Monday, June 12, 2017

Woodturn a Bird

I turned this cute multi axis duck several years ago for my granddaughter.

I thought it would be a great project for my club's hands on woodturning session that I facilitate each month. As I prepared for the workshop I recognized that it was a bit more challenging than I initially thought. I could not remember exactly how I had turned it. The problem is every time I tried to duplicate it, I got a catch on the tail feathers.


Serendipity! I happen to run across  a picture on internet of a bird that had been turned on a wood lathe that got me intrigued. Especially since I announced the multi axis duck project which appeared doomed to failure! So I played around with the concept of an off axis woodturning to create a pretty cool bird. I made a video that will be out this Friday on my YouTube channel, but here is what they look like.

Let me know what you think.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Live Demos Over the Internet

Isn't technology wonderful! It is now possible for demonstrations to be conducted live over the internet with the demonstrator operating their own equipment in their shop and presenting to a chapter across the country. One of my clubs, the Gwinnett Woodworkers Association had Lyle Jamieson do a presentation like this and I was impressed. It was absolutely like he was there in person.
Advantages to a club:

  • The opportunity to see a demonstrator they could not get to their club meeting.
  • Lower costs because there are no travel costs. 
  • In many instances, better video than a club gets with their own camera operator and equipment because the demonstrator has a better lighting and video setup than a club might have.
Advantages for the Demonstrator
  • No travel
  • Using their own equipment with more options to show tools and have backup if there is some type of equipment failure
Here is a link to a presentation by Alan Zeinrich who is a woodturning pioneer in this area. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnxKFbc0tnk

Is your club interested in having me do a live video demonstration? 
I would be interested in working with you to make this happen. I have not done one yet but do not think it would take too much effort to set up for one. The biggest constraint is the club must have a broad band internet connection and a champion willing to work with me to make sure we were both fully operational.  If you have some interest, let's talk. You can message me through my Facebook page, my Youtube channel (send me a message through my About tab), or look me up in the AAW Membership directory. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Tip of the Week! New YouTube Channel Feature

I am now posting a weekly wood turning tip on my YouTube channel. I have been experimenting to find the best time to upload and have settled on Wednesday at 7 AM EDT. If you have not subscribe, do so and "Ring the Bell" so you will be notified whenever I release a new video. Go ahead, it doesn't cost you anything!

This is an addition to the weekly regular woodturning tutorial I release on Friday morning at 7 AM EDT.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Rookie Carpenter/Laborer for a Day

Every year my church's Mens group go to Camp Glisson. We hang out on Friday night, have some sort of devotional, cook and eat a meal together and tell war stories. We sleep in bunk beds.  The next day we tackle some type of construction project to help get the camp ready for the coming summer.

The last few years we have been working on building new camp sites for the kids with some type of central cooking and eating shelter and some type of deck facilities for the kids to sleep on with some overhead shelter.

We have a few folks with pretty good building skills including a couple of engineers that can generally figure most anything out. We break into smaller teams of 3 - 5 workers depending on the project. The camp provides the materials and a vision. Most teams will have someone that can use a Skill saw and operate a drill or a chain saw. Some folks show up with very few skills but a helpful attitude to act as Gunga Din and water bottle resupply or haul construction material or "go fetch".  It is a lot of fun and by the end of the day we are worn out. Many of us are retired and getting on in years and it is sometimes frustrating when we can't lift as much as we would like or go as fast as we used to. But at the end of the day we can look back to see what we accomplished as a team with the Lord's help and smile.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Turning Southern Style, Sep 1 - 17, 2017

Now is the time to start thinking about the Turning SouthernStyle Woodturning Symposium in Dalton, GA Sep 15 - 17, 2017. What a great opportunity to see some great demonstrations, shop with the some of the premier woodturning vendors and hangout with a bunch of other woodturners. I already made my hotel reservation. More info at their website.

Friday, April 14, 2017

2 Guys, 2 Shops - a Video Collaboration

I had a great time working with fellow woodturner and YouTuber, Rick Morris, on a video series on setting up your woodturning shop.  Hope you will find this 3 part series useful. Parts one and three are on my channel and part 2 is on Rick's channel, RickTurns.

I came up with this idea several months ago and approached Rick with it. At that time we had never met although both of us were familiar with each others channel. This collaborative effort involved several collaborative shop visits with each other. Rick had lots of creative ideas and did all of the editing.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Atlanta WoodWorking Show 2017

I spent April 3, 2017 at the Atlanta Woodworking Show. I have been attending the WW show since before I retired. I usually hang out at the Georgia Association of Woodturners booth demonstrating woodturning and answering questions about woodturning and trying to get folks who have a lathe to connect with a woodturning guild of the American Association of Woodturners. This year I demonstrated at the Gwinnett Woodworkers booth. I had the opportunity to meet fellow YouTuber, Carl Jacobson, in person. I have watched his YouTube channel for years.
I did a video of the show from the perspective of a woodturner.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Wood Dye

I tend to be mostly a "brown and round" turner. I guess probably because I don't have much native "artistic" ability. Sometimes this is not obvious to the casual viewer since I have developed some woodturning skills. And I can frequently turn something similar to others with far more native artistic ability. Copying the work of others is not the same as coming up with an original idea.

But, playing with color on wood is an embellishing technique I have started playing with. One way to do this is with dye. There are various coloring techniques applicable to wood:

  • Staining
  • Bleaching
  • Pyrography and Lichtenberg burning
  • Scorching
  • Patinating waxesG
  • Gilding and metallic waxes
  • Dyes
  • Inlays
  • Air brushing
  • and more 
I have to say using color just isn't comfortable for me. I have never used an airbrush and not ready to try that yet. But I have done a little bit with Transtint dyes using water or alcohol.  I discovered a new Georgia company that manufactures a variety of colorants for woodturners and others. I like their comment, 

Well, I can hope that I can move from good craftsman to artist. But more importantly to me, it is another tool to play with and have fun. And having fun is what it is all about!
Here is a recent experiment with spray dye. It is not as precise as airbrushing but it is oh so simple!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Wheelie Bug Pull Toy

I made the pull toy on the right for my granddaughter Poet when she was a toddler. My extended family has an active toddler who might play with one so I thought it might make a good video to demonstrate making another one.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Woodturning a Chess Set

I had been turning almost 9 years before I got around to turning a chess set. Probably because I don't play chess so hated to put that much time and effort into a project that would go into a box on the shelf. But I finally did it and put it on the dining room table. And it was the basis for a chess set making series I did for my YouTube channel. So this led to me asking my 8 year granddaughter, when she had a sleepover,  if she wanted to learn to play a new game. So we played a few games. Well this led to her getting involved in an after school chess program and winning a trophy!  So, I guess her younger sibling may have been a bit jealous but she asked me to teach her! So this inspired me to make another set so each would eventually end up with an heirloom chess set made by their "Bepaw".

Here is a link to the short video I did on the second set. I did quite a bit of research to come up with a design I liked with a knight I thought I could carve.  The design is one I saw of a Soviet era Russian chess set I saw on the internet. The light pieces are Bradford Pear and the green pieces are Persimmon. I am pleased how the chess sets turned out but more so on the opportunity to find something else for me to do together with my granddaughters.

If you are interested in making a chess set, check out the post I did last April on the first set I turned.
I did a complete video series with lots of detail on making a chess set. It is the set my granddaughter is studying above.  I have scale drawings to that set under the Resources tab.







Saturday, January 14, 2017

Offering Plates

I was asked to make some offering plates for my small church. I was honored and got started. I used kiln dried red oak and here are the three plates I turned.  This presented several challenges:

  1. Getting the right wood. I attempted this a few years ago with white oak that was still green and most of the blanks and rough turnings cracked. Kiln dried wood is the only way to go. But it did require jointing two pieces to get 12" blanks.
  2. coming up with a design that will allow them to stack
  3. making them identical 
Wes Jones, a member of my club wrote an article on this for the American Woodturner and was gracious enough to allow me to post to my website for others to use.
Here is the video I made for this project.