MCW Oct. '13 Program
Oct 23, 2013Public
Photo: Our Demonstrator for the evening is Mark Gardner, a well-known and highly respected wood artist, who is visiting from North Carolina to teach turning classes at the Woodworkers Club.  Here he shows the beginning (on the lathe) and the end (in his hands) of a process for making a 3-axis square bowl.
Photo: Mark begins with two dry boards glued together, with a brown paper interface, per the drawing behind him on the board.  The result is sawed into an end-grain cylinder on the band saw and mounted on the lathe between centers, with the centers on the glue line (as seen in the previous photo).  Mark then trues it up so the diameter is equal to the length (to give it a square cross section)...
Photo: ...with a spindle-roughing gouge (because right now the wood is mounted in spindle orientation).  It is important to have a very straight and level cut because this defines two of the sides of the two square bowl blanks that will emerge.
Photo: The centerline is marked, and the blank is rotated 90 degrees and remounted with the points on center and on the glue line.  The cut will now be made with a bowl gouge.  A spindle-roughing gouge can NOT be used safely because the blank is now mounted in a cross-grain orientation.
Photo: After a bit of turning with a bowl gouge, Mark shows how the sides will meet at a point on the centerline...
Photo: ...like this.  Each of the two "bottoms" where this happens will be slightly different, so...
Photo: ...Mark uses a contour gauge to help him determine when to stop turning and split the difference.
Photo: Two of the three axes have now been turned, and the blank will be split into two along the glue line with a good whack from a sharp chisel...
Photo: ...like this.  Two square bowl blanks for the price of one.  Not bad.
Photo: To hollow the bowl on the third axis, Mark will use a large wooden faceplate as an accessory.
Photo: We'll need a frame to hold the partly-turned bowl blank straight and firmly for the hollowing operation.  Mark marks a pair of 2 x 4s to make a custom saddle.  Note the excellent utility of our new video monitor.
Photo: After a little math and some drawing, ...
Photo: ...we take them to the band saw.
Photo: This one gets cut into two pieces.
Photo: Here's the single-piece ready to go.  Mark is very confident -- he's done this before!
Photo: The hot-melt glue is hard to get off the wood.  Don't ask him how he knows!  So a little wrapping with masking tape is in order.  (Don't use the blue tape -- it's not sticky enough.)
Photo: This looks about right.  Wrap it in a cross pattern where it will contact the wooden frame pieces.
Photo: Now this is important.  We want to get it glued into the frame pretty level.  Mark measures the height of the corners to ensure it.
Photo: Being very careful not to disturb the angle, Mark removes one of the short pieces of the frame and applies hot-melt glue.
Photo: Is this fun?  Yeah, I think so.  Playing with wood and glue.  Does it get any better?
Photo: The frame piece is carefully reseated, glued to the frame and the bowl.
Photo: After repeating the process on the other side, Mark is now ready to put the two arms together.  After applying some more glue...
Photo: ...he can drop it into place...
Photo: ...like this, ...