My blog is of my creations, My furniture, using wood I have collected from here and there, occasionally buying some to make up the difference.
My design is often based around what I have available.
Comments welcome, thanks for your visit.

My Trade Mark

My Trade Mark
I'm into diamonds

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Quite a week

Last week I offered to make some clock surrounds for our local miniature railway club, someone had given me a piece of a Norfolk Pine tree and it has been stood drying for a while now, I cut of enough to dress up a stick of 4 x 2 and made 2 of these, with them screwed to a board I was able to turn them to fit the plastic clock, seen here they have some exterior grade stain protection on them, they will be mounter back to back above the railway station just like the real thing.  

Next project was to make a sister to the last bowl I showed
the new one is on the left, it stands a little higher at 120mm high and 160mm wide at the top, again the bottom part is glued to the top but was actually taken from inside the top part, the wood is Tawa that is spalted so the black lines are a mould or fungus that  was causing the wood to rot.

While this was happening I was also playing with another piece of Norfolk Pine trying to create a plant pot stand, I made it to fit the plant in the picture, after it was finished I decided it needed feet so it has 4 feet made from Purple Hart turned to look like balls, the darkness inside the bowl is a waterproof coating should we ever over water the plant, the finish to the rest of the wood is a wax.

Then at the end of the week came the big surprise a phone call with the offer of a freshly cut burl from a Weeping Elm, it is much bigger than I had expected and has me wondering what I will do with it all, I was very eager to find out what it looked like inside so on Saturday with a fresh chain on the chain saw it was amazingly easy to cut and find out what is inside, I did get one piece on the wood lathe, with water and chips flying around I rough turned a bowl that is now sat in its own wet wood chips in a cardboard box with the hope it will dry slowly with no adverse effects, the colour is just wonderful and I hope one day to cut it differently so I can show off the burl effects


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Spalted drift wood

I have been walking the local beaches eyeing up the drift wood again, this is spalted Tawa, spalting is the early stage of rot, this piece started  much larger I turned it on the lathe till I was down to solid wood but still there was a soft spot running through it that I tried to harden using an epoxy treatment I was not happy so cut the top half off leaving me with about 55mm it was then I realised I could take out the center and glue it on the bottom giving me what you see here.
The total height is 105mm and 165mm over all across the top.

To have a better look click on the image.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Some bowls

Its nice to be back at my lathe.
I went up the beach a few days ago and picked up some drift wood of course it was wet so I set about turning some wood I had that was dry, the two smaller ones were very dry, the front one is rewa rewa while the one behind I am not sure about, the large platter on the right is matai, a piece of drift wood I picked up last year and has been drying undercover, its overall width is 310mm X 45mm high and all very exciting to turn.

I did cut into the wet drift I had picked up to see what was inside and decided to turn 2 pieces then give it a chance to dry before I finish it some time in the future from what I can tell the wood is a Totara and will polish up very nicely one day but is still very heavy with water.
The back piece will be a light stand, the lower portion will remain in its rough state, the front piece will be some sort of bowl and will eventually be deeper than it is right now there is a lot to do with them when I get started again.

So I went back to some dry wood and decided on a piece of kauri that someone had given to me, as I made the first cuts I was most surprised at the green tinge to the wood it is also very tight grain so a very slow growing tree I can see about 200 growth rings in this piece of wood so that is 200 years old, the bowl is about 220mm wide and given that these trees can be 2 and 3 meters wide the tree this bowl came from could be over 2000 years old.
I formed the outer shape of the bowl and sanded it then set about taking out the middle saving the inner piece for another bowl.
The wood was a pleasure to work with though there are a few hairline cracks in it but this is what happens with wood.
I still have the pleasure of making something out of the inner piece and may yet get a smaller one from inside that.

The bowl on the left is one I have had for a few years it was shop bought and has held a lot of fruit waiting to be eaten, what ever the coating was it had become dirty and dull looking, the bowl is also kauri and more to the colour that I know as kauri its grain is not as tight as the one on the right.
I put some time into finding a center and created a hollow in the bottom to hold it on my lathe, as I first ran the lathe it became obvious it was not round so using a chisel would have destroyed the bowl my only option was to sand it clean some turps was tried but had little effect, with time and lots of sandpaper I have a bowl better than when it was new and I am so pleased now I have made the effort.

Acacia is a hard wood to work with, this piece was a small piece but large enough to save the middle with my coring tool.
there were some voids in the wood so I dug out the soft wood and filled the hole with epoxy and black pepper corns the fun happened when I came to sand the cured epoxy and could smell the pepper.
I had finished the bowl before I decided to try putting the piece that came out of the bowl under it as a foot, I also wanted the insert a piece of something as a contrast, the contrast is not great the wood is I think tawa but as its first life was a weatherboard on a house I am not sure it would be tawa, all in all it was a pleasing project and a few things have been learnt along with turning experience gained. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Bathroom

The ceilings in the house are 9 feet high and down each side of the house is a piece of ceiling on a 35 degree angle that is impossible to insulate due to it being next to the roof, the bathroom ceiling was damaged and needed replacing.
I determined we could drop the ceiling level to 2.4m a drop of about 300mm and would enable us to insulate the whole ceiling out to the outer wall, having a ceiling at 2.4m allowed us to use sheets on the walls of the bathroom floor to ceiling however in most cases it was half sheets of 1.2m each, we used a water proof sheet around the bottom half where cleaning and water would most likely be happening, for the top half we chose a 12mm pine faced ply this was coated with a water based product before we put it in place.
The ceiling was lined with the same product as the bottom half of the walls it is a hard glazed type finish made for lining showers with, we installed a LED light strip rated for bathroom use that gave ample light to all the room it is a very good idea that sits almost flush with the ceiling panels.
We totally stripped the flooring and replaced it with a 20mm ply that has a pinkish look about the face veneer this we put down in 3 equal with panels the result was pleasing with only 2 joints and not in a position of a lot of water this left us with a lot of waste ply so a cupboard to sit the hand basin on seemed logical, we do have doors for it they just wait to be put in place.
The shower tray we had made to suit our plan then we filled the step with wood so we could captivate nuts that the bolts would tighten onto to hold the brackets for the glass, the idea is that the shower water runs down the glass and drips off into the shower tray, there is no mastic joint that grows mold and most often leaks out of the shower area causing problems, the floor of the tray has a 20mm ply backing cut and jointed so the tray keeps its draining ability and will not hold water in puddles as it is set level on the floor joists, I like to apply the same theory to the shower wall lining as the glass, there is a 10mm gap between the stainless steel tray and the back of the wall lining the stainless steel is 40mm higher than the bottom of the wall panels I hope this all results in the water staying in the shower area and not getting into the walls.
I made 2 new doors one for the bathroom and a bedroom door both had a good dose of woodworm in them, we also had an electrician
in the house for almost a week to replace the wiring that dated back to when the house was built.
We installed a heater to warm the room on cold nights and an extractor fan as its condensation in a bathroom that causes the most damage. 


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Far away

At the end of February I went to Dunedin, the mission was to remove a fire place that of course involved removing the whole chimney stack which involved a days work on the roof removing the bricks and fixing the hole that remained when the bricks were gone, we found matching tiles, tiles of matching shape but some were painted however from the ground you can hardly tell, next we took the wall board off so we could get the bricks down from inside the roof, the bricks that were visible inside the lounge took me a whole day to remove I was only throwing them out of the window next to the fire place but its a lot of bricks, it was then a further day to remove that piece of concrete as we got to floor level it became apparent a machine was needed to break up the concrete at and below the floor so we could install some woodwork to support a new floor, much of the flooring has woodworm in it so we put down 2 whole sheets of ply wood across the whole room, we re gib board the wall and while doing this had pipes put in for a heat pump to replace the fire, there was a large piece of ceiling to replace and plaster along with the plastering of the wall, some trim along the top and some sealer paint and I think we were at the end of week 2 or maybe a day or 2 more.
Next job was to be renovate the bathroom but that's another blog posting.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Cmas pressies

Probably the best pressie.
Some time ago I wrote a piece on the Canadian wood workers web site about the mirror frame I made with the inlays and carved corners, I have shown it as a post here, the Canadian Woodworkers web site used it in there magazine and as a consequence Lee Valley the Canadian tool store sent me a gift, the marking gauge shown here is that gift, the marking gauge I would normally use is one from my apprentice days so is about 50 years old, I'm not sure I will still be using this one in 50 years.
I have been busy renovating a kitchen for a few days so bowl production has slowed, I did rescue a door sill of Matai from the kitchen reno and turned up 2 good size bowls one I gave to the home owner the other to our Chinese house guest but didn't get photos (big mistake) the small bowl with lid came from what was left of the door sill.
The large bowl here is oak and had a lot of drying splits in it so it was a case of turn and glue up turn and glue up, the edge design is another experiment, the bowl is finished with wax.
The other 2 with live edges are finished with a mat Danish oil
the middle one has thin walls and had been roughed out many years ago it was very bent from the drying out so a challenge to turn, the bowl on the left I started from half a tree that was very dry and I managed to keep all the bark on the live edge so I am pleased with that on.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Selling first bowls

Its been a fun time making bowls and more fun selling them, I sold the one on the far right of the picture I thought it was rewarewa and had some wonderful grain in it that shone under the danish oil, the tall one in the middle also sold it was pohutukawa and a rich deep purple colour both had been a joy to make even though I had some splitting problems that needed gluing up, I could have easily kept them both,the other one that sold was a favorite too it was the first one I turned with a live edge, it was a big learning curve made more so as it had been rough turned a number of years ago and left to dry
in the drying process the shape had changed a lot so it was no longer round  making it difficult to start the process of finishing it I was lucky there was enough thickness in the sides to have a bowl at all and that the bark stayed on as it should I did so like it and am sad to see it sold, I have given away a few of the smaller or experimental pieces so suddenly my collection is smaller.
Here is a photo of a few more I have been busy with in recent days.