Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lightening Hit Woodturning!

I have just started playing with a new toy, a Lichtenberger woodburner! Here is a short video I just made of me using my burner for the first time. Frank Bowers came over to watch and call 911 in case I electrocuted myself!

I got jump started on this when Bill Wyche from Jackson, TN made a shop visit and brought his burner over to show me. I had seen some pretty scary stuff on YouTube but his unit was well thought out and could be used safely but a careful person. I read an interesting comment, "Some people operate nuclear power plants and others should not be able to operator a toaster." 

I have got several woodturning presentations coming up over the next few weeks I need to prepare for, so I may not get back to this for a while. But stay tuned as I do plan to provide details on safely making and using one of these units. I can safely operate a toaster with no difficulties whatsoever!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Great Symposium

I had a terrific time at the symposium. I probably did not spend enough money but did get some African Blackwood. I also got some more sanding discs from Vince Welch. I met so many of my YouTube viewers. I really enjoyed that. I was alos able to network with several of my fellow Woodturning YouTubers like John Lucas, Sam Angelo and Reed Gray.

My two demonstrations seem to have been well received. I made three videos, Adding Pizzazz with Texturing, on the same topic for my YouTube channel. I will publish these over the next three weeks.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

AAW Symposium

The American Association of Woodturners  Symposium is just next weekend! the AAW's 30th Annual Int'l Symposium in Atlanta, Georgia, is June 9-12, 2016 at the Atlanta Convention Center at AmericasMart. If you have never been to a National Symposium it is hard to describe the experience. I attend the one in Albuquerque in 2009 and Tampa 2013. I am thrilled to be selected as a demonstrator this year and will be doing two demos on Adding Pizzazz with Spiraling and Texturing. I look forward to meeting a lot of you viewers. If you are attending, please look me up and say hello.
If you are local and just want to visit the huge Trade Show area I know you will enjoy it. Maybe you could find an hour or two to volunteer your time.

Some of the vendors will have live demonstrations throughout the day in the vendor area. I am looking forward to seeing some folks I know but have never met, like Reed Gray. I have one of his RoboRests and like it a lot.

If you are across the big pond as they say, you may want to check out what I believe is the 1st UK and Ireland Symposium the following weekend on June 18 19 in Coventry England. It should be a blast.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Upcoming Demonstrations

June 10 and 12, 2016     AAW Symposium, Atlanta    Adding Pizzaz with Spiraling and Texture

August 9, 2016     Barnesville Woodturners, Barnesville, GA    Small Spindle Projects requiring different chucking methods including a pill box, chess men and fan or lamp pull

August 20, 2016    Tri-State Woodturners, Chattanooga, TN    Coffee Scoop and several small spindle projects

Nov 12, 2016     West Tennessee Woodturners, Jackson, TN    hot air balloon ornament, a hand bell ornament and perhaps more as well as tips and tricks for folks making ornaments to kick them up a notch


Monday, April 11, 2016

Chess Set Plans

I recently did a video series on making a chess set. I can't draw nor can I use any computer drawing CAD/CAM program. 

Gideon (Gidi) Azar, from Australia,  plans to turn a full size chess set based on the set I turned in the video series. He has given me permission to post his full size scale drawings on my website where they will be available for download.  I have posted his scale drawings for  all of the pieces below.
Gidi, is a turner after my own heart with researching chess patterns, studying Mike Darlow’s book and turning prototypes. Thanks so much, Gidi,  for making your drawings available. I look forward to seeing pictures of your completed set. 

Here is the link to the downloadable pdf file which can also be found under the Resources tab. It is for 8 1/2" X 11" letter size paper. 

Here is the link for scale drawings printed on A4 paper, common in Europe and Australia 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Shop Fairy Turning Wood

What a great time showing my granddaughter how to turn wood. I am going to start slow and see where it goes but it had to start with me making a platform for her to stand on to reach the lathe! She is so intense!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Practice, Practice, Practice!

My pastor used the following quotation by Robert H. Schuller in a recent sermon. Although the context it was presented in was a little different, I think it applies to woodturning equally well. 

"Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation."

This message is for novice turners as most experience turners already recognize the value of this advice. The point is, it is hard to just start out and make something spectacular without a lot of practice. It takes making a lot of shavings to get tool control. Until you get tool control, it is hard to get really comfortable holding your tools without using a death grip. If you are always worried about a catch, you won’t enjoy turning much!

If you want to make that last smooth, clean cut on a bowl my advice is to take a bowl blank and simply practice your cuts. Observe the quality of cut when you start making changes in the flute position. Carefully observe the change in sound and cut quality after you sharpen your tool. Think about how you position your feet. Waste away the blank with practice cuts until you have nothing left but shavings.

Find some little simple turning project that you can do over and over until you really get that muscle memory so the tool movement becomes effortless. And then do a lot of them. It doesn’t matter whether it is a lamp or fan pull, a tiny little ring bowl, a bottle stopper or whatever. If it is something made of green wood so much the better because the shavings are nicer and there is less dust.  Practice!

I know this advice is not well received by everyone. Some of us are more impatient then others. Who ever reads the instruction manual for assembling some new gadget we got? Just look at the picture and do it. Get er done!  Who want to waste time practicing when they could be doing.

Well for me, part of the fun of woodturning is just making shavings. It takes me to a different place. I forgot about what is going on outside my shop and just enjoy the journey. Sometimes that journey results in something I want to show others. Sometimes it just results in shavings to mulch the backyard and designer firewood. It is all good.

Think about the cuts that cause you problems or that you lack confidence in and practice them. Again and Again and Again. Start a turning session with a beads and cove stick. Practice, Practice, Practice.

Ok, I am stepping down from my soap box.