Pen on the LathePen Blanks Preparing Pen BlanksPen Making Pen Making is interesting as you can make nice pens with what amounts to fine timber veneers. Using relatively small amounts of timber great results can be achieved. Typically a timber blank somewhere between 15mm square to 25mm square will suffice. It's a great way to use up offcuts and scraps The pen on the lathe picture shows a completed pen which has a celery top pine veneer Phyllocladus aspleniifolius. I also used some applewood which does look quite similar in colour. The last picture features some fish tail oak Neorites. This is a darker timber but proved a little troublesome when turning. I have tried to stabilise it with this superglue. I usually glue the brass tubes which reside in the timber blanks with five minute two part epoxy. However this time I decided to use up some old regular epoxy , this usually cures in 24 hours. This time around a week later the glue had not set causing me quite bit of grief. I had to use superglue to to reinforce the two part epoxy. Even then when I was squaring up the ends some of the brass tubes worked loose. A lesson learnt in penmaking dont use old two part epoxy. I have managed to get on and make the pens.
Spent the afternoon annoying the neighbours with the sound of my chainsaw. Five wheelbarrows of wood that I will be using for woodturning. Two species were salvaged. Lots of apple wood that came from a friend's renovation project. The apple tree made way for a timber deck. Lucky me! The olive wood was quite dirty as it included the root stump. I had to pressure clean that part in the vain hope that it would keep my chainsaw in good shape for a while longer. The other wood came from an olive farm. The farmer is downsizing his farm from 700 trees to 500. He generously offered the trees with stumps attached to our turning club. He even had a tractor on standby to help load my trailer. I intend to carve some spoons with the apple wood. I actually harvested the wood in November 2017 and this post got lost in my draft folder. I have already carved several spoons form the apple wood. I hope some bowls will emerge from the olive stumps. Olive StumpsApple and Olive Apple Wood
Well after years it finally happened I got to feel the full force of kickback on my table saw. The reason is my riving knife. Rather the absence of a riving knife I took it off while preparing turning blanks. The result was a lump of red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) about 300mm long and 75mm square. It hit me straight in the sternum and it hurt! Luckily I didnt break anything and only had a small reddened area with a minor cut to show for the indignation. I have never given riving knives much thought. I took it off as the cuts were less than the height of the blade. In order to make a full cut the timber had to be flipped over. I had this idea fixed in my head that the riving knife should sit higher than the top of the blade which makes bling cuts impossible. What I mean by a blind cut is that the timber is thicker than the full height of the blade. I have watched many YouTube (and I have forgotten who made the video) videos where a blind cut has been made and not thought about how this was achieved. This was until I watched a video where someone was talking about setting up a table saw, I nearly didn't watch this as it seemed too basic. There is was set the height of the riving knife just below the height of the blade. Now I can blind cut to my heart's content and reduce the risk of another piece of timber flying off the table.
Our woodturning group, Northern Turners, was invited to a saw mill in the pleasant rural setting of Mount Torrens in South Australia. Members of other woodturning clubs, who fall under the umbrella Woodgroup SA were also there. We were there in part to see the operation of the sawmill and to buy some wood for turning. The mill is a small operation that is based on a dairy farm making the setting quite bucolic. On the day there were slabs and pieces of redgum available for sale and some camphor laurel. Michael the sawmaster has two portable sawmills and had some elm setup to demonstrate both pieces of equipment. the first on the he demonstrated was a Bushmill - portable saw mill which was made in Victoria for about 15 years. The company is no longer in existence. The machine is essentially a large bandsaw on its side and is pushed along by the operator. The saw is powered by a petrol engine. The other sawmill is a Lucas mill which sports a large chainsaw blade almost 5 feet across (I guess 1500 mm in the new money) . The saw was set up on a large concrete pad but can be moved onsite if required. Like the other sawmill it is controlled by the operator although it is not as rigid as the Bushmill unit so more attention needs to be paid to tracking the cutting saw square to the log being milled. Michael did mention that he does take the Lucas mill on site as well. The Sawmills The Bushmill saw has an advantage of a fixed base allowing that allows the log being milled to be clamped down. This means that the log can be milled quite a [...]
Red gum for woodturning #saw
I have recently joined a wood turning club called the northern turners. This group is affiliated to Woodgroup SA which has under its umbrella about 13 woodturning clubs in South Australia. There are 3 meetings a month which covers beginners , ongoing projects and a more formal meeting day which includes a demonstration. This months demonstration was by a well known Australian turner called Tim Skilton who besides turning is known for his passive sander. Tim doesn't have a website but if you google him you will see the sanders and pictures of this work. He entertained and informed about 50 club members for the better part of three hours on all aspects of the bowl gouge. This included a potted history of the gouge , metal used to make gouges and the vexed topic of sharpening tools. All of this while keeping up a witty dialogue with the audience and demonstrating on a bowl blank. There were lots of practical tips on how to use a gouge. I like many have experienced the gouge digging and taking a chunk of the prized piece being worked on. Never thought about it but the gouge does jump from the smaller to larger diameter. This will inevitably wreck the the fine edge that you have just finished prior to hollowing out. The solution other than a a dedicated tool rest is to support the gouge with the thumb of your left hand firmly planted on the tool rest. Well worth the trip to attend the meeting.
I have been renovating a so called holiday house over the last ten years it now looks as though it is drawing to a close. Only a few small jobs to do and I might just finish in the next 10 years. I have decided to add another category to the site called 'Renovating'. Quite a bit of the woodworking that I do is renovation of one kind or another. I have added a link to a post on my other blog showing the fence capitals that were installed after a 18 month delay. The post can be found at this blog