For May we had Gary Rance back with us making a lot of items in the one day!
Gary started turning at the age of 16, in a Wood mill that had only just replaced it’s Steam Engine with electric to drive the belt driven lathes that he learned the craft on!
Gary began with some basic spindle work, turned a Square pommel and showing some of the different cuts and tools, focussing on bevel position and body movement.
One of the best ways to learn beads, is to turn a series of them on a piece. First turn all the left sides, then turn all the right sides to help develop muscle memory.
Next he moved to Faceplate work to create a pocket watch stand out of Walnut.
The first blank was a walnut bowl blank hot glue mounted on a sacrificial base. The edge and base was tidied up and a bead tool used to create the pattern.
Because this would be used for display, the base was prepared for Baize by under cutting around the chucking point so that the baize can be tucked in. This was then reversed and the front cleaned up.
The next piece created a large curtain ring, that could then be cut in half to create the top of the Pocket Watch stand. With the blank on a screw chuck, 3/4s of the ring was prepare, with the final piece being separated and cleaned up in a jam chuck.
The two pillars were created using a scratch board to show where the size cuts should be. In his workshop Gary uses copy fingers which drop down once the piece is the right diameter.
Once completed, these would be drilled, glued and assembled, before finishing with Sanding sealer and gloss lacquer.
The next piece was a Mexican Rosewood box with Corian Onlay.
Called Onlay because the ring of Corian is pushed onto the box and cut into the shape, without requiring a recess.
The Corian is added to the lid during creation and cut to form part of the curved top. A finial was created from the stem, the lid finished and parted off. The remainder was used to create the base of the box. Sealer and Carnuba wax to finish.
After lunch Gary turned a small Xmas Tree ornament out of Sycamore show how to do fine finial work with a very thin stem (1.5mm / 1/16”). Working from the tailstock back to the chuck at all times to ensure the maximum support for the work.
Then a piece that confused a lot of the members,
Gary turned an idiot Stick, a party trick designed to confuse
consisting of an outer tube with an elastic band passed through the middle and an inner piece of wood with a bulbous tip that Gary slid in and managed to latch onto the rubber band, which made it snap back.. try as they might, the members couldn’t do the same!
The out rod is turned and drilled first, with the stem of the inner piece then cut to fit with some room for the elastic to pass over it. The bulbous teardrop end was cut before parting off. An elastic band is then glue into holes either side of the outer tube to look like they pass right through. (Spoiler.. they don’t! the snap back is because of squeezing the tip!_
Gary went on to turn a Pear (Yew) and then an Apple (Padauk), although the pear blank is longer, they use roughly the same process with homemade screw chucks to allow the fruit to be reversed to finish. Each is finished with cloves and twigs and a good spray of laquer.
The last two pieces to round out the day were quite quick. The first, a light pull using a light pull drive of Gary’s own design. All you do is drill the 3mm hole all the way through, the light pull drive drills the counter bore and then drives the piece. Gary used a scratch board again to show how to mark things out quickly, before turning the stem and ball end.
The last piece was a Teeter Totter, a variation on a spinning top that once you start it spinning, it then flips up and spins on the handle due to the ball shape and the hollowed out sphere. The stem was shaped and then a Ball added towards the headstock. This was then hollowed out so that the stem passed down inside the ball like a mushroom. This was then coloured with coloured pens.
The first spin didn’t work, so it was back to the lathe for a small trim, before trying again. This time it worked beautifully, flipping over and spinning across the floor.
Overall a very informative and entertaining day.
This month June 11th demonstrator is Joey Richardson an artistic turner and should be a good and interesting day.
See her website