Gary Rance was our demonstrator for the June meeting and he started off with him giving us a quick outline as to how he began wood turning.
Gary then went on to showing us basic spindle turning techniques using a rounded skew and then a roughing gouge on a piece of pine. The reason he used pine initially was because it was cheap and he said that due to its softness if you can get a good outcome with pine, you can turn any wood.
He showed us how to cut beads, coves and two different methods of cutting ‘v’ cuts with a skew.
His first project for the day was turning a pendant.
He explained that when making pendants, the choice of wood was important.
A wood with especially fine figuring was required to ensure its uniqueness, as one pendant was very much like any other and it was the choice of wood that made it particularly attractive. So for this pendant he chose laburnum.
Using steb centres, he says it reduces the wood splitting, he turned it down to 50mm and then with a 3/8” gouge shaped it further to fit his own ‘form’ to hold the laburnum disc.
He explained that the gouge is either drawn towards or away from his body depending on whether he is working on end or along the grain.
He has made a video on how to make the pendant making form. Once in his form, it is fixed in the chuck and a hole drilled, this hole will now be off centre. The disc is now shaped using a 1/4” gouge and then sanded.
Back to his ‘production turning’ back ground, Gary explained that he would make batches of 50+ at a time. He lays them all out on a table and sprays a coating on one side and leaves that to dry before turning them all over and spraying the other side.
His next project was a small box with what he described as a corian on-lay. He turned down a piece of boxwood (2” x 2”1/2) and turned a small dovetail in each end for holding in the chuck. He semi parted whilst between centres and put the work in the chuck and completed the parting process. He hollowed out what was to become the top, sand and coated it.
Then he put the bottom in the chuck and hollowed this out, using a box scraper was able to make a very nice corner in the base of the bottom piece. Gary very carefully turned the top of the base creating a jam chuck for the top to sit on whilst he attached his on-lay of pre-drilled corian. The top piece was turned down so the corian could be tapped onto the lid and fixed using super glue. After a few moments, the corian was turned down to leave what looked like a ring on the boxwood. A pleasing dome was created on the lid of the box.
Gary’s next project was a bottle stopper. As with his pendant he explained he thought it important to use attractive woods to make them from. At the same time, uses up lots of off cuts. His stoppers he buys from ‘Tool post’. Using his trusty skew chisel, he created an attractive shaped stopper and put some texturing on the body using a texturing tool he had made for him by a friend.
Next, he made a plum, again using laburnum wood. He turned the egg shaped wood into a plum by forming a cleft down the side using a grinding wheel from a dremel set. The stalk he created using a real stalk. It looked very attractive.
The next item Gary made was an ash chisel handle, very plain and he hammered a brass ferrule onto the end where the blade is inserted. He added, that the ferrule must have a couple of dimples knocked into it, as no matter how tight it appeared to be, with time it will come lose and drop off.
He hammered a brass upholstery tack into the top of the handle at the end.
He then created a spinning top. A piece of corian was turned down to a cylinder and sanded. A piece of ebony was turned down and fitted into the hole in the corian and glued into position, a nylon rod was pushed into the end of the ebony, fixed using super glue and a point was turned at the end of the nylon. He followed this by making a Tippee top from satin wood.
For Gary’s last project, he turned a pear. He turned another piece of laburnum down to a 63mm round, so that it would fit into a jam chuck. In the end of the jam chuck, is a screw to add further support to the item, this screw hole becomes the stalk hole! Meanwhile, the base is shaped using one continuous sweep of the chisel, and made to look authentic by gluing a clove into the base. The stalk is glued into the top of the pear.
As there were only a few minutes left, Gary then talked about grinding tools by hand with no guide.