MCW Aug 09 Demo
Aug 25, 2009Public
Photo: Program Chair Gary Guenther introduces J. Paul Fennell, while Bert Bleckwenn and David Jacobowitz look on.
Photo: Paul Fennell is very serious about the subtleties of his shapes and how they may be affected by the location and orientation in the tree from which the blank comes and by the drying process.
Photo: Paul is known for his elaborate piercing. This is a very simple example.
Photo: This is an example of the effect of some simple texturing.
Photo: When Paul makes hollow forms, they are very thin and extremely uniform. We'll find out how he does it in a minute.
Photo: Upon drying, the tangential shrinkage is significantly greater than the radial shrinkage for nearly all woods. This causes distortion and possibly cracking in turned vessels as they dry.
Photo: Here is a histogram of the T/R ratios for 258 species of wood, as drawn from data from the USDA Forest Products Laboratory. Woods with small ratios tend to be very stable, while those with large values distort and tend to crack. Look for a T/R list to be published in the October Newsletter in YMMV.
Photo: Side grain vessels distort greatly because one of the dimensions in their cross sections is longitudinal, and longitudinal shrinkage in wood is negligible. This one was quite oval. End-grain vessels remain much more symmetric.
Photo: When is a roughout dry? The simple way to find out is to weigh it each day until it achieves a constant weight. In this case, for Paul's small, relatively thin hollow form, equilibrium moisture content has been reached in about a week in the dry Arizona climate.
Photo: Tonight, Paul will be working with a piece of Bradford pear he got from a friend in North Carolina. No, that is not a typical Arizona wood, but it is wonderful for demonstrations. He begins between centers.
Photo: Paul first shapes the outside of his demonstration vessel with a bowl gouge or spindle gouge.
Photo: Bradford pear cuts like a dream and comes off in long, continuous ribbons.
Photo: Paul scrapes the sides with a heavy-duty, square-nose scraper, shortened by years of sharpening and use, to smooth out tool marks and subtly adjust the profile. Paul can make the outside as smooth as a baby's butt without sanding.
Photo: Paul makes many of his own tools. This is a shear scraper with a round shaft and a teardrop cutter.
Photo: This shear scraper can be easily tilted to the desired angle and is used without moving the tool rest. It gets into that otherwise difficult-to-reach location at the shoulder of the neck.
Photo: A closeup of the teardrop cutter. The sides are cut at 90 degrees.
Photo: While working between centers, Paul added a tenon and shoulder to the bottom end, and he now chucks the piece on that tenon. Note he is using the tail stock to maintain the axis before tightening the chuck.
Photo: Working without the tailstock momentarily, Paul uses a bowl gouge to form a small, cone-shaped tenon that fits inside his hollow tail center.
Photo: More scraping, with the tail stock up, to get the perfect shape and finish.  Paul uses the tail stock as often as possible. This permits him to maintain excellent alignment and keep the piece as true as possible.
Photo: Time to move the tail stock back and remove the tenon with a gouge.
Photo: Paul uses the gouge to make a little dimple to provide a start for the drill that will make a starter hole down the full length of the interior.
Photo: Here is an overview of the air-powered "gun drill" that Paul uses to remove material very quickly and cleanly.
Photo: The gun drill has two holes in the end for air to blow out.
Photo: It looks like this.