Our thanks go out to both Steve Hackett and Robert Hackett who were able to come together and put on the turning demo for those of us who are in lockdown and unable to move around.
Robert Hackett – Gesso Texturing Technique
Robert started by applying black gesso on to a pre-turned bowl shape, whilst this was still wet sawdust was added which adhered to the surface of the wet gesso.
A second layer of gesso was then added all over to remove the color of the sawdust showing. This technique when applied does not need to be perfectly smooth as it is covered and will allow for a better key for the gesso.
When this piece had dried a mixture of Hampshire Sheen Embellishing Waxes was applied by dabbing this onto the top of the gesso and then rubbed into the bowl surface by way of a cheap toothbrush. Robert was also explaining the process as he progressed through the complete process.
Steve Hackett – Twisted Three-sided Weed Pot – (Multi-Axis Turning)
Steve started with a blank that needed to be turned round. When this had been accomplished the marking up process was detailed onto the blank.
This marking up process was shown both live and through the use of a slide show.
Steve started by dividing the blank into three equal parts by means of the indexing set up included in the lathe headstock. Two pencil rings were added to each end of the blank, the first one 10mm in and then the second one, in a further 5mm. The equal lines were then extended down each end so that we have three areas marked on the inner ring. These were then numbered 1, 2, and 3 on each end so that they matched up, these are 1200 apart.
To get the twist the following number combinations were used;
1 – 2, 2 – 3, 3 – 1 these give a twisted shape
If you only require a three-sided item, match up the following numbers;
1 – 1, 2 – 2, 3 – 3
Additional multisided items can be developed by using the same method.
The blank was mounted between centers with a two-prong drive in the headstock and a pointed live centre in the tailstock.
At this point Steve started the process of turning the twist, this was done by looking at the ghost image at the top of the turning blank, following the curve to get an equal displacement along each side.
Steve stated that the turning should be cut from the centre out towards the ends, this prevents an aggressive cut from being applied to the ends. The speed of the lathe went up as high as was safe to do so due to cutting a lot of free air. If you only cut straight across, you will end up with a project that bulges in the middle.
This was then sanded and sealed, a tenon was cut onto the one end and remounted into a scroll chuck.
A hole was then drilled down the weed pot by using a starting point with the aid of an engineering centre drill. The top of the jar was then trimmed by scalloping the top into the bored hole.
At this point, a jam chuck was mounted and the weed pot was inverted and mounted on the jam chuck, the base was then scalloped out and finished, this process allowed it to stand correctly on a surface.
The weed pot was finished by buffing with a series 3 of buffing wheels on the lathe, Steve explained and demonstrated how to use this system.
The buffing wheels used are available from The Polishing Shop.
Steve commented on the process as he worked through it, during the demo, a Blue Peter moment was required when the blank voluntarily removed itself from the lathe.
With the way that the lockdown is developing at present, the next demo will also be put on by Steve and Robert Hackett.
Last but not least we must also thank Robert for operating all of the equipment that allows these demos to take place.
Report by Barrie Fisher & Steve Hackett