The evening’s demonstrator was Chris Parker from “The Bald Woodturners” who will demonstrate a Hollow Form with a Fluted Top and then colored similar to this picture.
Chris is a full-time Turner, artist, demonstrater & teacher. He enjoys being able to pass his knowledge onto others. His passion for our craft is as strong now as it was when he started. He enjoys texturing his turned pieces with various techniques from a simple wire brush to more advanced techniques, he likes his pieces to be organic & individual. He finds inspiration for his textures & forms from various places, but most notably from the ancient ceramicists.
The project itself is from a piece of Sycamore that is 7 1/2in x 3in thick and is turned at a rate of 1100 rpm for starters. It was mounted on a screw chuck for the initial process.
Chris started by curving the base round whilst also producing a tenon for the chuck, this curve being produced without the need of turning the blank to a true round. A pull cut was used to remove a large amount of the waste wood and then a push cut to produce a fluid curved form around to the top of the blank.
The marking out for the tenon was produced with a pencil attached to a piece of plywood sized to a set thickness, which when placed on the top of the tailstock and pushed against the blank to get the size required for a set of H gripper jaws made by Axminster.
Chris answered the various questions asked by the participants on the chat screen, with Rob relaying the questions to him, this in itself worked well.
Chris also used Blue Peter moments to keep the process moving at an even pace throughout the process, the blank was reversed onto the H jaws and then hollowed out, at this moment Chris produced his second blank which had been hollowed out and allowed to dry.
This then needed to be re-turned to bring it back to true round, this was achieved by mounting the blank onto Pin jaws that had hosepipe pushed over them so as not to mark the wood, this was inserted into the opening, and carefully secured.
A Simon Hope 6mm hollowing tool was used for this and a hook tool. When Chris was satisfied with the shape and the hollow form he then used his indexing plate to form 14 segments around the top of the form by drawing a line straight across the form using a pencil jig set to the height of the lathe center.
The hollow form was again refined with a curve from one aspect of the segment to another, (a French curve could be used for this) in this way a gentle curve was produced around the top of the form.
This was then removed with the chuck and fitted to a Woodcut Carvers Clamp that was inserted into the tool post holder. At this point Chris put a line around the top of the hollow form as a guide to how deep he could go, bearing in mind that he had a wall thickness of around 12mm to play with.
Chris then produced a Die Grinder with a Kutuall ¾ extreme bull nose burr which he used to start refining the top of the form in a sweeping motion for each segment, when satisfied with the depth and the progress he swapped to a 9.5mm smaller extreme burr to finish off the process. A further texture was added at this point by the use of a Dremel engraver with a blunt nail which was used in all of the flutes.
Chris demonstrated this process on three flutes and then produced another hollow form with all of the flutes cut and engraved. The smoothing process was carried out with a Silverline Filament Wheel which has a silicon compound embedded into it so that it always has a sharp edge.
The top of the form was then sprayed with Black Acrylic Paint from the center outwards to keep the paint spray away from the out edge of the curve, this was then dried utilizing a hot air gun although Chris did state that he normally allows them to dry naturally.
At this point a Metallic Gold Paint was applied to the ridges of the flutes utilizing a dry brush technique, this highlighted the ridges and also the texture produced by the texturing. This dry technique allows for more paint to be added if required but it cannot remove it if the brush is overloaded with paint. Stroke the paint onto the form, do not dab it on.
When the paint has dried a Lacquer was applied,with either a Satin or Matt finish as Chris prefers this to gloss. When dry the hollow form is again reversed to remove the foot from the project, at this point either a flat or rounded foot can be used, for our project a flat foot was produced.
Chris’s demo went down very well with all participants and was also mentioned that he would be coming back to demonstrate for us again in the near future.
All references to the tools and additional burrs used will follow at the end.
I would like to thank Rob Hackett for his work with relaying the questions and for the excellent job of co-hosting the event as usual.
I would also like to thank the BCWT club for putting on this demonstration at no cost to members.
Ian Brown gave a date out for the Mary Stevens Summer Fair which was 4th September 2021 and hoped that club members would undertake various projects that could be used to sell for the charity event on a table that has been provided for us to use, with access to PowerPoint for the club demo lathe.
I will finish by stating that I think this was one of the best demonstrations that we have had and has given us all an interesting sequence of developments that we can use for our own project in the future.
Remember that our next chinwag event will be held on the 3rd of June 2021.
Don’t forget to send in your photos for the chairman’s challenge and any other items you are working on to firstname.lastname@example.org
Report by Barrie Fisher and edited by Steve Hackett.