Saturday, July 11, 2009

"Trivet Pursuit" - Update

The trivets pictured in the July 5 post won the challenge at our meeting.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Exotic Tape Measures

In the Summer 2009 issue of American Woodturner (p. 28), there was an article by John Giem titled "Transform Your Tape Measure." So, of course, I set out to do so. The two smaller examples in the photos below reflect my result using the techniques described in the article, which is quite clear and complete. The technique involves the initial turning of a jig on which to mount the three component parts of the "box" as you turn them. The author's technique incorporates the tape and spring from an easily obtainable, inexpensive metal 3' tape measure, which must be carefully removed from its carrier and held "poised" in its wound-up position until you are ready to insert it into your turned piece. This, as I learned on my first try, can be an adventure!

The third tape measure in the photos - the large one - involves an approach of my own devising, which incorporates the entirety (case and all) of a four foot tape measure with a cloth tape and a retraction button on the side. In essence, I "buried" the tape measure in the three-part wooden case (well, four parts if you count the button).

The small tape measure with the light-colored sides (the one that looks like a mini-burger) is turned from spalted birch (the 'buns'), and redheart (the 'burger'); it measures about 2" across an is 1" thick. It is finished with Watco Danish Oil - Natural, followed by buffed Renaissance Wax. The sides of the other small tape measure are turned from padauk, and the center ring from hard maple; it is just over 2" across and is only 3/4" thick. It is finished with buffed Renaissance Wax only. The large tape measure has padauk for one side, and purpleheart for the other, with hard maple for the center ring. Oh, the button - which is fully functional - is also purpleheart. It measures 2 3/4" across and is 1" thick. It is also finished with buffed Renaissance Wax.

"Trivet Pursuit"

Last month at my woodturners' club one of our members demonstrated how to turn the sort of trivets depicted here. The techniques (and jigs - see below) are described in an article titled "Trivet Pursuit," by Reuben Everett, in the March 2004 issue of Wood magazine (p. 70). As is our custom, last month's demo became this month's challenge - for our July 7 meeting. The photos show what will be my entries in the challenge. The trivets are 6" in diameter. Two of them are just under 1/2" thick; the third is just over 1/4" thick. They are finished with Watco Danish Oil - Natural.

I constructed my trivets from four different woods (padauk, walnut, birch [I think] and a mystery wood [the lighter "orangish" one in the center]). The separate pieces were jointed, planed and glued together on their long sides, then re-planed. This long, flat blank was then cut into squares about 6 1/4" on each side. Then for each trivet two of the squares were glued together face-to-face, with the grain directions of the two pieces at 90 degrees to one another. After this, a miracle occurred.

Actually, the author of the article is responsible for the miracle (except for the part dependent on turning). The final photo shows the jigs (described in the article) which he devised, and which you must first construct and use in order to turn the trivets. I'll leave you to figure out how they are employed. I have some variations in mind to try when I can get around to it.