Burr Oak Tree and Mick Hanbury Tutorial

Looks like I am getting a whole tree of burr oak later this week. The tree was felled about 18 months ago, but I expect there to be some good usable sections. Tree trunk (all that is left) is about 1.5 metres in diameter and 5 metres long. Of this length about half is completely burr growth with a few other odd sections of burr growth. At what was ground level the tree was hollow and rotting – the reason for its felling), but further up the trunk there is plenty of sound growth. When I get into it, I will post some more pictures of the timber reclaimed.


Meanwhile, I have been fortunate enough to have a one-to-one session with Mick Hanbury, who was staying with me prior to his demonstration at Mid Wales Woodturners recently. Unfortunately the meeting was cancelled at the last minute die to atrocious weather conditions; we were snowed in for two days, so Mick was unable to leave us. A couple for very informative hours were spent in colouring a platter blank that I had roughed out previously, and Mick made great use of Jo Sonja iridescent and metallic acrylic paints to produce a stunning effect in blues and greens.


Getting back to turning

After many trials and tribulations I am resurrecting my woodturning blog. If you still follow me, you are very patient and I hope to give you periodic updates on turning and life in Mid Wales.

My Woodfast M410 lathe has been swapped for a new Jet 1642. It doesn’t have the same swing over the bed as the Woodfast, but has a much longer bed, allowing for spindle turning. It also has a headstock which slides down the lathe bed, so that hollowing can be done from the end of the bed without having to lean awkwardly over the lathe.

I have also invested in a Trend Airshield Pro to give better dust protection, particularly during sanding operations. It’s a bit on the heavy side but the mild inconvenience is well worth it for the extra protection it offers.

As a committee member of Mid Wales Woodturners, one of my actions for the club is to provide accommodation for visiting demonstrators as most of them travel quite long distances to our meeting venue in Carno. This past year my wife and I have had the pleasure of the company of Andrew Hall, Paul Hannaby, Les Thorne and, most recently, Nick Agar. All of those gents are great company for an evenings chat (and not always about turning!), but the level in the bottle of single malt has gone down significantly. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to hosting this years demonstrators starting in March.


New stock of Acacia!!

Bought some turning blanks at auction this week. Auctioneers claimed it was laburnum, but the bark was totally wrong. Turns out it was false Acacia (also referred to as Robinia). Having trimmed off the split ends and cut out some infested parts of one piece , I sealed the ends and added the pieces to my woodstore. Feels pretty dry, so may give some of it a go on the lathe in the not too distant future!


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A day out in South Wales

Had a great day out in Newport, Gwent last Saturday, visiting the Open Day at Isca Woodcrafts with other members of the UK Workshop forum.

Plenty of turners, carvers, stick makers, chainsaw millers and carvers on hand with lots for sale and may knowledgeable people to talk to. Bought some excellent bowl turning timber (red mallee, bubinga and padauk) and ordered a walking stick with the head of our lurcher as the top from John Poole. A good fish and chip lunch at a nearby hostelry just the ticket to restore energy levels for another walk around before heading home. A 90 mile drive each way but well worth the journey for the company and meeting new people in the woodturning fraternity.



More timber for my woodstore!!

Just taken delivery of a whole load of turning timber from a fellow member of Mid Wales Woodturners who lives only a mile or so from me.

Some lovely yew branches, some quite thick; a 6ft length of cherry; some very nice looking laburnum; slabs of ash and lime. All in all, enough timber to fill the back of my Discovery (with the rear seats down)and should make a dozen or more vases, bowls and hollow forms.

All this timber in exchange for a bowl gouge!!  Thank you, John!!

A Hanging Bowl!

My entry for the UK Workshop woodturning challenge for March was a bowl suspended by golden threads from a mounting arm which was turned in sycamore, drilled through using Forstner bits and ebonised. I came third, which is very pleasing for a technique that I have not tried before.

The bowl is made from spalted beech which was finished with microcrystalline wax. The bowl is 4″ (100mm) in diameter and 2″ (50mm) deep. The walls of the bowl are 4mm thick throughout.

Any comment would be welcome!!

1 General View 2 Inside of Bowl 3 Underside of bowl 4 Close up of bowl amd mounting arm 5 Close up of the bowl

Three in a row!!

I am very pleased to have won the February 2013 Woodturning Challenge held on the UKWorkshop website, with two matching chess pieces.

General View Profile view Detail View

This success followed wins in December 2012 with my cracker and January 2013 with an acorn box; both of these are covered on this Blog in earlier postings.

Happy days!!