Ryedale Woodturners


Mick Hanbury

Mick Hanbury

Thursday 4 June 2015

Snainton Woodturning Supplies

Mick demonstrated turning a thin walled red-wine goblet using LED lighting to get an even thickness (or thinness).

The cup

Mick Hanbury

Mick started with a block of sycamore, very evenly grained, quartersawn, no pith, unlikely to distort, and still fairly green. "I use sycamore mainly because it makes me look good - very forgiving, easy to turn."Whilst turning to round, watching the change in shape of shavings, and listening to the different sound as it approached round.

Centre drilling

Mick then drilled the block to the depth required for the cup, using an engineers drillbit picked up at a car boot sale for a couple of pounds. Having got the hole started (a small countersunk dip was turned out first to aid the centring) Mick put his weight behind the tailstock and pushed.

Woodturning in the dark The lights were turned out and a bright LED light was placed inside the cup on a home made jig. The idea was to turn the cup to an even thickness by watching the orange colouring of the wood and trying to match the colour across the piece - but bearing in mind more light comes through as the cup curves inwards at the bottom. He used a hook tool for this - not for the beginner.

Jack Jack displayed his usual attitude to the demonstration, showing no shame as he slept on the front row, directly in front of the lathe. He was mildly interested in the pile of shavings later in the evening.

Off centre candlestick With the sycamore being wet and evenly grained, impressive long streamers of shavings flew thoughout the evening. Mick reckoned that a piece like this could produce a couple of miles of shavings if laid end to end. Some interesting maths there - I must try some calculations to see if this is realistic.

One point he emphasised about producing such shavings, and the matching high quality finish on the piece, is that the sharpness of tools is essential.

The stem

Thin walled goblet

Having completed the cup, Mick turned to the stem. He left a little waste wood at the end to allow for parting off with a slight indent at the base. He then turned a (very) thin stem, attempting to mirror the profile of the cup in the stem and foot.

Thin walled goblet Mick didn't have any pieces he had previously made with him, having decided to leave them on the kitchen table as he was packing up his car for the demo. Fortunately the neck did not snap, though it certainly flexed more than a little.

Piercing a turned goblet He then marked out the goblet with a spiral grid, and proceeded to pierce a design into the goblet. This is the point of making the walls thin and even - too thick or uneven and the piercing is less successful, and the piece can shatter.

Pierced design on goblet The almost finshed piece with enough of the piercing completed to show the possibility. You can just make out the pencil markings for the sprial. Mick suggested possibly alternating blocks of piercing along the spiral.

The pierced shapes are random, based on natural patches such as those on a giraffe. Fine burrs around the holes were burnt off using a flambe blowtorch (Proxxon).

He left the piece with the club for someone to finish off. I am not sure if there were any takers.

Hints and tips

Depth gauge for woodturning

  • A simple depth gauge can be made by having a pencil stuck through a hole in a piece of wood, friction fitting to provide adjustment.
  • The LED lights I think are those available from Woodart ProductsThe latest design is mounted on an adjustable arm.
  • Because the goblet wall was thin, Mick could use a 0.9mm piercing bit in his Micromot. If the walls were much thicker such a fine bit would snap.
  • When sanding Mick used a piece of sandpaper reversed on the rear side or inside of the piece, to provide some support without actually sanding.
  • The best way of removing fine burring after piercing holes is with a small blowtorch. The burning can be lightly sanded away after, or can be incorporated into the design.