Monday, November 21, 2011


Next month is our club's annual holiday party. As part of the festivities we have an ornament exchange. Everyone wanting to participate brings in a wrapped Christmas ornament and exchanges it for a raffle ticket. The last couple of years we've done white elephant type exchanges where stealing is allowed. This year I chose to do one out of Banksia pod and Holly. I did a rough sketch this afternoon and then headed to the garage this evening to make it a reality. It's very close to what I had envisioned and should be pretty popular.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Art festival prep

I found out on Tuesday that I was a late addition to an arts and crafts festival that's taking place this weekend. Now I'm scrambling to get a few extra pieces completed.

This 4 piece nested set in oak burl was tonight's effort. I've had this piece of wood for 5 or 6 years and finally got around to roughing it out about 6 months ago. Since then it has been kicking around the shop waiting to be finished.

I'm ecstatic with the results. I think it's probably the best nested set I've ever done and should be well suited to this event. It will undoubtedly have a prime spot in my booth and I need to take some quality photos in case it sells.

Next up is a hollow form I've been working on for a while. It's mesquite with sapwood and the natural edge surrounding the opening. I had a near disaster with this piece last night. I don't have time to go into detail.

Suffice it to say I was able to salvage the piece, even after being within 30 seconds from tossing in the bin. In truth I would nave cut it in half before tossing in the recycling bin to see how consistent the wall thickness is and where it could be improved.

Last is a hollow form I started a while back. I finally got around to turning the pedestal, lid, and finial. The lid and finial are 2 pieces, the pedestal is one solid piece. Both the pedestal and lid/finial are made of Macassar Ebony.

Overall size is 7 1/2" diameter and 17" tall.

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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spherical box

This morning i turned a near perfect spherical box in Box Elder with natural red staining. Roughly 3 1/2" diameter.

The walls could be thinner and the joint could be tighter but overall I'm pretty happy. This was turned this afternoon without any templates or other guides. The inside was not sanded and was turned completely freehand.

The outside was also turned freehand using a set of wooden cup chucks I made myself. A fun little project that can be done in about an hour and requires only a couple basic tools (bowl gouge, spindle gouge, spindle roughing gouge, scraper, parting tool).

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Friday, November 4, 2011

Collared vase

I finished my portion of the collaboration piece. I did a little more hollowing, then finished off the bottom. I did decide to put a decorative collar around the rim.

Top view. The collar is made of some Katalox I've had sitting on the shelf for 6 or 7 years. It was the right thickness for this purpose and the color should provide a nice contrast to the Magnolia body.

The collar removed and turned upside down. The joint is tight enough I don't think glue is necessary. This is a similar process but a little different than the collars I made for my recent hollow form and the foot on the Birdseye maple bowl. In this case the recess is on the inside of the ring, not the outside. Requiring a rethink and a different approach.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat

 The President's Challenge for January is "Collaborations".  I was contacted by another club member the other day, he was looking for another member in his area to collaborate with and it turned out that he wasn't that far from my house.  He brought over this piece late last week, it's a piece of Magnolia he roughed out a few (5-6) years ago.
 It's end grain from a whole log section and had a significant amount of tearout near the rim.  It was left nice and thick when he roughed it out so there was plenty of left to play with to improve the shape and get it down to a reasonable weight.
 After finishing most of the hollowing I started working on shaping the outside.  I might remove a little more on the inside near the bottom.  It's currently 9 3/8" deep and about 4 1/2" at the widest point.  I'm considering adding a contrasting rim to help dress it up a bit.
 Last night between trick-or-treaters I chucked up this chunk of maple and went to work.  It's turned on a total of 4 axis and has my normal 120 degree twist.  
 3 of the axis are on the outside to give it the triangular shape and the twist.  The 4th axis is the true center used for the top, bottom, and the inside.
I wish the base were a little smaller, it would make the piece appear lighter and more delicate than it truly is.  Realistically this piece will never be very light because of the thicker walls, particularly in the corners.  I'm also considering adding a collar or lid/finial combination to this piece to help dress it up.