Saturday, October 31, 2009

Day 74: All Hallows' Eve

I spent most of Halloween in the shop working on my latest batch of seam rippers.  I had long breaks in between trick or treaters and that allowed me to get a ton of work done.  These are almost done, just a bit of sanding and a quick buff before final assembly.  I should get them all done tomorrow.

Here's our pumpkins for this year, decided to go pretty traditional.

And here are the kid's costumes shortly after returning from trick or treating.  Becca was Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  Christopher was Luigi (he lost the mustache).

Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 73: How many seams are there anyway

More work on the latest batch of seam rippers tonight, these 8 are done except for the bases, buffing, and the final assembly.  Left to right they are Canary Wood, holly, Oak, and Curly Maple.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Day 72: Off Axis

A few more experiments with multi axis turning tonight, the piece on the left was turned on 4 centers with each axis twisted 90 degrees resulting in a 4 sided piece where each side rotates 90 degrees.  The piece on the right is exactly the same except it was turned on 5 axes, has 5 sides, and each side rotates 72 degrees.

I did learn a lesson here on numbering the axes, one side should be number clockwise and the opposite end numbered counter clockwise after shifting the starting spot by one position.

2 more,  both turned on 2 centers, the piece on the left was turned on 2 centers with the centers offset from each other (1-2, 2-1).  This results in a 180" twist along the length of the piece.  It has an oval cross section at each end and a nearly round cross section in the middle.

The piece on the right was turned on 2 parallel centers offset by an inch.  I think I can take this quite a bit further.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Day 71: Axis of evil

I'm planning to demo for the Arizona Woodturners Assoc. sometime next year and I've been trying to think of something that's   1) educational, 2) within the reach of the majority of our club members 3) new or different enough that most club members may not have seen it before 4) requires no special tools or jigs.

I think I've settled on multi axis or eccentric turning.  I've been playing with it quite a bit lately and have really started to enjoy it.

This piece was turned on Saturday at the Buckeye event.  It's turned on just 2 centers.

I turned this one tonight just playing around.  It's turned on 3 centers, which are all offset to one another.  This creates the spiral shape.  I think I'll try a lidded box out of some scrap next time using this technique on the outside.

Same technique as above, I just wanted to see how it looked on a longer piece.  The lesson learned on this one was to clearly label the centers on both ends.  I didn't label them clearly enough and when I went to switch centers I mixed them up and had to turn the piece smaller than originally intended in order to clean up the mistake.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 70: Rip it up

Nothing exciting tonight, just rough turning the seam rippers I started on last week.  The basic shapes are complete, now it's time to fit the caps, sand, and finish.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Day 69: Au Pair

This is the bowl cored from the inside of the bowl I roughed last night.  I took a core out of this one and tried to core it but was not successful.  The wood was too soft to support the tenon well enough to complete the coring process.

This is the bowl from my demo on Saturday morning. From a round blank to a rough bowl in just 20 minutes.

It's certainly not perfect and is not up to my standards for a rough bowl, let alone a finished piece but I think it's pretty good for a VERY short demo.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Day 68: Catchup

Not much turning today, I didn't get home until about 4 AM so I ended up spending much of the day playing catchup, on my sleep.

I did go out to the shop long enough unpack from yesterday and took the time to  core and rough out the 15" Aspen bowl I started on Thursday.  I still have to turn the core that was removed from this piece, it should yield at least 2 more bowls for this set.

Day 67: Buckeye

Saturday was the Buckeye Heritage Days event in "historic downtown Buckeye" and I was on site from 8:30AM- 4:30PM.  My on stage demo went very well, I did the turning while our club president did the talking.  I ended up with a very decent rough turned bowl in just 20 minutes.

Here I'm helping a young man turn a pen for the first time.  He'd never touched a lathe before and was thrilled to be able to make something like that with just a little bit of hands on teaching and some close supervision.

Club member Dale Gillaspy helps out another new turner.

Mike Abels, another club member on hand for the event assists a first time turner.

A table showcasing some of our wares, examples of some of our work, and business cards and flyers.  I sold 2 small pieces, one was a bowl to the guy coordinating the vendors and a hot dog to a woman in the AZ Game & Fish booth next to ours.  Not a bad day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Day 66: T-Minus One

Final prep for tomorrow's demo.  All tools freshly sharpened.

Left to Right: 1/2" Crown Pro PM Bowl gouge, 1/2" Crown HSS Bowl gouge, 1/2" Thompson Lathe Tools Bowl gouge (in a Dave Peebles handle), 3/8" Crown Pro PM Bowl gouge, 3/16" Crown Pro PM diamond parting tool, 3/8" Crown Pro PM Spindle gouge, 3/4" Crown Pro PM Spindle roughing gouge, 3/4" Crown Pro PM Skew chisel, 1/16" Robert Sorby narrow parting tool.

My goto gouge is the 1/2" Crown Pro PM on the far left.  I probably use it about 90% of the time on my bowls and probably could get away with just that and my diamond parting tool tomorrow but I'm not sure what I'll be doing in the booth so I'm bringing more than I think I'll actually need.

These are the finished pieces I'll be brining for display in our booth.  I want to show a wide range of work, everything from the whimsical, a hamburger and hot dogs, to the artistic, a set of 3 nested Box Elder Burl bowls, to the practical.

The Day 67 post will not be posted until Sunday at the earliest.  I'm playing in my monthly poker tournament on Saturday night and likely won't get home until well after midnight.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day 65: Inventory?

I started to do an inventory of roughed out bowls tonight because I didn't want to get too dirty and didn't want to take tools out of my demo kit.

I didn't get very far on the inventory before picking up my pencil and writing 'lots'.

I ended up estimating that there's well over 100 bowls total, spread out over 4 shelves and the tops of 2 cabinets. Mulberry, Desert Ironwood, Honey Locust, Mesquite, Poplar, and more.

About half of these are nested sets of 2 to 4 bowls in each set.  Lots of Mesquite, and Quaking Aspen among others.

More bowls.  Box Elder Burl and Russian Olive

Last one, Eucalyptus, Ficus, African Sumac, Sissoo, and more.

In the end I did pull a couple of tools out of my demo kit and rough turned a large (15") Quaking Aspen crotch piece that I've had for about 18 months. 

I just roughed the outside, I'll probably end up coring out the center on Sunday or Monday.

There's a large bark inclusion that goes most of the way to the center.  I'm still considering how to handle this, I'm leaning to a mixture of epoxy and coffee ground to stabilize what's left of the bark and to fill the void left by the piece that have already come out.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 64: Demo prep

I'm doing a short stage demonstration on Saturday morning at the Buckeye Heritage days festival in Buckeye so I started to put my kit together tonight.  I'll also be helping out in the club booth throughout the day, probably doing pen and seam ripper demos.

My on stage demo will be a basic bowl out of a 10" piece of Sissoo I got from a friend this evening.  I only have 30 minutes so I'm really going to have to push it.

Luckily I had some help getting ready tonight.  This is Peanut, our newest Chihuahua.  She's almost 4 months old and is very small, just over 2 pounds.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Day 63: Round 2

I started another batch of seam rippers tonight, the quilt shop around the corner is out again.

I'm doing 24 in this run.  The 22 blanks picture to the left were cut, drilled, and rounded tonight.  Left to right the woods are Padauk, Oak, Brazilian Cherry, Holly, Ziricote, Curly Maple Tulip Wood, and Bocote.

In addition to the 22 roughed out above I finished the first 2, Curly Poplar and Desert Ironwood.  I'm thinking that the Curly Poplar will be a gift to the quilt shop owner for carrying these.  The Desert Ironwood is different than most that I do.  It doesn't have a tenon for the cap to fit on, just a flat end.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 62: Back in the saddle

Back in the shop tonight after spend the last couple of evenings working on the Arizona Woodturners Assoc. website.

I've had this small piece of burl on a shelf for a long time, at least 2 years, possibly longer.  I also wasn't sure if it was maple burl or myrtle burl.

 Turns out it's maple burl.  I still need to sand it inside and out remove the tenon.

While I was at it I also decided to finish a couple of ort bowls I had roughed out several months back.  They're both Walnut.  On the left is a dried rough out.  On the right is the finished bowl.

Here's both of them finished.  They have rims that slope inward and have a fishbowl type shape.  Quilters like my wife use them as mini trash cans to collect thread and fabric trimmings and scrap.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 61: Website work

No shop time today, just work on the club website.  I got a ton of stuff done, It should be online in a week or so.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 60: Monthly meeting

Today was the October meeting of the Arizona Woodturners Association and an important meeting for the Desert Woodturning Roundup committee.

The Desert Woodturning Roundup committee set the ticket prices for the 2011 Desert Woodturning Roundup and finalized a number of other details, including vendor prices and the logo.  I'm working on recruiting demonstrators and have received a number of positive responses so far.

I also started to rewrite the Arizona Woodturners homepage tonight.  That process will probably take a couple of weeks

Friday, October 16, 2009

Day 59: And now for something completely different

I think this looked better in my head than it does in person.  I haven't decided if it's my candy bowl for Halloween, a bowl for a person on a diet, or if it's religious piece, AKA a 'Crown of Thorns'.

The thorns are off of a tree I found in the desert behind our house.  As best I can tell it's called a Crucifixion Thorn tree.  It's fairly unique in that it as far as I can tell it doesn't have any leaves.  The spines have a green bark that performs the photosynthesis required for the tree to grow.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 58: Long lost friend

I've had this pair of bowls sitting on the shelf for around 3 years and decided to finally get back to them tonight.

They both had a spot on the edge that had been cut with the chainsaw as there was a fairly large branch that needed to be taken off.  This left a blemish on the natural edge that I decided to handle by doing some carving.  I ended up settling on a funnel cloud shape down the side to provide some movement.

 Another view.  I still need to do a ton of work on both of these.  They need finished inside and out as well as have the tenons removed and have the edges of the carving finished, they're right off the saw at the moment.

Top view,  It's hard to see but the carved areas are at 6 o'clock on this photo.  I used a pneumatic high speed metal saw, the type you'd normally see being used on auto body work.  Mine is from harbor Freight ( and it did a great job for the price.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day 57: Ad naseaum

Worked on another goblet tonight.  I was just starting on the stem on this one when the cup portion fractured along an existing crack, the cup was then severely out of balance and it snapped the stem.

So I decided to make a 3 piece goblet instead incorporating a multi axis stem.  The cup and base are both Mesquite.  The stem is Maple turned on 2 centers.

Another angle showing the multi axis stem.  No carving, just turning  on 2 parallel centers. to create the wavy stem.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 56: More goblets II

Another goblet tonight, I wanted to try something different with the stem.  It didn't turn out how I had envisoned it but I had a pretty good idea what went wrong.

After finishing the goblet above I threw another piece of scrap on the lathe and turned this piece to figure out what had gone wrong on the first one.  This is more what I had in mind for the stem.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 55: More goblets

A couple more goblets tonight.  I didn't want to make a huge mess but wanted to have another goblet for the President's challenge on Saturday.

That's a quarter sitting next to it.  There are 2 captive rings on the stem.  The wood is Desert ironwood.

Size comparison.  The piece on the right is about 9" tall.

After completing the other one I decided I could do one better (or in this case smaller).  This one is also Desert Ironwood, mostly sap wood.  It also has a small captive ring.

Another size comparison, again with a quarter for scale.