Monday, December 26, 2016


Here is a bowl turned out of second Growth Redwood sitting on a Old Growth Redwood Table.  This piece caught my eye because of the color and the large growth rings.  

Redwood is soft and brash, the spring growth rings are harder than the summer growth rings, over sanding will cause the summer wood to be lower than the spring wood, this is because the summer wood is soft.  Sometimes this is a nice effect.

Note the pitch pockets, Redwood generally does not have much pitch but when it does it is nasty and will continue to ooze through your finish. The way I solved this problem was to warm the bowl in my kiln and then blow the pitch out with high pressure air and wipe the pitch off with paint thinner.  You may have to repeat this process until the pitch is gone. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My First Turning - 1961

I was digging around in a closet and found this goblet, a real blast from the past.  Turned this goblet in 1961 high school shop class. The wood is Apple and the finish as best as I can remember is peppermint oil and tooth paste power, applied in multiple coats with the lathe running and rubbing each coat until dry. The finish has been very durable.

I have tried without success to duplicate the finish.  Powered tooth paste is no longer on the store shelves.  Have tried rotten stone and some other things but no results.  I have since found powdered tooth paste on the internet, will have to try again. 

Monday, December 5, 2016


These bowls are commonly call Dizzy bowls.  Fun to make, look very nice and will keep your mind limber.
Start by glutting block of multi colored wood of various thickness. I usually start with a 12" by 12" by 2.5" thick block. You can use any size and type of wood you chose.
Here is a block,  I leave the middle unglued so I can use a band saw to cut the rings.
Cut boards on a band saw some were between 3/8" and 1/2" thick. You will need 4 broads, tape the boards together. 
Draw the rings with a compass.  Below is a picture is of an Excel Spread sheet I used to design the bowl and ring sizes.
Picture of the rings and board.

To glue the rings together tape one side and   then spread the opposite  side and add glue; close ring making sure the glue covers the entire surface, clean up excess glue and tape the opposite side.                                                                                         
Ring glued together.
Sand the rings, so they are flat and no defects. Any defect will show up in the bowl when it is turned.  This drum sander is set up with 120 grit.
I used a couple of pipe clamps  to make a vertical press. Brace the under side of the table and attach the ends of the clamps to the brace under the table.  Use a level on the top brace to make sure that you are applying even pressure.  It is very critical the stack be as straight a possible, there will always be a slight wobble and which can be turned out.
Make a segmented ring for the top.
Two glue-ups ready for turning.
It is very important that the bowl be supported while turning.
The thickness of the bowl will be about 3/16"; support both sides. Go slow a tool snag will bring tears.
Finished bowl.

This is a copy of an Excel Spread Sheet used to design the bowl.  The offset is the change in the diameter of the next ring. A 1/2" offset will have steeper angle while a 3/4" offset will have a more open bowl. The bowl pictured above is a 3/4" offset.  The 3/4" offset will be a very thin turning.  The board number's; all the 1's will nest inside of each other and so on for 2, 3 & 4.