How to Carve a Wooden Bowl with Survival Tools

Okay, so let’s pretend you have to survive in the wild for a while. Maybe a couple weeks or so.

…Or maybe there’s no survival issue at all. Perhaps you just want to get your own tools and practice making your own bowl for the fun of it.

It feels quite rewarding when you take responsibility and do some things yourself.

Anyway, here’s one method for making a bowl:

1. Choose Your Preferred Wood Block

You can just purchase this on your own…or you can chop down your own tree. You can use any shape wood block – and you can cut to follow the diameter or circumference of a tree.

It doesn’t matter. You just need a large enough piece of wood to make a bowl size that makes you happy.

2. Create a Rough Outline

You’ll need something to write with. Ideally, you have a thick carpenter’s pencil. Measure out the diameter of your bowl with a tape measure.

Draw one circle to create the outside edge of your bowl. Then, inside that circle, draw another to mark the inner edge of your bowl.

A large bowl is about an inch thick.

3. Start Cutting the Inside

Ideally, you have an adze tool for cutting the initial rough shape of your bowl. However, you can also simply use a small hand axe.

Initially, you don’t have to be highly precise with your cutting. However, as you cut farther into your bowl, make sure you cut only as deep as you need to get to the desired thickness of your bowl.

Once you get close enough to the right shape, do your precision cutting with a carving knife.

4. Cut the Outside

Here, you can again begin cutting with a hand axe. However, once you’ve removed much of the wood initially, you can switch over to your carving knife to keep precision.

During this process, you don’t want to punch through the walls of your bowl!

Basically, this is all you do until you have your bowl the shape you want.

5. Sanding

If you’re in a true survival situation, you may want to skip this part to save your energy for more essential survival tasks. It’s mostly for aesthetics.

However, if you want a good-looking bowl you’re proud of, start with 400-grit sandpaper, and then move to 800 and 1200-grit to give your bowl a finished look.

You can even melt beeswax and mineral oil to create an attractive color for your bowl.

So, that’s the basics on how to create your own bowl if you ever find yourself in a survival situation requiring it.