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

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.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Bowls and more Bowls plus Booties

I realise there are some bowls I have not shown and now booties too, I don't make the booties, on the lathe.
Some of these are waxed and some treated with Danish oil, I have only made 2 lids the first I gave away and the second is seen here at the back it is a lid I am pleased I made.
This is a bowl I turned these past 3 days it still needs some final coats of Danish oil so there are some dull areas.
I am pleased with the bead around the top edge, it is something I have seen on The Canadian Woodworkers Web Site and thought I would give it a go and whalla what a first attempt.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

From chairs to to to to

So I rebuilt the 2 chairs for the man who sold me a lathe he was pleased with what I had done and asked me to make a new base for a Singer sewing machine.
This is something I had always wanted to have a go at doing, this also turned out as good as I had hoped being made from all new timber, well some of it was an old oak bed end.

For my good deeds he gave me a bowl saver to use on the lathe, this is an attachment that fixes to the lathe bed and is used to cut a smaller bowl from inside a large bowl and dependent on how large the bowl is maybe cut more than one bowl, to my mind this is better than putting all the shavings from inside a bowl on the floor, the cut the bowl saver makes is about 7mm wide and is set at about 100mm radius using the small cutter, I have had to spend some time making a firmer fixing to the lathe and am now happy with it being solid enough to run the lathe on a faster speed.
This is the 4th time I have used it and was brave enough to cut the wall thickness down to about 10mm at the entry point unfortunately the wall thickness increases the further in I go due to the radius of the cutter.
This is today, yesterday I prepared the rough piece of tree someone gave me years ago it still had bark on it and looked as though it was from an area that once had a branch coming from it I was eager to see what the grain was doing under the bark, there is some spalting happening in the sap wood, the tree had been split down the middle with a chain saw so the surface was rough, I used a router with dovetail cutter to cut the first round mounting recess in the flat side and mounted it on the lathe so I could shape the outer side and the bottom creating another mounting recess it was at this point the defects became obvious the splits from the drying process the defects from where the branch of the tree grew so with the end of the day in sight it was time to mix some epoxy with some brown oxide and fill what cavities I could see.
Today I set up the bowl saver after more modifications to make the operation better, when I think I have gone in far enough I take the bowl off the lathe and give the inner bowl a few taps with a hammer to split the 2 apart, in this instance it reveals more of the defects so again out with the epoxy and colouring, I have turned both bowls more to the finished shape before I filled those holes and splits, now its a matter of waiting for the epoxy to cure over night before I re mount them to the lathe, I suspect the smaller bowl will need some filling doing once I hollow it out, for a nawley piece of tree I am surprised this piece of wood has held together, but what fun.  


Friday, September 29, 2017

All the wonders of my world

It has been a wet winter and spring is no different, there are some advantages however, I have never known a rainbow stay in the sky for so long and a double one at that, it was visible for 20 min's I guess right outside my kitchen window.

I took on the refurbishment of 2 chairs one had a broken top, they are old and well used having been covered twice well I took off 2 covers and found a thick wad of dry grass as well as springs under the covers, in each joint there is 3   12mm dowels so not a lot of wood between the dowels and all the glue was dry so had let go and the chair was able to wobble whilst still held together, I didn't break the back of the chair apart but did put new dowels in the front legs and where the rails meet the back legs then the big corner glue blocks, this photo is a before and after shot, the front legs were put on the wood lathe and sanded clean however the old stain has penetrated the wood so its impossible to get it totally clean, I am thinking about 40 hours to get them to a stage to be refinished and I
think it took less than that to build them in the first place.
I was playing with this bowl wondering just how thin I could get the wood and cut right through the bottom there is a recess in the bottom to hold the bowl on the wood lathe so most of the bottom is about 8mm thick, the small block at the side I made today and will be made round on the lathe so the purple hart will become a circular stripe then it will be set in the bottom of the bowl to become a feature of significance and will match the table I showed in the previous posting, the bowl is cherry.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Bowls and Bikes

I had enough of bowls so went biking, the cycle shorts date from 1989 I think in the days when I could do 100km now we are out to do an easy 22km along the sand dunes of Opotiki and 22km is just enough on the first day of spring, I anticipated a little rain but it never happened till we were back at the car however it was so cold where we stopped for lunch I was pleased to be back on the bike, like the shorts the bike is from the same time and the tire decided enough was enough and started to blow out the tire wall so a day was spent cleaning the 30 years of gunk from the gears and getting 2 new tires.
Then back to the lathe and bowls now this is fun and so easy to obtain results, the big bowl back right is Matai and the little one behind it came from inside it so I got 2 from the one piece of wood, the dark one back center is a piece of drift wood from the beach either Totara or Pohutakawa, in the foreground is a bowl made from Cherry, I had 2 halves of the tree trunk and have made 5 of 6 about the same most I have given away now, the big bowl is another Matai piece that I thought was too shallow so added a rim of purple hart.
Now I have chairs from many years ago to clean up and rebuild. 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

How to use tanalised kahikatea

Someone gave me two planks of wood telling me it was Kahikatea that had been tanalised, one was 40mm thick the other 30mm but cut with a chain saw so had a very rough surface and 2 big knots, I thought about using it for outdoor chairs it being tanalised but then could not bear to think of cutting it up into bits, so table that could be used outdoors however I wanted to cut out those knots so it rendered some of it to bits, upon thicknessing it I realised the tanalising was only surface treatment, so I developed a design as I went along, the kahikatea being so white I thought some colour was needed and glued up some stringing using some very old jarrah, I thought the stringing would add some width and make all the joints have a reason for being there, the kahikatea is soft not sutable for the edge the 40mm looked thin around the edge so a hard edge of rimu seemed right
and the pieces I had that came out of the house I renovated were just right, this is the result with a quick sealer coat of epoxy treatment, it seems to have brought out the dark spots of the tanalising treatment that were not taken away in the machining, the top is 1660mm X 760mm which I think is a good size.
I have a fair amount of kahikatea left and some of the stringing and wanted the legs to have a theme with the top, I like the look of the rail to hold the table legs together with the wedges this method also makes for a table that can easily be dismantled for moving and as I intend to transport it to the other end of the country to me son it is necessary, the top took me a week to build and the legs another week now I can see that time again to do the finishing not that I will be on it the whole time as the polyurethane takes a while to dry in our winter.
Now I have a good lathe it is nice to find a worthwhile project for it and turning those pegs was good fun I had to get them correct the first time as I have nothing else to use so I am well pleased with myself, the ends of the tenons are left protruding for effect, the legs had no polyurethane on at the time of the photos so will have more contrast when finished.
Ho so much fun to build as at the start I had no idea other than a basic shape but it could have gone anywhere, just I'm not sure now its suitable to be put outside.