MCW Mar. '15 Program
Mar 20, 2015Public
Photo: Mike Sorge is our demonstrator for the evening.  He's going to show us how to make geometric bowls.  That's a nice ambrosia maple square bowl.
Photo: Mike brought a ton of tools and is very organized.  I think this guy has some experience.
Photo: Wrappers and extras.  Traveling with tools is not easy!
Photo: Mike uses T.Y. Food Safe Finish which is made with organic flaxseed and shea oils and is VOC free.  That's our new First Aid Kit in the foreground.  The oil is now available for purchase at the Woodworkers Club.
Photo: Mike sells a line of geometric templates that can be used to shape bowls like his (available at the Woodworkers Club).  Here he shows how one can be used to get several diamond blanks out of a board.  Moving down the board like this, the only waste will be two small triangles at the ends.  We thank Mike very much for donating two sets of templates and oil to MCW for a raffle.
Photo: Mike begins by discussing design features -- how and where and why he adds his waves on this diamond-shaped blank.  No sacrificial blocks are going to be glued on to make it round -- that would be dangerous because they could fly off in a most disastrous way.
Photo: The waves in the wings differ depending on the geometric shape of the board.  It all depends on the aspect ratios.
Photo: He passes around a few samples.
Photo: This is a diamond box with his signature "pagoda" lid.  This is his project for the evening.
Photo: William Flint examining the bottom of one of Mike's triangle designs in zebrawood (zebrano).
Photo: Circles are marked to delineate critical diameters on the front face (which will be the bottom).  Note that the blank has been mounted on the chuck jaws in a recess in expansion mode but is also being supported by a live tail center.
Photo: When turning so much air, it's critical to have good light and to get the beams aimed in the right places.  Mike prefers the Aurora LED lamps because they are bright and cool and have long, flexible necks from their magnetic bases.
Photo: He uses 1/2" (American measure) bowl gouges with a strongly swept-back grind and a relieved bevel.
Photo: Mike points out that the life of bowl gouges can be extended by filing a flat behind the flute.  This provides a firm and true purchase for mounting the Oneway VeriGrind sharpening jig.  Mike uses two-ended handles for demonstrations so he has plenty of sharp steels ready without going to the grinder.
Photo: Now you see it; now you don't!  He likes to turn very fast.  That is quite a propeller he has there, and he likes to get peoples' attention with a quick rev up to 3k!  From the sound, we thought the lathe might actually take off.  This is part of how Mike gets such clean cuts.  Safety is extremely important when turning a lot of air like this.  Mike says every body movement must be carefully considered before making it.
Photo: Mike wears a fingerless cycling glove on his left hand to protect it from hot shavings coming off the workpiece.
Photo: You have to know exactly where the wood stops and where your arm is!
Photo: There's a lot more there than the solid core meets the eye!  The wings are nearly invisible.
Photo: He begins with a series of peeling cut to remove some unwanted wood.  A peeling cut transitions naturally into a shear cut at the end.
Photo: For turning pieces like this, stopping the lathe when adjusting the tool rest is no joke.  Mike has already defined the tenon that he will use for reversing later.
Photo: It's vital that the "back" side (ultimately the top) be perfectly true.  Here Mike adjusts one light to work there.
Photo: A careful shear scrape, gently applied, takes care of any irregularity and adds a little subtle shaping of the wing top.
Photo: Cutting air?  This is what Mike sees when working on the back side.  Extreme care is required.
Photo: The back is now true, and the light is moved back to the front.