20 Jun 2023 – Workshop Night + Free Cherry
This month twenty four members settled down in front of their computers to see what our three wizards of woodturning would do to both enlighten and entertain us.
Mick, having watched some curling (the sport played on ice, not hair curling) took inspiration from the shape of the curling stones and opted to make a box. Having prepared a blank and secured it to a glue chuck it was mounted on the lathe and the turning began. However, after a short period of time the glue gave way and the wood flew off the lathe. Fortunately, no damage was done to either Mick or the wood. Mick reattached it to the chuck and started again, with the same result. And again for attempt number three.
At this point Mick took the pragmatic approach and went to plan B which saw him mount a piece of Mulberry between centres with a view to making a hollow vessel in the shape of a lager glass. This was an interesting piece of wood, the bark was still on it and it had what appeared to be many imperfections but when the bark was removed these turned out to be several small burrs. Having turned the wood to a cylinder and created a tenon on one end it was mounted in the chuck. Mick then proceeded to create the rough shape of the glass which also determined the depth to which he would need to do the hollowing that process being started by drilling a hole down the centre with a Forstner bit. A Simon Hope hollowing tool was used to complete the process. The outside shape was refined until Mick was satisfied that the shape was to his liking and the finish was up to standard. Sanding followed with Mick ensuring that his fingers did not go inside the hollowed out area. This operation should only be done with the sandpaper attached to a handle. Sanding sealer was applied followed by a lacquer finish. The piece was parted off and the job was complete.
Mick commented at the end that both the hot melt glue and super glue he had used on the aborted box was still tacky so there was obviously a problem that no one was able to solve but hopefully a solution can be found and we will see the box being turned at a future meeting.
Zak’s first offering this month was a demonstration of how to turn captive rings. With a piece of Pine, mounted between centres, reduced to a cylinder Zak marked out where he wanted his first ring to be. With the width of the ring marked the diameter of the wood on either side of the ring was reduced using a combination of a spindle gouge and a beading and parting tool. The top of the ring was rounded with a spindle gouge and then sanded, it being much easier to sand the ring before it is free and able to spin. Zak then used a tool that had been ground to a hook shape that could be introduced into the wood at the base of the ring and by cutting from both sides the ring was formed and freed from the rest of the piece. The diameter of the cylinder beneath the ring was reduced so that the ring was truly free to rotate. Zak then crested more rings using different tools; forming the top of the ring with a beading tool and different shaped hooked tools to complete the job.
Zak’s second offering was a small goblet made from a piece of Yew but to continue with the theme of partone it would have captive rings on the stem. With the wood mounted between centres Zak formed the shape of the goblet’s bowl. He then hollowed it out and sanded it both inside and out. Work on the stem then followed and in the area just below the bowl a captive ring was formed. Zak reduced the size of the stem and introduced a shape that would prevent the ring from falling to the bottom of the stem. The rest of the stem was turned to the required diameter and along the way two more captive rings were created.
Unfortunately, both of these rings split open but with the judicious application of super glue that problem was solved (we will gloss over the point at which it looked like Zak may have glued two of his fingers together which, had he not got them apart, could have resulted in an unsatisfactory end to his evening and we may not have seen the completed goblet). All fingers once more moving freely, just like the rings, the goblet was parted off and the job complete.
Chris started his evening by offering his audience a choice of project; an onion vase in spalted Beech, a natural edge bowl in Ash or a pillow bowl in Walnut. The result was a vote for the pillow bowl, mainly we suspect because nobody really knew what such an item was. Chris explained that is a bowl with a very round shape but with minimum hollowing out so that items in it can be easily scooped out. In reality the shape Chris produced was not dissimilar to a curling stone – spooky!
With the wood on the lathe Chris set about shaping the outside of the bowl and forming a tenon. The basic shape achieved the piece was reverse chucked onto the tenon and the serious work of perfecting the curves began. Using a combination of gouge, scraper, negative rake scraper and sanding the final shape and finish was achieved. The bowl was then minimally hollowed and the inside finished to the same high standard as the outside. The appearance and grain of this piece of wood was such that even Chris decided that there was no need for paint, texturing or pyrography and opted to apply three coats of Danish Oil which would show the piece off to best effect.
As there was still time for a second piece the attendees this time voted for the onion bowl. Having trued up the wood and formed a tenon Chris secured the piece in the chuck. A hole was drilled down the centre which allowed the tail stock to be engaged in the hole for support purposes. Chris then created the onion shape meticulously reefing the shape and finish until it was exactly what he wanted. As with the pillow bowl time was spent perfecting the finish which sparked quite a debate amongst the audience about different techniques, finishes etc. Chris pointed out that very often excellent turning can be spoilt by less than excellent finishing and perhaps we should all pay as much attention to the finishing stages as we do to the actual turning. By the end of the evening the vase was 99% complete, it having took 30 minutes from start to (almost) finish.
In the Show and Tell section although there were only five exhibitors there was a large selection of very diverse and interesting pieces so thank you to those that send in their photographs.
We also saw, thanks to Dai, a video of him turning a bowl from a Mulberry log that we had seen him split in a previous video, again interesting and informative. If you missed the videos here are the links: Splitting a Log and Mulberry Bowl.
Another great night thanks to the efforts of Chris, Mick and Zak and of course to the members who provide the all-important comments and banter.
For more photos taken during the evening please check out the Gallery HERE.
Thanks Alan Selden for another good write up, which capturing the action in three rooms is a feet in itself, well done.
Finishing your Work
As mentioned above, Chris had pointed out that we should all pay as much attention to the finishing stages as we do to the actual turning. We already have a lot of resources available on our website that a lot of our members probably have not found. Firstly, have a look under the menu item titled, Information and then select Chestnut Products or click HERE to go straight to it.
There you will find a Compatibility Chart and Thinner/Solvent Chart to save and print off to keep in your workshop. There are also links to 6 Chestnuts Finishing School videos plus 39 pdfs on how to use most of their products, plus a link to their YouTube channel. All kindly provided to the Club by Terry from Chestnut.
We also have three full demo length DVDs by Terry from Chestnut covering various products and their use, who visited the Village Hall several years ago. These DVDs are already available to Members to hire or buy from the Club Shop along with hundreds of other demonstrations, click HERE to see the list . If there is sufficient interest, we could make the Chestnut DVDs content available via a direct link sent out via email. Please leave a comment below or drop Martin an email if interested. These would be uploaded to our YouTube channel and made unlisted so only those with the direct link would be able to watch them.
Free Cherry Available
We have been contacted by Mr Neville Wheeler from Horncastle, who has 3 Cherry branches/trunks available. They are free to anyone who would like them. They vary in diameter from 4in maximum to 1.5in minimum. They are between 10 and 11 ft long and were cut down about a year ago. If interested, please contact him on 07988 625540.
Don’t forget we have another new turner to our screens on the 27 Jun 2023, Lyle Jamieson, so see you all there. The meeting links have already been sent out, so if you have not received it, please contact Alan Buckle, our Secretary. PAYG Members need to be purchasing their ticket as soon as possible if you want to watch this demo. If you do buy a ticket, please don’t leave it to the last minute as the demo will be hosted by Lyle, so we need time to see your booking and then send out the correct meeting link to you. Any problems, please contact us.