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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Creating a coloured bowl.

I have been making a lot of wide rimmed coloured bowls lately and I am frequently asked how I do them.What I am going to do here is go through the process from when I buy the wood to the finished bowl.

When I buy the wood for bowls I usually buy a bulk load enough to do about sixty to a hundred bowls.I get my wood from wood yards now because I use quite a lot .When I started and only made the odd bowl or hollow form I could get enough from local tree surgeons and whatever I could scrounge.
When I buy it it is always in board form.To get the best out of a board I have a lot of round disks which I place on the board.These are placed so as to get the most economical cuts and the most blanks possible.I mark around the disk with a pencil and mark the centre at the same time.It is important to mark the centre ready for when the tailstock is brought up to the blank. If you forget to mark it you then have a lot of wasted time later when roughing out.

To enlarge the pics left click on pic
With the blanks all marked out I then cut them up on the bandsaw.Obviously it is not possible to cut the rounds out of a long board so I simply cut them all into squares and then rounds.



 Here I have cut up some  Sycamore into sizes that I want for bowls and Vases



The bowl blanks are then roughed out and put away for about one to two years or until they are dry enough to finish.I stack them up on top of each other and leave them to dry and get very few that split.Sycamore and Beech are quite forgiving and dry well.









I only do two shapes to the bottoms of my bowls as the following two pics.


The roughed out bowl is first trapped between the pressure plate and the tailstock ready to refine the bottom.
The spigot is trued up ready to reverse chuck and the bottom is sanded up to the spigot.At this stage the spigot is not sanded that will be done at a later stage.
I don't hand sand or power sand anymore all of my sanding is done with the Hope sanding system I find this a lot quicker and easier.More info here.





With the bottom sanded and the spigot trued up the bowl is reverse chucked and the rim trued up and sanded.


Now I apply two coats of Ebonising lacquer to the rim it does not matter about it going in the bowl as it will be skimmed out later.It does not matter if the grain shows as the colour will hide it.If I do not want any grain to show I go over the rim with a flexible filler that is sanded to 600 grit before applying the ebonising lacquer.



The ebonising lacquer dries very quickly and the piece is now ready for colour.I am going to use three colours of the JoSonja's Iridescent paint system Red,Violet and Gold.
I will be applying the paints with a pastry brush.
First I apply a ring of red to the outside of the rim



Next I apply a ring of Violet followed by a ring of Red and Violet mixed.

It is not easy at this stage to distinguish between the colours as they stay quite white until dry.
Now I put a ring of thinned Gold very close to the bowl.I have thinned the gold because I want it to go over the other colours when I spin it in the lathe.


Now the bowl is put back on the lathe and spun.This bit is critical too fast or too long and all you get is a mess.this was spun at 360 RPM for no longer than  about 5 seconds.Remember if you have not spun it enough you can always spin it again.If you spin it too much you will have to do all the colouring again.

Because the paint is thick it will take a bit of time to dry but I will speed it up carefully with a hot air gun. It does not look great at this stage but when it is dry and the bowl area is skimmed out it will be OK.
I have speeded up the drying time and have shaped and scraped the inside of the bowl.Again I use the Simon Hope sanding system but for the inside I use the 2" pad.



With the bowl sanded it is time to create a narrow band on both sides of the rim.I do this with a skew chisel on its flat making sure it is level or trailing to avoid a dig in.These are then sanded down to 600 grit the same as the rest of the bowl.

I then apply two coats of Acrylic gloss lacquerer and allow to dry.
When it is dry I burnish the lacquerer inside the bowl and the rim.
The bowl is then put back against the pressure plate to do the final sanding on the bottom.This includes reducing the thickness of the spigot to turn it into a shallow foot.


As you can see a small area of the foot is left to support the bowl against the pressure plate but is easily removed with a carving tool or chisel.


The foot is then tidied up with a sanding arbour in a bit of spare wood made for the job.


The bottom is now done and signature added ready to be buffed.
The buffing is done with an 8" soft wheel anda block of white stick that Mark Sanger gave me about 5 years ago.I don't know where it comes from or what it is called but I understand it is for buffing stainless steel.

Just a couple of coats of Renaissance wax and we are done.




I hope some of you have found this interesting.Please leave comments and sign up to my Blog to receive updates.
Some days I have got as many as 300 page views on my Blog and no comments.If you cannot be bothered to sign up or leave comments how am I expected to know if you want me to carry on as it is quite a lot of work to do one of these tutorials.


48 comments:

  1. Well done George. Thankyou for sharing your ideas
    Sue

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    1. Hi Sue.Thank you for commenting.Now you see how easy it is I will expect you to be doing them soon.

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  2. Excellent!!! I have been waiting for a demo like this. I will be giving it a try in the near future. I follow your blog all the time and think it is great so please dont stop!!!

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    1. Thank you RS I am pleased you have found it helpfull.Please sign up to Blog for updates

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  3. Keith Gallagher3 June 2012 at 08:56

    Nicely done George. Just a quick question. Is your sanding arbor off centre in the 25th photo? Also what material do you use on the plywood to create the friction to drive the blanks?
    Thanks again for the great tutorial.

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    1. Hi Keith.No that will be because the camera was a bit to the side.The marerial on the friction drive is Router matt.Thank you for commenting I am glad you have found it useful

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  4. George dont give all your trade tips out :)
    keep it going mate

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    1. Thank you Ian.I am working on new things all the time so there will always be something to show

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  5. Thanks for that George,
    A very interesting tutorial, keep them coming,
    Regards,
    Neil

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    1. Thank you Neil I hope there was something in there for everyone

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  6. George, very thorough description of your process and your usual impeccable turnings. Surprised to see you using a passive sanding system but it certainly looks well made although very pricey by our standards. Could you enlighten us on the "burnishing" you do before the final acrylic lacquer finish.
    Pete in Welland

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    1. Hi Pete.
      The sanding system is the hope pro sander and it is brilliant.I tried the one made by Sorby years ago and it just did not work for me.The difference is this one has bearings which make it turn easier.The time it saves is amazing and I would not be without it.It is about £45 00 here and good value as it is so well made.I don't know if I have worded it wrong but it is Acrylic Lacquer that I burnish at high speed with burnishing cream.
      Thank you for commenting I hope I have answered you question.

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  7. Hi George, there is nothing better after a day's work sitting down on a eveing reading your blog, so please keep up the good work your an inspiration to us all thanks for sharing.

    Paul..

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  8. Hi George, a great tutorial, another 1 on my tuit list, keep up the good work, cheers Chris

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    1. Hi Chris.That list just keeps growing.LOL

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  9. Thank you Paul it is comments like that that make it all worth while.

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  10. Well done George for all these comments - it makes it all the more worthwhile for you to know that there are people interested and inspired by your work
    Sue

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  12. Hi George, I think it has all been said well done.Regards John

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    1. Thank you John your comments are always appreciated as is everybody's.

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  13. Hi George
    Thanks for sharing that info,after reading the procedure on your blog I had to try it, so I made a 6" dia bowl & used ordinary acrylic paint I had laying around,I'm well pleased with the results, but no competition for you.thanks again George
    Regards Barry Cook

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    1. Hello Barry.
      It is good to hear you had a go that is why I put it up.Don't worry if your first few are not perfect a lot of mine aren't and I have done hundreds.Keep up the good work.

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  14. A great tutorial, George. So clear and well illustrated!

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    1. Hi Ian.Thanky ou I am pleased you found it interesting

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  15. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  16. I have only just found you so don't stop. Finally a tutorial that tells you everything and assumes nothing.

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  17. Thank you pud I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  18. Hi George

    A great tutorial with pictures.

    Keep up the great work.

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  19. Thank you Mark it seems a lot of people enjoyed it so I will do another when I find time.

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  20. George you have given me the encouragement to have a go at this (on a smaller scale as my lathe is not that big), don't know yet how it will turn out as I've left the ebonising lacquer to dry overnight! I hope to see more tutorials in future.

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  21. Hi Stewart. Dont be disapointed if is not the same I doubt If I could do two the same.Dont spin the piece for too long or too fast.If you Email me a pic I will put it up here.

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  22. hi George I have been seeing your work on the net for the last couple of years it seems like you have a new idea every day
    keep on turning panting burning what ever makes you happy.
    you are a great inspiration for all woodturners.
    take care, Robbie

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  23. Thank you Robbie it is very kind of you to say so.

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  24. Hi George True form another well executed tutorial. Have you retired as it seems you have a lot of time. Kind Regards Roger in a cold South Africa

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  25. Thank you Roger.It is sunny here the first time for weeks.
    It is not that I have a lot of time it is that I work a lot of hours.I have a job to keep up and have just completed eight bowls and seven Bud vases that I have made in the last two days.They are to top up in galleries and I have to make a load more yet.

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  26. Hi George, What do you thin down the JoSonja's paints with. Regards John

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  27. Hi John.I use flow medium avalable from Mark Raby

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  28. George Thanks for your help in my effort doing a bowl following your tutorial.I have posted some pics on the AWGB forum.
    Regards John

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  29. Well done john.Quite a few turners have found this tutorial usefull which is great.

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  30. Thanks for sharing Mr. F, much appreciated and inspiring.
    Nev

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  31. Many thanks for sharing Mr. F, much appreciated and very inspiring.
    Nev

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  32. Great presentation. Now I just gotta work out how to subscribe to this.

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  33. Thank you David if you go to the bottom of the page It says Join this site to sign up.

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  34. George - Loved the tutorial on your coloring technique. Also a fan of your work. I will subscribe momentarily !
    Scott

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  35. Hi scott I am glad you enjoyed it and I hope you found it useful.
    I will be doing another one on colouring soon

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  36. Thank you George for showing your way of colouring these bowls. Have got to try this soon.

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  37. Glad to be a help.Let me know how you get on.

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