Friday, April 25, 2008

Dale Nish woodturning class - Provo 2008

During the Rocky Mountain Woodturners 2007 Symposium in Loveland I had the opportunity to bid on an win a gift certificate for a basic wood turning class at Craft Supplies USA in Provo Utah. Scheduling worked out that I was able to take the Dale Nish class offered in April 2008. My Dad joined me for the trip over from Colorado and with the exception of a Windy trip through Wyoming, and a nice Spring Blizzard driving into Salt lake, the trip wasn't bad. The accommodation's at the Hampton Inn, while there, were very nice and the weather improved daily.

Class Started on Thursday morning. Showed up around 8:00 to a very nice setup. Each station had a full stash of tools, chucks, visor, and calipers.

There was a variety of Lathes to choose from, and I opted to use one I had not yet had a chance to turn on. A Oneway Lathe. They also had a couple of Vic-marks and a Powermatic.

Prior to the Class starting, we met Paul Chilton who was going to be the assistant to Dale during the course. He introduced us to his wife who was joining us in the class. Here, he's getting all the tools sharpened prior to the class beginning.

The first project in the class was to work on a Bead and cove stick. We turned an aspen spindle round, and worked on making even, repetitive beads along the length. Then, turning down every other bead, we worked a cove in between to end up with something like this:

It didn't turn out to bad, and gave Paul and Dale a measuring stick on our abilities on the lathe. I tried to make sure I pushed myself out of my comfort zone during the class since I had both instructors there to assist me when I had troubles. Most of the bead and cove stick above was done with a Skew. A tool I was previously hesitant (never) in using. :-D

Someone managed to get a shot of me turning... I guess I had to prove I was there somehow.
Obviously I wasn't the only person in the class. There was 7 others in the class. They ranged in location from Arkansas to Oregon and skill from a very experinced Pen maker to this being their first time touching a lathe. It was great fun and I met some great new friends.

Below Earl gets some advice from Dale Nish on working the Bead and Cove project.
Eric and Paul discussing the project as well.

Our next project was to turn a twig pot. Another project using aspen. This project was done by transferring some basic measurements given to us in an handout to establish the basic dimensions and shape of the pot. We established the Height, and major width points (Top, Bottom, neck, widest base point). Then using a drill bit in the tail stock we drilled a hole to allow for a test tube to be fitted into the pot. It was a very neat little project.

We broke for lunch after working on these for a bit and most of the class went to lunch together. It gave us time to meet and chat about turning, which was fun. After lunch Dale demo'd a project I had been intimidated by for a while. Turning a wooden egg. The reason I was intimidated was that someone had pointed out how difficult an egg or wooden fruit shape can be. Bowls, vases, etc come in all shapes and sizes. While Egg's do too, everyone pretty much has an idea of what an Apple, Pear or Egg shape should be. So it makes for increased awareness of the angles and shape of the form. Using another handout of base measurement points I was somewhat successful in this attempt. I made sure I tried a few more times, practice makes us better right?

Day two expanded more on our experience. Our Morning project was to turn a bowl shape and work on the hollowing of the interior. The kicker of this project was that after turning your bowl you took it to the bandsaw and cut it in half. The idea is, that this allows you to see and judge your work of hollowing out a consistent thickness through the bowl. This bowl ended up fairly even, but was a little thin at the very bottom. I likely would have made a very nice Funnel during sanding :-D

Friday afternoon we got to work on a bowl that we'd end up finishing. Paul spent some time with me working on the basic form and shapes on the outside of my bowls. As with the eggs I was having difficulty with a curve that looked like it flowed all the way through the bowl. This one actually ended up pretty flowing similar to if it was taken out of the portion of a larger sphere. I really liked this imagery to work on my shapes. Additionally, Dale and Paul explained that often times the tool marks on the outside of the bowl are made when your hand closest tot he bowl is guiding the tool rather than your back hand.. something I had not previously heard.
I thought this was a great shot of Dick turning and getting some great shavings coming out of the bowl.

Thursday night we had the amazingly fortunate opportunity to visit Dale's house for an open house and see his wood turning collection form around the world. This was a fantastic experience and I'll make another post with the tons of pictures I took.

Friday I realized that I had not caught a shot of Dale demoing during our class. So... below is him demoing the Sat morning project of a Platter. Another project i had not yet tried. During this project Paul worked with me again on the Ogee design on the side of the platter and how the inside curve and outside curve of the Ogee form should compliment each other.

Eric Turning on his platter,

Here is Dick working on the Bottom portion of the platter. Probably the most important part as when you run your hand from side to side the bottom is the part your hand feels the most deviation in if there is one.

Here Earl has his platter all turned and sanded and is working on applying a coat of Lacquer finish on it.

Here is a shot of Ron working on his platter. One of the two local students that were in our class.
Here is Virginia, Pauls wife, working on a small turned box. I got to see a couple stages of it and it was a very neat project I'm going to have to try at some point.

Here is Bill working on his platter. He had a great hat on during the class that I really liked. It simply said "RELAX"

And finally Steve, who drove all the way from Arkansas to take the course, working on his platter. By his head you can also see a collection of the turnings turned as demo's during various classes at Craft supplies.
This was a great class and I believe everyone had a blast learning from Dale and Paul. I highly recommend taking a class at Craft supplies if you get the opportunity.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Bruce Perry Inspired piece

From the March turning meeting I was very inspired by Bruce's demo on winged bowls. I really liked the flow and curve of the pieces he demo'd plus the look of the small vessel sitting on the piece. So I gave it a whirl. Below is a piece that I turned one evening in a couple of hours. It started off as an approx 3" thick 8" wide, and 13" long piece of aspen my dad found in some rough cut timber.

I mounted it off center on the lathe. I started by turning the bottom flow of the piece along with a tennon for me to mount this into a chuck. I was then able to reverse the piece and hold the tennon with my oneway chuck. I then progressed inwards from the outer wing working to form the piece's wave similar to what I had outlined on the bottom. I did this portion in steps to ensure that I didn't make any portion to weak to support the tension of the turning on the outer edges. As I got to the center, I started to outline the vessel and give it shape. The hardest part was defining the bottom of the vessel. Due to where the wings of the piece are and the angle to get the bottom, this posed some major problems I'm still working on. Bruce had used some custom tools he ground just for this purpose. Basically they were right angle bent tools for scraping and a pointed tool to get into the bottom corner. I then removed the tailstock and hollowed out the vessel. This proved to be the easiest of the project. I then did a LOT of sanding. Both with the lathe on, and with it off. The vessel was mainly done with the piece spinning, everything else very carefully with the lathe off. I then turned a jam chuck, re-mounted the vessel inside the jam chuck and cleaned up the bottom. It was then I realized that the shape of under the vessel should have been rounded not done like a normal bowl or vessel bottom. I hope you enjoy...

April Loveland Woodturning Meeting

I'll start with some instant gallery and club shots from this months meeting. Below is a shot of a alabaster (I believe) lamp shade a gentleman brought in. He's holding it up the the light to show that translucence of the shade.
Below are some examples of Bruce Perry winged bowls brought in for this months challenge. Some were fortunate enough to end up with a completed piece, others were not. You can see even failures can make a good IG piece if it helps us learn.
A very very amazing segmented hollow form vessel. It's amazing how little wood is there. The lines between the layers are also thin segmented sections as well. Very very well done piece.
A Fellow classmate from the Trent Bosch class in '07 turned these pieces. Dale is showing extreme talent at turning. The Gum piece at the top is one of my favorite styles of turning. I love the burl cap looks
Another Square style turning in the instant gallery this month. You can also seem some nice little box shapes a club member is experimenting with

This month's demonstrator was Frank Amigo. You likely have seen one of Frank's pieces. He has 3 pieces in the 500 bowls book. He's also a part of the AAW and currently serving on the board. He does very amazing work with scallops and flutes on his pieces as can be seen below. He did some showing of how the methods he uses to lay out the design, start the scallop and slowly carve it into shape. Below are some pictures and examples of pieces he brought of past work to show.

This is one of his Shell boxes. The top (smaller portion) screws off to open to a box. Very great piece.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Bruce Perry Demo - March 2008

Winged Bowls

Presented by: Bruce Perry

Reported by: John I. Giem

On March 6, 2008, Bruce Perry presented his method of turning a ‘winged bowl’ to the Loveland Woodturning club. He got started on doing this kind of turning after getting ‘bored’ from turning many bowls. He is trying to make a turning that resembles a teapot setting on a leaf of a flower.

Bruce Perry, winged bowl-2.jpg

Bruce Perry, winged bowl-2.jpg

One of Bruce’s winged bowls.

For the demo, Bruce used a piece of rectangular spalted birch about six inches by ten inches. He mounted off-center toward one corner between centers on the lathe. At the headstock, he used a disk covered with sandpaper mounted in a chuck. A live cup center without a center pin was used in the tailstock. He believes that a screw center has too high of a risk toward coming loose.

For safety reasons, the audience was split to two sides leaving a clearance in line with the piece being turned. During the demo, Bruce only wore safety goggles because his normal full face shield would interfere with our being able to hear him.

- The turning speed is critical. The faster it turns, the easier to cut and get a smooth finish. If it is turning at the resonance speed then the lathe will vibrate heavily and move all over the place. The turning speed MUST be either below or above the resonance.

- The initial cut was an arcing cut from inside to outside.

- He often uses a bandsaw to remove part of the waste after the initial shaping.

- The tailstock will eventually get in the way preventing the rubbing of the bevel on the gouge. At this point he switched to a bowl gouge with a straight across grind. This allows the continuation of bevel rubbing resulting in better control and smoother cuts.

- A tenon was turned on the bottom of the piece (that side toward the tailstock). He wants just enough to mount in the chuck be strong enough to hold but not so much that it interferes with the design.

- Uses a skew as a negative rake scraper to help smooth the surfaces.

- When he reverse mounted the piece using the tenon and chuck, he also used the tailstock to help stabilize the work.

- Keep the tool rest close to the work to give good support to the turning tools but yet far enough away so that the tool is supported on the shaft not its’ bevel.

- Cut from the outside toward the center leaving the thicker sections toward the center. If one were to cut from the center outward, then the thinner inner sections would work like a hinge allowing the outer rim to flex and vibrate.

- For better control, keep the tool rest parallel to the path of the cut.

- He turns the outer edge to about ¼ inch thick.

- When the cutting of the wing approaches the base of the pot or bowl, the clearances get tight and
there is the risk of catching the wing of the gouge and causing a ‘dig in’. To avoid this, he
switches to a spindle gouge and specially shaped scrapers.

- When possible, use heavier (thicker) tools to minimize unwanted vibrations.

- The scraper he uses to carve out the base near the bowl is a specially ground hooked negative rake scraper. Since this scraper gets relatively little usage, he ground it from an inexpensive carbon steel skew.

- He finds that the wings of the piece look better if they are just a little thicker at the outer end and a little thinner on the curve going back to the pot.

- He drilled a depth hole in the center of the pot (vessel) using a spindle gouge.

- Small hollowing tools with a negative rake were used to hollow the small vessel.

- He remounted the piece with the vessel mounted on a jam chuck. The chuck was custom turned to fit on the outside ‘downhill’ side of the bowl. There was a ¼” hole drilled through the chuck so that if the piece got stuck on the chuck, it could be removed using compressed air through the hole. The tailstock was used to hold the piece firmly on the jam chuck.

- The wings are sanded without the lathe rotating by using a two inch random orbit sander. The tool rest is removed while sanding to provide more room and access.

- He will use about three applications of sanding sealer before starting to sand.

- The sanding sealer will help stabilize the softer portions of the spalted birch. These softer sections are difficult to get smooth with the turning tools due to their softness. The sealer will improve their durability.

- Bruce took the piece home with him where he will finish the finial turning, sanding and finishing. He will bring it to the Symposium in September and enter it for auction to support the education grants.