When turning bowls, I like to rough out the round shape on the bandsaw first. The problem is that it’s difficult to mark out the shape on a half-round blank that must be fed flat side down for safety on the saw. My approach is to first create a circular pattern from 1⁄8"-thick hardboard, with a 1⁄8"-diameter hole at its center. I nail the pattern to my blank through the center hole, and then bandsaw just outside the edges of the pattern to create the round blank. (Leave the nail proud for easy removal.) Afterward, I place the pattern onto the flat side of the blank, and mark through the hole to establish the center on that face for quick, accurate mounting on the lathe.
For convenience, I made a series of these patterns in 1"-diameter increments from 4" to 24", which is the limit of my lathe capacity. I just draw them out and bandsaw them to shape. They don’t have to be terrifically accurate since they’re just a rough guide.
Mike Kehs, Quakertown, Pennsylvania