30 May 2023 – Jason Clark Demo
JASON CLARK DEMO
Our latest online demonstration featured a turner from just outside the city of Chicago, Illinois; Jason Clark https://jtcturning.com/ who has been turning for around 20 years and promised us something different for our May demo. Jason’s signature piece he described as a Saturn Bowl, this is because it has rotating rings that are independent of each other but are created from a single piece of timber.
Inspired by a project by Hans Weissflog that he has seen some time ago and had actually purchased from him, he had decided to try other variations and make it his own.
After our usual introductions Jason showed several variations of the bowl he would attempt to create, a blank of Zebra/Zebrano timber, approximately 2 inch x 7 inch diameter was mounted between centres to start the process. Most turners start by truing the blank and making it a round, this was not really needed for this project as most or the outer timber would be lost to waste during the turning so could wait until later. Jason explained his go to tool for nearly every job was a ½ inch bowl gouge with some refinements made with a smaller spindle gouge. Starting with the bottom of the bowl, timber was removed to create a tenon and the beginnings of the bowl shape Jason then gradually thinned the timber down making sure that the bottom face was a flat and even as possible, this is important later on in the process.
Next stage is to remount the piece in a chuck with the tenon and to work on the top face of the bowl and rings, the blank now turned to its final round diameter and then working from the outside towards the centre thinned down to around 1/8 inch, this was done in four stages to minimise chatter as the timber flexed, Jason supported the back of the piece with his left hand to give extra support; we had a question at this point about safety and keeping your hands outside the tool-rest, it was explained that this was done safely and care should always be taken. Another important step at this stage to make sure that this surface is also flat and parallel to the back, again reasons will become apparent later. The bowl can now be hollowed out, again the ½ inch bowl gouge and refined with a small scraper aiming for the same thickness as the rim. Jason opted not to sand at this stage but explained that this was last chance to do it.
A small maple blank mounted in the chuck would now be used as a ram chuck to reverse the bowl with the tail stock brought up so that the bottom can be finished and rounded, with tailstock removed to take off the last mm of material. When this stage was reached another option was shown where you could mount the work on a PVC pipe and turn the top of the rim slightly off centre to create the illusion of the planet within the rings of the bowl.
We were then set a challenge to guess how the rings from the single piece of timber would be created and asked to submit our ideas on the ‘chat’ to Jason and he would respond accordingly, he had seen this process done before and described his lightbulb moment and wanted us to experience the same. At this point your author decided that this was a “Mousetrap” moment, for those not familiar with the Agatha Christie play, if you see it don’t divulge the ending.
So, if you want to find out how Jason does it you really need to watch a demonstration or buy his method, sorry folks.
It was an excellent demonstration and although everything didn’t turn out perfectly, we all enjoyed the evening and thank Jason for explaining it all in great detail and stopping on afterwards to chat and answer questions.
Thank you Zak for a great write up and for not giving too many spoilers. We will be getting access to Jason’s recording of the demo in due course which will be sent out to all full members by email. If there are any PAYG members who missed it and would like to watch the demo, please get in contact to arrange the purchase of a ticket for £8 and I will send you the video link once we get it.
For some of screenshots taken with the kind permission from Jason, please check out the Gallery HERE.
You now have some new Shop Keepers, namely, Paul Tunmore, Dave Eason, Mel Henry and Rob Collin who will be managing the shop from now on. So please liaise with them if you are after anything specific. They have been undertaking a massive task of getting all the shop stock onto computer to manage the stock going forward. During this process, we have identified quite a few products that we need to reduce the quantity stocked. To that end, please keep an eye out in the Shop as there will be some special offers coming soon.
Now that the Club Shop can take cards and contactless cards, Google Pay and Apple Pay payments as shown in the picture below, we would like to ask you, our members how you would feel if we went cashless? As you can appreciate, cash causes an admin burden for those who have to count it up and pay it into the Club bank account. Since the reduction of high street banks and building societies with further reductions announced in the news today, it has become harder to pay in cash. Although some Post Offices do offer the service, it is not available at all branches. During Covid, a lot of businesses went cashless and you had to pay by card, no matter what the value was, so everyone should now be used to paying by card in this modern world. So for the Club to do the same, it may not be an issue and you would welcome this change. We would always have the backup option available to take cash should we have a problem with the card reader or if you have an issue with your payment method. Can you please leave in the comments below your thoughts on this, even if its just a one word answer, such as ‘Cash’ or ‘Card’ will suffice, but we welcome all comments on our posts as it proves that there is someone out there who reads them!