January 2006 Program
“One Man’s Trash Wood….Is Another’s Treasure!”
This ever happen to you? You go out to your never diminishing wood pile looking for an afternoon opportunity to make something on the lathe. You sort through the various pieces and shapes looking for the volunteer to jump out and yell, “Pick Me! Pick Me!”. So you pick that promising young piece out of the pile and realizing it is too big for your lathe you break out the chainsaw or band saw to cut it in half. Only to your great disappointment you find when the wood is laid open, that there is a rotted center, or a gnarly-looking crack running right through it.
There was a time when I would have had a few choice words to say as I threw the piece into my ever-growing wood trash pile for burning. Well not any more. I cherish those finds (most of the time). To me, turning a piece of wood with heavy bark inclusions, knot holes and cracks, water and decay stains, and worm holes and insect infestations is more satisfying than any other turning. Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate a beautifully seasoned and flawless specimen of wood that has been turned with artistic precision into a finely sculpted vessel. Work like that is timeless…It’s just not me.
Now I know this is hard to believe, but you will just have to trust me on this…I have flaws. No, it’s true. I know that is hard to accept, but beneath my balding head and drooping physique, I am not perfect. I have faced this truth and have also realized that this fact is true of every other individual on the planet. Because of this, I have come to the conclusion that human beings look for flaws in things and upon finding them, become more accepting. Personally, I am intimidated by perfection; I feel more relaxed and comfortable around something that contains slight imperfection…in art, in people, in life, and in wood.
Therefore, as my woodturning experience has moved me through the years, I find myself thinking less about a specific vessel shape or size to turn as I head toward my shop. Instead, I find myself out near the woodpile with a cup of coffee, staring at an excavated tree stump covered in dried mud and ants and wondering to myself….”What is in there?”, “How can I get something out of this?”, “Where is the coolest grain or water damage?”, “If I did this, how would I mount it on the lathe?”. Once on the lathe, with the vibration shaking the shop from the almost always out of balance wood, the transformation begins. Shavings pile up mixed with the chunks of dirt clods or mud. Half drunken insects cover my face shield as they try to recover from the centrifugal nightmare from which they just emerged. Intermittent cuts challenge me the whole way, but the piece begins to emerge. A shape, a form, consisting of both positive and negative space is being created. It consists of inspiring wood grain that highlights the tree when it was in its prime, yet complimented by the same wood in stages of decomposition.
It is finding this balance in both the prime of life and the latter stages of natural forces that make me identify with a piece and I am comforted as a human being. So what one man might throw out as trash, I now look for as opportunity. I challenge you to do the same. Be safe. Mount the pieces solidly, use eye and hand protection, and stop often to examine the condition of the wood for structural weaknesses. But don’t pass up on a piece of wood because it has some flaws, instead, embrace it.
I have been turning for a little over three years as a hobby and a time killer. This month I plan on talking on this issue and some of its challenges. I will bring a challenging piece of wood and we will open it up on the lathe and see what it holds for us. It may be nothing special and it may be spectacular, but one thing is for sure....it will be unique.
February 2006 Program: Wyatt Compton
"Creative Designs Using Scrap Wood"
Wyatt Compton has been a member of the Woodturners of North Texas for approximately six years. He was proud to host two of the sessions titled "Creative Designs for Pen Turning" at SWAT this past year in Wichita Falls, Texas.
Wyatt specializes in transforming wood scraps and "trash" into turned pieces which can be something unique and beautiful. Wyatt credits Dr. Alan Siebenthall for introducing him to the dynamic world of wood turning and he really enjoys being a member of the Woodturners of North Texas because our members enjoy sharing information and ideas.
Wyatt's goal is to inspire each of us during this program to view wood scraps with an eye for the potential beauty they can become. Wyatt will feel satisfaction if he can, in some small way, contribute to the development of a finely turned object of which it's creator is really proud.
You can check out Wyatt's web site at www.woodbywyatt.com to see some examples of his work or email him at
March 2006 Program
“Segmented Turning is Technique and Practice”
My working life was forty years in the Tire and Auto business. The last fifteen I owned my own company (Cordy Tire). I sold the company in 1989 and built a home in Lost Creek (West Fort Worth) and in 1990, I built a log cabin on the Llano River in the Hill Country.
After building two houses, and not getting any younger, I felt I needed to work on things I could hold in my hands. An old friend in Kansas City, Missouri called and ask me to come to his shop and learn how to make a bowl. In three days I was hooked and thirteen years later I'm still at it.
For the first three years I did segmented turning only and the next five year I went totally to green wood. In the last four years I started doing both and enjoy the challenge.
At last months meeting I showed a vase that has 1,067 pieces of wood in it. My demonstration will cover the techniques used in its construction.
April 2006 Program
Larry Roberts :
“Turning a Natural Edged Mesquite Bowl”
Larry Roberts demonstrated his techniques for turning a large natural edged bowl using mesquite wood. This included selecting wood suitable for the purpose, mounting it on the lathe in order to achieve balanced edges, how to quickly and solidly secure it to the lathe spindle, turning a tenon for mounting the bowl on a scroll chuck, turning techniques for the outside, securing the bark to the rim of the bowl, and hollowing the interior. He also discussed sanding and finishing and design elements to achieve a balanced and appealing design. Larry Roberts has been turning wood for approximately fifty years and is the founder of the Woodturners of North Texas.
November 2007 Program
"Turning a Snowman" presented by Marion McDaniel
Wood craftsman Marion McDaniel is a native of Georgia who has resided in Dallas for the past thirty-five years. He currently lives near White rock Lake.
What makes Mr. McDaniel’s talent and artistry so amazing is that he only began his work with wood a few short years ago. After an on-the-job accident seriously injured his back, he was forced to retire after twenty-one years with Kroger Foods.
While recovering, he decided to whittle a cane for himself since he now needed one to aid him in walking. Prior to carving that first cane, he had never carved drawn, painted, nor even doodled on paper. That cane, however, was the beginning of a consuming pastime, and he now spends his time crafting other beautiful works in wood. Marion has turned and carved beautiful bowls, bottles, canes, snowmen, and walking sticks from a variety of fine woods, some with intricate inlay.
The holiday season keeps him busy creating his special wooden snowmen, which are each carved from a single piece of native Texas wood. At the November meeting, he will be demonstrating his techniques for turning these unique creations.
August 2007 Program
"Tools for End Grain Hollowing" presented by John Horn
Most of us know that a bowl gouge is the preferred tool for most cross-grain bowl turning where the grain direction is perpendicular to the length of the lathe bed. End-grain turning, defined as the case in which the grain of the wood is parallel to the length of the lathe bed, presents a completely different challenge in both turning techniques and tools used.
If you peruse the woodturning tool catalogs, you will find that there are a wide variety of tools for sale to solve all of the various difficulties encountered in end grain turning. Some of these tools are complete systems of components that are quite pricey to say the least.
When faced with this overwhelming variety of tools, how is a person to decide which tool or system to select in order to perform the task at hand? Is it necessary to get a large loan at the bank just to turn a few end grain vessels? Obviously, there are a large number of options, some are relatively inexpensive and others are very expensive.
By understanding the theory of how end grain wants to be cut without tearing out chunks of wood, both the tools and technique choices become much more manageable. The August program will include information about the features and limitations of most of the end grain hollowing tools on the market and which of those tools and techniques would be best suited for different projects.
Educated as an instructor of high school musicians, John spent a major portion of his life teaching a variety of subjects from high school band and choir to adult computer applications. Now he teaches regular classes at the Woodcraft store in Addison and one-on-one sessions on woodturning topics in his shop for beginning to intermediate turners. When he is not teaching and attending woodturning meetings, he stays busy turning contract jobs for corporations and individuals on one or more of his three wood lathes.
John is a member of the AAW and is active in both the Woodturners of North Texas and the Golden Triangle Woodturners.
June 2007 Program
"Ribbon Turning" presented by Steve Ott
Our demonstrator for the June, 2007 program will be our very own Steve Ott who became seriously interested in ribbon turning when he attended demonstrations by Malcolm Tibbetts during SWAT 2005 in Wichita Falls. He attended every one of Malcolm’s demonstrations and became fascinated with what he saw. Here is his story about the June program and his fascination with ribbon turning.
Malcolm’s ribbon turnings were spectacular. Now I do not pretend to be as talented as he is, but my demonstration will introduce you to the world of ribbon turning.
In Malcolm Tibbetts words, “All you do is turn bottomless bowls, cut them in half, and glue them back together.” Well it may be a bit more complicated than that, but not too much more complicated. If you are new to segmented turning, an accomplished segmented turner, or just have an interest in segmented turning, this will open up entirely new avenues for you.
In “normal” segmented turning, you make flat segments, which are glued together into a ring, and the rings are stacked on top of each other into your desired shape. In this “ribbon turning”, you add another element - a slope. This then becomes stave construction for segmented turning.
Although you can do this in the “normal” manner, it might be harder to ensure the design matches in your final construction.
I will attempt to show you how to make these turnings, and just some of the shapes you can make by doing this. I will be using just one example - a 45 degree slope. By using different degrees for the slope of your bowls, you will come up with entirely new shapes. I will also describe some tips and tricks that I learned the hard way.
You start with a lamination that you have determined for your design, cut this into compound segments, glue segments together into a bowl shape, turn to final shape, cut apart, reposition, and glue back together. See how easy that was! Just seven easy steps!! Ha, Ha, Ha. Seriously, it is not that difficult to do this, if I can do it anyone else can also.
In the latest issue of American Woodturner, Malcolm has written an article that describes this procedure in detail. With his book, this article, and my demo, you will have all the information you need to construct and complete a one of a kind ribbon turning.
After my demo, I hope you will attempt this type of turning. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.
May 2007 Program
"Road Kill for Woodturners" presented by Kevin Bassett
Our May 2007 program was presented by Kevin Bassett, a local certified arborist with over thirty years of experience. Kevin made a PowerPoint presentation about common north Texas trees suitable for turning and how to identify them in either tree form or as “road kill” for scavengers of wood. Kevin also brought along one of his natural edge mesquite bowls chosen for the June 18, 2006 “Photo of the Day” on the AAW website: www.woodturner.org.
Kevin’s program presented a lot of information and tips concerning what to look for in identifying various trees by their bark and leaf structure. Questions from the floor were answered with the expertise that amazed us casual woodturners. His program also covered a number of things to consider when selecting wood to turn, since he is not only an arborist, but an accomplished woodturner.
April 2007 Program
"Tips on Turning Eggs" presented by Fred Denke
The April program will consist of the following two segments: a review of the WNT entry in the 2000 AAW Collaborative Project and a demonstration on turning an egg.
Fred Denke retired seven years ago from an engineering career in the aircraft industry. He grew up on a farm in central Texas near Waco. As a farmer’s son working with wood was part of farm chores. This work let him use woodworking tools at an early age. In his adult years he continued woodworking using hand tools and a nine-inch table saw. This woodworking led to the curiosity of woodturning, so after retirement and buying a medium size lathe he was a woodturner.
He has attended several “Texas-Turn-or-Two”, SWAT and AAW symposia. He has spent a week at Arrowmont with David Ellsworth as the instructor. He also has attended all day hands on with Lyle Jamison, Stuart Batty, Michael Hosaluk, Dick Sing, and Jacques Vesery.
Fred has led two AAW Collaborative Projects. The Coffee Grinder at the 2005 Symposium in Kansas City, KS and the Dirigible presented at the 2000 AAW Symposium in Charlotte, NC.
The Dirigible has been selected for permanent display at the Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas. As part of the April program, a review of the Dirigible project will be presented.
For our April Demonstration, Fred Denke will talk about his process in learning to turn an egg. The demo will include turning a egg using a template as a guide and a holding jig for finishing the ends.
March 2007 Program
"Finishing for the Home Shop" presented by Howard Hale
Howard Hale, of Dallas, will present a very informative and entertaining presentation on "Finishing for the Home Shop" for our March meeting. Howard brings 22 years of professional woodworking experience to the Dallas Woodcraft store. He was a student of the great Danishwoodworking master, Tage Frid, and brings a unique style of teaching that everyone enjoys.
His hands-on approach helps students learn everything from power tools to hand tools to applying fine finishes.
His classes include: Raised Panel Doors, Mortise and Tenon Joinery, Hand-cut Dovetails, Hand-tool Basics, Building a Smoothing Plane, and his premier class; Finishing for the Home Shop is a must take by everyone.
Along with his own classroom activities, Howard is in charge of the Education Program at the Dallas Woodcraft store. He schedules all classes and sets up the Second Saturday Free Demo Days.
January 2007 Program
"Turning a Covered Dish" presented by Tom Crosby
C. Tom Crosby is a multi-talented woodturner as one can readily tell by visiting his personal gallery space on the East Texas Woodturners website to see the diversity in his turnings. Tom will be the demonstrator for our January 2007 program and the topic will be "Turning a Covered Dish".
Tom Crosby was born and raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Tom retired from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, in 1995 after forty years of service. He and his wife Marjorie relocated to Van Zandt County near the small town of Canton, Texas.
Tom has been working with wood since he was a youngster making boxes, furniture, cabinets, and has built two houses. His interest in woodturning began in 1999 when he got his first lathe and fell in love with woodturning. He makes segmented bowls, hollow vessels, pierced vessels, vases, boxes, urns, platters, cups, inlaid bowls and various other pieces. Two of his pieces were featured in the Members’ Gallery of the Winter 2003 edition of the American Woodturner. His pieces have won several awards, including the top award in the 2004 Rockler’s National Turning Contest. In the Spring 2005 (Issue No. 5) of Woodturning Design, there is an article by Tom on a method developed by him for turning a One Piece Cup with a Handle.
Tom and Marjorie serve as librarians for the East Texas Woodturners in Tyler, Texas. Tom served as the 2003 -2004 President of the East Texas Woodturners Club. He is a demonstrator and mentor and has demonstrated at numerous other clubs and the 2004 and 2005 South West Association of Turners Symposium. He is also a member of the Dallas Area Woodturners and the American Association of Woodturners.
Tom says that woodturning gives him a chance to explore his artistic side and that when he picks up a piece of wood he can’t wait to see what is hidden within. He is an avid conservationist and feels that this is a way of recycling by using wood from trees that have been cut or must be cut because of disease or some other reason.
For a handout of this program in Adobe PDF format, select the following link (left-click to view online or right-click to download): Turning a Covered Dish.
November 2008 Program
"Shop critters and natural edge crescent vessels." presented by Larry Roberts
Larry Roberts is a biologist turned real estate broker. He owned and operated a large brokerage firm before retiring in 1995. He served in all offices, including president, of the Arlington Board of Realtors. Larry was a board of directors member of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and has served in numerous other volunteer positions.
When Texas Turn or Two (now SWAT) was formed Larry was one of the first demonstrators and continued to do so for many years.He has worked tirelessly behind the scenes helping TTT and SWAT Larry was involved in some of the first organizational meetings (only as a wide eyed observer) of the American Association of Woodturners. Perhaps he was the first audience.Later he was an AAW symposium demonstrator. Larry Roberts is the founding President of WNTX. Gary Roberts formed the Central Texas Woodturners Association then in 1989 persuaded Larry to start woodturners group in Ft. Worth. The first meeting was eight fellows, including Clay Foster. Clay encouraged design and form diversity cultivating the individuals talents.The club grew rapidly and ultimately spun off the Dallas group. Now Texas has 19 woodturning clubs. Larry has demoed at many of the Texas clubs.
At the next WNTX meeting Larry will teach you all you need to know about woodturning by showing you how to make shop critters. Also shown will be how to make natural edge crescent vessels. He may even tell a story or two as he turns. He never lets the facts interfere with the story.
Enjoy your day.
October 2008 Program
Turning Christmas Ornaments by Brian Evans
September 2008 Program
"Making the Most of Your Mini-Lathe" presented by John Horn
People with only a mini-lathe sometimes feel they are handicapped by the size of their lathe. Others, who have recently added a larger lathe to their arsenal of power tools, wonder if they should get rid of their smaller lathe now that they have graduated to a machine with much more capabilities. The demonstration will show the value of owning and using a mini-lathe for a variety of purposes, no matter whether it is the only lathe in the shop or whether it is just one of several lathes that are available.
The demonstration will address the following questions:
What percentage of a turner’s desired projects can be handled by a mini-lathe?
What projects can be turned on the mini-lathe?
What are the limits of a mini-lathe?
What are the advantages of a mini-lathe?
What accessories can be fitted to the mini-lathe to increase it versatility? What are the sources of extra devices for the mini-lathe?
Those attending the demonstration may learn that the mini-lathe is a valuable asset in the workshop. With careful thought and assorted accessories, it can possibly be the most important tool in the shop. A new appreciation of this small tool and it’s capacities is the goal of the demonstration.
Each year since 1998 John has demonstrated for at least three or four monthly chapter meetings a year for various woodturning clubs in Texas and Oklahoma. To keep the audience from becoming bored with his presentations, he demonstrates on a different topic every year.
He has demonstrated on the following topics at Texas Turn or Two and SWAT every year since 1998 except 2004.
“Turning a Birdhouse Christmas Ornament”……………..… 1998
“Turning a Santa Claus Nutcracker” …………………………1999
“Turning a Threaded Lidded Box” ………………………….2000
“Quick and Easy Turned Toys” ……………………………2001
“Woodturning Fundamentals for Students and Teachers”… 2002
“Taming the Skew” ……………………………………………..2003
“The Art of The Peppermill” ……………………………………2005
“Turning Your Scraps into Wearable Art” ……………………. 2006
“Tools and Techniques for Endgrain Turning” ………………. 2007
Educated as an instructor of high school musicians, John has spent a major portion of his life teaching a variety of subjects from high school band and choir to adult computer applications. Now he teaches regular classes at the Woodcraft store in Addison and one-on-one sessions on woodturning topics in his shop for beginning to intermediate turners. When he is not teaching and attending woodturning meetings, he stays busy turning contract jobs for corporations and individuals on one or more of his three wood lathes.
A member of the AAW, he is active in both the Woodturners of North Texas and the Golden Triangle Woodturners.
August 2008 Program
"When Bowls Fly" presented by Craig Timmerman
The WNT program on August 28, 2008 will be presented by professional woodturner Craig Timmerman of Austin, Texas.
Standard, round bowls are great projects, but when you want to take your bowls to another level, try giving them wings! That’s what happens when you take a bowl blank and leave the corners—you get a bowl with wings. Non-round bowls are one of his signature pieces. He likes to throw in a few differences such as wings with beads and coves or interesting shaped pieces such as a rectangle, rhombus, or even star shapes.
In the August program, Craig Timmerman will cover some non-round bowl shapes that can be done and will demonstrate turning a rhombus shaped bowl.
Craig began woodturning ten years ago when he took a weekend turning class at a local store. After that weekend the woodworking equipment in his shop ceased to be used for anything except woodturning.
Craig’s specialties include hollow forms, spheres, multi-axis work, and non-round (e.g. square) turnings. His “Swing” series is an example of combining hollow forms and non-round turnings and his “Alien” vessel series features multi-axis vases and alien faces. Production work includes Craig’s “Flying Bowl” series (a.k.a., square bowls).
Craig works primarily with reclaimed timber—trees that have come down in storms, trees being taken down for construction, and the occasional piece of firewood. Reclaimed timber is often filled with flaws of different kinds, such as cracks, bug holes, or voids. Rather than try to remove the flaws, Craig works to accentuate them by making them the focal point of the piece, filling them with crushed stone, or carving them into other shapes.
The demonstration will cover the following topics:
* Chucking options
* Turning “air”
* Using non-round and non-squared pieces for turning
* Light tool touch when turning “air”
* Sanding techniques to use with odd shapes
* Safety concerns when turning non-round pieces
* Getting consistent thickness
* Suggestions on shape and form
* Reverse chucking and tenon removal
Craig Timmerman is a member of the American Association of Woodturners and is a firm believer in its mission to provide education and information to those interested in woodturning. As such, he frequently demonstrates his craft. He has demonstrated for many local woodturning clubs and has twice been a demonstrator at the American Association of Woodturners national symposium. Craig was one of the featured lead demonstrators at the 2005 Southwest Association of Woodturners symposium.
As of June 2008, Craig Timmerman has become a full time artist. His work is in several central Texas galleries and can also be found on his website, www.armadillowoodworks.com. He also does a few art shows each year. Craig and his wife, Tina, have been married for twenty-four years and live just outside Austin. If life wasn’t busy enough, he also sings with the Heart Of Texas Barbershop Chorus.
July 2008 Program
"Segmented Kitchen Utensils" presented by Delbert Dowdy
Our demonstrator for July will be Delbert Dowdy who has been turning for over 20 years. He is a charter member of the ArkLaTex Woodturners. Delbert has had two articles published in More Woodturning and his work appears in two woodturning books. He sells his work at local fairs and at the Quicksilver Gallery in Eureka Springs, AR. He has have demonstrated at four SWAT symposia and will be demonstrating at the SWAT 2008 symposium. His work is primarily pieces that combine segmentation and solid wood that is pierced, burned, and colored.
Wooden kitchen utensils can be made easily and quickly using 3/4 to 1 inch boards of common hardwoods using a few simple tools. A spatula can be made in twenty minutes or less and is then ready to use in the kitchen or put on display. You can use different colored woods to enhance the look. They sell well and make great presents.
June 2008 Program
"Making an M&M Dispenser" presented by Johnny Tolly
Johnny Tolly of Driftwood Springs, Texas will be our guest demonstrator for the June 2008 monthly club meeting. He will be demonstrating how to make his award winning Peanut M&M candy dispenser. This is a fun project and when completed makes a very nice gift for grandchildren and other members of the family.
During the program, Johnny will show and explain the various steps required to make the individual parts. This includes the dispenser, top, body knob and the base.
Johnny has been an active wood turner for over twenty-five years. He is an active member of the American Association of Woodturners, Southwest Association of Woodturners, Central Texas Woodturners Association of Austin, Texas Mesquite Association and the Artists of Dripping Springs. Johnny is an active woodturning instructor for others wishing to learn new skills in the field of woodturning. He has demonstrated at the Southwest Association of Woodturners symposium numerous times and at many woodturning clubs around Texas. Johnny was instrumental in helping one of those clubs get started. He has also demonstrated at the Woodcraft Store in Austin and has also instructed numerous individuals at his home near Driftwood.
Johnny lives near Driftwood outside Austin, Texas with his lovely wife Marcia. They have five children, Janita, Johnny, Jimmy, Melissa and Michael. Marcia is Johnny’s’ main inspiration and supporter of his creative woodturning endeavors.
Johnny Tolly has created numerous masterpiece turnings. He is very creative and has a keen eye for form and design elements. In addition to bowls, vases and unusual things like his Texas Sized Big Bug, he has stretched his imagination and made closed and opened segmented items as well. They range from vases, bowls, a football, a globe, table lamps, a floor lamp and bowls with open segments on the top.
At the Woodworkers show of Austin, Johnny’s globe titled Johnny’s World Full of Holes placed second and his Texas Mesquite Floor Lamp placed second the following year.
Johnny has written several HOW TO articles on the web at http://www.turningwood.com and has had articles published in the American Woodturner magazine and Woodturning Design magazine. Some of his work may be seen at http://www.ctwa.org in the gallery, at http://www.woodturner.org and at http://www.artistsofdrippingsprings.org.
May 2008 Program
"Building a Vacuum Chuck System"
presented by John Solberg & Pete Tkacs (The Bruised Brothers)
The "Bruised Brothers", John Solberg and Pete Tkacs became interested in vacuum chucks a couple of years ago, but were turned off by the expense of purchasing one. They were determined to build a system and reduce the cost significantly. After researching other avenues of parts and supplies, they came up with a system that functions as well as the catalog versions and was considerably less expensive.
Their demonstration, "Building a Vacuum Chuck System" will show how to put a system together with parts and supplies that can be purchased locally or on the web at very low prices. They will show a variety of pumps that can be used to supply the vacuum, and will discuss the pros and cons of each. Several techniques using a vacuum system will be demonstrated. They will also talk about adapting this system to most any lathe. And, most importantly, will provide a list of resources where additional information and supplies can be found.
March 2008 Program
"Turning and Decorating a Platter" presented by Al Stirt
Our demonstrator for the March meeting will be the “world famous” Al Stirt from Enosburg Falls, Vermont. He has given woodturning demonstrations all over the US as well as in Canada, England, Ireland, and New Zealand. He has taught hands-on classes at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Appalachian Center for Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Brookfield Craft Center, Marc Adams School of Woodworking, Ernie Conover Workshops and many other places. The weekend after our meeting, March 28th-31st, he will be teaching hands-on classes at Gene Colley’s Canyon Studios in Copper Canyon near Lewisville.
I consider myself a “bowl maker” more than a wood turner because, although the turning process fascinates me, it is the resulting bowl that commands my interest. From the earliest times bowls have had meanings for people beyond the purely utilitarian. The bowl as vessel has a resonance deep within the human psyche. I have always thought of each piece that I make as a composition utilizing elements of pattern, line, weight, texture and form. Even in the most simple pieces I try to find a harmony of grain and shape. I seek a balance in my work between the dynamic and the serene. By playing with the tension created by combining the circle’s perfection with the energy of pattern I am trying to make pieces that have life. I use patterns, whether created by grain structure or organic fluting and carving or repeated geometric shapes, to develop harmony in each of my pieces. I find myself always looking for a new means of expression within the turned form. --- Al Stirt
For the March demonstration, Al Stirt will make one of his sgraffito (Italian for “scratched”) platters, where he will turn a platter with a wide rim. He will paint the rim and draw and carve a pattern through the paint into the wood. The demo will incorporate turned beads and coves (which require no sanding) as well as turning, painting and carving.
February 2008 Program
"Making Wooden Jewelry on the Lathe" presented by Joel Crabbe
Until 15 years ago, my life was a vagabond existence; two foreign countries and 13 schools before I graduated from high school. I was born a military brat, married a military brat and had three military brats of my own. I retired from the U.S. Navy in 1992 and realized that I had the opportunity to pursue my woodworking hobby with gusto. I discovered the lathe four years ago and soon the building of square things yielded to the turning of round things.
Our featured demonstrator for February, Joel Crabbe, said that he turned his first pair of earrings about a year ago and, “the ladies in my life: wife and daughters gushed over this miserable pair of earrings and wanted more”.
“Well, I’m not one to disappoint my ladies and I began to explore the world of jewelry design using my lathe to create basic shapes to be combined with other items to create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry”.
Now days, Joel often finds himself at the costume jewelry display at Wal-Mart getting ideas on what designs are currently popular and collecting baubles that have interesting elements that could be cannibalized for his turnings. “I sure get more than a few quizzical stares from other guys as they make their way to the tool and automotive sections,” he says.
As he will show in his demonstration, Joel says that from a technique point of view, making jewelry on the lathe is not difficult and when you examine the procedure closely, it consists of simple spindle work and face plate techniques. The creativity aspect is in the combination of simple turned shapes and other elements to create a pleasing piece of jewelry that is unique and a creative process for him. He describes the process as the lathe creating the bones while his application of creativity and imagination fleshes out the wearable art. His guidelines for turning jewelry on the lathe are simple ... there is only one rule in the creation of jewelry: THERE ARE NO RULES.
Joel Crabbe’s demonstration will introduce some of his design concepts as he creates a simple earring and pendant set in mesquite and sterling silver. The completed set will be donated to the club as a bring-back or raffle prize.
January 2008 Program
"Ornamental Lathe Turning" presented by John Herber
Our January 2008 program will be presented by John Herber, one of our long-time members and will feature the ornamental lathe that he designed and built. The program will include historical information on the subject; information on ornamental turning organizations; pictures of some pieces of ornamental turnings (both current and eighteenth and 19th century); pictures of John’s lathe and work; and a demonstration of John Herber’s lathe in action.
John retired in 1999 after working as a electromechanical design engineer in the aircraft industry for over thirty years. His interest in woodworking started at an early age when he built a Soap Box Derby racer in 1951. The car was built using laminated construction and won the “Best Constructed Car” award in the 1951 San Antonio Soap Box Derby. There were approximately two hundred entries and the prize was a fifty dollar set of Stanley hand tools, most of which he still has and uses.
John is an avowed “thing maker” because he is frugal (cheap). Most of the materials used on projects have come from the scrap yard or have been salvaged from junk either given or found. Purchased materials are the choice of last resort. The ornamental lathe that he built exemplifies this attribute. Among the many things or disciplines He has done over the years are: lapidary work (both cabochon and faceted); jewelry making (both fabricated and cast); furniture making; house construction; auto mechanic and construction; and machine shop work. It was when he was into lapidary, and a member of The Arlington Gem and Mineral Club, that he first met two the future WNT members, Randy and Keith Johnson, who, along with his own kids were junior members of the club (early seventies).
The Spring 2007 issue of American Woodturner had three articles that are ornamental turning related. You can find these articles beginning on page 40 and continuing through page 53. These three articles are what inspired John to build an ornamental lathe. After construction of his ornamental lathe, he bought books on the subject and has recently joined Ornamental Turners International (OTI). This is somewhat the reverse of the order in which this should be done. OTI is an international chapter of AAW and has less than 200 members. They meet once every two years alternating between the East coast and West coast. The next OTI meeting will be in the fall of 2008 near Saint Louis, Missouri. The OTI web site can be found at: http://www.ornamentalturners.org. This web site is very interesting and can consume you for hours if you are not careful. Another organization dealing with ornamental turning is the Society of Ornamental Turners (SOT). This is a primarily British organization. Their web site is: http://www.the-sot.com.
After John’s decision to make an ornamental lathe, his wife, Lynne, has been a widow of the project. Most of his time has been spent modifying, adding to, or learning how to drive (operate) his ornamental turning lathe.
John’s woodturning experience started in high school industrial arts shop where his instructor was primarily a basketball coach. He briefly owned a Shop Smith in the early seventies where he scraped out some candle holders. In 2002, a friend of his said “hey, John, Harbor Freight has a neat wood lathe for $179. Let’s each get one”. After that purchase, he had to figure out what to do with that silly thing. He attended the Woodworking Show in Arlington where WNT had a demo booth and shortly thereafter was a member of WNT. He has studied under Stuart Batty, David Ellsworth, Nick Cook, and Larry Roberts; all renowned and world wide recognized turners. He has done bowl turning, deep hollow vessels, spindle turning, and pen turning. Much of his equipment is home built. (in keeping with his general philosophy).
|January||Steve Worchester||Hollow Forms|
|Kel Mcnaughton's Center Saver tools.|
|March||Tom Farrell||Metal Spinning on the Wood Lathe|
|April||Alan Lacer||Oval Turning Bowls or Platters|
|May||Ken Rodgers||Deep Hollowing Techniques|
|June||Glynn Cox||Piercing Demo|
|July||Delbert Dowdy||Turning Items from Antlers|
|August||Oren Zehner||Turning Spheres|
|September||Mike Jones||Turning Negative Space|
|October||Randy Johnson||Pen Turning|
|Fred Denke||Three Corner Vessels|
|December||No Demonstrator||Holiday Banquet.|
Three Corner Vessel
Demonstration for Woodturner’s of North Texas by Fred Denke
Nov 19, 2009
Our November demonstrator is Fred Denke. He has been turning for about 10 years and also is a member of WNT for about the same time. He is a retired engineer who spent 42 years in the aircraft industry. After retiring in an effort to fill his extra time he started woodturning and has enjoyed the hobby or craft whichever you prefer. To learn the best woodturning techniques he has attendedall the hand-on spring WNT demonstrating. This month Fred will demonstrate turning a three winged vessel. This project starts with a square block of wood. With some interesting cuts and uses both between center turning and holding with a scroll chuck and a jam chuck will be used.
This project is somewhat of a advanced nature. The cuts and turning tools required are standard. The use of interrupted cuts and the extended use of remounting the piece is more than use on most turnings.
Demonstration Handouts : Hand out 1 Hand out 2
Demonstration for Woodturner’s of North Texas by Randy Johnson
October 29, 2009
I believe that I joined the club in October or November of 2004. I cannot say that I have been turning since that date since when I joined I had never turned anything in my life. The first meeting I purchased two raffle tickets and to my shock, I learn that if I won I had to bring back a turned item. I had never turned anything in my life, wait a minute, I had already said that. The gods of “raffledom” shined down on me and thankfully I won nothing, story of my life. But I get ahead of myself, how did I get involved in woodturning? It goes back to a past president and a new Wood working store coming to town, Rockler’s.
When I received a flyer in the mail that there would be a pen turning at Rockler’s on a Saturday, I ask my wife if she would like to go and look, after all it was a free demonstration. To make a long story short, she decided that buying a Jet mini-lathe would be a great thing to keep me from being such a couch potato. I caution her that I would need more than just a lathe to turn a wooden pen. She said no problem and sure enough my first slimline only cost a little less than $600. Do you know how many pens you can buy for $600? Well this was in October 2004 when Mike Wallace introduced me to the “Vortex” of woodturning. I have been buying woodturning stuff ever since. My Vicmarc VM-100 chuck cost more than my mini-lathe and for some unknown reason my tools got dull and I did not have a way to sharpen them. The vortex had me and I have yet to escape and the truth be told, it is one of the most enjoyable hobbies that I have ever taken up. I still have my mini and have since added a Jet 1642, can you spell V. O. R. T. E. X.
I still consider myself a beginner to immediate turner and was fortunate to have my first lesson with Alan Lacer this year. I still turn pens from time to time but have moved into boxes as one of my favorite items to turn. If only it was easy to cut end grain. That is my one area I am still trying to improve. I just turned my first goblet, now I am only three years behind Steve Ott. But don’t worry Steve I don’t think I am going to catch you. In the time that I have been with the club, I have seen a subtle shift it what I believe are many club members interest. When I first came to the club it was mostly bowls, a lot of natural edge bowls and big bowls (Jim Tanksley). That is still the interest of many members but I believe that spindle turning is increasing an area that many members are interested. Part of the reason for this is I believe is because of the ready availability of good well built small lathes that lend themselves to spindle turning. Pen turning is nothing more than spindle turning and the tools for spindle turning are not necessarily the same as with bowl turning. Skews and spindle roughing gouges just do not have a place in most bowl turnings. Technique and tools control are different for each.
Pen turning is where I started in woodturning and will always have a special place in my heart. Hopefully my presentation will kindle an interest in you if you have never turned a pen and maybe address some issues you are having in your pen turning. I hope to see you at the October meeting and hopefully I may answer any questions you might have.
Don’t Avoid the Void
Demonstration for Woodturner’s of North Texas by Mike Jones
September 24, 2009
Turning wood with defects is almost something that a turner cannot avoid. Using found wood, wood donated by friends, or going and cutting your own almost ensures that you’re going to end up with wood in your turning pile that is less than kiln-dried perfection. So what do you do with those less than perfect specimens - especially those with gaping holes or highly contoured surfaces that aren’t straight 4x4s?
There are many strategies and skills that a turner can use to deal with voids in wood being turned. Some of those strategies include:
Walk Away – Sometimes the nature of the void in the wood is such that there are no viable options that allow you to turn the wood safely. Please note that “safely” is a somewhat relative term and is impacted by the turner’s equipment, skill, experience, and the quality of the turning blank. A turner should not turn wood in which they feel unsafe to be around. Better to be safe than sorry. Ask any turner in our club for a scary story about the one that got away.
Blank Trimming – One of the most obvious ways to deal with voids is to minimize them or remove them when preparing the blank for turning. Either with a chainsaw or band saw, many times you can isolate most, if not all, of the void. But be careful, you may be cutting away some of the nicest features the wood has to offer.
Turn It Off – Sometimes the nature of the blank lends itself to minimizing the void areas and reducing its effect on the finished piece by simply turning the void away on the lathe. This is effectively accomplished by turning the piece between centers, thus giving the turner a wide variety of options for repositioning the piece before more restrictive chucking methods are employed.
Focus On It – To me, some woods look boring when in a perfectly healthy state and they only get interesting when they have dramatic rot, water damage, insect infestation, or impressive cracks and voids. In these cases, choose to highlight the voids in the turning. With a sense of balance between positive and negative space, you will effectively use the natural effect of the “imperfections” to create a dramatic piece.
Turning Wood with Voids Safely…
Special care needs to be taken when attempting to turn a piece of wood with considerable voids. Some of the items mentioned below are good to observe during any type of turning, others are more common only with defective wood.
Face Protection – Notice I didn’t say “eye” protection! When turning wood that contains defects, the chance of encountering or causing loose debris is almost a guarantee. Simple eye protection is not enough. Get your whole face covered. Even a smock that comes up around the neck is a helpful protection from flying bark, rotted wood, or dirt clods.
Hand Protection – Since much of your cutting will be through bark, rotted wood, or around sharp cracked areas, wearing quality turning gloves is a good idea as debris leaving the lathe near your hands can be pretty brutal. I use an open fingered glove that allows good “feel” and control of the tools while protecting the majority of my hand.
Lung Protection – Dust is always a threat to the turner and we need to continually remind ourselves of this nuisance. However, when turning decomposing wood adds the additional factor that harmful and irritating fungus spores and bacteria can be inhaled and severely impact the turner. Use appropriate respiration protection during all turning.
Loose Clothing/Long Hair – It is never a good idea to wear loose hair or articles of clothing (unfastened arm sleeves, un-tucked shirt tails, etc.) around turning wood, as the chances of the material being caught in the piece is likely. This is especially true when the turning blank has uneven surfaces and voids that sometimes attract airflow into and through the turning wood. Fasten long hair into a cap and secure sleeves and shirttails before turning.
Sharp Tools – Since much of the turning in wood with voids involves making interrupted cuts where first wood and then void is presented to the tool as the piece rotates, it is extremely important to use well-sharpened tools. A sharp tool cuts easier and requires less pressure to get a shaving. When a tool gets dull, additional pressure is required for it to cut. This additional pressure has the devastating effect of pushing the tool into the void and causing dramatic catches. Sharp tools and an easy touch are good safety ideas for any turning project but especially with voids.
Allergy Protection – Many turners realize that there are specific woods that cause allergic reactions when they use the material. Please learn what woods adversely affect you and take appropriate precautions.
Vibration – When turning wood with voids, unwanted vibration is inevitable. Make sure your lathe is anchored as best you can before turning. Never turn your lathe on at an unsafe speed. The vibration can rip the piece from your lathe in the blink of an eye. For those with adjustable speed controls, start off with the piece stopped and increase the speed to a comfortable turning speed. Sometimes one needs to speed up or “spin past” a place of destructive harmonics. This is when the rotation cycles and the mass of the wood work with each other to create the most intense vibration. Sometimes a slight increase the turning speed will get past this amplification of vibration. But be careful! Higher speeds also mean greater centrifugal forces that can cause the project to leave the lathe without your permission to do so.
Examples of turnings with voids…
Hand-out for demo: Click Here
My name is Oren Zehner. I was born in Tonkawa, OK where I attended Northern Oklahoma College and finished my teaching degree at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. I started turning in high school and continued while I taught for 29 years both in the public and vocational schools with classes in woodworking, drafting, cabinetmaking and woodturning for high school students and adults. Once retired from teaching I sought out another career in Microtechnology and Watchmaking. Currently I am employed with Richemont North America in Ft. Worth in the Quality Control Department for Cartier, IWC, Baume and Mercier, Piaget and Panerai watches.
When I graduated with my second career we moved from Oklahoma and settled in Roanoke and one of the requirements of the house was a three car garage where I would have a place for my lathes. The three lathes I own include a Vicmarc Mini, One-Way 1224 with extension and a VB36 bowl lathe. I do not specialize in any particular turning style although I like turning miniatures and that was what actually peaked my interest in a watch making career.
I am a current member of the Northeastern Oklahoma Woodturners Association where I presided as president, vice-president, treasurer and demonstrator for many years. Recently I became a member of the Golden Triangle Woodturners and have been a member of the AAW for many years. If you have ever watched the Woodturning Workshop hosted by Tim Yoder from Tulsa, OK you might have seen me on the television. I have attended several AAW and SWAT symposiums and numerous seminars which include classes taught by John Jordan, Ron Flemming, Frank Sudol, Trent Bosch, etc.
Turning spheres started out with a friend of mine, Larry Elizondo, where we would gather unique and different types of wood, share with each other and turn spheres. This developed into a unique wood collection. The standing joke was “who had the biggest sphere, the smallest sphere and the most spheres”. You can see from this how things can get out of control. To turn the spheres we had to develop holding devises to fit into the headstock and tailstock so another friend, Larry Anderson, was brought in to help develop and create ideas for us to use. This lead to a club demonstration in which the three of us put on for the Tulsa club. The next stop on this adventure was on the road where Oren did a demonstration for the Oklahoma City club and the culmination was being on the Woodturning Workshop and hosted by Tim Yoder. The Woodturning Workshop is a syndicated program presented on PBS.
Antler is a fascinating and easy material to turn. It is also a good medium to use when making small objects such as pens, key chains, and kaleidoscopes. Items made with antler can hold special appeal with many people, especially hunters. How many people do you know that have a deer antler kaleidoscope? Although antler turns similar to wood, there are some special techniques that are helpful to know. This demonstration will show how to make a pen combining a bullet and deer antler. We will also discuss how to make modifications when increasing the size of an object.
We will briefly cover how to drill, shorten, prepare and size the inner tube, and shine the bullet. Moving on to the qualities of antler, we will discuss special ways to drill the antler, install the copper tube, and size the antler to length. Turning antler is similar to turning wood but porous antler material, which is common, must be treated after turning.
Drilling holes for the kaleidoscope can be difficult. My technique of drilling holes for the kaleidoscope is to drill a small hole, turn the antler round, mount it in a chuck, drill a larger center hole, and finally drill a larger end hole.
My name is Glynn Cox and I am member of the Woodturners of North Texas and Golden Triangle Woodturners clubs. I retired 5 years ago from a 37 year career with Bell Helicopter where I was in charge of Customizing Engineering.
Several years ago I did a little wood gouging but not until I retired and told myself that I was going to truly learn to “turn” did I actually produce anything to be proud of. I have specialized in turning bowls and prefer using rough, figured or burl wood. I generally like to keep my turnings in their natural state without any surface embellishments.
While looking at the Instant Gallery at SWAT in 2007 I saw some pieces that had been pierced. Some were quite well done and others no so well but I thought I might like to try my hand at it. I used my Dremel tool with some success then checked out the available information on the internet. I found that there were some very expensive tools available in the form of high speed dental handpieces and straight craft handpieces all in the $400+ range. Being the frugal engineer and consummate experimenter I built a system from surplus parts for about $100.
I use this system to produce pierced areas on my turnings, some of which I have brought to the club meetings.
John Horn has asked me to do a demonstration on piercing. Watching someone do piercing for an hour is like watching paint dry or grass grow so I thought it would be beneficial to demonstrate the construction of a piercing tool setup using low cost components and talk about how each works within the system. I will then attempt to turn a thin wall bowl and do some basic piercing.
OVAL TURNING DEMO WITH ALAN LACER
Presented by: Tom Farrell
Reported by: John I. Giem
At the August 7, 2008, meeting of the Rocky Mountain Woodturners, Tom Farrell presented a demonstration on Metal Spinning. As demonstrated by Tom, metal spinning is performed on a standard wood lathe with a few additional tools and forms most of which can be shop fabricated.
In the above diagram, one can see the basic elements needed for holding and shaping the sheetmetal disk. Mounted on the headstock is the mandrel (chuck, form, buck) upon which the metal is to be spun or formed. The metal disk (2) is held against the mandrel by the Back Block (3) which is mounted on a live center (4).The mating surfaces of the mandrel and the back block have matching complementary surface shapes.
By using a live center with interchangeable tips, one can make custom shaped back blocks to accommodate each situation.
The mandrel is turned from wood to create the internal shape of the part to be spun. You should use a wood that has fine uniform grain without hard and soft spots. Any imperfections in the surface of the mandrel will also show up on the surface of the final spun metal shape. Some woods, such as olive and pine have hard and soft areas corresponding to spring and fall growth. These hard and soft areas may show up as ripples in the final spun piece. There are several alternatives to wood for mandrels. Tom has had good results from using Corian, the same material used for counter tops. Often scraps are available from Installers but you may need to glue several layers together to get the size you need.
When designing and turning your mandrel, be sure that the diameter of the form never decreases when moving from right to left, the direction the material is spun. If a smaller diameter is encountered, the metal will flow into it thus locking the metal onto the form. (Some times this technique is used to make a weighted lamp base.)
The metals used for spinning include: pewter, aluminum, copper, brass, silver, stainless steel, and cold rolled steel. For the demo, Tom used the aluminum alloy 1100-0 which was 16 gauge or 0.050 inches thick.
The tool used by Tom to form the aluminum onto the mandrel is called a Combination Spinning Tool or sometimes called a Finger Tool. A large radius is need on both the top and bottom of the tool. Its basic shape is shown in the diagram above. He made his own Finger Tool out of 4140 alloy round bar stock about 18 inches long. (Drill stem sucker rod also works well. )It was mounted in an old shovel handle giving it a total length of around four feet. This long length is necessary to allow placing the non-working end under his arm pit so that his whole body could be used to leverage the tool during the spinning process.
He made his own tool rest from stock steel about one inch square and one foot long. It has a series of holes spaced along the top that are fitted with a pair of movable steel pins. In usage, Tom uses the pins to leverage the finger tool against the spinning aluminum.
While spinning the metal, it must be lubricated to prevent galling or damage.
There are a lot of different recommendations as to what should be used but Tom has found that one of the best and yet economical lubricants is the wax from a toilet bowl seal obtained from your local hardware store. (Be sure to get an unused one.)
For first projects, Tom recommends that the mandrel should be designed to make an object that is twice as wide as it is high.
This shows Tom using the finger tool and tool rest to flow the metal down and around the mandrel.
The top of the bowl is trimmed up using a trimming tool, a steel bar fitted with a 1/4 steel lathe cutting tool. Another shop made tool. [I found a box of five carbide tipped 1/4”cutting tools at Harbor Freight for around $5. JIG].
The bowl is then reversed and final trimming of the top is performed
When spinning the metal, use less pressure as you move further out on the mandrel. Too much pressure too far out on the mandrel can cause cockling (wrinkling of the metal). If the cockling is not too bad, the end of the finger tool can be used to lift up the edge and move it slightly back toward the tailstock. Then using a backing stick in your left hand, put it under the cockled metal and use the finger tool to iron out the wrinkles. Yes, you are using the backing stick in the left hand and the finger tool in the right hand at the same time. Both tools are across the toolrest prying against the pivot pins trying to iron out your mistake. And yes, you will be very busy at this time. If is not cockled too bad and if you are lucky (good) you will be able to salvage the work, otherwise start over.
After spinning the bowl, Tom sprayed it with WD-40 and wiped it down with a rag to remove all of the wax lubricant.
There are a lot of different style tools available for metal spinning and a lot of opportunities for our incorporating it into our woodturning.
References given by Tom:
Book: The Art of Metal Spinning: A Step by Step Guide to Hand Spinning By Paul G. Wiley, Available from Amazon.com for about $17.00.
Terry Tynan is a professional metal spinner with over 20 years of experience. He is the host of a web site named http://www.metalspinningworkshop.com. The phone number for the Metal Spinning Workshop is 610-277-7460
Metal spinning tools, tool rests, metal disks, videos and polishing compounds are available from http://www.cuttingedgetools.com/
Tom also handed out a ‘Metal Spinning Tutorial’ he downloaded from the internet.
V1.0 Metal Spinning P e t e r R u b i n F l e t t e r •perf• 11.10.95, I found it at: http://www.fdp.nu/mikelldevice/spinning.pdf
Larry is wood turner, engineer, singer, trumpeter, photographer, husband, father. He comes from a family of wood artists; his father and grandfather both made furniture and turned wood. His ancestors include wood artist from the Alsace-Lorraine area in the black forest who emigrated to America in 1712.
Larry has been turning wood since a child. A member of the American Association of Woodturners, Central Texas Woodturners and Brazos Valley Woodturners . Larry teaches wood turning lessons at his studio in Round Rock, Texas. His work is displayed in local shops and galleries. On the web at http://www.larrywalrath.com
He will be giving a demonstration on hollowing bowls from half logs using Kel Mcnaughton's Center Saver tools.
Teaser:Being able to cut multiple bowls from a single wood blank offers numerous advantages including increased profitability, lower cost per bowl and is an environmentally sound approach to woodturning.
Professional wood-turner and instructor Larry Walrath has cored hundreds of bowls using the McNaughton Center Saver. Drawing on his years of experience, Larry will be joining us for a demonstration on bowl coring and nesting using the McNaughton Center Saver. He will show step-by-step how to properly use the center saver with efficiency and ease in all it's applications.
Whether you already own a McNaughton Center Saver system and want to improve your skills or you're thinking of giving bowl coring a try, come and enjoy the wet chips flying.
I started about 12 years ago like many others, turning pens. Actually took a class at Woodcraft and spent $1200 in the first week. Selling the pens at shows paid for the first lathe and accessories. From there, eventually I started doing faceplate work and migrated towards square turning. My first article on square turning was published in the AAW journal in 1999 and led to a 3 part series published early on in Woodturning Design.
But how did I get to hollow forms?
My son and I attended our first AAW symposium in San Antonio (1997), where we watched David Ellsworth demo. After the demo, we walked up to a large crowd standing around him chatting and David parted the crowd to introduce himself to my then 12 year old son. He stopped everything to introduce himself to him! The next year I took a class from David at his house. On a side note, if you ever have the opportunity to take a class from someone of this caliber, you will never regret it. Remember Clay Foster is in your own backyard! As a turner, you will grow leaps and bounds in a short period of time. The learning curve shortens dramatically.
After working with his tools for some time, with mixed results, I started to experiment more. Keep in mind, I am OCD and a computer field engineer by trade. These traits have molded me into a turner who looks at everything as a step towards the end (the never ending end). I look at each task methodically as how I would be able to communicate it to someone else as if I were writing an article or demoing the technique. OK, so sometimes I have a communication failure.
The evolutions of the tools for hollow turning have come quite a long way. From the invention of the tooling (in modern days anyway) with David Ellsworth’s hand held tools to the start of the captive turning with Hugh McKay’s articulated tool to the current version of the Jamieson and lower cost captive bars. Several articulated systems have been introduced like the Kobra and the ELBO to name a few. Also of mention are the arm rest type tool holders from John Jordan, Sorby, which evolved from the Stewart system. These are just the tool holders, then you have the bits and lasers and wall measurement devices.
Keep in mind, these are just the vehicle. Any of those, properly utilized can hollow out a vessel. However an ugly hollow vessel, no matter how thin the walls are, how beautiful the wood is, is still ugly. It doesn’t have to be light weight, but it must be visually light, it must have pleasing curves that flow and look intentional. As with all woodturning, everything must look intentional. The cuts must be clean, and cut with a gouge. Sandpaper is not a cutting tool!
But we may be getting ahead of ourselves here. My intent is to demonstrate to you my particular method of hollowing, taught by or influenced by my years of reading, being taught, and experimenting. My style of demonstrating and teaching is very light hearted, it shouldn’t be hard, let’s not make it that way. I try to put as much humor into the event and teach you how I got there, and have fun. If you don’t have fun and learn from your mistakes you will not progress. Each mistake, each piece you blow the walls through, isn’t a mistake, it is a progress towards the end result. Once you hit that result, you perfect it and then some more.
This is how I got to adding glass to my work as well as bleaching, burning, dyes and paints. Sure, the embellished work isn’t for everyone; some are purists some are extremists. The lathe to me is just a tool to assist in the end result. What I do is turn a small hemisphere with a rounded top, during the process I make a vacuum form mold, then hollow out the inside. After the form is manipulated (bleached, nothing like a white canvas to start with, airbrushed maybe, dyed, etc., if need be) it is shot with automotive clear coat urethanes, sanded and buffed (the good custom painters don’t need to buff, yet another learning curve). The mold is used to give me a plane to form the glass on as it is filled with high temperature “plaster” and can be used to kiln form the glass at up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit. (Yet another learning curve! Thanks God for books and online forums to help).
The way I look at the above process, it is just a start, as after each set is finished I think how I could change or improve the next. Different wood, dyes, glass patterns, and outside influences in your everyday life that can alter your path.
Along the way, I was one of the founders of the Dallas Area Woodturners and have been fortunate to demonstrate at venues throughout the US, including two AAW symposiums and the featured Texas turner at SWAT. I am also a huge advocate of the AAW and the administrator of the AAW forums. I hope that you will come by and have some fun with us as we answer questions you have about hollow turning and the techniques I may show you and if nothing else, expand your mind.
Did I mention that along the way, I started the business and website, WWW.TURNINGWOOD.COM which is a provider of premium sanding supplies and StickFast glue? Like other things, helps pay for more wood and glass.
Oren Zehner of Roanoke
|"How Do I Chuck Thee? Let Me Count the Ways."|
|February||Devore Burch||Weird Bowls|
|March||David Dick (Austin Texas)||Long Stem Goblets|
|April||Larry Anderson||Homemade Woodturning Tools|
|May||WNT Members||Member Tip's and Tricks|
|June||Ken Rodgers (Dallas)||Platters|
|July||John Horn||Turning Duplicates|
|August||Janice Levi||Secrets of Turning Backyard Pine|
|September||John Lauderbaugh||Inside Out Snowmen|
|October||Stacey Hager||Setting Yourself Up for Success|
|Randy Johnson||Finial Design|
|December||No Demonstration||Holiday Banquet.|
Topic of "Finial Design"
Topic of "Setting Yourself Up for Success"
Stacey's Handout: Click Here
I am a genuine “Ding-Dong Daddy” from Dumas (a small town at the very top of Texas). I was born in April of 1942. At the age of eight, I began sweeping and carrying out shavings at my father’s planning mill and cabinet shop. I worked there until I was 18. I always thought of the job as a means of earning pocket change. Only later did I realize that I had received a full European style apprenticeship. I began turning at about twelve.
My “pocket change” (with a little help from oil field jobs) turned into “college money”. I pursued my interest in science, math, music, and girls earning two and nine/tenths degrees…and a wife. I taught Chemistry, Physics, and Microbiology at the high school, junior college, and university level. I am now retired, dividing my time among traveling, turning, tool making, and … none of the rest begins with T.
With school, family, jobs, the Army, and all of the dang-things-that-break, I turned very little in my 20’s and 30’s. I joined AAW and CTWA in the 80’s and discovered many tools and techniques that my father never imagined. I like experimenting; therefore, I seldom do anything exclusively. Learning to make and use new tools fascinates me and is probably my most constant endeavor.
Each year I help a number of beginning turners discover the joy of turning wood. I also help experienced turners solve problems and learn new techniques. I am currently working on how and why turning tools work (i.e. Cutting Theory). I believe that if you understand the nature of wood and the physics of a cutting edge, you can solve most woodturning problems.
In the course of almost 60 years of working in shops and laboratories, I have stumbled upon a number of things that work for me. I like to pass on what I have discovered and what others have been kind enough to teach me. I believe it is this enthusiastic eagerness to share ideas, skill, information, and techniques that bonds wood turners into a vibrant brotherhood.
Stacey W. Hager
Topic of "Inside out Snowman"
Topic of "Secrets of Turning Backyard Pin"
Janice's Handout: Click Here
I began turning in 2001 when a television show on woodturning revived a childhood interest I had experienced when my father let me hold various tools and make cuts in spindles mounted on an old Sears lathe. Upon receiving a new lathe for my birthday, I immediately joined the local organization, Gulf Coast Woodturners Association, which has an outstanding mentoring and teaching program.
Woodturning became a passion and I wanted to learn as much as possible as soon as possible. A few months after joining the club, I signed up for my first day long hands-on class with a guest turner by the name of Richard Raffin. What a way to get started!
Over the years, I have continued to explore many facets of turning. I enjoy making delicate finials for boxes and ornaments. I have more recently become interested in turning common pine—a wood I was warned to avoid years ago. I also like trying my hand at enhancing turnings with dyes, carving, wood burning and other treatments.
I was not just interested in learning to turn, however; I was also interested in being a part of the process for promoting woodturning. I served on the GCWA Board in 2002 and became a two-term president from 2003-2004.
After 35 years as a drama teacher and alternative school counselor, I retired and my husband and I moved to the central Texas area. After taking off two years from turning (I was the general contractor for building my new house), I was glad to get back to it. As soon as I could get my lathes unpacked, I joined the Brazos Valley Woodturners in the Waco area. I currently am serving as president. We are a small club, but a growing group. Again, my focus is on promoting woodturning, especially with younger turners. I am also serving as vice-president-elect of the Southwest Association of Turners (SWAT).
My turnings have appeared in several shows: (1) Galveston Grand Opera House Eight Artist Show featuring Hurricane Ike turned wood—2010, (2) Houston Center for Contemporary Craft juried show, “Texas Turned”—2009, (3) Houston Center for Contemporary Craft juried show, “Wood Turned Art”—2005, (4) Houston Woodcarver’s Show—2004.
I have enjoyed demonstrating for my local clubs—Gulf Coast Woodturners and Brazos Valley Woodturners. I was also a regional demonstrator in the 2009 Southwest Association of Turners Symposium. My pieces have been in the Fleury Gallery, Houston, TX; Eagles Nest Gallery, La Porte, TX; Ice House Pottery and Gallery, Luling, TX
Topic of "Turning Duplicates"
Sooner or later we all are asked to make one or more duplicates of a turning on the lathe. With a minimum of experience, turning the first piece is not usually a problem. The difficulties begin with making the following pieces look exactly like the original. John’s demonstration will illustrate some of the techniques used to assure that an item can be closely duplicated. He will show how a person can avoid some of the common mistakes that are made when copying a pattern and how to reduce the errors that are often introduced when turning multiples.
One of the challenging projects that require making duplicates is a chess set. Most of the traditional chess sets are lathe turned with some carving on the knights and other details on some of the major pieces. Making your own chess set is an accomplishment that a number of woodturners would like to enjoy but keep putting it off because of the perceived difficulty of making a number of small duplicate pieces. By learning duplication techniques, a little carving and making a few jigs, the task can be accomplished to most people's satisfaction. If there is a problem, just remember it is just a piece of wood and there is more wood where that piece came from.
Each year since 1998, John has demonstrated for at least three or four monthly chapter meetings a year for various woodturning clubs in Texas and Oklahoma. To keep the audience from becoming bored with his presentations, he demonstrates on a different topic every year.
He has demonstrated on the following topics at Texas Turn or Two and SWAT every year since 1998 except 2004 and 2009.
“Turning a Birdhouse Christmas Ornament”……………..… 1998
“Turning a Santa Claus Nutcracker” …………………………1999
“Turning a Threaded Lidded Box” ………………………….2000
“Quick and Easy Turned Toys” ……………………………2001
“Woodturning Fundamentals for Students and Teachers” .... 2002
“Taming the Skew”……………………………………………..2003
“The Art of The Peppermill” ……………………………………2005
“Turning Your Scraps into Wearable Art” …………………. 2006
“Tools and Techniques for Endgrain Turning” ………………. 2007
“Making the Most of your Mini Lathe”………………………... 2008
Educated as an instructor of high school musicians, John has spent a major portion of his life teaching a variety of subjects from high school band and choir to adult computer applications. Now he teaches regular classes at the Woodcraft store in Addison and one-on-one sessions on woodturning topics in his shop for beginning to intermediate turners. When he is not teaching and attending woodturning meetings, he stays busy turning contract jobs for corporations and individuals on one or more of his four wood lathes that he uses for turning and classes.
A member of the AAW, he is active in both the Woodturners of North Texas in Fort Worth and the Golden Triangle Woodturners in Denton.
Topic of "Platters"
Ken demonstrated the turning of a large platter, using a regular chuck. He also demonstrated the start to finish turning a platter starting at only 1 inch thick.
All WNT Members
Topic of "Member Tip's and Trick's"
The meeting program for May will be "Tips and Tricks" as presented by our members. We are encouraging all members to come to the meeting with a Tip or Trick that they can snare with the rest of the group. I have several tips planned to share and several others have indicated they would participate, but we would like to have a broad participation from the membership.
Topic of "Homemade Turning Tools"
I will be doing some simple stuff that anyone can do on their wood lathe. Some of the things will be small drive centers, a weighted knock-out bar, long and short tool rests, cheap inserts to use unhandled tools in the Trent Bosch, John Jordan, Oneway or other handles, some different jigs for sharpening the tips used in a lot of hollowing tools, power sanding for deep, hollow vessels and if time permits, other items. Below are some pictures of some of the items I intend to make. I hope to get people to open up to new ideas to make woodturning easier.
Larry has been turning wood for about 20 years. He has taken classes from many well know wood turners, including Ray Key, Richard Raffan, David Ellsworth, Trent Bosch, John Jordan, and Ron Fleming. Larry worked in a machine shop right out of high school using a metal lathe. After military service, he worked 33 years for the telephone company. He just recently started a new job in a machine shop. Larry’s two favorite pastimes are woodturning and drag racing motorcycles. He receives so much enjoyment out of woodturning and meeting the people involved that he doesn't understand why everybody isn’t a wood turner.
Topic of "Long stem goblets"
David Dick, of Austin, will be the featured demonstrator at our March meeting. His topic, “Long Stem Goblets on the Mini-Lathe”, will show some easy ways to join parts of the goblet together which will allow a turner of any skill level to achieve a long stem goblet of any length. The hollowing of the goblet will be done with a spindle gouge which is an extremely efficient end grain hollowing tool. He will show an easily made alternative to the skew, and an easy way to produce mortise and tennon joinery on the lathe. Two tools that he loves to use are the skew and the skew-chi gouge. He will use both of them in the demo. Dick has a tip or two that lets his students start to use a skew easily. Nothing beats practice.
David has been turning for about 17 years. He started by making a lot of pens for sale. As his interest in pens wound down he started turning parts for other people’s broken furniture. David is a Past President of the Central Texas Woodturners and a professional contract woodturner. To this day he considers himself more of a spindle turner than a bowl turner.
Topic of "Weird Bowls"
When you first see a “Weird Bowl” like the ones Devore Burch makes, it is a big mystery as to how it can be turned on a lathe. For our program on February 25th, Devore will reveal his secrets about how to make this very unusual bowl. Devore made his first “Weird Bowl” in 1933, 77 years ago, when he was in a high school woodshop class. Since that time he has made and either sold or given away over 100 of these vessels. It was one of these bowls on the cover of Popular Woodworking Magazine that attracted the attention of Larry Roberts and others who were in the initial stages of forming the Woodturners of North Texas. Devore was asked to come to a meeting and demonstrate how his bowls were made. After the demo he quickly became one of the charter members of the WNT and since that time has been winning collaborative projects.
Having recently turned 92 years old, Devore still regularly turns multiple items as gifts for Mary, his wife, to give to her friends as presents. “Dee” now turns on a Super Shop for the last few years but he used a Shop Smith as his lathe of choice since 1950.
For many years Devore Burch wrote and illustrated articles for four major woodworking magazines, including Fine Woodworking and Popular Woodworking. In fact, it was the picture of his “Weird Bowl” on the cover of Popular Woodworking that prompted John Horn to look him up in the phone book after discovering that Devore was from Fort Worth. Devore invited him to a club meeting back in 1989 and the rest is history.
A reprint of Devore's Weird Bowl article can be found at this site:
Oren Zehner of Roanoke
Topic of "How Do I Chuck Thee? Let Me Count the Ways."
Demo Download - COMMON AND SPECIALITY CHUCKS FOR USE ON THE WOODLATHE.doc
Oren Zehner was born in Tonkawa, OK, where he attended Northern Oklahoma College and finished his teaching degree at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. He started turning in high school and continued turning while teaching for the next 29 years in both public and vocational schools with classes in woodworking, drafting, cabinetmaking and woodturning for high school students and adults.
He moved from Oklahoma and settled in Roanoke and one of the requirements he had for his new house was for it to have a three car garage so he would have room for his lathes: a Vicmarc Mini, a One-Way 1224 with extension, and a VB36 bowl lathe. While he doesn’t specialize in any particular turning style, he likes turning miniatures and that contributed to his interest in a watch making career.
He is currently a member of the Northeastern Oklahoma Woodturners Association where he presided as president, vice-president, treasurer and demonstrator for many years. He is also a member of the Golden Triangle Woodturners and has been a member of the AAW for many years. If you have ever watched the Woodturning Workshop hosted by Tim Yoder from Tulsa, OK, you might have seen him on the television. He has attended several AAW and SWAT symposiums and numerous seminars which included classes taught by John Jordan, Ron Flemming, Frank Sudol, Trent Bosch, etc.