This is my attempt to document the process I use to create a veggie/chip tray, something I have only attempted once with stock that seems to have been too thin to be able to yield a decent center bowl.
Some of the things I have been considering since my first attempt are:
The bowl in the center needs to have semi vertical sides, if not curved slightly in, at least at the upper lip to aid in the procurement of dip. There is nothing so clumsy as chasing dip around a bowl, unable to get it on the chip or veggie.
The rim of the tray proper should be sufficient to contain a decent portion of chips or veggies.
The wood used should be sufficiently dry and stable to give a decent lifespan. While having a pleasing grain.
Having found a suitable piece of wood that appears to be thick enough and wide enough to meet the requirements set forth, I then place a piece of plywood with a 13 3/4 inch hole cut in it(the maximum diameter my large lathe can safely spin) In order to find any pleasing aspects of the grain I may wish to take advantage of.
The part I choose has a series of knots in it, fingers crossed they dont blow out when turning.
Since my bandsaw is pretty small I will cut a piece small enough for the bandsaw to handle while being large enough to yield a 14" circle leaving a little leeway on all sides
Now in order to get as large a blank as I can and still be able to smooth it off and shape it, I next use a circle cutting jig I made for the bandsaw this will not only give me a good circle but will center mark it for the next step.
Pictured here is the bottom of the jig, I cut a piece of wood to fit in the miter slot of the table and a 1x1 block on the edge to keep it oriented and allow a clamp to be used to make it solid.
Here we see the top of the jig. in the lower right side you can see a small nail sticking up. I can place the jig upside down on top of a piece of wood and spin it on the nail to see how centered I am, when I am pleased with the orientation of it, I drive the nail solidly into the blank, marking my center point and giving me a pivot on which to spin the blank.
Here we see my bandsaw working its heart out trying to cut thru this piece of Oregon Myrtlewood.
It is a long slow process but its the only way I can accomplish my goals.
Before I started using this jig, the largest diameter I was able to attain was 11.5 inches.
After about 15 minutes work on the bandsaw, we finally have our circle cut.
As you can see, this wont require a lot of lossed diameter rounding it off on the lathe.
At this point I would normally go to my little drill press and using a forstner bit, would drill a hole for my chuck jaws to fit onto, but alas since my little drill press only has a 5" space between the center of the chuck and the stand I wont be able to use it.
Ick shock horror, this means using the hand drill. Since I didnt get any pictures of that step you can just imagine me trying to keep the bit centered and drill about 3/8" into the blank.
Now having recovered from the ordeal of having to drill by hand, I mount the blank on the lathe using the expanding mode of my chuck, its a Oneway Talon so it wont have any problem with this blank.
Next I begin making a rough shape leaving a tenon on the bottom to reverse the blank once I am done to hollow out the top side.
Here the blank has been finish turned on the bottom and exterior and is about ready for sanding.
This is my harbor freight pos lathe, I've converted it to variable speed with a little motor and controller I found on vega's site, its a dc treadmill motor puported to be 1 or 2 horses and there are a number of modifications available for it.