Dennis Keeling was our demonstrator of the month specialising in segmented turning. A keen writer of articles for woodturning magazine, he brought along a lot of the projects that have featured in recent editions of the magazine.
In a diversion from our usual presenters, Dennis started with a presentation and a talk about how he got started with segmented turning (Or demented turning as it is sometimes referred to) and where the art form is today within the wood turning world. He started turning when he was 9 years old, but took a long break and finally returned to it as a hobby in 1997. He considers himself a hobby turner as he does not do production turning.
After getting bored with turning bowls and pepper mills, as well as being shocked at the rising cost of bowl blanks, he decided to start playing with laminating blanks together to save wood. His first segmented bowl featured a fully segmented bottom which split soon after creation. This is why all his bowls feature a solid base. He enjoys the fact that 95% of the time spent on a segmented bowl is in the construction of the composite and just 5% on the actual turning.
The presentation went on to detail how Dennis creates his composites, showing the tools he uses to create the solid composites and the glues that he uses to ensure a good fit. (Titetbond Original wood glue Red Label - for the end grain to end grain joints in the solid segmented forms and 5 minute super fast PVA for the open segments (side grain to side grain))
Dennis highlighted that the modern mitre saws are now more suitable for creating segmented work than they used to be with much better results that you will get from using the table saw/sanding approach.
He also showed the Seg-easy jig created in the US that makes it very easy to glue up the open segmented forms row by row.
His first piece was a composite that he created in advance and was going to form an open segmented fruit bowl. This was created with the seg-easy jig and mounted on a
sacrificial glue block in the chuck jaws. The back of the glue block had been drilled to fit precisely over the live centre for reversing.
Dennis used a hollowing tool to create the internal curve first, a light touch is necessary! He chooses to finish the inside and rim of the bowl first before reversing it and supporting the entire form on a drive cone and finishing the outside. After he'd removed the bulk of the waste. Dennis switched to a tungsten tip shear cutter tool from Simon Hope (£40.00ish) to get the cleanest finish possible. Sanding was performed with a sanding pad in a power drill.
After reversing, the outside was turned to thickness and finished with a light sand. The open nature of the form made it easier to gauge the thickness required. Sheer cutting was used almost exclusively throughout the turning to reduce the pressure on the composite blank.
After lunch, Dennis took us through a short presentation on how he makes his Corian composites, including the hoops that he had to jump through with Corian UK to become their one and only Authorised Corian Turner to allow him to purchase their special glues for his work.
Corian is available in vast amounts on EBay and also if you have a friendly kitchen worktop manufacturer or fitter. Whilst the glue isn't readily available, it does respond well to Cyro Acrylate.
During the turning. Dennis pointed out that you cannot use bowl gouges to cut the Corian and only scrapers or the tungsten tip hollowing tools can be used. To demonstrate the creation of the bowl, he started with a composite that had already had the centre turned as Corian takes a long time to turn. At this point all of the front row started to have synthetic dandruff problems!
The Corian bowl was finish turned with the negative rake scraper and would usually just have t-cut to finish
Just to remind you, there will not be a meeting in April because the trip to Yandles is on again this year. There are apparently a few seats still available on the coach so if you would like to go please get in touch with either Fred Taylor, Paul Hunt or Bert Lanham.
Our next meeting therefore will be on the 12th May when we will have Tony Walton with us for the day.
Tony is a teacher as well as a demonstrator and from what I have seen on his website he covers just about every aspect of woodturning from large vases to fine, delicate work so come along in May and see what he has in store for us.
Last but not least I must give a big thank you to Fred Taylor for the photos of the March meeting and Paul Hunt for the write up in my absence. Also many thanks to you all for the get well card. Iím almost back to my usual self now, (Iím not sure whether that is good or bad!!) so I will be with you all again in May.