Ryedale Woodturners


John Whiteley

John Whiteley

Thursday 4 January 2018

Snainton Village Hall

John filled a difficult gap in the annual calendar - the slot just after Christmas, the first in the New Year. Sadly I was unable to be at the demonstration, it being my wedding anniversary. (I don't think my wife would have appreciated a celebratory night out at the woodturning demo!) . Gordon Malan kindly provided the following notes and photographs from what appears to have been an interesting and informative evening.

Decorated box lid

Decorative insert for turning Decorative insert for turning

An appropriately sized blank (for a box lid) had a recess hollowed on the top, into which a commercially obtained floral decoration was fitted. It was then glued in place using epoxy resin that had been mixed with finely ground lapis lazuli, making sure the epoxy filler was proud of the wood and decoration’s surface. When cured, the excess epoxy resin was turned off to reveal a floral decoration surrounded by a blue background.

Striped Vessel

Striped vessel

A blank had been pre-prepared: it had been turned to round with a spigot on one end, then lines were drawn along the grain all around the blank, using the lathe indexer; then holding the blank vertically on a bandsaw, slots were cut into the blank to a depth of about one-third of its diameter.

Turned wooden striped vessel

The blank was then turned to the shape of an oval vessel. Milliput, a two-part epoxy was mixed and kneeded to keep it pliable, and it was then pushed into the slots in the vessel, making sure it penetrated well. The lathe was spun briefly to reveal poorly filled areas, which were then re-filled. The epoxy was left to cure. (John did not finish this piece as the epoxy had not cured, but it would have been turned and hollowed to yield an interestingly different oval striped vase.)

Various Bowl Decorations

Freehand scraping Raised punch holes

The base of a bowl blank was turned to the desired shape, and John demonstrated how to scrape-finish the surface using a thin blade held free-hand, without support of a rest. The piece was then turned round in the jaws and the rim was shaped into a gentle convex curve.

Raised punch holes Raised punch holes

The bowl was removed from the jaws and a round punch and mallet were used to create uniform depth recesses all around the rim. The bowl was returned to the jaws and the centre was hollowed. The bowl rim was held in water for a while (overnight, or steam could have been used), until the distressed wood expanded and the rim was covered with raised blips.

Woodturning - foil decoration

To enhance the inside of the bowl a coat of PVA glue was applied. Chopped foil was poured into the bowl and pressed into the PVA to coat the glued surface. Normally this would be left for the glue to dry, excess foil removed and saved and a moderately stiff brush used to press the foil against the bowl and remove any loosely attached foil, leaving a gaudily decorated bowl.

Repairing cracks

repairing wood cracks

Using a very fine nozzle on a bottle of thin cyanoacrylate glue, John filled the crack, making sure the glue went to the bottom of the crack. The wood has to be dry!

Repairing cracked wood

A finely milled metal powder (copper, brass, aluminium) or coloured glass was spread onto the crack and more cyanoacrylate was applied over the metal dust. When cured, the area over the crack was sanded through the grits until the surface was flush with the wood.

Turning unusual shaped wood.

Wooden figurine

It can be fun to work out how to use unusually shaped wood to yield an interesting piece, such as the demonstrated figurine!

Winged vase from crotch-wood

Holding a crotch branch Holding a crotch branch

John screwed a strong bridge of wood over the top of the two arms of the ‘Y‘, making sure the screws were on the inside of the piece as the outer surface of the arms would be shaped. The blank was mounted between centres, positioning the tail-stock rotating centre on the top bar, so that the arms of the Y would be approximately balanced around the centre of rotation.

Turning a crotch branch

The vase base was then shaped, a wide spigot was cut, and the outside of the two wings were turned to the desired final shape. The bar between the two arms of the ‘Y’ was removed. John then told us that the inside of the wings would have been shaped and the centre opened out to create a flat area between them. A drill would have been used to create a hole down the centre of the piece between the wings, and the piece hollowed, to yield a hollow, winged vase.