Thursday 31 March 2011

More simple segmented.

The most important thing in creating segmented work is accurate machining.
If your segments are not exactly the same dimensions there is no way they will fit together.
There is nothing worse than segmented work with poorly fitting joints so take the time to get it right it is well worth the effort.
I am going to produce my segments using machinery simply because I have it but that does not mean it cannot be done by hand it is just more work.

The first process is to machine your wood into strips with all square edges and planed smooth.I am using Idigbo for this and as Idigbo is a very dusty wood I make sure I use a dust extractor on the machines and an extractor at roof height to take out fine dust in the atmosphere.
Before using my planer I check that the fence is at 90% to the in feed and out feed tables. This is very important if you want square stock.
The first thing we have to do is give ourselves a perfectly flat surface to work from.
As the stock is fed onto the cutter it is important that you put pressure on the piece to make sure it sits flat on the out feed table.
Depending on the surface of the piece you might have to make several passes.

We will now have a piece of stock that has one perfectly flat and smooth wide side ready to square up the edge.
To square up the edge the piece has to be held firmly against the fence and held down firmly on the out feed table.
Again this might require several passes.

We now have a piece of stock that has two perfectly smooth sides that are square to each other. Next we put the stock through the thickness with the rough side up.
Again this might take several passes.
We now have a piece of stock that is perfectly smooth and square on three sides.
Now I will cut a piece off the squared edge of the stock on the bandsaw.

The piece that has just been cut off is now set aside and the remaining large piece is again squared up on the planer.
This has to be done after each piece is cut off on the bandsaw to make it square and smooth ready to cut off the next strip
With all of our stock cut into strips with three square and smooth sides they are all fed through the thickness to prepare the final side.
We now have strips of stock with four perfectly smooth and square sides ready to cut into segments.
The strips are approx 3" deep by 1 1/4" thick although this is not important as long as they are all the same and you have enough for your blank.
This done my Thicknesser and Planer are tucked away until next time they are needed.

These go under a bench top to save space there is also my router table tucked away under the same worktop.

This is turning out not to be as easy as i thought it would.
I have tried to make segments using my cho saw but they have not worked out accurate enough.
This is the way I have tried to do it.
First i have fixed a temporary fence and cut through at 30% the object of the temp fence is to stop break out in the back of the cut.
It is always worthwhile using a temp fence when using a chop saw.
The next thing i have done is to cut of a piece of ply and fixed it to the temp fence at the length i want my segments to be.

The idea now is to slide the timber that I have squared planed and thicknessed against the ply block to create the segments.
Having cut of quite a few of these I tried to put them together to form a pattern.
Unfortunately the cuts were not accurate enough there were very small gaps.
I think the problem is that unless you sit dead tight against the block the cut is not going to be perfect.
Also if you get a bit off dust under the wood it is enough to spoil the cut.
I have not given up on this I have an idea to try and cut these longways on the table saw and then chop them into lengths.
I set my table saw to cut a 30% bevel and by carefull measuring I have made a diamond shape.
I have cut the strips into 3" lengths and created what I think is a good pattern.
This is not perfect when set out dry but tommorow when I glue it up it will be easier to get all the segments perfect.

Monday 28 March 2011

Tom's blanks

I have volunteered to make a couple of segmented blanks for Tom from The Woodhaven http://thewoodhaven.co.uk/phpBB3/blog.php/

Tom is spending the day with me on the Sunday after Yandles show next month and i promised they would be done by then
Because I am very busy with orders and other commitments at the moment i have decided on an easy option.
I have picked up some Pine block board from B & Q because although it is a bit expensive it is very high quality and well finished.
This means all I have to do is cut it up glue it and cut it to a round without having to sand it.
The piece I bought is ten feet by twelve inches just enough to make two eleven inch blanks.
This is a very easy option if you want to make a couple of segmented blanks as all you need is a hand saw and some clamps.
To make the blanks you need to crosscut as many pieces as you need for the end grain slices then rip some to cut the long grain cut to the same length.
As i am doing these for somebody else i thought i would use my table saw as it gives a better cut.
I cannot remember the last time i used the table saw it is only normally used for joinery work.
A lot of my machinery is on wheels to enable me to move them around easily and take up less space.
Before i use my table saw i check that the sliding table is square to the blade and the blade is upright.
For this exercise there is no need to check but it is a good habit to get into.
Here we have the piece of Pine block board ready to saw up.
Board crosscut and ripped ready for gluing up.

These slices are glued up in alternate rows giving a segmented appearance which is very effective when turned.
Glued and clamped ready for drying.

Here we have the first blank ready for turning.

This is what toms bowl will hopefully look like when it is turned.

Sunday 27 March 2011

I am sick of the site of pens.

I have had a pen making session.
The Acrylic blanks and pen kits are from Axminster tools.

These are part of my order for a new Gallery.
I do not enjoy pen making but is something I have to do now and again.
When I have to make pens I do them in batches of 20 this way each pen takes me less than 15 minutes.
The way I make pens.
The first thing is to cut the blanks to the right length this is done on the bandsaw.
These kits have two different sized tubes and both sizes are marked on my cutting jig.
Then all the blanks are drilled in one batch making sure I keep them in pairs.

I rough up the tubes and glue them all in with expanding poly glue.
While the glue is drying I undo all the little packets that the components are in and put them together in a shallow bowl.
The glue is soon hard and they can be trimmed with the barrel trimmer.
Both the drilling and the trimming are done using the proper vice in a pillar drill.

The mandrel is already set up so I turn them and sand them.
For the turning I use a small spindle roughing gouge and finish with a 1/2" skew.
I sand from 150 grit to 600 grit and then use green webrax.
I only use the abrasive paper once, I tear off a piece about an inch long sand with the lathe turning then stop and hand sand length ways with each grit.
This stops you getting sanding marks around the blank.
I only use each piece once as it is more efficient and saves time.

I finish the blanks with Hut polish for polishing plastics it leaves a good hard shinny surface.

Then all the pens are put together in one go this saves lots of time.
That is how I make 20 pens in under 5 hours .
They are all exactly the same all a perfect fit and finished to a very high standard.

Thursday 24 March 2011

Training day.

On one or two days a month Mark Sanger and myself hold training days for members of our club.
For a nominal charge members are able to attend for a full day of tuition to either hone their existing skills or further their woodturning skills.
The two ladies Sue and Cheryl are regulars at these sessions and improving really well..
The two men Brian and Burt are first timers with us.
Brian is a complete novice and was learning from scratch and Burt has been turning for several years but wants to advance further with new techniques.
All of them enjoyed their day and have booked again for next month.
Here are some pics from they day. 

Saturday 19 March 2011

An experiment

I have made a Hollow form out  yellow pine and coloured it with Chestnut spirit stain.
Then i sprayed it with Acrylic spray and polished.
It is not really a success as the side brain is very difficult to sand to a perfect finish and the inside is very hard to hollow.
It was worth a try but i would not bother again.
The wood was glued with Gorilla glue which parted at one stage.
Not completely the fault of the glue with all this side grain it was putting a strain on the glue joint.
A few pics.

Roughed out between Steb centre and tailstock.
Unfortunately the glue joint gave way.

The base has been stuck back on with super glue and clamped with tailstock.
The base broke off when I was hollowing.In retrospect it would probably have been prudent to have left a wider base and hollowed most of the inside before reducing the base.
A lesson learnt.
I did not bother to complete the hollowing as there seemed little point as I would expect the base to break again.

Because of the openness of the grain o this Yellow pine it is not easy to get a good finish .
What i did find was that after using very sharp guoge on the outside a negative rake scraper helped to create a sandable finish.
If I was going to do one again I would probably as I said above do most of the hollowing before reducing the base.

Friday 18 March 2011

A play day.

Yesterday I  went to see Mark Sanger and had a bit of a play.
Mark had a demo in Barnstable in the evening so he was taking it quiet and preparing his equipment.
I needed a quiet day as I have been working hard for a while.
The trouble is if I stay at home I will be in my workshop grafting.
As many of you will know Mark is now sponsored by Crown tools.
Crown have brought out a new hollowing system and a set of texturing tools.
Neither of us have had a lot of experience with the texturing tools so we had a play with them for a couple of hours.
In fairness these are very much like the Roberty Sorby texturing tools but a lot cheaper.
These tools are dead simple to use and it is just a case of play around and you will be amazed the different patterns and textures you can achieve.
I took a few pics but nothing serious.
This is just a very small sample of what you can do with these tools and if you add colour to your texturing it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

I also managed to have a go with the new Crown hollowing system when I got home.
You will have to go to my Blog on hollowing systems a few posts back to see how i got on.