The best laid-plans, etc…

Last summer, I set up my lathe outside, to turn some balusters for a theater stage…I did manage to turn a few, but have many more to go. But the deadline got extended to next summer – so that project got shelved quickly. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/things-take-a-turn/

overall by DRF

From time to time, I had one or two small turning bits to deal with, but otherwise, I kept a tarp over the lathe. But I didn’t like to see its feet getting wet when it rained, and in general kept thinking I’d knock it back apart & store it until spring. One thing after another…and there it sat. I had a wainscot chair on my list of things to make this winter, so I thought I’d do the front stiles for that, then the lathe could come down.

chair stile

Then, I got a pile of short riven sections of black walnut. I decided they were tailor-made for a joint stool in walnut…which I needed like a hole in the head. But I’d like to have some oak-alternatives in the next joinery book, so think of this as a preview. what that meant is that I shuffled my schedule some, to plane, mortise and then turn the stiles for the stool. Here’s a sky-view of the turning work:

sky view overall

sky view

One more –

sky view two

stool parts

Now they’re done, and the lathe is tucked away for the winter. So in one post we go from shorts & a T-shirt, long sleeves & pants, to sweater/vest & hat. The common thread? Horizontal stripes it seems. Maybe by next spring, I’ll have miraculously solved my temporary shop situation and will set up once & for all…

I kept the bowl lathe set up, and even turned a couple of them the other day…hope to get to more soon.

 

jumping once again on the Bowl Lathe bandwagon

 I took a break from basket making last week to finally build myself a dedicated lathe for turning bowls. Mine is based on the ones we used when I was a student this spring in Robin Wood’s bowl-turning course at North House Folk School in Grand Marais, MN. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/bowl-class-tip-of-the-iceberg/

I think I first saw this style of lathe in the book Wood and Woodworking in Anglo-Scandinavian and Medieval York, by Carole A. Morris (York Archeaological Trust/Council for British Archeaology, 2000), then in the work done by Robin Wood and others…

First off, I jobbed out the long slot cut in the 3″ thick beech plank. I traded Michael Burrey some carving work for his labor – I coulda done it, if I wanted to…

bench slot

 

Then came boring the hole for the legs. Legs like these angle out in two directions; to the side, and to the end. I mark out two angled lines off a centerline to help me sight one angle for these legs. Then use an adjustable bevel aligned on this line to get the other. This is based on the ideas I learned from Curtis Buchanan and Drew Langsner in making windsor chairs. (Drew is teaching a session at Woodworking in America that covers in detail this notion – setting the geometry to get these angles right. http://www.woodworkinginamerica.com/ehome/woodworkinginamerica.com/WIA2014/?&& )

In a case like a bench, or this lathe – I’m not too concerned about these being “just exactly perfect.” 

auger

 

This spiral auger is probably a nineteenth century one; it’s about 1 1/4″ or so…some now call it a T-auger, but it’s really just an auger. The ones that fit in braces are auger bits.

twist

 

A detail showing the bevel to help line things up. 

auger detail

 

Here’s a bird’s eye view – showing how the auger aligns with the scribed line on the bench. So you sight that, centered on the line, then the bevel takes care of the 2nd angle. 

sight

 

Here’s the two poppets set into the slot. One taller than the other, these could have been longer still, but I worked with what I had. These are oak cutoffs from timber work. 

big poppet little poppet

 

Now wedge from below. I just eyeballed the angled mortise, then made wedges to fit. 

wedges

wedge detail

 

The shorter poppet gets a bent pike inserted in the top. Then I slid this over to the taller poppet, to mark where I’ll bore for the straight pike. 

bent pike detail

 

Jumped ahead a step or two – here’s the tool rest arrangement. The tool rest support is just wedged into a slot cut in the outside face of the taller poppet. The too rest is pivoted into the top of the smaller poppet. Simple. 

tool rest

 

a 14′ sapling, lashed at its bottom end to a small tree on the bank above me, then resting in the cruck of two 2x4s – Now, the transition from the relatively still craft of basketmaking, to the aerobic craft of bowl turning. I need some practice. 

practice

bowl

 

things take a turn

When I announced that I was leaving Plimoth a reader commented “You could always do a brief stint working for Michael Burrey as so many of my (NBSS) classmates did for a while after working at the Plantation. ;-)”   – well, where do you think Michael came from? All the wood-eating organisms that leave Plimoth go to Burrey’s at some point. I have already worked for him a number of times, starting probably 20 years ago. I used to joke to each one who went there, “that was MY spot…”

 

Mostly I’ll be working for me, but Michael & crew get some interesting projects. So when he calls, I’ll sign on if my schedule allows. My first post-PP gig is some turned work for the Shakespearean stage they are in the process of building. Rick wrote about it last year, http://blueoakblog.wordpress.com/category/shakespearean-stage/ and now they are underway on phase 2. This part includes some turned balusters, similar to these installed at the reconstructed Globe Theater in London. These were turned by Gudrun Leitz http://www.greenwoodwork.co.uk/website/exhibitions.html . She did 500, I only have to do 45. Thankfully.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This job is last-minute, so I just set up my lathe out on the back patio/terrace. A stupid place for it; but there’s no time to get involved in anything more coherent. When these are done, the lathe comes down & goes back to storage, til I figure out my next shop. the pole is fixed to a dilapidated deck, that is slated to be replaced. Where’s PW? Following his wife on some whirlwind book tour, no doubt.

better than nothing

They say the sky starts at your feet. Another way to look at it is that this setup has an incredibly high ceiling.

high ceiling

It’s been over 6 months since I turned any spindle stuff, so to start off I just roughed out some cylinders. tomorrow I’ll get down to the details. There’s 45 of these altogether. Time to dust off the cobwebs on my legs…

overall by DRF

roughing out

Here’s what I’ll be following, Michael provided a turned bit leftover from Gudrun, so the story goes. It’s weird, the squared blocks are smaller than the cylinder. It’s not just weird, it’s stupid I think. I have seen this done on huge turned legs for large tables. But here the difference is quite slight…until it’s time to make them.

the model

We’ll just put some bleachers out in the sun…

And have it on Highway 61.

Wooden Bowl Turning with Robin Wood

Yup – i’m going to Minnesota this June to meet Robin Wood & learn some bowl turning. Got my packet from North House yesterday.

If you’ve read my blog awhile, you know I’m a fan. If you’re just getting here, be sure to read Robin’s blog. His was the inspiration when I started mine back in 2008.

Great stuff. Well done & very thoughtful. http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/wood-craft-blog/

The school looks to be a gas, I’ve heard great things about it. http://www.northhouse.org/

Won’t that be something.

 

 

right from wrong

Snipe w its bill
Snipe w its bill

Got a new snipe photo today, so I will refer you to an earlier post about hinges…this snipe photo is better. Somewhere I have a great one- but no time to look for it now. We saw about 6 of these guys rooting through the grasses in Marshfield this morning. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/setting-gimmals-you-might-know-them-as-snipe-bills/

I’m all grown up now & I know right from wrong. And the spindle in the bottom of this photo is wrong. These are for a bedstead I have to make in ash. About 12″ long, there’s a row of them at both the head and foot of the bed. 

right & wrong
right & wrong

I blame Curtis Buchanan. I watched him turning his chair parts last week, and all those curves got in my head. https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/how-to-make-a-comb-back-windsor-chair-w-curtis-buchanan/

The bottom one is more curvy than the piece I am supposed to be copying. With such short lengths, I can turn plenty of extras and pick & choose which I want.

skew
defining some shapes w skew chisel
lg gouge
using large gouge to bring it down

Here’s an original:

MFA bedstead spindle B

I need five large & five small, so I’ll turn a bunch and get there in the end. 

Meanwhile I carved some parts for a wainscot chair I’m building. My great big carved one finally sold & I miss having it around. I had some great wide quartersawn white oak to do the panel, 14″ x 16″ or so. I have carved these designs so much now that I make my own patterns by combining bits of this & that. Thus this panel is not a copy of any particular piece, but is firmly rooted in that Ipswich, Massachusetts/Devon England style.  (so yes, David Cawthray, air-dried timber is fine & dandy. Quartersawn is best, but if you must use flatsawn, don’t let that stop you https://pfollansbee.wordpress.com/2011/01/22/about-flatsawn-stock-again/

carved chair panel

 

carving raking light