Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 255: Chocolat and cherry

2 more pairs of Shoestring Acacia tonight.  The larger bowls are 10 1/2" and 11 1/2", the smaller ones are 7 1/2" and 8 1/2" diameter.

I also returned and resanded the small Padauk hollow form from yesterday.  I wasn't happy with it after applying the oil.  The color of the sapwood darkened significantly and decreased the contrast between the heartwood and the sapwood so I turned it again.  This also made it a hair shorter and a slightly smaller diameter but also a little bit lighter.  Because of the extreme difference in color and the open pores in the wood the entire piece had to be sanded by hand with the lathe off so the sanding dust from the red half didn't contaminate the sapwood.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 254: Contrasts II

More studies in contrast.  Side A.

Side B.

Mixed view, Bocote - mixed sapwood and heartwood.  Approx 1 1/2" wide and 2" tall.  Hollowed through a 3/8" hole and is very thin and very light.  This is one of the pieces of wood I bought yesterday.

Another piece, side A.

Side B.

Mixed view.  Padauk heartwood and sapwood.  Also hollowed.  I've had this piece of wood for 4 or 5 years looking for the right project.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 253: Life goes on

Back to work this evening after attending Shorty's funeral services earlier today.  3 roughed out and cored bowls, 2 in Mesquite and 1 in Acacia.  All are 11-12" diameter for the larger bowls and 7-8" for the cores.  My clean shop from last night is now unrecognizable.

I also ran a couple errands on the way to and coming back from Shorty's service.  On the way there I stopped at the Delta/Dewalt service center to get a bearing for my Delta band saw so I can get it sold and on the way back I stopped at a local wood retailer and picked up a few pieces of wood.  Nothing too exciting, they have very limited turning stock; most of what they sell is kiln dried lumber and plywood.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 252: Tuesday night cleaning club

Tuesday is quite often my night for cleaning as Wednesday is pickup for my recyling bin.  Tonight was no exception.  In addition to cleaning and doing a bit of organizing the miter gauge for my new bandsaw arrived in the mail as did the first issue of my subscription to Woodturning Magazine (

I also had a pair of visitors.  I ran into a pair of Mormon missionaries on the way back from the mailbox.  We talked shop for a bit but it was getting late and they had to head home.  As I have in the past I invited them back any time my garage is open with the understanding that the one thing I won't talk about is religion.  They seemed open to the invitation.  They work hard and a break once in a while has to be welcome.

My shop time was also limited because today is my wife's birthday and because I needed to get a few things in order so I can attend the services for Shorty tomorrow morning.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 251: Tesota

I finished turning the Desert Ironwood (Olneya Tesota) tonight.  I'm really happy with how it turned out.  I still need to sign it and plan to add several additional coats of oil before buffing and waxing.

Bottom view.  I had to fill some additional small cracks with epoxy and coffee grounds.  A total of 3 applications of the epoxy/coffee mixture were applied but the results were more than worth the effort.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 250: New arrival

My new bandsaw was delivered bright and early at 8:30 this morning.  Initial inspection shows that it really only used once or twice.  It's essentially brand new and he even threw in a mobile base so I can easily move it as needed.  The only down side is that he forgot to include the miter gauge.  I talked to him this afternoon and after returning home he was able to locate it and will mail it to me as he's a full hour from me.

The rest of the day was spent cleaning and rearranging the shop, preparing my current bandsaw for sale, and installing a new cord and plug to match the twilstlock outlet I installed on the ceiling.  I also made a quick trip to Woodcraft to purchase a new blade, where I discovered that Woodcraft doesn't carry 131 1/2" blades in their normal stock.  They can special order them for me but a local source would be my preference, the blade that came on it isn't the best quality.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 249: Showtime

Artists at the Arboretum was today.  The weather was fantastic but the crowds were light and the sales were few and far between.  I ended up doing alright but I know others have very few if any sales.  

Tomorrow morning I take delivery of my new (used) bandsaw.  I'm so excited I'm going to have a hard time falling asleep.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 248: Rorchach test

More work on the Desert Ironwood bowl tonight.  the excess epoxy and coffee grounds were turned away and the inside  and rim were sanded and had a coat of oil applied.  I'm really with how this has come out so far.

The rest of the evening was spent packing for tomorrow's show.

I'm also excited because I found myself a newer better bandsaw this evening.  I've wanted to upgrade my 14" Delta for a while now and combining our tax refund and a good deal I found locally I'm able to get a like new 2HP 17" Grizzly at an affordable price.  It will be delivered Sunday morning.  I'm so excited.  Eventually the plan is to upgrade to a 3HP 19" but this is a big step in the right direction.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 247: Contrasts

The May President's Challenge is 'Contrasts, sapwood and heartwood'.  I'm planning this to be one of my pieces for this challenge.  It's Desert Ironwood root.  I chose Ironwood because of the extreme contrast between the heartwood and sapwood.  I've had this piece for close to 2 years and had intended to turn it before now but just never quite got around to it.  I roughed the outside last night but because of yesterday's subject didn't post it.

Tonight I filled some of the cracks with epoxy and coffee grounds, cored out the inside, turned the interior, and then filled cracks on the inside with epoxy and coffee grounds. It doesn't look very good right now because of the excess coffee grounds but I'm confident that it's going to be amazing when it's finished.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 246: Shorty

I did my normal turning tonight but that's not going to be tonight's subject because that's not important right now.  Today the world lost a really great guy and a great turner.  Clarence 'Shorty' Hart passed away this evening after a bout with cancer.  I didn't know Shorty for very long or all that well but you didn't need know him all that well to  be impacted by his passing.

I've known Shorty via the Arizona Woodturners for about 5 years and got to know him on a more personal level when I purchased my hollowing system from him about 3 years ago.  In January 2009 I was tasked with writing a bio about Shorty for the 2009 Desert Woodturning Roundup.  The organizing committee had secretly decided to honor Shorty for his contributions to the local woodturning community and I talked to several other members of the club asking them for their memories of him.  I ended up being short on details and decided to go straight to Shorty to fill in the blanks.  I did so under the guise that a "friend" was asking about Shorty's history in the Navy and his early life.  Shorty had heard rumors that we were planning to honor him and saw right through my story but was more than willing to play along.  Shortly before the big event we received word that Shorty wasn't planning to attend the banquet that was being prepared (partially) in his honor.  A few quick phone calls put things in order and assured that Shorty would be present for the banquet.  In the end I'm actually glad that Shorty knew what we were planning.  I honestly think that had we sprung the surprise on him without him having any idea he might have had a heart attack right then and there.

I also asked club member Paul Porter to say a few words about Shorty and the special bond that they share.  What I didn't realize until the morning of the event is that Paul had lost his own father just 1 month prior and that truly showed during his short speech.  Paul was near tears throughout, something out of character for Paul but something completely understandable given the circumstances.

Overwhelmed by emotion Shorty finally took the stage to say a few words of thanks.  What I remember most about his speech was the emotion he showed as he thanked the committee and the crowd in the banquet hall and how he wished that his wife could have been there.  Marge had passed away 4 months prior to the event after a long struggle with Alzheimer's disease.  The love that they shared was clear to everyone there that evening and is something that I will always remember.  I hope that they are together again tonight.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 245: Burl Box IV

More work on the pair of lidded burl boxes.  Lids, pedestals, and finials were all done tonight.  The one on the left is Box Elder Burl with Burmese Rosewood finial and pedestal.  One the right is Box Elder Burl with Cocobolo finial and pedestal.  Both need some additional sanding, finishing, and to have the small finials on the inside of the lids turned.  T-minus 4 days to my next show.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day 244: Burl Box III

I started work on 2 more Burl boxes tonight, both Box Elder Burl.  Both still need lids, finials, and pedestals but I ran short of time tonight. 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 243: Cleaning house

I spent roughly an hour cleaning and organizing in the shop tonight before I had a fellow turner over for a visit.  The shop looks way better than it did but it still needs a ton of work, all of that is going to have to wait thought, I got word today that I am in an art show on Saturday.  This will be my 3rd year doing the Artists at the Arboretum show hosted by the Soroptimists of Gold Canyon at Boyce Thompson Arboretum.  This will be my third show in April and my 4th in the last 2 months.  Hopefully I can keep up this busy schedule through the rest of the year. 

Day 242: April Showers

The April club meeting was today, our demonstration was but Lea Montaire.  She turned a small week pot out of Cascara wood and then did another small piece which on which she filled a crack using fine brass powder and then burned a fine line using a piece of wire. 

We were also assigned the next President's Challenge topic - Contrast, mising heartwood and sapwood.  I'm going to give this one some thoughts, I want to do something a bit different, I'm just not sure what quite yet.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 241: Club prep

Tomorrow is the April meeting of the Arizona Woodturners Association.  Tonight I'm getting everything ready for that meeting, the Desert Woodturning Roundup meeting, and my monthly poker game.  The April President's Challenge is Multi Axis.  I'm taking 4 pieces for the challenge, the twisted peppermill I've posted here a couple of times and 3 different multi axis pendants, all of which I buffed tonight using Beall Buffs and White Diamond.  For the regular instant gallery I'm taking a trio of burned pieces and the natural edge Central Ave. Olive pair I finished last week. 

I've also been hard at work the last couple of nights rebuilding the swingset in the backyard.  The Arizona sun is hard on the wood and the hardware and it was easier to tear it all down and start over from the ground up.  I still have a bit of work to do on it but I'm very pleased with it so far.  No turning in it yet, haven't figured out where to incorporate that yet but I'll figure it out eventually.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 240: Burl Box II

I finished the natural edge burl pedstal box tonight.  The body and lid are Maple burl, the finial and pedestal is Cocobolo. 

Open view.  The finial is a single piece that goes all the way through the lid to form a small drop finial on the underside of the lid.  A nice little surprise on the inside.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Day 239: Supplies

I made a quick trip to Woodcraft this afternoon to stock up on some supplies, I grabbed a spare bandsaw blade, and 3 pieces of wood for some upcoming projects, 1 3X3X12 each East Indian Rosewood, Hormigo Negro, and Cebil. While I was out I also stopped by the Delta Service center to pickup one of the club lathes which was being repaired.  It will be used during the club demo on Saturday and had been in the shop for the past 3 weeks.  I was beginning to wonder if we would get it back in time.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day 238: Meh

I'm not entirely happy with this piece, the base is way too large as is the opening.  I'll probably try this one again later.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 237: Weebles

I tried something different tonight, I wanted to do a small bowl with a natural edge, off center, and a round bottom.  I was successful on all 3 counts but also unsuccessful on 2 of those counts as well.

1)  Part of the natural edge broke off just as I was finishing the bottom.  2)  I had to drill a pair of holes in the bottom to remove it from the jam chuck.

The good news is that I learned a few things and that my next attempt should turn out a bit better.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 236: Burl box

I've done this style of box before but it's been about a year.  I think I have a show lined up in 2 weeks and want to have a couple of these complete.  I wanted to have some done for Saturday's show but never quite found the time to get them done.

The finial is just a sample, I don't know what wood I'm going to use for the finial and for the pedestal that the whole piece will rest on.  The body and lid are Maple Burl, the temporary finial is East Indian Rosewood.  No finish yet.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 235: Art Walk

Tonight was the Sunnyslope Art Walk in Poenix.  I ended up with 2 spaces so I was able to spread out quite a bit and change up my display.  My 4 5' foldng tables were laid out in a large M or W pattern (depending on which side of the table you were on).  Sales were slow and a little on the disappointing side but at the end of the night I had some money in my pocket, no business cards left, and a few less things to pack up.  Overall a pretty good night.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 234: Cougar Carnival (Cougarnival)

Tonight was the event at my son's school.  I was assigned a single 6' folding table so I had to be very selective on what to take and what to display.  Sales were slow (as expected) but I had a constant flow of people all night.  Once the sun went down they fired up some portable lighting but the coverage of the lights was less than ideal and things became much harder to see.  Tomorrow should be much better.  I'll have close to 4 times the space and the crowd will be an arts crowd rather than a school/craft crowd.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 233: Last minute

I spent a portion of the evening on some last minute show preparation, primarily refinishing a couple of pieces that for various reasons need a bit of touching up.

I also booked another last minute show, my son's school has a carnival once or twice a year and I was asked to be one of their vendors.  I've done this for them in the past and though I probably won't sell much I will hand out a number of business cards while I support the school.

Mesquite hollow form

Acacia hollow form

15" Redwood Burl platter

Spalted Palo Verde

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 232: Show prep

No photos tonight, just packing for Saturday's show.  Deciding what to take and what to leave behind.  Some of the decisions, like Christmas ornaments, are no brainers.  Others are a little more difficult requiring input from my wife.  Together we were able to reduce the stock I will be taking by about 1/3rd, mostly due to size constraints or to eliminate similar pieces.

I did take a few minutes to finish the Olive from yesterday.  They're now buffed out and signed.  I also signed the back of all of the pendants I've made lately. 

Bring on the show.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 231: Outstanding Olive

Welcome facebook friends.  I finally figured out how to link my blog to my facebook profile so that all of my posts here automatically update to facebook profile. 

Tonight I worked on finishing 3 olive bowls.  A pair of natural edge bowls made from 100 year old olive from Central Avenue in Phoenix and a utility bowl from some Olive I got from a friend who got it from California late last year.

 California Olive, Approx 10" X 3 1/2"

This one has a small raised foot to elevate the bowl slightly.  Under the foot is slightly recessed with a curve that matches the outside profile of the bowl.

Side view.  The rim has a slightly rounded profile that slopes to the outside of the bowl.

Central Avenue Olive wood.  This is from trees that were planted along Central Avenue in Phoenix back in 1905.

Both bottoms are rounded, the larger bowl has a slight depression in the bottom so that it can sit on a flat surface.

Profile view - I left the natural edge on both pieces so the dry rough surface contrasts with the finished and polished surfaces inside and out. 

Both pieces will get at least 1 more coat of oil and will be signed and ready for my show on Saturday.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 230: Magic in the air

I somehow managed to finish all 13 wands tonight.  I'm not quite sure how I did it but I was able to get them all turned, sanded, and finished in well under 2 hours.  With any luck I'll sell most of these at my show on Saturday. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 229: Wands

Not much shop time today, we spent the morning with my parents before they headed to the airport this afternoon for their flight back home.  Tonight I elected to spend most of the evening with the kids, we went to a local park and had a picnic.  After everyone was in bed for the night I made my way out to the shop.  I started doing an inventory for my show on Saturday and found that I only had 1 magic wand left.  They're popular items with kids and parents at shows.  Tonight I cut and then rounded 13 wand blanks.  They're approx 12" long and 1" diameter and from left to right are Bocote, Ziricote, Bloodwood, and Curly Maple.  Tomorrow I plan to turn them down to size and if I have enough time to try and start to finish them.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 228: Fun with Mom and Dad

Today I finally got some shop time with my Mom and and Dad, they're returning to Idaho tomorrow morning and I wanted to make sure we got some turning in before they left town. 

My Mom and I turned these 3 pendants today, the outside 2 are Maple Burl with artificial stones inset.  The one on the middle is Buckeye Burl with black Onyx.

Dad and I turned a small bowl out of Jacaranda, my daughter has since drawn flowers all over the outside of it.  I'll be burning all of the flowers and eventually shipping it to my parents house in Idaho. 

I now have just 1 week to prepare for my next show, the Sunnyslope Art Walk from 5 - 9 PM on Saturday the 10th.   

Friday, April 2, 2010

Day 227: Know when to fold 'em

As Kenny Rogers said "you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, know when to run.

I had more plans for tonight but after a problem drilling the hole in the smaller form and then cutting through the side on the larger one I had to just walk away. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 226: Sketchbook

No actual shop time tonight, I spent the day working in the yard with my Mom and Dad, attending a Cub's spring training game, and then working in the yard some more. 

Tonight my Mom and I sat down and did a few sketches.  She has an idea for a hollow form that is cut into rings and then stacked offcenter and glued back together.  She also is thinking about carving a leaf into the piece before it's cut so the segments of the leaf on the different rings don't line up when reassembled. 

She also wants to embed some stone cabachons on the outside of a hollow form that I turned here a while back.  The last sketch on this page is s quick 3 sided box with a twist, I want to do some burning on just one of the 3 faces or possible on both sides of all 3 apexes that form the twist.

Another sketch showing he offset rings.  She's also thinking about possibly setting some stone cabachons on the outside of this piece.