I know I haven’t posted for a while. To be honest, I got really busy at work, and also in the workshop. Now that it’s been decided that we (my wife Helen and me both) will do a number of events this year (I’ll post a separate event list), I really have to get my skates on and make some stock.

So, loads of rough turning. Right now I have around 30 rough turned pieces of all sorts somewhere in the house. And at least half a dozen in various stages of finishing. Generally finishing is not my strong side. I will have to make an extra effort one day to just complete some of my turnings. It’s only really a bit of varnish here and some wax there, that sort of thing. It’s almost like I lose interest once the finishing line is in sight, and move on to the next exciting thing. Bad habit, I know.

I have also had quite a bit of bad luck recently with some pieces. For the next club competition the subject is “goblet with lid and finial”. I had just the right wood for this, a nice piece of yew. Got the inside of the goblet nicely finished, and started turning the outside. Once last final cut (wall strength was down to about 1mm already) and big badaboom, the whole thing went in pieces all over the workshop. I am still not quite sure what exactly happened, maybe I hit a knot a little too hard.

And now I have a hollow form that was actually looking very promising, but it’s now developing cracks and they are getting bigger all the time.  As I was planning some carving on it, I left the walls quite thick, and that may well be the saving grace. The only problem will be that in order to achieve the look I wanted, I’ll have to fill the gaps with some kind of glue and that then puts dyes out of the question. We’ll see.

The good news is that I am now getting quite good at rough turning bowls. 10″ blank, with only the corners cut off, rough outside, and 30 minutes later we have a decent bowl about 1″ thick and in a nice shape.

I’ve also had some luck regarding tools. John BHT put a post on the AWGB forum about some tools for sale and I managed to get in quite early and got some really nice stuff. I ended up spending over £600, but at the same time probably saved about the same amount. Now I have a Tormek 2000 grinding station with all the bits, and a Kel McNaughton bowl saver. I just have to figure out how to use it.

This is where my tree surgeon comes into the picture, again. Yesterday he left two substantial pieces of cherry on my doorstep, with a little note. These pieces are about 5″ thick and will easily yield a 16″ bowl each. The note says “Can you please get me a price for two bowls”. Well, that’s a bit of a predicament. Ordinarily I would charge about £160 for a bowl of that size. But Mark is a friend and a very good source of all sorts of interesting wood. So we came to a different arrangement: £100 for two bowls, and next time I come to his place, I can load my boot full to the rim with whatever wood he has in his shed, free of charge. I reckon he’s still getting a very good deal. But then, the things you do for a friend.

I think that’s all of the news for now. See ya.

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