Wednesday, 9 August 2017

He wanted a challenge

My Student today was John he was here as a present from his Wife Nellie and his Son Harry
Whenever a new Student comes here we sit down for about half an hour and have a natter this gives me an idea of the nature and capabilities of the Student and helps me plan our day.Well I got the feeling that John was up for a challenge so I did something I have never done before. I would normally start a new complete Novice off making a Bowl out of either Sycamore or Beech because they are quite easy and forgiving.
As John was obviously up for something different and he said he was quite practical I sorted a very nice Mulberry blank.Now anybody that has ever turned dry Mulberry will know it is as hard as hell and this piece was no exception.Not only was it hard it was a very difficult shape for turning due to there being lots missing.
I was quite happy for John to turn this but I knew I would have to supervise him very closely because the last thing I wanted was an accident.
Everything went really well because as John said he is very practical and he took to the turning like a duck to water.
If we started this piece and I had been in the slightest doubt that John would have been able to have coped I would have stopped immediately and done something easier.
Below are some of the pics taken through out the day.

Before John started I told him to be prepared for a hard day and when you look at this Mulberry Blank you can see why
 Turning the Blank to round with a push cut
 Starting to remove the high spots with a pull cut here John is cutting mostly air

 A lot of the high spots removed and getting a bit easier
 Bottom shaped and Spigot formed.Sanding with the Simon Hope Pro Sander and three inch disc

 Finishing the bottom down to a thousand grit.Everything that leaves my workshop is sanded down to a thousand grit .

The bottom sanded and John applying Lemon Oil and leaving it to soak in while we have lunch.

 What stunning grain

 Lunch finnished and back to work John flattening the top ready to remove the centre Bowl.
 Removing the centre with the Crown Tools 10mm M42 steel Bowl gouge.
 Centre removed ready for sanding

Again the Simon Hope sander with the two inch pad ideal for the inside

 Sanding down to 1000 Grit Ny Web Pads from Chestnut Products.
 A little bit of pattern on the rim with the Crown Tools texturing tool
 Carefully removing the Spigot
 Final sanding to remove the last of the spigot and the job is done.The bowl has been treated with Lemon oil and I gave John some to take with him to apply extra coats
 Look at the beutifull figuring on that Bowl

 Doesant he look pleased and so he should he has done exeptionly well.


  1. I wanted to thank you for a very enjoyable and rewarding day yesterday. Firstly, thank you for welcoming me into your home. Secondly, thank you also for putting your faith in me to be able to work with the Mulberry wooden block and for passing on your years of knowledge and experience. It was an extremely rewarding day and you will be pleased to know that my bowl has taken pride of place at home.

    Could you also pass on my thanks to Susan for keeping me topped up with tea and for providing a delicious lunch.

  2. Thank you John it was a bit of a challenge for both of us I enjoyed your day here and hope to see you again in the future