I’m Still Turning

I have neglected this platform for a while. Mainly due to the horrible “new” editor interface, and Wordmess adopting the same development strategy as Facebook, where adding bells and whistles is more important than customer satisfaction.
I have a free subscription, and given how customers are treated would never part with a ha’penny for the platform.

I have been busy turning and have been thinking long and hard about how to develop my hobby further. We are hoping to move house later in the year, so after I have everything set up the way I want it, I think I will be re-thinking my development strategy.

Watch this space. (I might even post some turning related stuff.)

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Candlestick Phone Revisited

I was inspired by a blogger I follow to revisit a candlestick telephone project I did when I first started turning.
The original was a reasonable attempt for a new turner.
Not bad, in my opinion, considering I had been turning at this point for around 5 months.

The second attempt started well enough, using scraps of timber I had sitting around. Laburnum for the microphone and ear trumpet, and elm for the rest.
I feel the stem should have been thicker, but I just had to work with what stock I had.
The components laid out. Well, most of them anyway.
All assembled, waiting for a skoot of clear lacquer.
After the first coat of lacquer.
The finished article. You didn’t expect that then, did you? I just had this idea, and we needed a new lamp for under the stairs.
This is it completely done now, with the flex anchored in the base.

This is the first post in ages. WordPress has become so cumbersome to use, I’m not sure whether I will continue with the whole blog thing.

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Wordmess at it again

Now it seems the old style stats page has gone. I can no longer quickly see who has been visiting my blog. When I open the stats page the fan on the laptop cranks up, and my system resources are gobbled up by whichever Flash process the stats page uses. It is so badly written too, that the only way I can regain control of my laptop is to close the browser and kill the Flash player plug-in.

Total, utter crap

Posted in Woodturning

Out With The Old

As the old year draws to a close we all look back at what a dreadful year it’s been for celebrities. Who would want to be famous?

My turning has been much reduced at the close of the year due to other commitments. I have had 3 turning days since October. I did manage some output all the same.
A friend gave me a cutting from a walnut worktop. He was given it by a neighbour for his woodburning stove. This would be a travesty.
I took half of it and turned a platter.
This was pretty close to the limit of my lathe at 16½” and was quite rough to start off with because of the amount of vibration.
I managed to keep it to ¾” thick. I didn’t dare go any thinner though.
It has since been sprayed with clear lacquer and polished to a high sheen

I had rough turned a hawthorn bowl back in August. It was set aside in a paper bag, packed with wet shavings. I re-mounted it this week and finished it to 6½” diameter by ¼” thick.
This was before finish was applied.
I do like a nice smooth bottom. A couple of coats of cellulose sanding sealer has been applied at this stage, and it was polished using home cooked paste wax.
The rim has been scorched to accent the edge

One of the local dog walkers left a piece of wood outside my shed. I have no idea what it is. Best guess is leylandii, but I simply can’t be sure. The end result is pretty reasonable considering how ugly it started.
The holes are not worm or bug holes, they are teeth marks from a Rottweiler.
Step#1 roughly turn to round.
It’s fairly rough and very punky.
Step#2 start to shape.
Still really rough.
Step#3 roud it off and create a recess.
This was the finish straight off the tools.
Step#4 sand to 320 grit, apply cellulose sanding sealer, and polish with hand knitted abrasive paste wax.
Much better.

The act of turning takes something oddly organic and turns it into something pleasing to the eye.

Most of the time.

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More WordPress “Improvements”

Looks like WordPress have done it again. More changes, with no perceptible gain. There is clearly no point bringing it up with WordPress, as it is apparent from this topic that they take no notice of what customers think.
Yet another style over substance change. The editor took a full 45 seconds to load, just to post this. Anyone in a busy environment simply has enough to be doing to be waiting for sub-standard code to load. The visible stats indicator has disappeared from the menu bar. The indicator was a useful widget to allow folk to see in real-time how a blog is performing. Now, because the new stats page is so bad, I have to load the old style stats page just to see whether I have had any visitors.

Bad show WordPress. You’re really not getting this whole customer focus malarkey.

Posted in Woodturning

Finally! Some Lathe Action

After four weeks of not getting out to play, I managed some turning yesterday. I had to take some time out to help a young couple sort out the electrics in their first home. I have no idea how the place didn’t catch fire. Every time I looked at something the level of horror was ramped up a notch or two.

After putting all my tools back where they belong and tidying the shed, I got a piece of old scaffold board mounted up and turned my first Christmas ornament of the year.
Meet Sid.
OK the painting is a bit shady, I’m too impatient. It’s a great shame that it covers the turning. One of the woodturning masters says if you can get a good finish on pine off the tools you can turn pretty much anything.
Sid was sanded with 320 grit and 400 grit only.

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A Cracking Piece

I visited a tree surgeon in July and came home with several pieces of timber. One piece was a crotch from a hawthorn. As soon as I saw it I knew what it wanted to be. I rough turned it straight away and packed it in a brown paper bag with the wet shavings.
This is to allow the wood to dry and hopefully stop it cracking. In this case, it didn’t work. It cracked in several places. It’s fine though, the cracks add to the character. I re-mounted it yesterday, and did some finishing cuts.
There are some tool marks in it, but I didn’t want to get too agressive with the tools in case it disintegrated.
The inside turned much more easily than the outside.
I mounted it on a jam chuck with a piece of yoga mat for some cushioning to turn the tenon away and flatten the bottom.
The tool marks are quite pronounced, even after sanding. The colours though are amazing.
It’s finished with polyurethane lacquer for that dipped in glass look.

I also chucked up a piece of sycamore I bought back in March. It was originally a huge slice of the stuff, which was going to be a massive dish. Nature prevailed however, and it cracked really badly. I had to just use smaller chunks.
This has had a wipe with cellulose sanding sealer. Note the flat bottom. I’m really liking this look compared to having a recess or a tenon on show.
sycamore-oval-box-2I made a finial for the lid from laburnum. I think it needed a little something to contrast with the plain sycamore.
I like the end grain patterns, which turned very easily.

Apart from the sanding sealer, there is no finish on this. There are some scratches from wire wool which will need to be polished out before finishing.

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