18 Jul 2023 – Workshop Night
On a somewhat cool July evening twenty seven members assembled for their monthly fix of turning curtesy of Chris, Mick and Zak.
This month Chris’s first project concentrated on finishing but with a starting point of charring the wood. He started by showing the technique for removing some of the charring on the outside of an ash bowl using bronze bristled brush, always brushing with the grain. He then demonstrated the actual burning process on a mushroom turned from pine using a blowtorch b urning a propane and butane gas mixture. On both the bowl and mushroom the grain was picked out by the burning and brushing whereas on a yew goblet the grain was much less defined. With the bowl mounted on the lathe Chris then applied spirit stains, lilac and yellow, in a random fashion. Once the stains had dried two coats of acrylic sanding sealer were sprayed on and once that had dried the bowl was polished using Yorkshire Grit and Hampshire Sheen. This was done using paper towel which was changed frequently until no colour was coming off the wood onto the paper.
Next up was a bowl that had been turned with a number of coves on the outside. Light scorching had resulted in a black and white effect which Chris then sought to enhance using similar techniques to those on the previous bowl. Not liking that the bowl was sprayed with ebonising lacquer and once dry, was lightly coated with Pebeo gilt cream and left to dry before final finishing. Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat!
After the break Chris opted to turn a box from an odd shaped piece of wood, the peculiar shape having been created on the band saw. The wood was mounted onto the lathe using a screw chuck and a tenon created on the opposite end. Held in the tenon Chris created an opening into which the lid would sit. That done the wood was removed from the lathe and another piece put on from which Chris crafted the lid and at that point stopped not only because time had run out but also to leave the wood relax and move before hollowing and, if necessary, making any necessary adjustments to the fit of the lid.
Another Chris masterclass of finishing techniques and different processes and another one of those rare evenings when Chris asked for suggestions from his audience, got them and actually acted on them. Normal service will probably resume next week.
This month Zak took inspiration from last month’s demonstration (Lyle Jamieson) and decided to use techniques he doesn’t usually employ. A piece of walnut was secured onto the lathe using a faceplate. The idea was to turn a bowl from a section of the wood, part it off and turn a jam chuck from the piece left on the lathe in which the bowl would be held so that the bottom could be finished. Having decided on the depth of the bowl and formed the outside shape Zak hollowed the bowl out using a combination of bowl gouge and scraper, using a scraper he bought that has a cut out near the end that Zak thought would be useful for making undercuts. Apparently, this was a second hand purchase at only £2, or so the official story goes so as not to cause any upset on the domestic front.
Hollowed and sanded the outside shape was refined and completed before the bowl was parted off. Next came the formation of the jam chuck that would hold the bowl enabling the bottom of the bowl to be shaped and finished. Another modification to the jam chuck allowed the bowl to be held so that sanding sealer and polish could be applied to the inside and the bowl was complete. The object of this exercise was to explore Lyle Jamieson’s assertion that chucks are unnecessary and by simply using the things supplied with a lathe, e.g. four pronged centre and faceplate, anything can be turned and money saved. Zak proved that this can be done but sometimes convenience can mean more than spending some money and most turners would not wish to give up their chucks and usually view them as a necessity as opposed to a luxury.
With a little time to spare Zak decided he would finish off one of many items on his shelf that had not been completed for a variety of reasons. He therefore mounted a hollow form vessel onto the lathe, completed the hollowing and finished the outside. All in all, a good evening; a theory proved, although not necessarily one that will be repeated and a space created on the part finished shelf, which will undoubtedly soon be taken by something else.
This month Mick revisited last month’s project which was a box in the shape of a curling stone. At the last attempt the wood flew of the lathe as the glue joint between the wood and the glue chuck repeatedly failed. Having sought advice Mick was assured that the problem was the heat encountered on that June evening. Apparently super glue does not like high temperatures and therefore fails to cure. That not being a problem this month the wood was secured on the lathe and the hollowing out of the box commenced. Once hollowed both the inside and outside were sanded given a coat of sanding sealer and polished. That done the box was put aside and another piece of wood was put onto the lathe which would be turned into the lid. Having completed the lid Mick then realised that he had made a slight design error in that he had fashioned the lid so that it would sit over the outside of the box as opposed to the lid sitting in a recess that had been created on the rim of the box body. Fortunately, there was enough wood on the lid that Mick was able to reshape the lid to what it should have been and the project was back on track.
Next onto the lathe was an acrylic cylinder from which Mick turned a dome shaped piece that would sit on top of the lid and would carry the handle. Turned and polished the dome was glued to the lid. A small piece of wood was now put onto the lathe from which the actual handle was turned and like the rest of the box was sanded and polished. Finally, the handle was connected to the acrylic dome using a piece of brass rod and the curling stone box was complete. All we need now is some ice so that we can see how well it curls!
This month’s Show and Tell was a little short on contributions but the four that did submit photographs gave us an excellent selection of pieces all well-made and aesthetically pleasing.
Thanks to our three turners another evening of superb turning, banter and much knowledge traded between the turners and their respective onlookers.
Thank you to Alan Selden for another great write up of the nights activities.
To see more photos taken during the evening please check out the Gallery HERE.
Don’t forget we have yet another new Turner to our screens on the 25 Jul 2023, Jim Echter, so see you all there. Jim has asked for all attendees to bring along a Skew chisel if you have one, not sure what for but you will have to wait and see. PAYG Members need to be purchasing their ticket as soon as possible if you want to watch this demo. Click HERE to go to the booking page. Any problems with doing this contact us.