Sunday, February 26, 2012

Two down, two to go

I finished the first two of the four hollow forms I have in progress right now. The smaller piece on the left is Spalted Beech, the larger piece on the right is Curly Maple.

The Beech has been left bare, the Maple has one coat of Danish oil so far. It's hard to get a sense of scale on both of these, the photo below should provide a comparison that everyone can relate to.

A standard U.S. penny is 3/4" diameter (.750"). The openings on both of there are well under 3/4", they both measure 21/32" (.65625"). In fact a standard U.S. dime (.705") is larger than both openings.

The bottoms both have a small base with a slight concave surface. The bases are slightly larger than I've been doing lately so they're a little more stable.

Profile view.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Variety show

I have back to back shows coming up in April so I'm trying to get a few more pieces done. I'm also working on a piece for the next President's challenge. Today I started work on 1 hollow form and continued work on 3 others.

This one is some highly figured Maple I got from Mike Mahoney this past summer. I rough turned the outside of this piece a few months back and I'm finally getting back to it.

Next up is a piece of Spalted Beech. I got 2 pieces of this wood 4 or 5 years ago, the other piece was made into a box and given back to the guy I got the wood from. It's a little bit punky on the end grain so I've applied a coat of oil to stiffen the fibers.

Next up is a chunk of Sissoo from Boyce Thompson Arboretum. I rough turned this one a couple months ago, today I trued up the outside and got it ready to finish hollowing.

Last is a piece of Box Elder Burl I received in a trade this past summer. It's my intention to use this piece as my 'Natural Edge' piece for the President's Challenge.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wood of Life

The February President's challenge is lidded boxes. I've had a few ideas in my head but I've run out of time. This was not my intended finished product but it's pretty close in spirit.

This spherical box is made from a portion of a Lignum Vitae (translated as Wood of Life) blank I purchased at the local Woodcraft. It was actually labeled as Olive but I knew that wasn't right. The employee at the register agreed that it was Lignum Vitae and agreed to double check on the price. Oddly it wasn't a size available in the catalog or in the computer so he had to check with the owner. They ended up ended up taking $15 off the price marked for Olive. Even so it is still quite expensive, about $40 a board foot.

I also made a matching ring stand out of a different piece of Lignum Vitae. I've demonstrated my technique for turning these rings before, including this past Saturday at the Southern Arizona Woodturners Association, SAZWA.

I intended to hand chase threads to get the box to thread together but my attempts to hand chase were less than successful. In the end I abandoned that idea and went with a standard tenon and recess joint.

I also worked on sanding a 3 piece hollow form set in Maple Burl. I turned these pieces throughout the day at the Woodcraft event a couple weeks ago.

There's a U.S. quarter for scale. These are the first turnings from my big burl score last year about this time. I still need to do some more sanding, I'd have much less hand work had I sanded them in the lathe while they were being turned but I always say that people want to watch somebody turn, not watch somebody sand.

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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super bowl Sunday

It's Super Bowl Sunday and first thing this morning I decided to work on some roughouts. These 10 bowls are all Sissoo, the 2 on far right were turned last weekend at the Woodcraft woodworking expo. The other 8 were all roughed and cored this morning. This log was from a tree removed at Boyce Thompson Arboretum this past fall. I only have 2 pieces left from this tree.

Mid way through the roughing process I had a bit of an accident. I was stripping the bark off of one of the crotch pieces and when it broke free suddenly I ended up jamming my thumb into the edge of the blank and splitting it open. It looks much worse than it really is.
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