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Welcome to Woodturners Unlimited !!
My wife was setting up her annual quilting retreat when it hit me, “Why have we not done a weekend turning retreat?” With the ok of my wife Lana and the Grand River Woodturners Guild, I started the process of setting up such an event. This started in Feb and made the decision to have it a couple weeks after the AAW Symposium in Pittsburg.
The premise of the Retreat was to have it be as much of a hands-on weekend as possible. I ended up with 16 midi lathes that I could use and one larger 3520. I posted this event to Facebook, sent it out to the Guild members and things were on their way. People from around the country were interested. Many had volunteered to demo as well as take part in hands-on. The response was so great fear had set in. Set a limit of 50. Yes, with only 16 lathes, 50 people. We were also going to do off-lathe demos and that would help give those people without a lathe something to learn.
WTU 2015 Fall Challenge... Kendama!
Everyone here was a kid at one time and everyone here either has kids, has nieces or nephews, has grandkids, has neighbor kids, or still acts like a kid. So this Fall Challenge is to make a kid toy that seems to be very popular nowadays....a Kendama. At first glance it seems like a pretty simple project, basically just a little spindle work, but after looking more closely I think you'll find this to be relatively challenging.
This Challenge will involve some creative chucking techniques (turning a cup on both ends of a spindle) along with that always difficult job of turning a round ball. By the time you've made a few, trying to figure out the best way to do it, you'll have some heirloom quality toys to hand out to the kids in your life and they'll see something that came off your lathe that is way neater than all those boring vases and bowls. And it might even get them to put that xbox or tablet down for a few minutes.
Turning a Trembleur with Jean-François Escoulen
Turning a trembleur challenges one’s skill and one’s nerves. One wrong move and you can spoil hours of work. But that’s nothing new for a woodturner. A trembleur is certainly within range of any woodturner. And it is easier than most new projects, as there is only one special tool that you probably don’t already have in your shop – the string steady rest.
There are two different steady rests that are used for turning the trembleur. The steady rest that supports your stock as you turn beyond it; and the string steady that supports the finished turning. The Escoulen School normally uses a homemade steady rest with three rollers, and cut away in the front. It is a good design as you often need that gap in the steady rest to get your tool rest in there. The lathe bed gets crowded and you need any space you can get.
Sand in wood? Fact or Fiction?
Note: this is a slightly tweaked encore (think summer re-run) of a 2010 Wood Spin article
At various points in my ten years of woodturning experience, I have encountered the following statements:
“this wood is full of sand and will dull your saw and tools quickly”
“since that tree was growing in sandy soil, it will be filled with sand”
“trees suck up sand”
“osage orange is full of sand and that is why it is so hard to cut”
Plus, at least a dozen variations on these statements, all authoritatively stating that wood which is hard to cut, and which quickly dulls tools, is wood with a high sand or “silica” content. Please recognize, on the front end, that sand is not synonymous with silica.
Mike Foster of Vermont first conceived and developed the techniques for turning a wooden construct that he calls a “Scherk Tower”. He is also the first turner to complete the turning of a Scherk Tower.
The Scherk Tower is based upon Scherk’s Second Surface which is defined as a “surface that looks globally like two orthogonal planes whose intersection consists of a sequence of tunnels in alternating directions. Its intersections with horizontal planes consists of alternating hyperbolas” which looks something like this.