Hi, Alan Stratton, from As Wood Turns. (www.AsWoodTurns.com)
At our last club meeting, I received a nice, wet, log of aspen in the wood raffle. Hmmm.
What do I do with it. Well, Dave, who had actually contributed the wood and had said
it was only cut the week before. He said, “well, how about turning a lampshade out
of it.” So, I said, “Okay, l had turned a lampshade several years ago and I’m itching
for a project to use to try out my deep hollowing rig. Back then, I said I would not do another
lampshade until I had a deep hollowing rig. So. Here’s the lampshade. I hollowed it
and worked on the outside a little bit. But, you all seem to like to see both successes
and failures, so, there you go… This is very fresh aspen. Dave had wrapped
it in plastic. No checks in sight. Looks like this will be nice.
Now to mount it to the lathe. A steel faceplate should do the job. I’m securing it with
some good sturdy woodscrews. Then off to the races with my bowl gouge. But as I progress,
the wood is somewhat skewed away from the expected axis. Apparently, the end was not
cut as square as I thought. If I continue, I’ll be removing a lot of wood to get it
round. So back out the screws and let’s try again.
Now mounted to a two-prong drive center, again with my bowl gouge, I can proceed to round
it off and preserve more of the wood. This wood is very wet and very cold. My fingers
are freezing. Once it is round and balanced, I can trim the end so that it is perpendicular
to the lathe axis. Then remount the wood again to the steel faceplate.
Please note that this is not the same end as I previously screwed the faceplate to and
I am not using drywall screws. Then, true the wood round again and trim the
end. Boy, these wet shavings are cold on my hands.
Hollowing will go much better if I drill out the center. This is a long 3/8” drill with
a handle. I can drill about an inch to an inch and a half at a time.
Now for hollowing with this deep hollowing rig. This uses a bar with extra square bars
welded to the sides as outriggers to resist twisting. A stand at the end of the lathe
captures this bar set and keeps it level. A quarter inch cutter is mounted to the opposite
end. I have a USB borescope camera mounted above the cutter that is attached to my phone.
The phone is mounted to a stand with a piece of transparent plastic taped over the screen.
Then I’ve marked the location of the cutter on the plastic. As I move the tool, the camera
shows the relative position of the tool to the edge of the wood. I’m still making adjustments
to the camera setup. To start with pressure from the camera cord is moving the camera
and twisting the wood holding the camera. I added a screw to keep the wood from rotating,
cinched up the bar, and re-routed the camera cable and tied it down better. That helped.
No matter what, I have to stop regularly to clean out the shavings. What a pile of damp
wood. The inside of the lampshade is rough from
the stringy aspen. The cutter cannot leave a smooth surface on the wet aspen. Instead,
I try a curved cabinet scraper. After all, the hollow is big enough for my hand and the
scraper. You should probably not consider this as a safe maneuver. But it does clean
up the inside. Okay, the walls are thin enough, probably
less than ¼ inch. I’m not going thinner. But since the lampshade has survived so far,
I need to do a little more work to smooth the exterior. I’ve freshly sharpened my
large skew. It leaves a beautifully smooth surface with some very fine shavings. Then
trouble. I have noticed a little wobble that I attributed
to wood movement due to the wood removed and moisture loss.
I don’t know the exact root cause of the explosion. Definitely, there was a catch with
the skew. But I’m making the same stroke as several previous ones. One difference is
that I’m working on the very end where the wobble is worst. So, why the wobble? After
the explosion, I see all the screws still in the steel faceplate, the wood is totally
gone. Maybe the screws started to pull out thus producing the wobble that induced the
catch? I don’t know. One thing I do know it that this lampshade is not salvageable.
I will not try to glue this back together. Another is that I was the operator and I have
to take responsibility. I was wearing my full faceshield and needed it. The faceplate saved
my face. So, here’s the blooper. Please give this video a thumbs up, subscribe
on my website, tell your friends and send me your comments and questions. Every week
I make a new woodturning video. There are now 8 years worth; over 400 videos to choose
from on my web site. But, please wear your full-face shield – anytime the lathe is
running. Until next week’s video this is Alan Stratton from As Wood Turns dot com.