15 Nov 2022 – Workshop Night
Welcome to our Workshop Activity Night
On a chilly November evening our three intrepid turners (Chris, Mick and Zak) took to their workshops leaving twenty one of us to sit in the relative comfort of our houses to watch the evening’s entertainment.
Zak opted to turn a Christmas table centre decoration in the form of a bowl that would have a turned candle in the middle complete with a battery powered “flame”. He had already completed some preparatory work. The basic shape of the bowl had been created and the rim coloured using a combination of spirit stains and paint to create a festive pattern in red, green and gold. Secured in the chuck the first job was to shape the bottom of the bowl and create a recess that would be used to hold the bowl in expansion mode in order that it could be hollowed out. The final shape was achieved simply by Zak looking at the curves he had created and adjusting them until he was satisfied, but also being guided by remarks and guidance from his audience, when it suited him to do so of course. Three decorative rings were cut into the recess, the wood sanded, sanding sealer applied and it was time to reverse the piece in the chuck for hollowing out.
As part of the hollowing process Zak left what was effectively a tenon in the centre of the bowl of sufficient diameter and depth to accommodate a hole big enough to take the candle. The hollowing complete, a Forstner bit was used to drill the hole which was then increased, using a gouge, to the correct diameter of the candle. Zak had already turned the candle and coloured it red. He stood it in the hole, attached the bulb and there was light! The piece was not entirely finished by the end of the evening as the final polishing needed to be done, but we will doubtless see the finished article at a future meeting.
This month Chris decided to hang up his tools and opted to do a session on colouring. He started off by noting some of the different media he would use; Gesso, spirit stains, modelling wax, gilding wax, coloured waxes – the list seemed endless.
Chris started by describing the uses of Gesso (defined as a primer or so called pre-treatment agent consisting of chalk, paint pigment and a binder mixture which prepares the surface for painting), its application and noting that as well as a primer it is a very good product to cover up previous decoration of the wood. Chris demonstrated this fact by partly covering a previously decorated piece which gave him a base to start again. During the evening Chris explained and demonstrated all the various methods of applying colour often just using a finger but at other times using various different types and sizes of brushes. He also applied fine lines of paint using a soft bottle so that the paint could be squeezed out of a fine needle, much like using a syringe. Coloured waxes were applied to a textured platter spread with a finger and mingled together.
His last effort was to apply different paint colours, randomly, to the outside of a vase that had first been ebonised. The vase was wrapped in cling film which was moved around to mix the paints. Having removed the cling film it was scrunched up and used to dab the paints randomly. The finished effect was superb. For those interested in colouring this was an inspiring demonstration and shows what can be done with some creative flair and imagination.
Mick meanwhile was not having a happy time. Unfortunately he was having problems with his audio set up but thanks to Martin’s sterling efforts the problem was resolved and Mick was able to start his project all be it almost an hour later than intended.
Wood was not a feature for Mick this month as he took to turning acrylic. A cylinder of acrylic was mounted on the lathe using a chucking method Mick had created for the purpose. The object was to turn the top for a bottle stopper. Acrylic is not difficult to turn but does require a sharp tool and very high speeds. The tool of choice for this work is a scraper. The lathe was running at around 2500rpm as Mick started the shaping process gradually increasing to 3000rpm as the job progressed.
Once the required shape was achieved the acrylic was polished with burnishing cream at 3900rpm followed by a coat of microcrystalline wax. Once completed the stopper top was removed from the lathe ready to be attached to the stopper itself. Another piece of acrylic was inserted into the chuck and the process of turning a box commenced.
The process is no different to that used when using wood but, as before, the tool used was a scraper both for shaping and hollowing combined with the high speeds. The body of the box was finished using the same technique as for the stopper but the lid was only part completed before time ran out.
As noted acrylic requires a sharp tool and high speeds so safety considerations are paramount especially when applying finishes and Mick emphasised that when applying the burnishing cream and wax a safety cloth should always be used. This advice should of course apply no matter what is being polished on a spinning lathe but the higher the speed the more dangerous it is.
For more screen shots taken during the evening, please go to the Gallery HERE.
The Show and Tell section gave us a variety of interesting exhibits from six of our members and we thank those members for sharing their work. Likewise a big thank you to Chris, Mick and Zak for once again giving us an interesting and entertaining evening.
Thanks Alan Selden for another great write up.
Don’t forget we have Richard Findley back for an online demo on the 22nd Nov 2022, so see you all there. The meeting invites have been sent out this evening so if you have not got it, let us know. PAYG Members you need to be purchasing their ticket as soon as possible if you want to watch this demo. Any problems with doing this contact us.
The Club Shop will be open on Sat 26 Nov 2022 whilst the Training Day is on. It will be open from 10am to midday, so if you are free it will be great to see you.
13 Dec 2022 – Last Hands on Night of the year and your last chance to get all you need from the Club Shop to keep you turning until 2023. Don’t forget we have Club Shop Gift Vouchers if your family or friends are stuck for ideas of what to get you for Christmas.
20 Dec 2022 – Online Social Evening – No Workshop Night this month to give the guys a well deserved break, so bring some festive spirit, mince pie and let’s have natter. Send in any photos of items to go into the last Show and Tell of the year and if you have made any videos of what you have been making or what about a workshop tour send it in please.