The 2015 Project

Accomplishments

02/10/2015

Looking ahead to 2015

This blog allows me to publish my goals for the year. By publishing them I set a framework for the year. Do I hope to complete them all? Well yes and no. Yes, I would be ecstatic if I completed all the goals for the year. However, I am realistic that things change over the year and goals need to change in accordance. Additionally if only a portion of items are completed it is more than would get completed without any goal.

So my goals for this year are listed. Now its time to execute.

Carpe Diam

 

Uncategorized

01/02/2014

Reviving the Blog

Its time to revive this blog and start posting again.

New goals have been set and are listed above.

Please visit our sister sites: MyTurningsStudio 2724, and Studio Ammo Works

Accomplishments

12/28/2010

Bowl Number Two

The Art of turned Bowls

The Art of turned Bowls

After reading Richard Raffan’s book The Art of Turned Bowls I realized that good bowl design is no accident. I have heard many turners say” I just put a block of wood on the lathe and see what the wood has to say”. Many times this seems a bit contrived or assumes the wood (an inanimate object) has something to say. This coupled with some ungainly results have brought me to be more intentioned in my turning and in particular in planning my turnings out before hand. Raffan states that until you have turned a particular shape a couple hundred times it flow or come natural.

I wanted to incorporate some of what I have learned into the new bowls I’m turning. One thing Raffan encourages is using templates. That allows the form to be repeated over and over. That requires drawing it first.

Bowl #2 while Turning

Bowl #2 while Turning

Bowl #2 is made from Redwood Burl. This piece is very soft but turns well. You see the wide outer lip forming with a nice bead at the transition point.

Bowl #2 bottom Profile

Bowl #2 bottom Profile

Here is the full drawing up against the almost finished bottom.

Bowl #2 bottom

Bowl #2 bottom

The outer shape is complete. now for the inner shape.

Bowl #2 Top

Bowl #2 Top

A view from the top.

Bowl #2 Finished Profile

Bowl #2 Finished Profile

And from the side.  All that is left is to finish off the foot and all is done.

Now that this bowl is complete I have drawn shapes for all my rough turned bowls. I just need to find time to turn them all.

Accomplishments,Woodworking

06/04/2010

A Wood Hat?

It was November 2009 and I was attending my turning guild meeting. I was unaware of who was demonstrating but was surprised to see a table full of hats.

Demo at Apple Valley Woodturners

Demo at Apple Valley Woodturners

Some were small some were full sized and some were almost thimbles (micro hats). But most interesting was they were all made out of wood. Once the meeting started we were introduced to Johannes Michelsen who has been making hats out of wood for many. His adroit presentation combined technique, skills,  and how-to; all while turning a 100 lb block into a 7 oz hat in a few short hours.

Johannes at Apple Valley Woodturners

Johannes at Apple Valley Woodturners

After that demonstration I was amazed at the concept and wanted to learn more. I had never taken a turning class but figured this would be a great first.

Last week we drove up to beautiful Manchester Center Vermont to the Michelson School of Turning. There Andrew and I took Johannes 3 day hat turning class while Sue explored the area.

In the turning classroom

In the turning classroom

Day 1: We met Peter who lived an hour away and was also enrolled in the class. Johannes demonstrated the entire process making his hat in about 3 hours.

The master with one of his masterpieces

The master with one of his masterpieces

After lunch we each picked out our log and Johannes cut it on his industrial sized band saw. (so big it takes a couple of minutes to get up to speed)

Hat block on the bandsaw (50-75 lbs)

Hat block on the bandsaw (50-75 lbs)

We mounted our block on the lathe and began rough tuning the blank. The wood was fresh-cut and so wet it was spitting at us as it turned. We couldn’t turn it too far or it would crack overnight. We burried the hat in the wet shavings on the floor.

Turning the rough outer shape

Turning the rough outer shape

Day 2: We dove right in and took the rough turned blank through the prescribed process starting with the under/outer  brim curve. We measured our heads to get the correct size for the inside diameter. Then reversing the hat we started shaping the outer cone to the proper size making sure to include the swell and the bulge and to leave a little thickness for the band. Finally we shaped the brim of the hat.

The Brim to thickness

The Brim to thickness

Reversing the hat once more we began to work on the underside/inside of the hat. Using the light as a thickness guide the brim is shaped.

Inside thickness by light

Inside thickness by light

Then we continued with the inside all the way to the crown. Some sanding was done before removing the faceplate.

Inside complete

Inside complete

Next we install the hat on a special chuck with a light in it and finish the hat to the same thickness.

Crown all lit up

Crown all lit up

Finally the hat is placed in a bender.

In the bending jig

In the bending jig

And over the next 20 hours the brim bends significantly.

After 18 hours in the bender

After 18 hours in the bender

Day 3: Johannes showed up how to turn mini hats. The process is almost identical to the full sized hats but we reviewed the process first. Johannes took a 6 in block of wood and turned a mini hat in a little over 20 minutes. This also served as a reminder of the process for the big hats reinforcing what we had learned the two days before. I was able make two mini hats (and lost two trying – but the goal was practice)

Graduating class

Graduating class

I am not sure if I can adequately put into words the things I came away with from this master turner with a calm demeanor and a patient spirit. I feel privileged to have studied at the feet of such a master.

Accomplishments

04/03/2010

Catch Up on the Happenings

The snows in February really through me through a loop. Looking back it seems like all I did in February was clear away the snow. several of the storms were on the weekend (including the pilgrimage to the Lumber Mill saga). Snowmageddon and the Blizzard of 2010 came in quick succession and were during the work week. I spent 16-20 hours over three days clearing snowmageddon only to spend another 8 hours or so with the Blizzard. It’s amazing to me how much work it takes, even with a snow blower, to dig out of the snow. Needless to say, not much else got done other than clearing the driveway and repairing the snow-blower. Let me just say that I’m glad were done with the snow for awhile.

So far in March we have salvaged the remnants of several of our damaged trees  and burned the big pile of limbs.

A number of, what my dad calls 5 min projects, (because you expect them to be quick 5 min but they always end up being much, much longer) including cleaning the furnace filters, fixing the gutter, cleaning the garage, fixing the outdoor battery lights, the burn pile, etc.

Currently the big push is taxes

I have two bowls in the works. They are getting their its initial coast of finish. Once taxes are done I hope to finish them both.

Accomplishments

03/01/2010

State of the Project Feb 2010

Two months down, 10 months left. So this post is to recap and take inventory on how things are going. This has been a difficult month with lots of snow, a short month, and a week away. I feel like I’m falling behind.  Here is the original list with status notes:

Self Improvement

  • Read 15-30 min a day — Almost finished “The Art of Turned Bowls”
  • Read through the Bible in  a year — Running a few days late

Health

  • Lose weight — The week away set me back a little
  • Exercise regularly — Got lots of exercise clearing the driveway many times, but this one needs some sort of schedule

Work

  • Redesign the Corporate Web site (Requires learning a new CMS) — Continue watching CMS videos; installed software; began devloping website hierarchy
  • Become more proficient with Cold Fusion — Prepared a blog to chronicle reading and keep notes
  • Learn to use Flex effectively — No action

Hobbies

  • Turn at least 12 bowls this year — Began Second bowl, transfered all rough turned bowls to paper bags — plastic bags were not allowing bowls to breathe and dry.
  • Complete the current backlog of outstanding projects (Spiral candlesticks, 3 quilt hangers) — Purchased wood for Quilt ladder

Family

  • Complete the current 12 items on the “Honey Do List” — No further action

So, All in all it has not been as much of a productive month as January. Now its time to get back on the horse and get cracking.

Accomplishments,Goals

02/01/2010

State of the Project Jan 2010

One month is down, 11 months left. So this post is to recap and take inventory on how things are going. Here is the original list with status notes

Self Improvement

  • Read 15-30 min a day — Not quite every day, but most days and much of this time is taken in the Bible reading. Also begun reading “The Art of Turned Bowls”
  • Read through the Bible in  a year – On track and up to date

Health

  • Lose weight — On track for this month
  • Exercise regularly — This is one I need work on and set up some sort of schedule

Work

  • Redesign the Corporate Web site (Requires learning a new CMS) — Have started watching CMS videos
  • Become more proficient with Cold Fusion — No action
  • Learn to use Flex effectively — No action

Hobbies

  • Turn at least 12 bowls this year — One bowl complete, 10 rough turned and drying, many blanks prepped for turning
  • Complete the current backlog of outstanding projects (Spiral candlesticks, 3 quilt hangers) — Quilt hanger for guest room complete

Family

  • Complete the current 12 items on the “Honey Do List” — Installed kitchen soap dispenser

So, All in all it has been a productive month and I’m on track for most of the goals.

One question — Is anyone reading this? If you are please post a comment. Nothing elaborate just say “hey”.

Woodworking

01/30/2010

Pilgrimage to the Lumber Mill

Several of upcoming projects required some wood I did not have in the shop. So off to the Lumber Mill it was.

Hicksville Lumber

Hicksville Lumber

Hicksville Lumber Mill is unique in several ways — It is owned my Mennonites;  is known in the surrounding area for their low prices; carry a wide selection of lumber; can make almost anything wood-wise. In the many years I have been going there I have never seen it not busy. There is always a hub-ub of activity. In fact all the trim and hardwood floors for our house came from this mill. They have many species of hard and soft woods and even some exotics on occasion.

One of the buildings

One of the buildings

To expedite matters, (it was snowing Sat morning)  we asked where they had the Cherry.

Cherry on the left

Cherry on the left

Finding the stack we foraged through the pile to find the correct widths and boards that weren’t warped. Had them planed down to 3/4 and one good side cut.

Success

Success

All in all it was a good trip to the mill (as most are to the lumber mill). 13 board feet of Cherry and I even got a cut-off of mahogany for free that I can use for some small turnings.

(Well if it wouldn’t be for a bad weather forecast – this would have been a wonderful trip. As it ended up driving back was very dicey and we were wishing we had postponed it for another day.)

Accomplishments

01/25/2010

Check one off the honey do list

Some History

This particular item has been on my list to do for quite some time. When we built the house the contractors that cut the holes for the kitchen faucet put them very close to the back wall. Consequently the bottle that holds soap could not fin under the sink. I had looked at it back when we first moved in but it seemed like a daunting task. Since then, it has been on the to-do list and i kept thinking it was going to be a super huge project that was going to require a number of tools. But this is the year to stop procrastinating and get things done.

Before - Top

Before - Top

So this is what it has look like for a long time. As you can see the openings are very close to the back-splash.

Before - Bottom

Before - Bottom

Underneath, you see that the opening leaves very little room for the bottle.

So last Friday I decided that this would be the project I would tackle for the weekend. If nothing else got done this one project would get done!

After some planning on paper, sawing, and chiseling (and great contortions under the sink — boy that space is small and cramped). I was able to remove enough of the offending obstacle to fit the bottle in.

After - Bottom

After - Bottom

And so now at long last the sink is now complete.

After - Top

After - Top

In retrospect, this project was not as involved and difficult as I had expected or envisioned.

The hardest part of any project is starting it.

The remainder of the weekend was spent replacing light bulbs, cleaning the shop and some relaxing.

Accomplishments

01/17/2010

Two projects Finished!!

Project Number One

I’ve been working on a quilt hanger for several months. It was supposed to only take a week or two. All went together pretty well. But then it all came to a screeching halt when the stain would  not get as dark as expected.

Lesson learned – Don’t use a light colored wood when you want a dark colored outcome.

So, after many coats of stain and several coats of wipe of poly the first quilt hanger is done. Sue couldn’t wait to hang it.

Quilt hanger #1

Quilt hanger #1 w/ quilt

Quilt hanger #1 w/ quilt

Project Number Two

2010 Bowl Number one is complete. This is the bowl previously shown but it  needed the foot turned and finish on the foot. I think this one turned out well.

Redwood burl with a salad bowl finish.

2010 Bowl #1

2010 Bowl #1

2010 Bowl #1

2010 Bowl #1

Some additional info:

Some folks have been asking why turn bowls with green wood. There are several reasons:

  • Its much easier to turn green wood. The water content acts as a lubricant and allows the tools to cut without as much friction.
  • The tools cut cleaner. In turning jargon not as much tear-out, so you get a smoother surface.
  • Its difficult to find large hunks of dried wood that have not split in the drying process.

There may be other reasons but these are the most important. But this brings up some issues that arise when turning green wood.

  1. You don’t turn it to its final shape. the wood will warp and change shape while it looses moisture. So you “rough” turn the bowl so it has a uniform thickness that allows the water to slowly exit the wood in a controlled manner.
  2. You need to seal the end grain to control the speed of water release. Water will escape from end grain more quickly then side grain so by sealing the end grain it all dries at the same speed.
  3. Checks or cracks form very quickly. If you don’t take precautions it can start as your turning the bowl.

Below are a couple of cut offs that sat on the shop floor. The cracks you see may appear small but they radiate through the thicness of the wood.

Drying wood can be tricky

Drying wood can be tricky