Axminster – Martin Sabin-Smith Demo

1st Feb 2020

Took a visit out to see Martin Sabin-Smith carrying out a full day demonstration where he undertook three projects. I must say sorry but I did forget to take my camera with me but thanks to club members this has been overcome. There were seven club members present, but thanks go to Steve for pictures.

The first was a goblet made from two woods (Bubinga and Ash), the head of the goblet was produced first by hollowing out the main body and then shaping the external part, this was then sanded down using the following grits 120, 180, 240 and 400, these are the ones that Martin uses and he stated that he does not go higher than 400. He started with his own sanding sealer, then used the Hampshire Sheen Bronze product to enhance the grain on the bubinga, after which he used Microcrystaline wax to give the project it’s shine. The second part was making the base out of ash, where the pattern kept changing from it’s original concept. Again the finishing was exactly the same as for the top and then glued together to form the complete goblet.

The second project was small Olive bowl, where as he was turning the outside he came across some checking which showed up more after sanding this was then covered with thin CA glue to give the wood it’s strength back again. A small bead was put around the top of the bowl at a distance that the bead was wide. The project was then edged with Frog tape ready for colour to be applied to the beading only, this was an earth dye which was air-sprayed on. At this stage the sanding sealer was applied, Martin stated that he uses as much as the project will take. This was then finished off using the Hampshire Sheen High Gloss Wax. Martin then started on the inner part of the bowl but came upon a problem where a internal crack just kept getting larger, therefore this project was abandoned for reasons of safety.

The third project was adding colour to a large bowl which was pre-shaped for the outside. He started by making sure that the bowl had been sanded to the required level prior to adding the dye. This dye was added in two parts for the base colour where both Black and Ruby was added to cover the outer shape. This was then sanded back to remove an amount of the dye which would be ready for the final dying. The sanding was started in reverse with 400 grit and then using lower grits if required. The additional colours were then added using Ruby, Red and Orange. This was then sanded back in certain areas to identify differing aspects of the wood. At this stage a Honey colour was added over these areas to give it’s overall effect. When dry Martin applied the sanding sealer to the required level prior to adding the High Gloss Wax. It was at this stage where he showed another way of finishing the project. First apply the wax over the complete dyed area, this was then melted with a hot air gun without causing the wax to bubble, if this happens the process will need to be started again.

At the second stage of adding the wax and heat to melt the project was buffed up by a paper pad to give it’s shine. This process was again repeated a further three times to give a very deep shine. Martin stated that this was a more advanced way of applying a finish and getting a better result but needed additional care carrying out the process. The hot air gun that Martin used was where he could get a value of 650 degrees from it. Martin then started on the inner area and showed the technique that he applies when removing the waste wood.

The show itself was well worth the day out and gave a better insight to completing projects by spending more time on the finishing aspect of wood turning

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