18 Apr 2023 – Workshop Night
Welcome to our Workshop Activity Night
This month twenty five members took to the comfort of their armchairs to see what our resident turners had in store for our enjoyment. We were also able to welcome Zak back into his workshop having got over the various ailments that have kept him away from his lathe in recent weeks.
So the line-up was Chris, Mick and Zak.
Chris offered his audience a choice of timbers to turn, Yew or Laburnum. The vote was for the Yew and, somewhat surprisingly, Chris accepted the result and mounted the wood onto the lathe using a screw chuck the intention being to turn a weed pot and as Chris wanted to leave the bark on the wood the pot would have an irregular shape. The first job was to create a tenon at the tailstock end so that the wood could be reversed and mounted directly into the chuck. That done Chris started to shape the shoulder and neck of the pot and once the outline of that shape had been achieved the next task was to drill a hole down the centre having first established what the overall length of the pot would be. A 20mm hole was drilled to the correct depth, the drill bit being held in a Jacobs chuck held in the tailstock. There then followed careful refinement of the shape of the neck and shoulder until both Chris and his audience were satisfied with the result. Chris then turned his attention to the base of the pot and decided where he would part it off ensuring that there was enough timber beyond the depth of the previously drilled hole. Several coats of Danish oil were applied followed by a coat of wax, before parting off; the bottom cleaned up and the pot was finished.
With time to spare Chris once again offered a choice of wood for a second project. One of the pieces was a very wet and quite frankly horrible looking log. It was perhaps not a surprise that this was the chosen one from which Chris decided to turn a goblet or, as he dubbed at the end, a twenty five minute goblet. In quick succession therefore the wood was mounted on the lathe using a screw chuck, a tenon formed, remounted using the tenon, the cup shaped and hollowed, the shape of the stem decide and turned, the shape and size of the base turned, the piece sanded, finished and parted off. All of that in a time that only most can look at in wonderment as to how it was all achieved!
This month Mick’s project was to turn a lace up vase from a piece of Cherry. With the wood on the lathe he decided on the overall length of the vase and roughly shaped the outside so as to determine the parameters for the hollowing to follow. Having drilled a hole with a forstner bit to the required depth the hollowing began. Most of this was done using an Asley Iles hollowing tool which allows cuts to be made in both directions as the tool is withdrawn and pushed back into the wood. This process was also helped by the use of a 2” wide tool rest that could be pushed into the vase giving much more support to the tool as the hollowing became deeper and the walls thinner. Once satisfied with the hollowing sanding of the inside followed using a variety of tools to hold the sandpaper in order to reach the innermost parts of the vase. These included a metal rod onto which was threaded a golf ball covered in Velcro which in turn held the sandpaper in place. Sanding done the inside was sealed and finished. Shaping of the outside came next and having achieved the desired shape it was time to swap the gouge for a jigsaw and cut out a section of the vase to create a V shaped opening. Sanding sealer and finish were applied before Mick marked out the position of the holes required (five down each side of the opening) for the eyelets that would accommodate the lace. The eyelets were glued into place and once dry a leather lace was threaded into position. The vase was parted off, the bottom cleaned up and the project was complete.
Last but not least we have Zak making his 2023 debut in the workshop. Being out of practise Zak decide to keep things simple and opted to turn a piece of Walnut into a box. The wood was mounted between centres and roughed down to a cylinder. A tenon was created at the tailstock end and the shaping of the outside and box bottom started. Refining of the shape continued until Zak was happy at which point it was reversed and held in the chuck so that hollowing could start. As Mick did Zak hollowed the central area by drilling a hole with a forstner bit. The hollowing was completed using a combination of gouge, hollowing tool and scraper until the desired, consistent wall thickness was achieved. When he started shaping the outside Zak had commented that he could see some worm holes in the wood and after inspection once the hollowing was done Zak decided that they needed attention. He therefore decided to put the box to one side so that he could, at some time in the future, fill the holes with brass powder and glue enabling him to then complete the project. We look forward to seeing it once finished. With some time to spare Zak now put a part turned Yew bowl onto the lathe, the outside was complete but the inside needed hollowing. Once again using different techniques the inside was hollowed out, sanded, sealed and finished. And a very good finish it was. So despite Zak’s lack of turning in recent weeks, just like riding a bike the skills were still there and possibly not as forgotten as Zak thought they were.
The Show and Tell section this month produced another crop of excellent exhibits from seven of our members and provoked an interesting discussion on the various methods and equipment available for thread chasing.
Another interesting and entertaining night and as always many thanks to Chris, Mick and Zak who never fail to please.
Thanks Alan Selden for capturing the activity across the three breakout rooms and please check out the gallery HERE of the rest of the screen shots taken during the evening.
Bachi Drum Sticks
During the Show & Tell on the last slide, Paul mentioned about some drum sticks (Bachi) that he has made after the Club had been asked whether we could make some for a local Taiko group. If you have not seen or heard about Taiko have a look on YouTube, its quite impressive and the amount of effort put into it, you can see why they might need more Bachi! There are a variety of shapes and sizes of Bachi depending on the Daiko (drum) being played. For example: a straight Bachi is used for playing Nagado Daiko and Hirado Daiko and are 2.1cm-2.5cm (0.8in-1in) diameter and 33cm-42cm (13-17in) long. Whereas, a long and thick Bachi is used for playing an Odaiko. It’s made of light material because it’s long and thick, 3.0cm-4.0cm (1.2in-1.6in) diameter and 45cm-55 cm (18-22in) long. They are traditionally made from Oak, Maple, Machilus, Magnolia and Cypress. Paul has been experimenting with other timbers that are more likely to be available in the UK. If you are interested in may be making them, please have a chat with Paul Tunmore.