Friday, 24 February 2012

Ever have one of those days........

Well I've produced a lot of shavings today and have nothing to show for it........  My day started out good, with  no 'must do today' work on and this combined with an incredibly warm sunny day for February. I decided to take myself  off for a nice walk along the beach to soak up some of that lovely sunshine, I strolled along with the mp3 player entertaining me and lots of thoughts and ideas flowing through my brain. It was so pleasant that I sat down on the sea wall and just watched the waves gently roll in and the seagulls cruising around the blue was very nice!
 After walking home I had some time with my children, a spot of lunch and as my wife had guests with kids coming for a 'play date', I retired to the shed for a spot of turning. This is where it all changed!
  I firstly set out to make a hollow form for a little idea I have, I turned the outside, sanded it, hollowed it out and somewhere along the way managed to chip the edge of the opening!! Removing the chip somehow created another larger one and that was that, piece destroyed.....!!
  Slightly fed up with myself I decided not to make another form right then and figured I would make a thin bowl for a pierced piece I want to do as this would be simple and quick. The outside was turned and sanded and I hollowed the bowl out and finished the inside. I then proceeded to remove the mounting spigot with very gentle cuts( something I have done so many times previously) when 'BANG' and my bowl was sprayed around the shed! I thought 'OK, fair enough' this is bound to happen sooner or later when removing the chuck mounting from such thin turned pieces and I took another blank from the shelf.
 This time I didn't even get to finish hollowing it out, I managed to turn a 1/2" wide section half way down the side paper thin and rendering this 3rd item useless and what was worse this time it was definate 'driver' error!!
 Somebody once told me things always go wrong in threes!! Needless to say the shed is now locked and thoroughly defeated I have retired back to the house!

Sunday, 19 February 2012

All At Sea.

I have had an idea to make a few loosely based nautical pieces for a while. This piece actually represents the second work in this series. I thought one of the 'pointy ended' seed like forms I occasionally make would suit the appearance of a streamlined sea going vessel and I had the perfect piece of  bone dry English Elm hiding under the bench for the job!
 I had two sketches for the sail part, one being a large piece that would reach from the 'mast' to the very end of the hollow vessel and be pierced and the other a more 'yachty' design. I went for the second option as it gave greater scope for capturing a feeling of motion, with the sails filled by the wind and the whole thing displayed at an angle, hopefully conveying the feeling of a fast yacht being propelled through the sea.

 The 'sails' are made from very thin turned Sycamore that has a hint of spalting to it and the 'mast' is Beech. The base is made from a square of Mahogany which has been carved and coloured with acrylics. The form is mounted to the base by way of a thin brass rod which cannot be seen .

Friday, 17 February 2012

Something a little bit different....Pipes!

Tim enjoying his new pipe!
My good friend Tim James who both made and maintains my website, , asked if I could make him a new pipe as he had dropped and broken his favourite one. I naturally said, with slight trepedation, 'Errrr well, probably? OK then" , but after watching a few youtube videos on the subject and a little reading to learn the internal layout of bowl and draw hole, I felt more confident.
 Now although the preferred material for pipe bowls are Briars, these are not readily available locally, several other timbers however are suitable for making these, one of which is Olive wood. Unfortunately I didn't have any of that either, but very kindly Nick and Jane Arnull sorted me out with a few pieces to get me going (thanks chaps!).
Contemplating the Universe.....
 The hardest and most important part of the whole process is getting the holes right as the draw hole needs to enter the bowl at the very bottom to ensure the pipe is a 'good smoker' but with being careful and lots of measuring it came out just about right. The top of the bowl was then turned in the chuck and the first part of the stem between centres, this leaves the two ends sticking out from a block and the rest of the shaping is done by carving and sanding. The mouthpiece is simply turned from Indian Rosewood with the oval shape to go in the mouth shaped on the sander. The bowl was finally rusticated with some texturing, finished and buffed and she was ready to go!!
 Tim was most impressed with his new pipe and I spent a few minutes trying it out myself, a bit naughty as I gave up smoking a year ago...............