Monday, March 11, 2013

Torus IV

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Beads of Courage

We had a presentation from the Beads of Courage people back in January. This will be my contribution. Mahogany and Curly Eucalyptus with an African Blackwood knob.

I decided to make another lid. The first one was just a hair too small. It fit but it was looser than I wanted. This on is still loose but it doesn't have the slop that the first one had.

I debated cutting some feet on the bottom but decided to turn a bead instead. I think the bead echoes the rolled rim on the top.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

DWR recap

This weekend was the 2013 Desert Woodturning Roundup. We run this woodturning convention every 2 years at the Mesa Convention Center. This year we had 7 featured demonstrators plus one local demonstrator in the Vendors area. Richard Raffan, Michael Hosaluk, David J Marks, Molly Winton, Malcolm Tibbetts, J Paul Fennell, and John Lucas were the featured demonstrators. Matt Monaco was the local turner in the vendors area.

I don't have the final numbers yet but I'm estimating attendance was up 20-25% from 2011. I snapped this photo outside of one of the demonstrator rooms. This was the smallest room in the building and not only was it standing room only inside of the room, there were people seated in the hallway watching the demo through the doorway.

I can't speak for all the attendees but based on my experience being on the organizing committee everything went very smoothly, far better than expected. All of the feedback that I received was overwhelmingly positive. The issues experienced were either handled within minutes or were out of our control and had minimal impact. There's certainly still room for improvement but overall I'm very pleased with how everything turned out. I just wish I'd been able to view more of the demonstrations. With only 1 exception I was so busy I was only able to see 10 minutes here and there. I was able to sit in one Richard Raffan demo for about 60 minutes before an issue came up that required my attention.

I splurged on a couple of pieces for my personal collection. This small Verdigris pot from Richard Raffan and another small decorated form by Molly Winton. I figured this would be my only chance to ever own a Raffan piece so I went for it.

The newly acquired Molly Winton piece. My wife seems to be under the impression that this piece belongs to her.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Desert Woodturning Roundup 2013

Prepping wood for demonstrators.

This pile is for Richard Raffan and another event we have planned.

This is also for Richard Raffan along with the small rounds in the upper right for J. Paul Fennell.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Wood trade

Some wood I just received in a trade with another local turner.

Maple with mild quilted figure. 11" x 11" x 4"

Pacific Yew 3.25" diameter and 12" long.

My wife has already claimed any and all pieces made from this wood.

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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Demo results

I ended up using a prepared piece of Box Elder for the 2nd half of my demo. I didn't want to waste time doing the actual hollowing of a blank so I swapped to a pre-hollowed blank when we took a break.

I'm going to refine the shape a bit more and thin it out a little to reduce the weight a bit so it's a finished piece. I'll probably give it away at the next regular club meeting (April).

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Demo 2013

I’m doing a demo on Saturday at the Arizona Woodturners Assoc. I’ve chosen to do a hollow form that’s hollowed through the bottom and then plugged with a piece of the same wood (from the same blank to best match the color and grain). I started my prep work tonight and ended up settling on this piece of Apricot. I was considering a piece of Maple burl but decided against it.

Here’s a few examples of the type of hollow form I’m going to demo:

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Piece of Ash

2 chunks of Ash burl I just got in a trade. I gave him a half a log of Sissoo for these 2 pieces. He will probably use the Sissoo he received to make Native American style flutes. I thought I was going to make Torus IV out of this but now I’m not sure. The piece on the bottom is a half sphere with some rot in the middle, it’s probably 18” across, 16” long, and 8” thick.

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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Challenge - bowls

Most months my club has a President’s Challenge. I assign the topic for the next month and then those that want to participate are encouraged to turn and bring in an item that fits that topic. We’re pretty lax in enforcing the rules so sometimes we get objects brought in that were turned months or even years prior, not specifically for this challenge.

I take the challenge part very seriously; I really try to challenge myself and do something I’ve never done before or do something in a different way. I often try to put my own “twist” on things - sometimes literally.

For January we’ve gone back to basics; the topic is “bowls”. We’ve done this topic once or twice in the past 4 years but its always a fun one. The piece I chose to make is a small piece of Quaking Aspen and chose to make it as thin and light as I could.

It’s 7” diameter and stands 2 1/4” tall and is about 3/32” thick. It’s bone dry but the light still passes through quite easily. I wanted the form to be as close to perfect as I could get it and I think I came pretty close to accomplishing that goal. It’s almost the perfect little bowl.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013


I bought these goblets at a local antique store a couple weeks back. They were marked $6 for the pair but were then discounted to $3. I’m always on the lookout for stuff like this, some for my collection, others to possible reuse or repurpose the wood. These caught my attention because of the black color but I’m always wary that they may have been artificially darkened, painted, dyed, ebonized, or otherwise altered. There were some areas that seemed suspect, the finish appeared somewhat caked on, but I could see enough grain running from the stem to the cup, through the inside of the cup and up and out the other side that I was confident that the wood was pretty nice; even if it had been enhanced.

Tonight I took them out to the shop and took a little bit of 320 grit paper to parts of them. It turns out I was right, the had been altered, one whole side was clumsily painted black, but there was still some very nice grain underneath. I’m guessing they’re some kind of ebony, possibly Macassar Ebony but there’s no real way to tell. For now they’ll go back on the shelf until I either find the time to completely refinish them or find a way to incorporate them into another piece, perhaps as the stem on a elevated hollow form. $3 well spent in my opinion.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Torus III

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Torus take III

Oak burl.

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Torus II

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