Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Holly's Bowl-Part 1-Roughing out the blank

Hi Everyone,

Well we got quite a bit of snow last night from a storm that has been moving across the American Mid West. I think we got about 6-7 inches of snow over night. Here's some photos:

Here are some icicles hanging down from the roof. It looks like a frozen waterfall:

Big snow drift about 4 1/2 feet high:

This is a planter in my front yard:

I'll try and get more photos over the next day or two.

Ok, back to work.

Here is a close up of the blank on the lathe. I've been turning it for a couple of minutes and if you look carefully you'll see the sharp edge has been turned off. As this blank is heavy and irregularly shaped, it has to be turned slowly at about 200 rpm. I'm going to be cutting from the bottom towards the top so as to gently cut away at the surface at an angle. Trying to cut straight into this blank at this stage would cause the sharp end of the roughing gouge to dig into the spinning wood, causing what is called a "catch." This would probably tear a big chunk out of the side of the blank and also flip the tool out of my hand. Not fun:

This is a photograph of the tool I'm using-my old faithful Robert Sorby roughing gouge. I've just re-sharpened it:

This is the blank after about 10 minutes of turning. You can see the surface of it rounding off:

This is about 30 minutes into the turn. In the photo you can see the straight cut surfaces from yesterday's rough blank still on the blank in the photo. These will be eventually smoothed off and the bark on the bottom of the blank will be removed as well:

This is the blank about 45 minutes later:

This photo shows the wood that is being turned off. It's small chips and that's a good sign-it means the wood is dry. If the wood were still wet, it would be coming off in long strips:

In this photo I'm getting ready to turn off the bark on the bottom of the blank. I've moved the tailstock off the lathe. Until the blank is completely roughed out, I'll have to gently shave off the surface of the blank slowly and carefully while the tailstock is off:

Several minutes later. You can see how the bark is slowly being removed. I will need to completely remove the bark and get to solid wood so I can flip over this blank and hollow it out. I'll need solid wood to re-mount the blank on the lathe:

Aha! Solid wood on the bottom:

 Here is the final rough shape of the blank. I've unscrewed it from the lathe so I can see accurately what it looks like.

This blank is going to be narrow and deep and so next I'm going to research some bowl shapes that match the general shape of the blank:

Well, so far so good. I've dropped the edge of the blank on my right index finger while unscrewing it from the lathe and my finger is turning purple and it stings. I think I'll stop for today and go put some ice on it.

See you tomorrow,

1 comment:

  1. Great job! :) It's good to see all the photos from different phases, because I have similar project waiting... It looks nice already! I hope your finger will be fine!