Monday, December 22, 2014

Video of woodturning Tips, Tricks and Jigs

Thanks to Hans Meier for suggesting the topic for this new YouTube video. In this video I show a variety of tips, tricks and jigs I use in woodturning. You can also see how I store the various tools and accessories I use in woodturning.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

How to Turn a One Piece Coffee Scoop

Here is my latest video showing how to turn a one piece coffee scoop with a captured ring. I also show how to make the donut chuck used to hold the blank for hollowing. This topic was also covered in my August 2012 article in American Woodturner. This article is can be downloaded from my Woodturning Resources Page. If you like this video, please subscribe so you will be notified when I put up another on.

If you have thoughts about what you would like to see in the next video, please let me know.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Turn the Knob - Part 2, Adding Inserts

I needed to make some additional photographs for an article I submitted to American Woodturner. It is planned for the February issue. Since I was already having to do some additional turning to show more detail on some of the processes, I thought I would go ahead and make a video. I knew it would not take much more time to take some video footage in addition to the stills I needed to make.  The real time comes in the video editing process.  I am so happy to be back in my shop again after being sidelined for weeks with some hip problems.  The ebony pull on the left used a "bovine ivory" insert made from one of my dog Mazey's dog bones. The one on the right has a cherry insert cut with a 3/8" plug cutter.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Temporary Break - I hate it!

I have strained my hip from an exercise class. It got to the point that I had to quit going to the class till it heals. I finally saw an orthopedist and start physical therapy. I literally had to get wacked up the side of the head to do that. I had gotten up in the wee hours of the morning to go into the kitchen to get some Ibuprofen for the pain, when I had such a pain spasm in my hip it caused to fall and hit my head. This resulted in a trip to the emergency room to get some staples to close the wound. Turns out I had a mild concussion and had to stay overnight for observation.

Meanwhile, it is difficult to do a lot of walking, step climbing or standing so it is keeping me away from turning.  At least it keeps me from standing at the lathe. It is amazing how much time I spend on turning related activities that don't involve standing at a lathe. This includes going to meetings, chapter management activities, YouTube video watching and editing. I have even started going through my notebooks reviewing the notes I have taken at the demonstrations I have attended. I always rediscover something in my notes.  Not being able to stand at the lathe has not gotten me back to finish the pattern practice board I started months ago in Cynthia Gibson's pyrography class. 

Hopefully I will get back to the lathe soon. And back to exercise class. Despite the lack of physical activity, I am making good progress with my Weight Watchers which I started about the same time. I do believe it has made me a little more empathetic to the pain others around me are experiencing. I am not saying the good Lord wacked me on the head to get my attentions, but He can make good things happen from unpleasant events.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Adding Pizzazz with Threads

I did a demonstration on Jan 10, 2013 on "Adding Pizzazz with Threads" for the woodturners at the Gwinnett Woodworkers Association (GWA). GWA is also a chapter of the American Association of Woodturners. Since then I have started helping out with editing the videos they place up on YouTube of the chapter demonstrations. This demonstration video was in the backlog of those that needed editing so I offered to edit it. It was a challenge to edit as it was the first one for me that required synchronizing the video and sound from two different cameras. I am off a bit on the voice and video synchronization but hope to improve on the next one. Hopefully it won't detract too much from the content.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Using a Beall Tap to Make Wood Face Plates or Threaded Glue Blocks

In this video I show how easy it is to make wooden face plates using the Beall Tap. This tap is relatively inexpensive and is a great alternative to accumulating metal face plates. I use them for lathe accessories like vacuum chucks and frequently use them for making boxes. They are reusable and can last a very long time. You can buy one for 1 1/4" and 1" at most of the turning vendors. It is undoubtedly the least expensive tap out there for these common sizes.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Palmetto Woodturners

I had a great time this past week with the Palmetto Woodturners in Columbia SC. What a great bunch of guys and gals. I conducted two all day workshops on "Adding Pizzazz with Texturing" Thursday and Friday and then did a 3 hour demo at their regular Saturday meeting. It was a blast! I stayed with Pat Harris and his wife Patty who were wonderful hosts.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Turn the Knob

As I was turning all of the knobs for my tool storage cabinet, it occurred to me that this might make a good video. So here it it is.  Click on the picture to watch.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Before and After

I had an old office desk that I did not need in my office so it wound up in my shop. I thought the drawers would be useful and it had a big horizontal surface that might be useful. Unfortunately, I think there is a Murphy's law corollary that goes something like, " Any horizontal surface in a shop will fill up until it is no longer functional." Here is a picture of my Before view with the desk.

So I decided to solve this problem by designing a storage cabinet that could also serve as a desk for those times I need a desk in the office or when I do pyrography. I analyzed my storage requirements and thought about how I could incorporate a desk unit. This is what I finally came up with after many hours of design consideration and  two weeks of dedicated flat work. I wound up with a unit of 12 drawers and 6 doors.  I thought about the pulls I wanted. I have more than 60  brass knobs from my kitchen after my wife wanted oiled bronze. But I am a turner so who wants to use old brass knobs when you could turn knobs and make the unit more distinctive. I am also writing an article on turning knobs so this gave me a reason to gain some knob turning experience and make pictures for my article. So I made a screw chuck and a few days later I have my 19 knobs. All are face grain except for the shaker style pull needed for the slide out desk unit.

I was able to use some of the plywood from the shipping crate from my Rikon bandsaw. The slide out desk tray was a scrap of cabinet top I salvaged from a neighbor's kitchen renovation and a scrap of melamine I had on hand was perfect for the inside surface. 

And a side benefit was being able to move the desk into my wife's sewing area to serve a new life as the base for her quilt cutting table! This was the most complex flat work project I have done.  If I have to do something like this again, I will certainly take the time to obtain and learn to use some type of design program.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Light and Fan Pulls

My latest article, "Light and Fan Pulls", was just
published in the June 2014 issue of the American Woodturner. You can read or download this article here.

Monday, May 26, 2014


I belong to Gwinnett Woodworkers Association (GWA) which meets most Saturday mornings with a
class of about an hour and a half on some aspect of woodworking. With probably 40 or so classes a year, many of the classes are presented by members.  GWA is also an AAW chapter and also has a Scroll Saw SIG which also has regular demonstrations.

Most of these classes (or demonstrations) are typically videotaped and uploaded to YouTube.  Another member, Steve Mellott, and I decided to hold a couple of classes on "Presenting a Successful Woodworking Demonstration".  We hope these two classes will help members do a better job and provide some members with the confidence to give demonstrating a try.

We are indebted to Frank Penta who published two best practices for the Association of American Woodturners on "Presenting an Effective Demonstration" and "Preparing an Effective Handout." We relied heavily on these two references in preparing out classes.  Our two classes were videotaped, edited and uploaded to the GWA YouTube channel where you can view them. Click here to get to the GWA channel on YouTube.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Woodturning in Atlanta

Woodturners in Atlanta are so fortunate. We have so many different AAW woodturning chapters in
the Atlanta metro area. As a result we get lots of big name turners visiting to demonstrate and conduct workshops. Two weeks ago I had the good fortune of being able to attend an all day hands on with Jimmy Clewes sponsored by the Georgia Association of Woodturners and held at Peachtree Woodworking Supply. 

Just this past week I attended an all day workshop with David Ellsworth followed a couple of days later by an all day demonstration at the local Woodcraft Store, again sponsored by the Georgia Association of Woodturners.  This coming week I will spend a day at a workshop with Cynthia Gibson to enhance by pyrography skills (also known as using a woodburner). Such great opportunities.

Now do these offset the horrendous traffic we have in the Atlanta area? Humm. I will have to get back to you on that.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Southern States Symposium

I had a great time at Southern States Symposium this past weekend in Cartersville, GA. It was a great opportunity to see woodturning friends and make new ones as well as watch some great demonstrators.  Trent Bosch has developed a very creative method to monitor to the location of the cutter during  using  a camera and monitor. It just blows your mind. Trent is a very smart turner who definitely thinks outside the box.

I am fortunate to have the opportunity to have two regional symposiums so close by. The bad news was there were fewer vendors this year than last and attendance appeared to be down as well. The instant gallery was pretty small compared to last year and compared to Turning Southern Style Symposium in Dalton last year. I do have to wonder about its future.

Dennis Liggett's demo on tangle Aspen was a great introduction to a new doodling art form called  Zentangle. It works very well on Christmas ornaments but I see how it could be used with pyrography on other pieces.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Introduction to Woodturning Workshop at Chattahoochee

Jerry Chandler and I conducted an all day Introduction to Woodturning Workshop at the Chattahoochee Woodturners Shop on March 26.  The focus was on basic spindle turning between centers using only a parting tool, spindle gouge and spindle roughing gouge.  Safety was emphasized along with sharpening and using these basic tools.  I think everyone enjoyed themselves and are more confident about turning on their  own. Lots of practice on beads and coves and finishing with a Frosty Ornament or an egg.This workshop also brought in two new chapter members.
L-R Garth Goodrich  (new member), Kevin Kelley, Dru Thomas (new chapter member), Jack Nelson, Susan Shortman and Jerry Chandler, my co-instructor. Not pictured is me, the photographer.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Make a Mini Rotary Texturing Tool

Since I published my article on spiraling and texturing in the December American Woodturner, I have
been playing with some new texturing tools lately. I bought a couple of Wagner Tool knockoffs. They are fun to use and can add a nice detail to the bottom of a bowl or inside a box lid. My friend Bob Aldea came up with a low cost shop made alternative to the Henry Taylor Decorating Elf. I had a rare earth magnet on hand so was able to make one for less than $10. It also helped that Bob had found a deal for a bunch of the Oilite bushings so gave me a couple.  Thanks again, Bob.

Click here to see my instructions which includes sourcing of all parts for the tool pictured here, brief instructions on how to use and a link to a YouTube video (not mine) on how to use.

This is just another alternative to the Wagner Tool type knurling tools or the Sorby Spiraling and Texturing tools.  Time will tell what use if any it will be best suited for.  Meanwhile it is something I am experimenting with. I may have to invest in another cutter or two.  As Frugal as I am, I am not sure if I could justify to myself paying the money for the Decorating Elf given the texturing tools I already have. But for less than $10, this was a no brainer.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mustard Monster Website

For you Powermatic 3520 lathe owners, here is a great resource on tips, sources and links to information on your lathe! Click on the image to the right to get to this website. Jerry Hall developed this site some years ago when he became an enthusiastic "Mustard Monster" owner. He has solicited my help in taking over the maintenance of this site as new information becomes available and to respond to emails with questions or broken links.