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japnesses x xhd

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

First Visit to the New Hartville Hardware

We made our first visit to the new Hartville Hardware in Hartville, Ohio yesterday. It was overwhelming in size and truly impressive in its presentation. We have always liked this hardware store because of its fantastic tool sales and support of the local woodworking groups, but this new facility is just fantastic.

The facility contains lawn and garden, animal feed, lumber, tool rental, home decor, John Deere, and the an overwhelming selection of home improvement ideas displayed in a full size house built inside the home remodeling section. And they are still adding features.

The woodworking bookstore is located inside a restored log cabin next to the tool displays.

Combine a visit to this store with a stop at the Hartville Kitchen next door for a great day trip.
Power tool section of Hartville Hardware

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Woodburning demonstration

The April meeting of the North Coast Woodturners included a woodburning demonstration by club member, Paul Kosmos. He used turnings done by several club members to demonstrate the texturing and colorizing possible with wood burning.
Designs to wood burn can be found in design books such as Handbook of Ornament, children's coloring books, and artwork from the internet. Designs can be traced onto wood using tracing paper (different colors allow use on both light and dark woods). He usually uses a ball point pen to trace since the rounded pen nib is less likely to be diverted by the wood grain.
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 There are quite a few wood burners available from very inexpensive single pens to burners that accommodate several pens and allow regulation of the heat.
Paul uses a Detail Master unit like this one with several pens, mainly the 6A and 10A pens. He suggested gently filing the 10A tip to a more rounded configuration to ease in its use. While there are many more pen styles available for shading and feathering, most of the detail work for woodturners can be accomplished with just two or three pens.
Paul uses the rubber finger guards to reduce the heat and a small fan to disperse the smoke away from his face. There are vented pens available which also would help in reducing the heat.
Woodburning gives the turner the ability to add both texture and color to turnings. Various pen points will allow for a variety of textures. The burner can outline shapes and fill voids with various textures. Once the wood is sealed with the woodburned line, color will not bleed across the line. Then outlined objects can be colored to accentuate their form on the turning.
Once the design is burned, it is wise to sand with 400 grit sandpaper to remove burrs and nubs and to wipe the turning with alcohol to remove some of the excess burned coloration.
Paul along with several other club members endorsed Pigma Colors pens. It is easy to overlay one color on another to provide shading and an increased pallet of colors. Once the coloring is completed, a light coating of sealer or fixative is necessary to prevent bleeding of the colors as finish coats are applied.
Pat Catans was a recommended source for the multi-colored tracing paper, Prisma Colors, and Krylon workable fixativ.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thin-stemmed vessels

     North Coast  Wood Turners sponsored a demonstration and class with Alan Carter this last Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was a demonstration of Alan's methods of creating both suspended vessels and thin-stemmed vessels. Sunday was a hands-on class in which turners got to try making one or the other of the vessels demonstrated the previous day. Saturday around a hundred members attended the demonstration and Sunday nine members took the class.
Woodturning Design Magazine
     Alan is from the Chicago area and involved in that local wood turning club, Chicago Woodturners. He initially was a painter, then furniture maker, and now wood turner. His website [link] has some examples of the beautiful work that he is doing. One of his more elaborate suspended vessels was the cover art for the June, 2011 issue of Woodturning Design.
     Alan's demonstration of turning a suspended vessel was much less elaborate than this example, but did include techniques for hollowing using Easy Wood tools and methods for aligning the wood or brass pins that suspend the vessel from the supporting structure. Although I took extensive notes and intend to try this style of turning, I chose the thin stemmed vessel for the Sunday class.
     Alan offered one-on-one attention to each student and gave me several pointers that would apply to almost all my turning.
The Process
     Alan wrote an article on turning the thin-stemmed vessel and a copy of that article [link] is available in PDF format from his website. The stem is turned from a 1 1/2 to 2 inch square maple blank which can range from 6 to 12 inches. We were working with the shorter lengths. After the end is created to receive the top vessel, the stem is gradually reduced in thickness working one inch at a time. It is a lesson in patience to work slowly and carefully. As the thin section gets longer and longer, the degree of caution and delicacy has to increase to prevent flexing of the stem. By the time I got to the beginning of the thicker base, I was feeling quite tense.
     The top vessel can take on many shapes and additional elements including collars and finials. Mine was a simple cup shape made from walnut about the same diameter as the stem base. Once the top vessel is completed, they are epoxied together and spray finished.
     This picture is my turning from that class. It is a maple stem with walnut vessel.  It is about 8 inches high and 1 3/4 inches at its widest. The stem is 1/8 inch thick.
     This turning was challenging for me since it is my first experience turning such a delicate thin stem. I have pulled out some additional wood blanks to practice these skills and may try for ones a little taller with different types of top vessels.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Machines arrive in the new shop

Friday was the big moving day. Table saw, chop saw, planer, joiner, two lathes, two dust collectors, drill press, band saw, two work benches, air compressor, sharpening cabinet, rolling tool cabinet, and three cabinets made the move from the lake shop to the Wooster shop.

 Now the work begins. Cleaning and maintaining all the machinery, reorganizing the cabinets, and reassembling all the tools into their new homes. After a weekend of work, the lathe area is about ready for use. Next up will be the green upper and lower cabinets so that I can start to unload and organize all the small items that will be stored there.

I still have some small items and some wood to bring from the lake but that can come after I get some organization and open space in the new shop. This has been a good week for this all to happen.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mineral Inlay and Surface Embellishment class

I spent a week at John Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina in a class with Jan Adams from Bogalusa, Louisiana. Although the course is listed as a wood turning class, the primary emphasis of the week was what you do with a platter or bowl after it is successfully turned. We were primarily studying methods for inlaying minerals, carving designs, or burning designs  into the wood surface. After these steps, the platter could be turned to final thickness and a finish applied. So, we arrived with several thick, turned platters and left to come home to finish the turning and finishing processes.
The first projects were mineral inlay designs. Once the design is chosen,
carving tools (Dremel or NPK) are used to create a 3/16 to 1/4 inch recess. Crushed minerals of various colors are then glued into the recesses. Some larger pieces are used but most of the crushed minerals are granules and powder. Once cured, the design is sanded so that it is flat with the wood surface. This usually reveals voids which are filled with mineral powder and glue and resanded. I completed two projects to this point.
Now that I am home, I can remount the platter on the lathe and reduce the thickness to a more pleasing dimension. The final step will be numerous coats of finish to highlight the inlay and the grain of the wood. The platter shown to the left will have a much more pronounced quilting once the finish is applied.

I also wanted to use the experience of my instructor to begin to learn to use carving and burning for embellishments. I experimented with a NPK Presto carving unit and ended up ordering one to use at home. It is essentially a dental drill which cuts quickly but very quietly. I tested out the carver with several different bits on a maple leaf design in the middle of a platter. Once the design was carved, the slope of the platter needed to be adjusted so that the leaf appeared to float above the surface. The carver made short order of the wood removal and the area immediately around the leaf was accentuated with another bit in the same carver.
My final project was to accentuate a rim using only a wood burner. The edges of the leaves and stems were outlined with one tip while the background strip underlying the leaves was done with the side of another tip. I got so much new information and so many ideas from just the five days. The instructor had many examples of work that he had done using all of these types of embellishments. It was a jam packed week with four other students. While it was listed as an intermediate/advanced class, all of us were new to at least part of these techniques. I have already contacted Great South Gems to order green and clear calcite so that I can try some more projects.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Shop wall goes up

While I have continued bringing small items from the old shop to my new one, the wall dividing my shop from the rest of the basement has been built.
There are two access doors in the wall - one for general entrance and one for a potential bathroom in the basement.
There are also multiple outlets along the area where an additional workbench and wall cabinets will be located and outlets around the area for my lathes and drill press.
This picture shows the wall. I am standing about where my large lathe will be. Behind me are shelving units of turning blanks and current projects.
I will now bring up the fluorescent lighting fixtures from the old shop and position them around work areas. I am close to ready for the move of the big machinery. I am getting excited and still believe the end of January is a good estimate for completion.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A new purpose for a hand-me-down

My parents were both office workers during their work life and both created offices in their home even after they retired. As we moved them from their house into an independent living apartment, we had to dispose of several desks, office chairs, vertical and horizontal filing cabinets, and numerous office machines.

Many of the pieces went to various family members and I got a 27 drawer cabinet which has been waiting for some time to find a purpose in my wood shop. One of the thing that I am learning about my shop as I move it from one location to another is that I have more supplies than I realized. To the point that it was easy to loose sight of what I had or didn't have in stock. So, I thought I could use the 27 drawers to organize something that had been difficult to keep organized before.

So, the cabinet now stores all my various sanding supplies. From my spindle sander rolls, through 2 inch, and 8 inch disks, to sandpaper sheets, scotch brite pads, and steel wool. All organized and labeled. It should hopefully prevent me from buying something I already have. I look forward to using it and remembering my parents as I spend time in my shop.