Saturday, 29 January 2011

Some ‘shrooms

Today I did some tidying up of the workshop in order to make space for the mountain of wood I’ve just got. I recently bought some from a chap at work, then wondered across some whilst out walking (don’t worry, I didn’t steal it, the ranger was there cutting & burning logs and let me have some), and more recently they were clearing some land near my house and a chap near my workshop told me about it. Off I went to check it out, and after a small sum had changed hands I was able to take carloads of the stuff – mind you a carload in an MX-5 isn’t that big.

So, with all the wood scattered around the place I figured it was time for a move-around, so got rid of some stuff on FreeCycle and then went to work stacking up the wood…


There’s also some more to the left under the bench (and yet more in the next bay of the bench on the left too). I’ve no doubt this little lot will take some time to season, but I’ll turn some of it whilst green and see how I get on. Talking of which, I’ve not done any mushrooms in a while, so…


Little and large!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

More firewood

After doing my jobs at home today I popped over to the barn as I’d given a bed away online and the person was coming to pick it up. Whilst awaiting his arrival I started making a bowl from Oak. I turned the outside and left a key for the chuck to grip onto as shown below…


I then turned it round and chucked it, and progressed to hollow out the interior. I was just about to put the tools down and start sanding when ‘oops’ and this happened…


Bah. I guess I’ll have to make this into a plate now. I made up for it by turning another mushroom from a piece of Silver Birch (which soaked me to start off with as the outer layers were rather damp).


That’s another for the garden I think.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

New Wood to play with

I went to pickup a load of wood today, some seasoned and some fairly green from a chap at work. He had a fantastic pad out in the sticks (pun intended), and after selecting some choice cuts from the woodpile we were off to the unsawn trunks armed with a chainsaw. I now have Oak, Sycamore and some Silver Birch to play with.

Once I got the wood home and tucked away under the bench I thought I must use some of it to make a bowl. I chose a nicely figured lump of oak and the first job was to lop off the corners to make it fit on the lathe.


After knocking off all of the corners I fitted the faceplate and then attached it to the lathe, checking it would turn without hitting anything on the way. It’s a fair old lump!


Then began the job of turning this from a fairly lop-sided lump into something resembling a bowl. As this was my first try at something well out of balance I set the lathe to slow and gingerly progressed and after some time I got to the following bowl shape.


I then had to make a depression in the base that I could then use to mount it on my new purchase (a Robert Sorby Patriot chuck). I then turned the inside of the bowl to a rough size ready for seasoning for a few months before I finish it off. The (semi) finished article is below.


There’s a bit of a crack in the outside of the bowl but I’ll see how bad it it once it’s all dried out (it might add character, but will probably render this part as firewood).

I then went on to some fully seasoned oak and turned another bowl. I only have one picture of that shown below.


I wasn’t happy with the shape of the foot of the bowl to just after taking the above I shaved off most of the rest of the base which looked a load better. Unfortunately when I then turned the inside of the bowl I miscalculated the depth and so ended up with a very thin base replete with a hole. Another bit of firewood – at this rate I’ll need to get a fire to bung all this scrap into!

Monday, 3 January 2011


We went out for a walk today as it was a nice afternoon and we needed to blow the cobwebs away, and I’d chosen a wooded area on the map as I thought there might be a few small bits lying around that I could take home to practice on.

On the way from the car into the woods I saw some smoke straight ahead, and getting closer noticed that it was a bonfire being tended by a chap and his son. And all around was wood – lots and lots of it.

Needless to say I went over to the chap (who turned out to be the warden), explained my new found hobby and asked if we could take a couple of bits home. He was more than pleased for me to do this, and even provided a wheel barrow for us to cart the Oak (yay!) away with.

So, the walk was somewhat shorter than I’d expected but the result was way better. I now have two large offcuts and a fairly straight branch to play with. And I may have to pop back another day to get some more lumps too. Result.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

A new year bowl

Sam and I went over to the workshop this afternoon for a bit of relaxation (I'd intended to get here earlier but as usual other events got in the way). Anyhow we selected a nice piece of Beech that I'd had for Christmas, mounted it up and off we went.

I did the initial rounding off, then let Sam loose with the chisels to cut the outsite curve of the bowl. The tools I have are pretty poor (I'm getting some better ones from my brother in a couple of weeks) so it took us both a while to get the outside sorted.

We then flipped the bowl over (I only have a faceplate at the moment, so did my best to centre it), then we cut the interior. It took ages to get the inner curve to looking satisfactory but I'm still not happy with it however it'll have to do.

We then decided to cut a couple of rings in the outside and I bevelled off the lip of the bowl and here's the finished article...

Not too bad for a first attempt after nearly 30 years (and in Sams case the first time ever). Now I need to get something to finish it with and also I'm lusting after a chuck so that I can centre things much more easily.