Buzz Off!

I hate wasps, and I know I’m not alone.They are attracted to the wood at this time of year, because they use it to build their nests. I’ve been inundated with the little blighters though. So much so I had to abandon ship yesterday. I used an entire can of Raid in 2 days. I estimate I killed about 60 of the little devils yesterday.

I did manage to do some turning too though. One of the dog walkers we walk with left a branch outside the shed. I’m not 100% sure, but I suspect it is leylandii.
I cut it into more manageable pieces and did a wee test turn with it.
The grain is pretty nice. This is straight off the lathe with no finish on it.

I also did a wee tooth fairy bell from a cutting of laburnum. It’s not finished either and hasn’t had the bell part fitted.
I normally do these with a tight fit between bottom & top. On this one I think it looks like it has a little nose and its eyes shut, so I left a gap to look like a mouth.
Inside the bell. Laburnum has really good grain patterns and colouring.
And the bottom smoothed off after removing the mounting tenon.
I will finish it with polyurethane to seal it, as laburnum is very toxic.

I finally fitted a speed indicator to my lathe, about 4 or so years after buying the components to fit the Myford lathe. This is something I feel is lacking with the Axminster hobby lathes. I found an instructable where a bicycle computer is used as a speed indicator.
The RPM of the lathe is worked out as 100x the speed shown in MPH.
For example 4.9MPH works out as 490 RPM.
I really should take some photos to show how it’s done in case anyone wants to copy it on a similar lathe.

Best of all, I replaced my wireless router in the shed after the last one died. I think it’s the dust and heat that did for the last one. Hopefully this one will last a bit longer.
By all accounts none of this should work. I have the shed connected to the internet via a powerline adapter which is connected via my extension cable which is in the region of 60m long. Plugging these powerline adapters into anything other than a wall socket is not recommended, apparently.
I don’t care. It works.

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It’s a kind of magic

I finally managed back out to the shed after around a 3 week absence, due to my guts and other commitments. It’s very off-putting trying to turn when you can’t bend over without stomach acid rushing into your mouth and ears. Nasty.
I survived round one of exploratory treatment, and the first set of biopsy results came back clear. New meds are helping, and I’m actually eating like a human being again for the first time in over a year.

I finished the holly wand I started turning several weeks ago. A little decoration and some spray on polyurethane.
I’m not sure I would go to the trouble of decorating again however. It is very tedious, and I’m not all that patient.

I chucked up a piece of the oak I got from my visit to the tree surgeon. This started out around 5½” in diameter and around 3½” deep.
There were a lot of cracks in it, which were stabilised using thin superglue. Unfortunately the stabilisation doesn’t work too well when you try to turn the inside larger than the outside and it parts company. Shame, I was liking the shape.
It ended up being much more shallow than intended, but at least I managed to save it. There is some nice character on the timber, and the cracks are well enough sealed so it should stay together now.
Cellulose sanding sealer brings out a bit of a shine. This stuff is made by Chestnuts, and I’m in 2 minds about it. I still think I prefer Bolgers brand to work with, but this does need fewer applications.
I do like a nice piece of oak, even if it is hard as iron and splintery as hell to work.
Remounting on a jam chuck allows me to flatten the bottom. No recess or tenon.

Finally from the weekend is a small yew dish which was gone before it even made it indoors.
This one through some miracle managed not to blow apart, despite the crack in the bottom being right through. If you hold it up to the light you can see right through it.
This one is roughly 3¾” in diameter by just under 1″ deep. I love working with yew, even if it is horribly toxic. This particular piece was cut at work around 5 years ago and has been drying in the shed since then.
Jam chucked again to remove the tenon. Finish again is cellulose sanding sealer.

Hopefully this should be me back to relative normality and able to get out more regularly until winter sets in at least.

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Health Matters

Yes indeed it does. For those who know me, y’all know I’ve got dodgy guts. I’ve not been out and about as much in the shed, because I’ve not been eating, and don’t feel too steady on my feet. I wouldn’t use power tools or machines with a drink in me, so no danger of going near them feeling like this.
Over the past 2 weekends, I’ve managed a jewelery stand and started a magic wand.

Yew Jewellery Stand #1
The timber is some of the yew I picked up a few weeks ago. The diameter is about 5″ and the height is about the same.
Yew Jewellery Stand #5
There are plenty cracks and blemishes in the wood. I like this. It’s all part of the organic nature of wood.
Yew Jewellery Stand #8
I have a jig for making the holes round the rim as equidistant as possible. It saves a lot of messing around marking then sanding the marks back off.
Yew Jewellery Stand #7
Finish is polyurethane lacquer, cut back between coats with wire wool.

The wand is magical holly.
Holly Wand #1
The shape is of course magical, and the wand has a concealed phoenix feather.
Holly Wand #2
The wand still needs some work, with decoration and embellishments. The magical source of the phoenix feather must remain secret – naturally.

Hopefully I will have my biopsy results soon, and proper treatment will begin. After that I will get back to regular turning.

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Organisation and Three Quarters.

or One man’s trash is another man’s treasure….

I nipped out yesterday to pick up some furniture board, Mdoof, and timber being given away via freecycle. This has started another frenzy of re-organisation in the shed.
When I dismantled my heavy bench before the old shed came down, I trashed the cabinet housing the drawers because the damp had blown the particle board.
With this new shed being dry, there should be no such issues.
Pile ae wid
Part of the pile with some of the MDF already used building the carcas for the drawer cabinet.
Drawer Chest
Drawer chest in-situ with one drawer completed.

Onward and upward now. The right hand corner will give me some much needed wood storage. I will hopefully get some other bits and pieces finished today.


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Organisation and a Half

I’ve been working at trying to tidy my work spaces, which has not been easy. All of the cabinets are rammed with various bits & bobs, so getting stuff squared away has been difficult.

The first back wall panorama didn’t go so well, so I had another try. This one is better, but still a bit blurry.
Wood-Stock Panorama
It still has a few ghosty bits, but all in all – a much better attempt. I had great software for panoramas, but it refuses to work with a 64bit operating system.
The back wall has been tidied too. There was so much mess, I had virtually no free work surface.
Back Wall Panorama
This was taken after some work was done, so some bits are there just before being tidied up.
I managed some turning too, naturally. Just to the right of the table lamps is a small cherry tealight holder.
Cherry Tealight Holder #3
The colouring in this cherry is awesome.
Cherry Tealight Holder #1
I include a glass liner to help prevent the wood overheating and burning.
I also turned a pen from yew.
Yew Pen Assembled
I have a huge amount of this wood, and need to get the chainsaw fired up.
Laburnum Piston #5
I’m a bit of a petrol head, and made this piston box from laburnum. The circle in the side represents the gudgeon pin (wrist pin for the USA people) and is resin cast with powdered brass.
Oak Barrel
I turned this little barrel from oak, but not too happy with the proportions. It was a practice with my carbide tools, so I was more concerned with using those than how it looks.
Oak Urn
This little urn is oak too, and is for a special road trip. It will visit France, and may even stay there.
Bug #2
As a bit of fun, I found this little bug lurking in a piece of laburnum. I used welding rods for the legs and wings, so they are far from delicate. It’s just a bit of fun though, and proof of concept.
All in all, a pretty productive few days.

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Since moving to the new cabin, I have been working in a bit of a guddle. The storage has been disorganised, and much of the work space has been cluttered. I started tidying up at the lathe and worked anti-clockwise.
I have 2 weeks leave from work coming up, so should get the rest of the space properly organised at last.My timber storage is being split into prepared blanks and rough timber. I also have a shelf with some rough turned stuff packed in shavings, drying. This is likely to move once I have a clear space for it.
Bench Panorama
This panorama was taken using an old iPhone 3 and is not the best, but it does give an idea of how the place is beginning to take shape.

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Started on the pile

I made a start converting some of what I gathered from the tree surgeon into turnable blanks. My poor wee band saw was screaming, right at the limit of what it can cut. It managed however, and I was able to cut bowl blanks from the slab of oak.
Oak Stack #1
The pen blanks are from the blocks of yew, but these bowl blanks came from the oak, along with a few spindle blanks.
I’ve turned one of the spindle blanks into a cylinder and put it up on a shelf for later. This wood is hard as nails, and should present a challenge when I get round to turning some bowls.

One of the pieces I brought home was a hawthorn crotch, which was very wet.
Hawthorn CrotchI only had to look at it once to envision the bowl it wants to be. I mounted it on the lathe yesterday and rough turned it into the approximate shape it will take.
Hawthorn Crotch Inside
The grain is absolutely stunning. I’m hoping the bark will stay on, but have my doubts because it is very stringy and has started to peel here and there.
Hawthorn Crotch Outside
I’ve stopped turning at about 16-18mm or thereabouts. This is now packed with the wet shavings from the turning, inside a thick paper bag. This process should allow it to dry slowly with no splitting.
Fingers crossed.

Another project I have been working on is an urn. This is, for someone of limited hollowing skills, a very difficult shape to turn.
The timber is a piece of oak I got from work in 2013. A very large tree was damaged in a storm, and had to come down for safety. I used a huge amount of what I gathered, and kept a few pieces back.
The tree was quite badly rotten, so once dry it is extremely splintery and messy.
Oak Urn
I need to remount the lid to get rid of the chuck marks. These appeared even though I had a piece of yoga mat round it. It’s just me. I tighten stuff too much sometimes.
Oak Urn Open
I think I did quite well with the hollowing. I need to decide what finish I want to put on it now.
In between turning, I wired the table lamps I made previously. I really enjoy turning lamps, but there’s a limit to how many you can have indoors. People just don’t want to pay the prices I need to charge to simply break even.
Table Lamps Complete #2
The electrical components don’t come cheap, for these. I even took them in to work and used the PAT tester on them. There was no real need. Being a time served electrician the wiring of these is pretty Noddy stuff.
Table Lamps Complete #1
These are ash bases with holly stems, in case you missed them previously.

I wonder what next weekend will bring?

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