Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 194: Mini me

I had to do a test run on my new turning tools from my birthday yesterday so I knocked out a trio of mini hollow forms in Quaking Aspen.  All 3 were hollowed through holes slightly less than 1/2" diamete.  There's a quarter in this photo to better show the scale of the turnings.

Top view of all 3 pieces in this set.  I'm planning to do some burning on all 3 pieces on this set but I'm undecided on the design.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 193: Another year older

Today was my 32nd birthday.  It's a day that I'm lucky enough to share with my father, I was born on his 20th birthday.  My wife surprised me this morning with a set of mini turning tools for use on small hollow forms that I can then burn.  I probably wouldn't have bought these for myself but I appreciate the gift and the thought.  I didn't get a chance to try them out, the only work in the shop today was 45 minutes cleaning up and digging out.  I removed 50 gallons of Acacia and Mesquite shavings that had built up over the last 2 nights.  I also spent a couple hours printing and preparing the DWR demonstrator contracts.  I only need to address the envelopes and apply postage and they'll be on their way.  One more headache almost off my plate and not a day too soon.  

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 192: Twins

Two more roughouts tonight, both halves from the same log.  Both  between 12 and 13" diameter and are Mesquite.

6 more bowls added to the drying pile.  Many more of these to come over the next couple weeks.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 191: A rough night

I really need to start to tame my wood haul from the January storm so I'm going to start roughing a lot of bowls over the next couple weeks.  I've done a couple over the last couple weeks but I need to do more soon.

This one is one of the bigger pieces of Shoestring Acacia and is 14 1/2" across and about 6" deep.  The exterior has been roughed and a tenon formed.

The largest core has been removed and the interior turned down to a consistent wall thickness and smoothed.  A consistent wall thickness is important so that the piece dries evenly with minimal warping.

I neglected to take some of the intermediate photos but the end result is a set of 3 bowls and a bunch of shavings covering the floor.

I also ran into another turner tonight, quite literally.  I went for a bike ride this afternoon and while passing through the next  neighborhood over I saw an open garage and thought I spied a lathe in the back corner.  I quickly hit the brakes and turned around.  As I pulled into his driveway the piles of wood and the lathe in the corner came into focus.  I talked with him for about 30 minutes, he does mostly segmented work on a Jet 1642.  One cool thing he had was some shims that he could put under the headstock and the tailstock in order to increase the swing on his lathe so he could turn larger than the stock 16" maximum diameter. I invited him to future AWA meetings and over to my shop, I think I'll see him again pretty soon.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 190: Five degrees of Kevin Bacon

Playing with more multi axis work tonight.  I did 5 samples out of Mesquite that are identical other than the layout of the centers.  From left to right the degrees of rotation increase from approx 100 degrees on the far left to 180 degrees on the far right.  120 degrees (my standard setup) is the second one on the left. 

I didn't think it was possible to go more than 120 degrees but clearly I was wrong.  Things get increasingly more difficult the further over 120 degrees you go.  I don't plan to do much over 120 degrees because of this.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 189: Twisted pair

The next President's Challenge will be 'Multi axis'.  Tonight I started to play around with an idea I had a couple of nights ago.  I knew that I could determine the direction of rotation on a piece so I thought that by altering the points mid way through turning I could reverse the direction of rotation at the mid point of the piece. 

It didn't turn out exactly as I'd had it pictured in my head but I was able to reverse the direction as I thought I could.

I also started work on a 3 sided bowl with a twisted exterior.  This is similar to my rice bowl but that was done with parallel sides.

Inside view.  This one is Box Elder with some burl and some curl but mostly straight grain. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 188: Other

No shop time tonight though I did get out of the house for a bit earlier while I delivered yesterday's seam rippers to the quilt shop this afternoon when I picked my son up from school. 

Tonight I've been dealing with computer problems and trying to get the demonstrator contract for the 2011 Desert Woodturning Roundup finalized so I can get them in the mail this week.  I wanted to get this done about 3 weeks ago but had to pass the compensation package we're offering the demonstrators and the overall demonstrator budget through the organizing committee.  I can't reveal the names of the demonstrators that we're inviting until they're under contract but I think we have a really strong lineup that covers all of the major types of turnings: bowls, hollow forms, spindles, pens, and segmenting.            

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 187: Delivery ready

Not much work today.  I unloaded the car from yesterday's demo and then spent most of the day with my wife and kids.  Late this evening I did head out to the shop to finish a batch of seam rippers so they can be delivered yesterday.  Woods include Padauk, Bocote, Curly Maple, olivian Rosewood, Afzilia, Canary Wood, and Honduran Rosewood.

Day 186: Demonstration

About 24 hours late on this entry and I don't have any photos of the actual demo (yet).  Yesterday was my Arizona Woodturners Demo. I did 4 projects, a multi axis goblet on 2 parallel axes, a multi axis goblet stem done between centers on 2 axes, a multi axis twisted lidded box, and a pair of multi axis pendants. 

The first part was a multi axis goblet similar to the one shown on the left.  I didn't do the captured ring and I didn't cut the stem down as thin as I normally would but I was primarily showing the technique used move the goblet side to side and the sequence that is followed to accomplish something like this photo.

Second was an S curve piece done between centers and on 2 parallel axes.  Again this piece was more about the technique of shifting back and forth between the axes and the initial setup of the blank, marking the centers on the same plane and at a similar distance.

The main focus on my demo was a twisted multi axis box like this one.  Proper setup is the secret and is critical on a piece like this  and was heavily emphasized during this demo and on my handout.  If setup correctly it's actually fairly easy to turn.

Part way through this portion of the demo I realized that I was flying through and was well ahead of schedule so I had to improvise a bit and do something I hadn't planned on doing, finish the top and the bottom of the box. I didn't bring a jam chuck with me so I had to turn one during a short break. Luckily I brought along a spare piece of wood as a backup in case something happened with my box blank so I had a piece of wood I could make into the jam chuck necessary to finish the box and add about 20 minutes to my demo.

I didn't realize at the time but a couple of friends of mine slipped in the back of the room late in the demo while I was turning a couple of pandants similar to the one shown.  I was in the zone and didn't notice them and didn't find out they were there until that evening when I played poker with both of them at a mutual friend's house.  They attempted to come up and say Hi after the demo had concluded but I was swarmed with club members thanking me for the demo, asking further questions, and checking out my tools and some of the other multi axis examples I'd brought along.  I'm still thrilled that they took some time out of their busy weekend to come see one of my hobbies.  Thanks guys!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 185: Locked and loaded

Tomorrow is the big day, my multi axis demo at the Arizona Woodturners Assoc.  Tonight was packing everything up and double checking that I have everything that I need.

safety glasses
all packed and ready to go.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 184: Mother May I?

I turned this multi axis project a while back ( and decided to make a few additions and changes to it tonight. 

For my demo on Saturday I want to have some additional examples of multi axis turning and this one fits that bill.

I moved it off center and used a drill bit to change the breasts into arms and then turned a small multi axis child to fit into the arms.

I think I'm going to play around with this a bit more.  My wife has  claimed this one as her own.

I also worked on a multi axis hollow form.  It wasn't nearly as successful but I wasn't quite ready to give up on it yet.  I glued it back together and the results are below.

I think this taller skinnier version shows the twist much better than my previous attempts (  It's deeply flawed but like the piece above it's an example of what's possible.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 183: Finishing work

I worked on finishing a batch of seam rippers tonight.  12 rippers were sanded, the tenon sized, the body oiled, and the bottom trimmed.  The only thing left to do is sand the top of the tenon, the bottom of the body, and insert the cutter.

I also printed out and then made 150 copies of my multi axis handout for Saturday.  Staples seems to have the best price for copies at $.08 Ea. but 150 double sided copies (300 copies total) adds up in a hurry.  I'm hoping 150 copies will be enough for my Arizona Woodturners Assoc. demo this month and my Prescott Area Woodturners demo next month.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 182: Digging out

The remnants of yesterday's rough turning were still piled on the floor this evening.  My son asked me yesterday if I wanted help cleaning up, unfortunately it was almost his bed time and I wasn't done yet so I left things a mess last night so he could help me tonight.

30 minutes and 50 gallons of shavings later the floor is much cleaner.  All of the shavings are now in the yard waste recycling bin to be picked up by the city tomorrow afternoon.  Working green is important to me, this includes salvaging wood whenever possible and making sure that my waste is properly handled.

I did do a bit of turning as well.  I'm working on finalizing my multi axis demonstration handout and had to verify that I could control the direction of rotation of the twist.  These 2 pieces started out nearly identical in size and layout of the center points, the only difference is the setup in the numbering of the points.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 181: Before and after

Not much to say, 2 crotches between 13 and 14" roughed and cored.
Shoestring Acacia 13 1/4" diameter when round.

3 pieces total from this set.

Expanded view.

Pecan, 13 3/4" diameter when rounded.

2 pieces in this set, there's enough left for a 3rd bowl but that huge bark inclusion in this set runs 95% through the smallest piece.  I might fill it with epoxy, it's currently held in place by a 1/4" piece on one end and with the screws from the faceplate on the other end.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 180: Endless possibilities

I spent an hour this morning organizing after yesterday's event as I didn't unpack yesterday and I'm supposed to have a visitor tomorrow.  The club lathe and stand were removed from the back of our SUV along with some of my tools and a big chunk of wood. One of the other turners at the Woodcraft event yesterday brought along this big chunk of Oak burl and somehow it ended up coming home with me.  I now owe him some wood for my half of the trade.  It's a pretty big piece, almost 12" tall, deep, and thick.

 Pictured with a 1 gallon paint can for size perspective.

 Another view.  I'm leaning to cutting into 2 or 3 smaller pieces but I haven't made up my mind yet and I plan to think on it for quite a bit.  Once it's cut there's no putting it back together.  I think that however it ends up getting cut and turned I'll try to retain the natural edge on the top.

This is the prize I won in yesterday's competition.  It's a 55 degree close quarters drill with 5 hook and loop sanding interface pads.  I tried out the drill this morning and it's very nice, it should help improve my sanding quite a bit.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 179: Woodcraft show

Today was the big event at Woodcraft in Chandler.  The Arizona Woodturners Association was on hand with a lathe, a number of gouges, and some wood to demonstrate with.  They also had contests going that were judged by 3 professional woodworkers; Scott Phillips of the PBS TV Program "The American Woodshop", Marc Spagnulo of "The Wood Whisperer", and David Steston - one of the founders of the Caricature Carvers of America.  I entered 4 piece into the turning category and was pleased to win 3rd place with the set of 3 nested bowls shown here.  They're Eucalyptus Burl with coffee grounds and epoxy for filler.  This set of 3 bowls was also shown at the Chandler Center for the Arts last year.

The demonstratios we had running all day were very well recieved.  We put on a good show and made a huge mess turning green wood and throwing shavings all over the place.  I think we got several people interested in turning and got several experience turners signed up for the club and even more interested in attending the meeting next Saturday where I will be demonstrating.  Late in the afternoon Scott Phillips took his turn on the club lathe and turned a small lidded box out of some Walnut.  Over the course of the day I turned 2 small olive bowls, a Shoestring Acacia bowl, a Chinese Elm bowl, a small multi axis piece in Shoestring Acacia spindle, and a small Mesquite goblet with a captured ring. 

Lots of fun with old friends, new friends, and helping spread the art and craft of woodturning.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 178: Mesquite platter

I finished the Mesquite platter tonight.  Sanded the front to 320 and then applied a coat of oil to bring out the grain.

1st coat of oil applied.

Then I flipped it around and put it on my vacuum chuck before sanding the bottom and then turning away the glue block and turning the foot, sanding to 320 and applying a coat of oil on the back.

Finished piece.  I still need to apply a couple more coats of oil and then buff it out but it's essentially complete.

Bottom side finished and oiled.  Immediately after taking this photo I burned my signature into the bottom.

Song of the night:
The Wallflowers - One Headlight.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 177(b): F is for Finished

Finished turning except for the foot.  No sanding or finish at this point.

Close-up of the burl like figure in this piece.  A gorgeous piece of wood that I need to see if I can get my hands on another piece or two.

Day 177: P is for Platter

More work on the platter tonight.  The glue block is set so I cleaned it up, formed a tenon and turned the back side.

Profile shot.  The rim is left thick because I'm going to give it a curved profile to mimic the recessed curve on the bottom side.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 176:

I think after seeing these bowls you can tell why Olive is one of my favorite woods.  3 bowls tonight, it should have been 4 but I cored through the bottom of one of them.  The one on the top and the one in the middle are from one half of the log, the one on the bottom is from the other half.  There should have been one more from the 2nd half of the log but my entry angle was too steep and I cored too deep and into the bottom of the larger bowl. 

I also started working on a fairly large figured Mesquite platter.  This is from the piece of wood fellow woodturner Paul Porter dropped off on last Saturday morning when he picked up some of the big green logs I got in the last storm.  I've seen some of Pauls finished pieces from this same tree and they're fantastic.  I want to use every bit of this blank so I'm using a glue block for the first time.  I'm using Gorilla Glue to attach a scrap piece of wood that I will use to form the tenon. 

I downloaded a new application for my phone that turns the still camera into a video camera complete with sound.  I don't know how often I'll post videos.  Should they become a regular feature?