Pulling back from an error…

While the off-bed set up was in place I thought I’d turn a wall plaque from a rather nice slice of a large oak burr that’s been screaming at me for months and months.

I knew what I wanted and set to. There was no plan for anything too complicated or outlandish, just a simply turned and coloured plaque, so the turning wasn’t too difficult, if a little dry and hard.

Nearly finished I took it outside to have a look at at hung on the side of the boat shed…

And I hated it. How can you not see when you’re going wrong when it’s still on the lathe? I don’t know, but obviously I had gone wrong. It was too much and didn’t work at all. So I sat and looked at it for a while and made a decision to alter it. Back on the lathe.

And I “think” it’s nearer now, but not quite…tomorrow will tell if it makes it to completion or a wasted burr…

It’s all texture and stains, and  the multi-coloured inner ring is gold and silver leaf that has been over coloured, heated, coloured, and sealed. Approx 28″ by 20″.

If I finish it I’ll post a final photograph tomorrow evening.

Tarrah to the Jarrah…

And it’s done. All gone. Even a last small offcut was used up to make a central dome. (Two actually – but one fell in half because it was so fissured). The two inner beads were coloured and textured to emulate the colour of the Jarrah. And just for clarity…it is a wall hanging…and not, as was suggested today, a steering wheel!

Last of the Jarrah…

I wanted a play day today and kicked around for a while trying to think what I might do. The saved ring of Jarrah from the underside of the large 19″ bowl was hanging behind me and was calling to me…”use me! use me!”…so I decided to use it. But how?

The first problem was that I hadn’t really thought about it when I cut it off. Consequently the edges whilst quite clean, were not exactly true. So I mounted the ring as centrally as possible on an MDF backing disc 20″ in diameter, and trued it up as best I could. Once this was ready I cut a board of 1 1/2″ burr oak (20″ by 12″ with a natural edge at the top) and cleaned the face up. I then measured the internal and external dimensions of the disc and cut a recess for the jarrah ring to be set in. This was tricky as the jarrah is very fissured and weak. A few details on the burr oak and this is where I’m at.

The jarrah can’t be worked too much due its fragile state, so I stabilised it with PVA all over the back. Allowed it to cure. And then put a slight convex surface on it with a couple of slight fillets to define it. And that’s where I am now.

Now the fun bit awaits…where to go from here?

It may mean that it all flows nicely and the wall hanging will almost finish itself. Or it may mean that it leaves the lathe for a while whilst I think about it. Who knows. Not me. But I do like it as it is, and wish I had the nerve to abrade and finish it as it is…but surely that would be missing an opportunity?

Sad loss for the world of woodturning…

It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing away of one of woodturning’s original and most genuine characters – Bert Marsh.

Bert passed away on May 22nd at 7p.m. after a last-ditch operation to correct a heart problem.

Bert was known throughout the woodturning world as a talented turner, inveterate story-teller, and mentor for many of today’s top turners. He was honoured by the AWGB in 2009 with Honorary Life Membership for his services to woodturning, and reduced those attending the banquet to tears of laughter with his stories of past revelries. He was a genuine and highly likeable gentleman and I know many will mourn his passing.

I chatted to him the day before his operation at a meeting in London, and he confessed his fears of the operation but in his usual style decided to “go for it” rather than suffer a diminished quality of living for an indeterminate period.

I didn’t get to know Bert as well as I’d have liked to, but in the short time I did know him I grew to like him enormously, and of course respected his impact on woodturning. 

Many will know Bert only through his book, Bert Marsh – Woodturner

He’ll be missed by many.

My condolences go his wife, Mary, and all his family and friends.

Bert receiving his Honorary Life Membership from AWGB Honorary President, Ray Key in 2009

Burr Jarrah collection…

Okay, so as promised here’s the result of turning one large lump of burr Jarrah.

(1) First bowl: 19″ by 4″ deep – this bowl was cored – texture ring on rim and central boss with verdigris wax

The cored blank was also cored, and as I didn’t want yet another cored set, I added a saved ring of ash, ebonised it, added a purple heart finial, and made a lidded bowl from the two resulting cores. The bowl is 8 3/4″ by 2 3/4″, and stands 8 3/4″ tall with the finial…

The other large section was cored twice to produce a nested set with matching rim detail of a bead which has been stained with red spirit stain to make a contrast. Bowl sizes are as follows:

A) 16 1/2″ by 5″

B) 9 3/4″ by 3 3/4″

C) 6 7/8″ by 2″

And another shot…

And two shots of all the pieces made from the whole burr…

Actually, that isn’t all…I took the ring off the back of the large 19″ bowl rather than waste it turning the outer bowl shape, so there’s a 19″ diameter, 1″ by 1″ ring which will go into a large clock as a jarrah detail at some later date.

I’m glad it’s all gone now. Hard on tools. Hard on abrasive. Hard on shoulder. Hard every way.

Feeling guilty…

Finding things to post about is not always easy when the run-of-the-mill even bores me. And then I feel guilty about all the people who check in often for updates…

So here’s an excuse for an update…until something worth posting on comes up…

I spent some time working a nasty and concrete-hard lump of reclaimed jarrah burr this last week. Horrible to work, but the results always make up for it. (I hope!)

It was a large lump, and resulted in two 19″ diameter bowls, one of which was cored three times (photos to follow) to produce a (non-selling) nested set, the other was also cored, and produced a large 19″ by 4″ bowl, and, being bored with bowls, I used the two cored blanks to make a large finial topped box (also photos to follow). But for now here’s the second 19″ bowl, textured and verdigris waxed detail to rim.

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I went to collect some HUGE lumps of chestnut this morning, and moving them, even with help from John, has not done me any good at all. But the wood is lovely (if plane) and should provide some nice blanks. Thanks Barry.

Otherwise all’s as normal at Riverside house and the day-to-day continues in its unrelenting fashion.

Went for a walk on Southwold beach tonight to clear the cobwebs…

Some ideas came from the limpets…

And the Blyth looked lovely in the late sun…Walberswick to the left and Southwold the right…

And the Southwold side…

And best of all…Ellie was obviously happy after a walk on the beach and a little rock hopping and playing…