Thursday, September 30, 2010

Olive platter II

Another quick Olive platter tonight, this one is a little over 15" diameter.  It's bagged and on the shelf now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Olive platter

I roughed out an olive platter tonight.  It's just under 17" diameter and is approx 3/4" thick at this point.  This piece was slabbed off of one of the olive pieces from Monday night.  I'm planning on doing this with the other 4 pieces as well.  The slab was about 2" thick which left plenty of thickness for a big bowl from the remaining portion of the log.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Holy olive!

Olive from my friend Larry.  He called me up this morning and said his tree trimmer friend was doing some cutting at a local apartment complex and wanted to know if I wanted some Olive. 

I didn't expect anything this size, I was hoping for 8-10" logs, possibly as large as 12".  When I talked to him this afternoon he said 20" diameter but I still had my doubts.

I was blown away when he opened the garage.  18 pieces with more than half in the 16-18" diameter range and 22-24" long.  I took him a 19-20" African Sumac crotch in return but I think I still owe him after this haul. 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Offset goblet

More Flagstaff prep tonight.  I'm going to do a multi axis goblet and due to time limitations I turned the inside and outside of the goblet cup ahead of time.

The piece on the left is similar to what I'm going to do during my demo.  It was from my Phoenix demo back in February and is from Maple.  The piece I worked on tonight is Mesquite.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Flagstaff prep

I've been invited to demo at the Flagstaff woodturning club (Peaks Woodturners) next month.  We're still working on an exact date and time but it looks like it's going to be one month from today.

I'm going to do the same multi axis demo I did in Phoenix and Prescott earlier this year.  It's both basic enough for beginners and advanced enough for experienced turners. 

Part 3 of the demo is a lidded box done on 3 centers with a twist.  I roughed out the box tonight out of some scrap Shoestring Acacia.  I don't have time to do the inside of the box during my demo so I do that portion ahead of time.  This allows me to turn the outside of the box (turning the inside is pretty standard) to completion in the allotted time.

I'm probably going overboard doing this a full month ahead of time but I'd rather do it now than have to rush it at the last minute and things are going to get busy.  I have a birthday, an art show, and a club meeting on the 3 Saturdays preceeding the demo.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Copper and Eucalyptus locking box

More mixed media tonight.  I made a similar box earlier this year or late last year.  This one is a little bit bigger and is made from Eucalyptus with copper wire accents.

When the 3 inlays are lined up the box is locked and the lid is secure.

Rotating the box 90 degrees so the 2 inlays are aligned will allow the box to be opened.

The inlay on the lid is actually a pin that goes all the way through.  The pin runs in a groove that was cut into the body in order to secure the lid in position.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mixed Media

Sorry for the lack of posts.  I've been pretty busy lately without much to show for my efforts.  Tonight I started to work on a new style of pendant.  The president's challenge for next month is "mixed media".  Mixing wood with other materials such as metal, stone, shell, or acrylic.  I twisted 2 pieces of copper wire and then turned a recess around the perimeter.  I saw some small bowls several years ago in an art shop in Jerome that used this technique.  I decided to try it with a pendant.  This is more of a proof of concept than anything else, the splice in the wire is very well hidden, you have to look very closely at exactly the right angle to see it.

Saturday was the September meeting of the Arizona Woodturners.  Local club member Dale Gillaspy ( was our demonstrator.  He filled in on short notice after we had a scheduling conflict and did a fantastic job.  After the meeting I headed north to Anthem to play in a poker tournament.  The host had a black light flashlight so we headed out back during a break to look for scorpions.  It didn't take long to find 3 or 4 along their back wall.  My son has a birthday coming up in about 2 weeks and I'm going to get him a flashlight of his own.  I'm sure he'll get a kick out of it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Candlesticks, etc.

A bit more work on my candlesticks.  The top were drilled for the candles and the bottoms finished off.

I wasn't able to drill very deep so I had to cut off the bottoms of the candles, this makes them pretty unstable but this was a learning experience, not a production piece.  I still need to apply a finish.

I also spent a couple hours redoing the rim of my crucifixion bowl.

I also made a couple of pendants tonight.  I found a local source for some more shells and decided to make a couple tonight.  The 2 on the right are tonight's efforts.  The one on the left is an older one with paua shell.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hidden joint spline box

I might (empasis might) have a how-to magazine article in my future so I decided to do a practice run tonight to iron out some of the kinks. 

I grabbed a piece of Alaskan Yellow Cedar from a local craft store and went to work tonight. 

I'm going to save the details and the step by step for the article.  I'm not sure the Alaskan Cedar is the best choice of wood but it's not the worst either.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I've had this chunk of Eucalyptus Burl for about 3 years.  It's been buried on a shelf for most of that time and I finally dug it out tonight.  I'm not entirely sure what I want to do with it yet, it's approx 17 diameter and as much as 9" thick at the thickest point.

The underside is cut as a big wedge so some of that 9" thickness will go away.

Closeup of some of the burl figure. 

My gut tells me to do a large natural edge nested set similar to the set below (and from the same tree) but I'm looking for other opinions. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I've been busy over the last couple of days.  Doing a fair amount of turning but I haven't been keeping up with my posts.  I'm trying a couple new things on some pendants, including some that aren't turned at all.  I also got a couple of Paua shells to use as inlays.

I also worked on a lidded box made from some Olive wood I've had for a long time.  It's one of my favorite styles, multi axis with a twist. 

The downside to this style is that they aren't lightweight because of the thick sidewalls.  I could have made it a little thinner but because of the overall shape it will always have a fair amount of heft.

I also started to work on my President's Challenge for September.  The challenge this month is to turn a pair or a set of items.  I knew I wanted to do a pair of candlesticks and I've wanted to do a pair in the Rude Osolnik style for a long time but I didn't want to do a straight copy.  I decided to do them with a multi axis twist, each twisting in the opposite direction.  I still have quite a bit of work to do, including sanding and finishing and they're slightly different heights so I'll need to fix that as well.