No time to post…

It’s been a hectic week one way or another, and I’ve not had time (or the energy) to post anything.

Monday was a job-finishing and prep day for the demonstration on Tuesday evening. Tuesday was a load an go day with the demo at the end of it.

Wednesday I had to unload and out everything back in the workshop, and then I had some large lumps of Oak to rough out. Not too stressful, and I do love roughing out as it’s a simple job and quite relaxing really. But I did get board of roughing and wanted to turn a finished item out of the Oak as it was lovely coloured and interesting.

One of the rough-outs had an interesting knot…an Oak toothy-grinned smiley…

I couldn’t resist a finished bowl out of the oak, so it had to be a thin-walled bowl, that will hopefully warp to an interesting shape. As this was really play time, I thought I’d go quite thin…and ended up at a whisper under 2mm wall thickness. The bowl is about 12″ in diameter.

I said it was thin!

The heart sapwood division is more marked than the image indicates, and the colour difference is quite marked, but un-oiled it seems quite uniform. I can’t wait for it to dry so I can see it oiled.

I’ll wait to see if, and how much it warps before I decide if I want to do something else to it. Warping would be good, but if it doesn’t I have a few ideas.

Speaking of warping…I’ve turned three vessels recently that I wanted to warp…actually turned them to warp. The warp was the thing. Turned very thin. Turned from wood that just loves to warp and twist. And guess what? You’re ahead of me. Not a mm of movement. Nothing. Perfectly dry and perfectly true.  Don’t you just love wood.

Today I rebuilt the old table saw after getting the lead screw back with its new block boss. The son of a friend made it for me out of a large G clamp and a turned and threaded bar which now holds the drive worm. It’s not perfect, and needed a little fettling to fit, but I now have rise and fall and can cut again. So for now it will do until I can find someone to remake the original boss.

And then tomorrow I’ll be clearing up for a student who is coming in for the weekend. He’s French, so it may prove more challenging than usual, although his English is far, far better than my French. Should be fun though!

Next week I’d like a day off. We’ll see. I have this coming up again soon…

So I’ll have to get busy. W&WW is the best event of the year. Lots to see, and loads of people to catch up with. I love it and always look forward to it. But is does mean I need to have some thing to put on the stall…so that day off may have to wait!

Long day…

Just got home (1.00a.m.) after a very long day. School run, load van at workshop, drive to Lincolnshire, stop off at Boston (Oh dear!), drop over to Skegness (Yarmouth but further north! Oh Dear!) and a demonstration at Wold WTC. Think it went well. Nice to see Len Grantham there, the grand old man of the AWGB, one of the founders in fact. Karl Tickle of KTMP also present. Got some new lacquer off Martin Pidgen which seems very good after a quick and inexpert try. Tired.

Was tempted by huge pile of freshly felled logs in the middle of nowhere.

But you can’t, can you.

Thanks to all at Wolds WTC for a warm welcome.

Varied day…

It’s been a varied day today.

First job was to make some knobs for an antique dressing table. The only problem being that the client wanted them “exactly like the originals”. Normally this would present no problem; a simple copying job. But not this time! How do you make an “exact copy” when all you have to go on is this:

I forgot to photograph the end results. I’ll do it tomorrow.

Next was a 14″ bezel for an old clock being restored.

The brass bezel sits on a wooden back bezel, but this brass bezel is a more recent copy and is being replaced with a 200 yr old original, so the back bezel needs copying to fit the new, old, bezel. Not too much detail to worry about, but it’s a ring of wood and requires turning on every face so can be tricky.

And the clock box (not a technical term!) is fastened together with very rustic looking pegs which also need to be made.

No problem. I can do rustic really well!

And then a house sign in oak. Cut, route, sand, carve, pyrograph, varnish. Yawn.

And on top of all this a really weird quote to work out. But I can’t say what for obvious reasons.

Found objects…

This is a term I’ve grown to dislike recently. It’s become one of those buzz phrases that seems to be used to confer meaning and depth when all it means in reality is an added object. The fact that it is found, rather than say purchased for the purpose, seemingly makes it something special. Does it really?

Anyway…here’s a found object from a walk on the beach after school with my daughter today…

I don’t how well the true colours are rendered in my poor photograph, but in life they are stunning, rich and varied when viewed closely. It’s some kind of shackle I suppose, similar to scaffolding fittings, and may well have come off one of these old fishing boat winches from the beach.

I picked it up because of the colour of the rust, but as we walked and I played with it my hands I couldn’t help but wonder about how it might be combined with a woodturned object.

Also found on the beach was this huge lump of what I’m certain is wax…

 

Quite where it comes from, and there was a lot of it, and what it’s used for I don’t know. A curious find. Any ideas folks?

I had a rabid email today from a turner who took exception to an old post about the gut-curdling Craft Vs Art debate. Or more precisely, took exception to my thoughts on the debate. I’ve not had one of these green-penned emails for ages (so thank you, sender), and it reminded me of just how sleep inducing they can be.

I’m considering the risk of  posting a lengthy essay on the subject. But I’m not sure I can risk causing Sender the stress and apoplectic shock of reading it.

Daddy can we go out…

I was playing with boxes this morning. I don’t quite know why I’ve been having a box obsession recently, I never have before, but it’s easy on the body and doesn’t take a great deal of wood, so I’ve gone with it.

Paduak, Oak, and Burr Elm and Sycamore.

But play was stopped by a phone call. “Can we go out, Daddy?” So quickly home, quick shower and change and off we went.

Ended up here:

But I think there are only a few readers of the Blog who will know where it is! Answers in comments please…

Had a short but pleasant walk around…Ellie was very taken with the seawall paintings…

 

And on the way home stopped to take a shaky shot of the Supermoon at its 19 year closest…

Bushed now…where’s that wine?

What will you do with this…

I had a visitor today, a turner, and he spotted a round of very splated ash on the bench and asked this question, “What will you do with this rotton piece of wood? It’s firewood surely?”

I said I hadn’t thought what to do with it, just cut it out of a spalted board and left it there. After he finished his coffee and left I looked at the blank. What would I do with it? The fire was getting low and I did consider throwing it on. I’ll just rough it down and see how bad it is…

So I mounted it on a screw chuck…

And wondered how much would be left after roughing down…

2″ off the diameter later, and things were not looking promising…but never mind, I thought, let’s see what can be got from this rotton, spalty lump…

I ended up with an 8″ disc, and still lots of spalt and rot. I thought I’d make a discus hollowform, and hollowing couldn’t have been easier. The wood almost fell out of it. Wall thickness is 4-5mm. The blank had ended up quite thin, about 2 1/2″, so a sitting hollowform discus was not going to work, it’d look like a pancake, so what now?

A foot! Or better yet a pedestal. So I turned a pedestal. And now it look unbalanced. It needed a “top”. So I turned a finial top…and then couldn’t decide on a style of finial. A traditional pointed finial? Or something else? Something else won, but now I’m not at all certain…

Should I change it? Or just put the whole thing where it perhaps should have gone in the first place?

If nothing else it proves that you can finish rotton wood!

Seasoned Vs dry wood…

I had a long section of very, very dry burr Elm to turn today, and needed to use the captive hollowing rig to do it. It wasn’t a problem, and with the Hamlet Big Brother was a breeze to hollow with the rig despite being hard and dry (10%). There was one patch of lovely burr…

I’d added a mahogony neck section to the 30mm entry hole, and began to question my intended treatment of the vase form…could I really colour this?…

I took the chuck off the lathe and stood it up to look at it…hummm…can I? Should I? Will I?

John (the stained glass maker) told me to “grow a pair” and get on with it…but I was worried about messing up such a pretty piece of burr. And Elm isn’t too common these days…although this piece is probably in excess of fifteen years old…so…

I colured it anyway. What the hell. Spring colours…seems to have crept up on me as a colour theme recently…

It’s 13 1/4″ tall, 3 3/4″ max diameter, and 3/4″ left in the base for some weight and support. Wall about 1/4″.

So should I have left it natural?

Last night (I forgot to mention) I got some fresh felled Cherry from a guy with a trailer full. He sells it for charity and only wanted £1 a lump, so although I didn’t really want any Cherry I got three long lengths and gave him a fiver. But Cherry always splits on me so I’ll have to rough it all quickly. But I had an hour to kill this afternoon and thought I’d see what the colour was like…

Oh dear…worm in the bark and cambium…lots of worm…

And you need to be careful with wormy cherry. The bark will come off like a whip and tear a strip off you. So peel it off before turning!

But underneath…

It was lovely and clean, and made gorgeous long cherry-smelling streamers…

So with time still to kill, and  not wanting the wood to split before morning, I thought I would do a vase type I haven’t done for ages. No abrasives were harmed making this one, and it’s a simple skew-tip texture, scorch and stain. Not an earth mover, but quick and easy with green wood. And they usually move in an appealing manner…