MCW Aug '12 Demo
Aug 17, 2012Public
Photo: Mark Gardner is here this evening to demonstrate his signature hollow vessel that is made like a box, glued together, rather than hollowed through a tiny opening in the top. But, notably, it is made from green wood.
Photo: He shows how the vessel, as evidenced by a practice form made earlier, is laying in this freshly-cut end-grain maple blank held between centers.
Photo: Mark took a lot of time to explain what he was doing and answer questions.
Photo: The piece will be parted in half at an appropriate location that depends on the size, how the form will be decorated, and where the join line can best be disguised. Each half will be hollowed separately, with simple bowl or box-making cuts, and then glued back together.
Photo: He cut a tenon on both sides so that when he parts it in two pieces, he can put both ends in the chuck.
Photo: Measuring the size of a tenon to make sure it is appropriate for the chuck jaws.  He makes sure the tenons are cut correctly.
Photo: Mark makes every form by eye so they are subtly different and unique -- he does not use a "story stick". Here, he describes the features of the shape and how they will be marked on the raw cylinder.
Photo: When he gets near the end he will leave the nub on so that he can remount it to sand and help lay out the pattern to carve.
Photo: A sharp tool, great technique, and green maple. Look at those ribbons coming off as Mark begins removing unneeded wood to define the major elements. He makes a point of keeping enough mass at the ends to support vibration-free hollowing.
Photo: Some pencil marks are always helpful. He draws a schematic of the form from his visual perspective, including the wall thickness, and marks the locations of the extent of the hollowing to come. The parting line for this demonstration will be in the middle, but he often hides it under the collar.
Photo: Mark did a good job of explaining what he was going to do and why he does it.   Here he explains about the mortise and tenon fit.
Photo: Mark makes and sells a thin (1/16") parting tool whose blade is slightly relieved so as not to bind. It can thus be used in a single cut.
Photo: Here he uses the parting tool to make two easy-to-hollow pieces.
Photo: He finishes the parting with the lathe off and a few strokes from a spineless Japanese saw.
Photo: The top section is in the chuck, and Mark always turns the mortise first. Here he uses a purpose-built scraper with a unique shape for this task and...
Photo: .... here is a close up.  He also sells this tool.
Photo: Hollowing the interior of the top section with a traditional straight hollowing tool fitted with a standard, fingernail-shaped bit.
Photo: Measuring the wall thickness to ensure uniformity is always a good idea and is important for this application, even though the features will be hidden, because variations in thickness could lead to cracking upon drying. Note the drawing of the top section on the wood.
Photo: Mark has completed the hollowing of the top, removed it from the chuck, and chucked up the bottom section. He measured the top and now is marking it on the base with the dividers (being sure to only touch the left side!).
Photo: He measures the depth of the mortise to make sure the tenon is not too long.
Photo: He has turned a tenon in the bottom.  Here he makes sure the tenon is square with his often used six inch metal ruler.
Photo: Touching up the tenon with his special scraper to ensure a perfect fit. Turning green wood and making ribbons is so much more fun than turning dry wood and making chips and powder.
Photo: Test fitting the top onto the bottom. The fit should be firm but not too tight, because it has to go together with a bead of medium CA glue that will be drying quickly as it interacts with the wet wood.
Photo: The top has been glued onto the chucked bottom, and Mark is busily making more ribbons with sweet cuts defining the shape and elements of the top section.  His finish off the tool is remarkable.