MCW Apr. '15 Program
Apr 12, 2015Public
Photo: Alas, poor...  No, wrong play.  Here we have our demonstrator for the evening, local Renaissance Man Joe Dickey, talking about the ash blank he's going to sacrifice to the gods of super-thin turning.
Photo: Chucks aside...  Joe is a faceplate kind of guy.  They're a lot faster and easier to attach now with rechargeable power drive!
Photo: Always check for undesirable "mushrooming" -- pulling up wood around the screw under the metal surface.
Photo: Let's get rid of the bark in the middle so I can put the faceplate there, where I really want it for this project.
Photo: OK, I have moved the faceplate to the bark side now, and I'm remounting on the trusty Powermatic.
Photo: The flute is getting a little short on my trusty bowl gouge, but there's still plenty enough to work with.  I get the shape the way I like it -- not too much sweep back -- by hand grinding.
Photo: Let's true up the outside of this blank.
Photo: I'm going to make the bowl about this deep, so...
Photo: ...I'm going to drill a depth hole so I know when I get there.  I have my bowl gouge ground so it can also be used for drilling.  Note that it is not on the tool rest.  And, yes, I can answer questions and drill at the same time.  This is a cross-grain blank, so this hole is not a hollowing aid, I'm just doing it to mark my maximum depth.
Photo: Traditional hollowing of cross-grain material is done from the outside toward the center in order to cut into supported fibers.  The gouge is now on the tool rest!  I'm using a gentle overhand grip with my left hand...
Photo: ...but it doesn't really need to be there at all.  It's just for extra safety.  A proper cut with a bowl gouge works fine with just one hand.
Photo: Back to work, safely making nice curls from this green wood.
Photo: There's nothing better than making long curls in green wood with a sharp edge.  This is what it's all about.
Photo: If I angle it right, I can shoot the curls into the front row of the audience.  They pretend not to like it, but they love it.
Photo: OK, let's get serious about getting around the corner and shaping the inside bottom.  It's traditional to shape the outside first, and then the inside, but I'm doing it the other way around -- inside first, because I'll be putting a light inside to turn the outside very precisely to the shape of the inside.  OK, I hit the end of my depth hole.  I'm there.
Photo: MCW brought out 35 Members to see the demo; and they're even taking notes, if they're not ducking my stream of well-placed curls.
Photo: Let's start working the outside down and see how high in the air I can get the curls.
Photo: Gotta love that top camera.  Nice view.
Photo: Do this at home.  Right hand on the handle, held in firmly to the hip for control, and the left gently on top at the tool rest.  No white knuckles.  Of course, as I already showed, the left hand isn't really needed...
Photo: ...nor, for that matter, is the right!  Who needs hands when you've got a good cut going from the hip?  No knuckles at all!  Do not do this at home!
Photo: You think this is thin?  I haven't even turned out the lights yet!  Just getting the basic shape of the outside close to that of the inside.
Photo: Let's see where we are.  I like these Lee Valley calipers.
Photo: Now for my custom light box.  Hey, it's a battery and a switch and some wire, that goes to...
Photo: ...a piece of tubing that runs through the hole in the tailstock holding the wires and a flashlight bulb.  Not impressed?  Look again...