Mark ( on October 5th, 2009

So, it’s finally the fall season and I’m again getting back into the shop.  Man, do I have a lot of work waiting for me!  In addition to the always present shop clean-up activities, I have to finish my work on the Huntboard and then get back to the Sculpted Rocking Chair – oh, and let’s not forget that I still have that project for in between projects – the Dreadnought Guitar – still to be completed!

As I’ve stated before, summer is usually a slow time of year for me in the shop.  There are just too many other things vying for time in the summer months – and in Upstate New York we have to take every advantage of the little bit of nice weather we get!

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been doing a bunch of turning lately.   I have been working to improve my skills and focusing more on the design aspects of various types of turned forms.  I’ve done a bunch of open bowls and also some semi-closed forms en route to developing my skills to do hollow-forms.

What you see in the (somewhat poorly photographed) pictures is a sampling of some of the pieces that I’ve done over the summer.  I did do a few more, but have already given them away to folks that offered up some freshly cut wood for my efforts.  As you can see there are open bowls, and semi-closed forms that I used to help develop the ability to cut away under the rim of a bowl.

Table of turningsSpalted Maple Bowl 1Spalted Maple Bowl 2Turning Group

I recently tried a hollow-form with some green Maple.  This was done with the limited hollowing tools that I own (the Sorby Multi-tip scraper and Sorby Hollow Master – the Multi-tip is a decent tool but, I would not recommend Hollow Master).  Well, let’s just say that I have more work to do to refine my skills.  I had a catch while hollowing and nearly tore the tenon right off the bottom of this piece (sorry for the somewhat blurry pictures).  Luckily, the piece did not go into orbit, but the catch was still exciting to say the least.  I think this was caused by the awkward curve of the Sorby Hollow Master tool as my not clearing out the shavings frequently enough.

Hollow FormHollow Form RimHollow Form Foot

Oh well, the wood was free and I’m learning with every piece that I spin on the lathe.  This event also gave me the impetus to order some real hollowing tools to satisfy this addiction…I mean hobby.

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6 Responses to “A Summer of Turning…”

  1. Those are great looking bowls!

    I’ll be introduced to bowl turning later this month when I take a local class. I hope to come out of the class with a decent bowl. I’ll probably come out of the class with a need for more turning tools.

  2. Mark,

    Like you I recently purchased a lathe. I believe it is the same lathe (Jet 16 x 42)you have puchased. I joined the local woodturning club, which has been a lot of fun and a real sense of community. I have turned quite a few rough blanks and sealed them. Also, I have turned some green wood into the finished products and wathched them warp. Boy can you get some differnet shapes. What I like about turning is that in a few hours I have a completed project, unlike building furniture. Now like you, I have some projects I need to start and the lathe will be set aside until I have some short open time periods in my schedule.

    Good luck to you on those other projects and as always like to your progress on them.


  3. Scott,

    Thanks for the kind words on the turnings and for stopping by the blog. I’m getting fairly comfortable with open bowls and semi-closed forms…but there’s still lot’s more to learn. Hollowing is definitely a different world.

    Turning is one of those areas similar to hand tool skills that requires practice. A good mentor will go a long way to help with little corrections of technique that would take a long time to discover otherwise.

    Best of luck with your turning classes!


  4. Chuck,

    Yep…same lathe.

    I have found the folks at my local AAW club very friendly and inviting as well.

    We have the same attraction to turning. The ability to get a project done quickly is very alluring – and addicting! I also think that turning is one of the most artistic forms of woodworking in the sense that you create a unique form out of basically nothing but a chunk of raw material. Almost like sculpture in a sense.

    Have fun turning and, of course, also with the other projects!

  5. I’ve been reading your guitar construction series as I’m taking luthier classes here in Kentucky. Are the links to the rest of the build available? It seems to stop after the binding and purfling.

    I really am enjoying your site! Well done!

  6. Phil,

    The guitar project took a long hiatus. I’ve actually been working on it again but not doing too much blogging on it. It’s nearly complete. I may be able to do a bit more on that project here. Keep checking back.


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