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, December 1, 2018

New Wood

The wood is new to me, it had become too big at the bottom of a neighbors garden, its a Rimu tree and maybe 60 years old and for that kind of tree its young so I don't expect to find any great colour in it, I have been slowly cutting it up and rough turning it I have about 6 pieces turned and in cardboard boxes drying now.
I gained some dry Tawa, nice clean white Tawa, it is 8" X 2" I cut a piece off and turned it into a platter with wings just to see the quality of it, the one on the right is Matai and came from the local beach so a piece of drift wood, all these timbers are native to New Zealand.
I know people like rustic but I also like to achieve a good looking finish to what I turn so I am torn between leaving in the natural flows or trying to produce perfect pieces of wood which is very rare given that wood is so prone to movement, the Matai has some splits while the Tawa is perfect.
I have been working on some bowls I turned wet during the year, the one on the right is Elm Burl and is 8 1/4" diameter, now it is dry it is hard and nice to work with, the back one is Pohutukawa another New Zealand native timber this piece is 10" diameter a few cracks have appeared that I glued up as I went along so there were a few day work involved with this one, the bowl on the left is Cherry
a piece of wood I exchanged for some of my Elm Burl it was dry but split, I cut the block by the split, machined a good surface and glued the 2 pieces together before I turned a shape again I found shakes in the wood that had to be glued up before the final turning, all these pieces have been rewarding to get to a final point.

Friday, November 9, 2018


I have made spheres before both solid and hollow, the hollow one I glued together
for ease of sanding, I wanted to do something that looked like a Celtic knot so I decided to combined all three a hollow sphere that came apart with a Celtic knot inlay.
It is 94mm outer diameter with a wall of about 3or 4mm and as round as a wood lathe can get it.
The wood I used is Totara for the main part and the inlay is Tawa, both are old and very dry.
It has been a week in the making as I could only glue in one inlay a day and there were 8 to glue in, if I got up early I could get 2 glued in a day.
Yesterday and today were turning days, today it fell on the floor twice so there has been some moments of panic when I thought I had to start all over again.
The dark patches are glue that I have had to put on due to cracks and I hope to sand it out if the whole thing does not disintegrate when I am finishing it. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Pine for a wood show

There is a wood show coming up next month at a small town not far
away, I have visited these last 3 years, now this year I am in to either sell or compete with other turners, most of the work I have priced high hoping not to sell as it is of the best work I have done, as for wining, if I do I will be happy, if I don't well we will have to wait and see, I have not made any great effort as I consider I am learning and there is a lot of learning to do, as we know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and for the most part I am happy with what I do.
This is Pinus Radiata there is a category for it in the show so this is my effort, a design I wanted to try, it is sat on the 4 outer feet and the middle is suspended about 6mm clear, I intend to leave it as natural wood no finish coating.
To me it looks like a dog bowl and I have called it this for the show, I was given the wood as a huge log as it was cut from the tree trunk, it has been sat drying for over a year and turned easily.
My other entry's I have shown in past posts.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

I've been turning wood

I was given a lump of Japanese Walnut that has been stored inside for years so was bone dry and covered in dust making it difficult to see what I had been given, I could see some splits in the wood so cut off that end a put it on the lathe this bowl is 200mm wide and 70mm high this size enabled me to take a small bowl out of the inside.
The colours are some of the best I have ever seen in wood, someone saying a galactic scene.
I did glue up the cracks but it was easy to turn and is very light given its size, I have a piece that will give me 2 more bowls so now I look forward to seeing what that reveals.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Chooks, tail feathers and bowls

We now have 2 chickens in the bottom corner of our garden, I built a run and chicken house out of left overs from house renovations, I think these are black orpingtons chickens, one of them was laying eggs as soon as we got her then one day the neighbors dog barked and she had to go see what the noise was about, over the fence she went it must have been right into the waiting dog as she lost her tail feathers before she found their wood shed to hide in, we only got one more egg now I think the experience has put her off laying for a few days.
I have been standing in a shower of wet wood shavings for a few days rough turning wet wood for it to dry I wanted to do some finer work and took some thin scraps I thought were a bit useless along with a piece that had sap wood.
I wanted to see if I could do hollow form by gluing 2 pieces together, 3 of the pieces I had were only 20mm thick so with a slight hollow became the bottoms and one top, these pieces are 220mm diameter the tall one is 63mm and the unfinished one stands at 53mm including the ring I glued on, at present I am contemplating how to hold the bowl on the lathe while I finish the top ring.
The wood is not entirely dry, there was movement overnight while I turned them so the wood has become very thin as I had to re turn turn them, they now make a good drum.
I wanted to make the opening large enough to be able to see the grain of the wood inside the other one won't be so big but then the grain of the wood is better on the top.


Monday, July 23, 2018

Elm Burling

I have been extremely lucky to find someone with an Alaskan Mill
to slab the burl for me, I cut off the bits that were sticking out and have started to cut them up and rough out some bowls, one piece that  was protruding was the remains of the trunk.
I didn't have to push the chainsaw mill so it looked easy it was my job to put wedges in the back side and stop the piece already cut from dropping down.
We first cut the top flat that gave us a tapered piece then 2 at 100mm thick and 2 at 75mm thick all the rest was cut to 50mm thick and that was about 5 pieces so in all about 9 pieces and some bits, the good man who did the cutting took 2 for his efforts.
Now they are all sticked up in a pile drying, that is with 2 sticks between each slab to allow air to pass through and the drying to take place
I have been cutting up the bits and rough turning bowls, it is a learning experience, as I am turning them it is good to see the colour return but then quickly fades again as the surface water dries out.
I am unsure how much movement will occur during drying so have been leaving plenty of thickness, I have weighed each one and written on them the weight it has only been a few weeks and already I can tell the difference in weight.
The smaller ones seen here are what I cored from inside the bigger ones.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

A round wheel

The hardest part of creating a round object is getting it round,that is round without flats or lumps and bumps that you can feel more than see, and from what I can tell I have done it.
The old wheel has finger holes on the back side, well not holes but slight hollows to improve grip, I was unsure how to do this but thought I would see if just sand paper was enough, I wrapped some course sandpaper around a plastic pipe of about 70mm diameter and it proved to be just right, I marked around the outer edge of the wheel an even 40 points determined by the 10 hollows on the 1/4 of old wheel I have I then cramped straight edges across the wheel so I could sand a hollow on each side of the wheel this entailed moving my straight edges 20 times but stood in the garden in the warm sun on a cold winters day listening to the birds sing what could be better.
After all the hollows were sanded out I was back inside the man cave with the router and a large radius bit taking off the corners with the fear that I may get splintering from the wood being under tension, I got a good result and very little sanding was needed.
Next I will give it a coat of 2 pot epoxy treatment with the hope it will prevent worm attack then a coat of polyurethane.