Sunday, February 13, 2011

Box elder hollow form

My friend John Nicholson - a very skilled wood turner - makes a lot of these nifty hollow forms (vases), and is a great hands-on teacher. These photos show my version, turned in his shop while he kept at least half an eye on what I was doing (and told me what to do next!). This vase is turned from box elder and hasn't yet been finish sanded or had any finish applied - i.e., it's in the "raw" state. It stands almost 8" tall and is 5" across at the widest point. The most interesting thing about turning these - here's the magician describing the trick! - is that they are turned initially in one piece; then cut into two pieces, each of which is separately hollowed; then are glued back together; and then are finish-turned to final shape, detailed, etc. Can you tell which groove hides the glue joint? I used John's Derry Tools hollowing system to hollow the bottom part of the base. Let me know if you want to hear more about that.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Colorful Salt/Pepper Grinders

Our challenge for our last Badger Woodturners' meeting was to turn a salt/pepper grinder. I turned three, using some laminated dyed beech wood blanks that I had won in a raffle at a meeting last year. As you can see, the color and the effects of turning this material can be quite striking. The mechanisms in these are ceramic crush grinders; these adjust for fineness of grind with a knob at the bottom of the grinder. In the tall grinder (to which I also added a captive ring) there is a stem which extends from the grinding mechanism in the base up into the turnable top (which simply pulls off to fill the grinder with peppercorns or salt chunks). In the two smaller grinders the tops directly press onto the grinding mechanisms in the bases. The tall grinder is 11" high. The green one with the pointed top is 6" high; and the short, round one is 4 1/2" high. All of them are about 2 1/4" in diameter at their widest.