Get ready for this year’s Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge – Coming November 2016
After seeing a demo at a woodturning club of a large off center bowl, I had to try one myself. At another club meeting, I picked up a bowl blank that I thought was elm. The blank had bark on one side – not the normal position for a natural edge bowl. But why not combine a side natural edge and an off center bowl.
Well, here it is. The rim measures about seven inches in diameter; the bowl is about two inches tall.
To summarize the process:
- Mark the center of the blank and an offset center. For the bark edge, I shifted the offset center about 3/4″ towards the bark edge.
- Mount to a faceplate and rough turn.
- Cut an expansion mortise on the bottom.
- Reverse the bowl onto a scroll chuck.
- Shape and form the outer portion of the rim including any rim decorations. It would be a good idea to sand also.
- Reverse the bowl onto a faceplate at the other center position.
- Shape the lower exterior of the bowl blending into the previously cut rim.
- Cut a new expansion mortise.
- Reverse the bowl into the new mortise.
- Hollow the interior, sand the upper exterior of the bowl.
- For my bowl, I cut a small groove on the inside of the bowl for another expansion hold. This will be used to finish the foot. Cole jaws are not an effective option because due to the offset rim.
- Reverse the bowl onto an expansion hold into the groove.
- Shape the foot.
- Sign and finish. I used walnut oil and later buffed.
This was a small block of wood for an offset bowl due to the need for enough wood for an expansion mortise. For this reason, the lines of the bowl do not flow as well as I had originally intended. A larger blank would be preferable.
Another learning is at the beginning to smooth an area on one face big enough for the faceplate in both positions. I used the rough face of the blank. Consequently, the turning plate of the bowl shifted slightly from one mount to the next causing the rim to be slightly thinner on one side.
I dug up a rose bush from my garden and saved the root. It was not very big but I thought that I’d try to turn something: either a small hollow form or a small vase depending on how the wood turned.
Well, turning was easy; keeping the wood mounted to the lathe was a frequent and big problem. I could not get an adquate grip with either hot melt glue or medium CA glue. I finally had to cut a mortise and tenon and use yellow glue.
After all that, the vase started to come apart due to the voids and cracks in the root ball.
In the end, the little 2″ vase has unique figure. I’ll be on the lookout for larger rose roots for future projects.
Watch this space – Christmas Ornament Woodturning Challenge is coming in November.
This little vase took some preparation. I did not have smaller tools to keep the top hole to a minimum. So, in the last video, I made a set from Allen wrenches.
This little vase is about three inches tall and two inches diameter. It is finished with shellac friction polish.
What is the fascination with hollowing so much thru a tiny little hole? You have to try to find out.
I’m planning to create a small hollow form for my local club’s current challenge. However, my current tools are large and would require a larger hole than I want to leave.
So, I’m grinding two old Allen wrenches to provide one straight scraper and one bent scraper.
Then I’m making a handle for each: one from fig; one from elm.
Next week, I’ll create the hollow form.
In the last video I turned a set of stacking boxes. My boxes need an interesting lid for the top most box – one that will provide interest and enhance the boxes.
The Infinite Axis Chuck provides a solution. The lid is red oak finished with walnut oil then buffed. The oak was shaped initially with standard techniques with one important feature. I cut a mortise on the underside to serve as an expansion hold while the top side was tooled. This mortise later served as the gluing surface to mount the wood to the Inifinite Axis Chuck.
The tail stock provides a clear indicator of where the turning center will be. The ball and tenon is moved to select the center of a new turning. Only light cuts with a spindle gouge are required, followed by sanding.
I’ve added a new page to my web site to define woodturning terms. The goal is to provide clarity about woodturning styles. Here’s the link. Your feedback will be appreciated.
I repositioned the chuck five times. The design is unique and can never be exactly duplicated.
I glued up this red oak into a stave lamination some time ago when I turned a travel mug. At the time, I thought I’d be making another but then changed my mind. Since then this lamination has been in my shop, was part of moving to Utah, and is in the way. It is much like food left over from a sumptuous meal that is still in the refrigerator.
But it’s time to clean it out and enjoy it. Instead of another travel mug, I turned it into a set of stacking boxes finished with walnut oil. The set stands about nine inches tall and about 4 inches in diameter. Each box above the first is a lid to the box below it. Then I decorated another piece of wood to serve as the top lid. Each box is a slightly different diameter and a different height to accommodate different items, my wife may want to put in it.
To make this set of boxes, I had to fix a failed joint in the stair tread material. That joint was a factory joint. It’s a good thing it did not make it into a stairway. Then cut the lamination into sections and keep track of each to preserve grain orientation. I turned oak plugs to serve as the bottom for each box and the lid for the box below it.
It was a lot of tenon work with all the trial and error of fitting a tenon to a mortise – many times over.
I had a breakthrough when I needed to remove a flange of wood between the tenon serving as a bottom and the tenon opposite it (on the other side of the same piece of wood). Since it was also the wood riding on the face of my chuck jaws, I did not see, at first, how to remove the wood without damaging my tools or a very complicated process. The breakthrough was to cut a very small groove in the tenon serving as the base to the box. The sides of this tenon would be hidden once the bottom is glued into the sides. This groove then was sufficient for the dovetail jaws to grab. The gap that resulted was enough to remove the excess wood.
The lid is decorated using the Infinite Axis Chuck. That is the topic of next week’s video.
I was given this wood at a club meeting in Oregon. I don’t recall whether it was at Cascade Woodturners or Willamette Valley Woodturners. It is ugly but has some burl potential. I don’t know what species of wood it is.
At 11 inches in diameter, 4 inches tall and finished with walnut oil, it has turned out very nice despite worm holes, drying checks, spalting, rot, and a general bad smell.
It’s surprising how ugly a blank can be and still have such beauty inside awaiting an opportunity to emerge.
This one will be hard to beat.
I’m still exploring different ways to use the Infinite Axis Chuck. In this video, I turn twig vase or bud vase from apple limb wood finished with a mix of beeswax and mineral oil.
In eccentric turnings, having tail stock pressure provides both security to the wood and can be used to define axis offsets. However, if the turning is small or at least the top of the turning is small, tail stock adjustment is limited or cannot be used at all. To counter these issues, I turned a large plug with a tenon or dowel on one side. In use, the dowel or tenon is inserted into the neck of the vase giving it a temporary and removable top. With a large top, tail stock adjustments can be used and pressure maintained.
I believe it necessary to work from the top or tail stock end down the spindle. Otherwise, the greater mass of wood is on the other side of very thin wood from the drive center leading to one cause of spindle failure. Another cause is tail stock pressure greater than the spindle can withstand. Excess pressure is a tougher problem to solve since some pressure is desireable.
Please check my previous videos on how to make the egg chuck and then how to adapt it to become an Infinite Axis Chuck.
- Woodturning Jewelry With Infinite Axis Chuck
- Woodturn Simple Egg Chuck From PVC Fitting
- Woodturn My Eggs Easy Over Please
Many viewers noticed that I was sitting on a tall stool while turning last week’s project. Some needed help due to disabilities.
In this video, let’s discuss this issue and explore alternatives.
Please add your experiences and suggestions.
Since adapting the egg chuck into an Infinite Axis Chuck, I wanted to explore other ways that it can be used.
I used hot melt glue to fasten his piece of elm to the chuck’s tenon. Then working from the top down, I turned a series of coves and adjusted the axis a little bit with each cove. Each adjustment moved the axis between 90 and 120 degrees and increased offset from the original axis.
The finish is friction polish buffed.
This turning has no resemblance and no useful purpose. That means it must be pure art.