the router correctly. Use a fixed base or a plunge one. The most important thing is its capability of handle the bit you are going to use and its collet extension ½ shank diameter.

To add a two ¼ depth of cut to your machine, place this extension into the router collet.

Wooden bowls

When you set it right, you will be able to easily and quickly rip deeper and form inside shape of the bowl you desire. To easily use the unit with the template of the pan you need to modify its base.

Replace the original with the bigger auxiliary one since it will not fall through the opening because the machine will ride securely within the template.

Use the material that is clear enough so you can see what are you doing when you are making some things; for example, use Plexiglas and clear acrylic. It is also essential that’s strong, and that can’t flex.

2. The Bowl Template and Blank

“Woodworking is a most satisfying pastime, so varied and multifaceted you will never complete the twin processes you have undertaken: acquiring tools and learning how to use them. You have begun a lifetime pursuit.” says Michael Dunbar for “Essential Tools”.

The process of making a bowl is always the same no matter what design you prefer. Choose the wood and decide what size and shape you want this craft to be. The first thing you need to do is to glue up its blank since it will affect the appearance and color of this dish.

Creating the bowl blank is the next step. After you have trimmed the material, to the wood layers, use the glue and clamp them together. When routing out the inside of the dish, it is essential to prepare a template that will guide the router through the process.

The middle of the template needs to matches with the shape of the bowl when you cut it out. Attach it using the blank screws and start routing out the inner side of the dish.

3. Shape

“Each plank…can have only one ideal use. The woodworker must find this ideal use and create an object of utility to man, and if nature smiles, an object of lasting beauty.” says George Nakashima (1905-1990), woodworker, author of “The Soul of a Tree”.

The shape is the most important thing when making a bowl, but it is also very simple. It contains two steps that you need to follow. The first one is the route out the inner side of the bowl and second is to cut off the outer portion of the blank so you can accomplish the right size and shape.

When you put the blank in its right place, the next step is installing the tray bit and collet extension in your machine. Adequately tight the bits and this extension. After this, you can start routing out the inner side of the dish.

Position the router at the templates’ top and set the bit cut to 3/16. When you cut out the stock, use a vacuum to remove the chips. Then repeat this action and rout out the second layer of the wood from your dish.

Wooden bowls making

It is essential to do this until you reach the shape you want. The next step is to design the outside of the bowl. For this process, you need a band saw.

After completing this action smooth the rough area with the power sander. To give it a final touch apply salad bowl finish or mineral oil. You can also use a couple of coats of Danish Oil for a better look.

“Don’t apply a second coat too soon, it makes a ‘gummy’ and sticky mess. Apply as many coats as it takes to make a good-looking finish. Use a polyurethane stain or spray if you prefer. If you want to use the bowls for serving or presenting food, apply a finish that is FDA approved for food.” according to Instructables.


  • Wood Router
  • Miter Saw
  • Bandsaw
  • Drill
  • Clamps
  • Spindle Sander or Bench Top Belt Sander
  • Finish Sander
  • Planer


When making a wooden bowl, it is crucial to follow these three easy steps that we have prepared for you. They are not hard to follow, you just need to know what size and shape of the dish you want to create. But, the process stays the same.

You can also make huge round, divided or bowls with handles. It all depends on your personal preferences. The best thing about woodworking project is that there are no limitations, you can build anything you want with the right wood router.