About Alan Stratton

Alan Stratton has been a member since August 11th 2017, and has created 295 posts from scratch.

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This Author's Website is http://www.AsWoodTurns.com

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Woodturning A Double Vase – A Growth Experience

Dual VaseThis video may also be viewed via YouTube, Vimeo, or FaceBook. Best right here!

I have seen double vases. Now it is time to turn one myself.

In preparation, I made an internal template and an external template for a circle. For the internal template, I cut a circle for my desired size from scrap vinyl flooring. Then I glued a cross piece to make a semicircle with a crossbar. The external template is made from a square of the same material. I turned a circle for the exterior size in the center. Then I sawed across the diagonal staying outside the line. Then sanded to the line. Next time, I make this I plan to revise this template to have a quarter circle and a separate 2/3 circle. This should address the problem of the center core of the project being in the way of the template.

My process:

  1. Rough out and cut a mortise for an expansion hold on one side.
  2. Reverse the poplar onto the chuck and turn a semi-circular hollow near the perimeter. I used the internal template to guide the shape and size. Aim for a perfect semi-circle and uniform wall thickness. Cut a mortise on this side.
  3. Reverse mount and cut the exterior. Use the exterior template to guide the shape.
  4. Saw the wood in half following the grain direction.
  5. With white glue, glue the two halves together. Sand to clean up the glue joints.
  6. Turn caps for the two vase necks and a small base.
  7. Sand a flat on the bottom of the vase.
  8. Glue the caps on the neck and the base to the bottom flat.

My wall thickness was not uniform. This caused the caps not to be centered to the exterior of the neck. This is where I can improve on for the next time.

Woodturning A Tai Chi Exercise Ball

Oak Tai Chi BallThis video may also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. May as well stay right here.

I do not currently do custom woodturning projects for others. So when a viewer approached me for an advanced Tai Chi ball, I said no. But nothing stops me from showing how it is done. He would have need it about 8″ in diameter.

So I found an oak board about 9″ wide, surfaced it, chopped it up, and glued it all together again into a big block. It’s cold right now in my shop so I brought it inside to cure for a week.

Then on to turning it. No problem here other than it is the largest ball I’ve turned to date. Still the cupped faceplate process worked just fine.

I supplemented the process by marking out and cutting an octagon first. A sphere can be inscribed into an octagon. Once the octagon was ready, I divided each side for a sixteen side block. Then it was a simple matter to round off the remaining points.

Then mount the cup centers and rotate the sphere so that the old equator line runs between centers. Whittle down the ghost image at the top but leave the equator line as much as possible. Then mark a new equator line.

Again rotate the sphere so that the new equator line runs between centers. Again whittle down the ghost image at the top leaving the equator line.

At this point, I evaluate the sphere. Is it round? If not, do another rotation pass and try again.

Once it passes, I start sanding using the same sequence for each grit. For this size of sphere, I power sanded it starting with 80 grit and going to 320 grit.

My Tai Chi ball is finished with bath in walnut oil.

I don’t practice Tai Chi, but I have an advanced ball if I ever start.

Wood? Turning A Valentine’s Vase From A Tagua Nut

Miniature VaseThis video may also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and Facebook. All the same – best right here.

When I see a good demonstration, I have to try it myself. That is the case here for a tagua nut. The demonstrator was Clive Christiansen. He has turned hundreds of tagua nuts.

Tagua nuts used to be used for buttons as a substitute for ivory. With the advent of plastics, they have been replaced.

My little vase is a little over one inch tall and a little under one inch in diameter. No finish – only a good buffing.


Woodturning A Tall Ash Goblet

Ash GobletThis video may also be viewed on YouTube, Vimeo, and FaceBook. Best right here where you are.

It’s been a while since I have turned a goblet. A piece of ash from our club wood raffle seems perfect. But there are issues to be dealt with.

The major issue is the length of wood hanging out from the chuck. I had to be careful not to have a catch that would rip the wood out of the chuck. In fact, I did have one such catch but the project survived.

I first hollowed the cup portion while I still had a lot of wood to stabilize things. Then the exterior of the cup. With the cup done, I gradually worked down the stem sanding and finishing as I went. The final scary part is parting off the base after all that work.

My goblet is 2″ diameter and 8″ long finished with shellac.

A Stylized Bowl From Club Raffle Wood

Ash BowlThis video may also be viewed via YouTube, Vimeo, and FaceBook. But you’re here already with the best seat in the house!

Part of our club wood raffle is encourage turning something from the wood. So, my natural inclination was to turn a small bowl from this wood that I think is ash.

However, with the small size, I wanted to dress it up a little. So, I reduced the diameter of the center hollow portion and reversed the curve on the lip. The tradeoff is a smaller bowl but I think this shows off the grain more. It is also more difficult to turn.

The finished bowl is 5 inches diameter and 3 inches high, finished with walnut oil. I like it.