Posts tagged woodworking
Since I’ve got some time on my hands lately, a lot of time, I’ve been working on my bowl-turning skills. I spent about an hour or so on this one this morning, and I think it came out pretty nice. My first attempt at inlay, and I have to say, I love it!
That’s Redheart, by the way, one of my favorite woods to turn. I’ve also been experimenting with new finishes, and this bowl uses a friction polish which gives it a very nice shine. At least I think so.
I am starting the process of rebuilding my life. A life by myself — except for my kids and animals. There is a lot to do. I have to rebuild myself first, but I have been diligently working on that project for months now. Now that I am no longer homeless, and am back in my own house, it seems that I need to begin rebuilding the house and most of its contents as well.
Many rooms in the house look as if I have been robbed. The dining room has no table or chairs and doesn’t even have a light fixture. Thanks to the slate floors I installed a few years ago, it echoes with the sound of emptiness in there. I’ve actually already begun the process of rebuilding in that room in the form of a new dining room table. I’m making it myself out of cherry, inlaid with Padauk and Walnut. When I finish it it’ll be gorgeous but for now there is just the echo.
The walls, once so covered in signs of love and life and family are now bare. Virtually everything that was hanging on them is now gone. It’s time to put the images of my new life up, but right now I don’t know what those images are. Yet. But my eyes are wide open to life and possibilities and new beauty, so who knows what will end up there.
I do know that one thing that left seemed so minor, but was, apparently, very important. The chalkboard in the kitchen. We used it to record grocery lists, messages, little drawings by my daughter and the occasional misunderstood message. We called the women that designed our kitchen “the girls” and for a few months there was a message on the board that said “Call Girls.” Until the neighbor raised an eyebrow and asked if there was anything we needed to talk about.
The blank spot on that wall needed to be filled. I needed to fill it. Simply writing on the wall wasn’t going to be an option, so I got to work yesterday. Remember up there I said I was making a new table out of cherry? Well, I have a lot of pieces that can’t be used in the table, so I made myself a chalkboard frame to match my kitchen. Only took a few hours, and now I have someplace to write my grocery lists. Small as they may be now.
And I made it myself. Of course the moment I hung it I thought “it needs to have something on it. I can’t have it be blank!” but of course my mind went blank and I couldn’t think of anything to write, anything I needed from the grocery store. So I smiled instead.
It’ll do for now. I may even leave it there to remind myself to smile, even when I don’t feel like it. To remember that my life is not empty, even if the walls of my house are. That there is always something to smile about, if I look for it.
The new lathe is getting quite a workout — even if I only get to see it every other weekend. When my son is here for the weekend, he spends the entire weekend on it, and he’s getting extremely good! It sure is better than before, when he spent the entire weekend welded to the couch watching Netflix and playing 1st person shooter games. He’s actually creating something of beauty instead of just racking up a body-count.
Here are a few of his recent creations:
Red Heart Bowl
Orange Osage Bowl
As you can see, he is very busy, and quite talented. The sides are razor thin (he even cut himself on one while sanding) and beautifully proportioned. He now wants to start an etsy page to sell them to, as he puts it “support his habit” of wood. This is not just a good thing, but a fantastic thing, if you ask me.
For my part, I made this bowl:
My Orange Osage Bowl
I’m not selling it, but am giving it away to my friend Capt’n Pat for being such a wonderful friend to me over the past few years. Once I am able to spend some more time on the lathe myself (which should start happening after April 1 when I get my house back) maybe I’ll start producing enough to sell as well. I’ll keep you all (all, HA!) updated on how things go.
Finally! After an 8 or 9 month hiatus, I am back to the wood lathe! Because I finally bought my own wood lathe! And it’s a nice one, too. It arrived 2 weeks ago and I managed to get it (mostly) set up then, but didn’t get a chance to actually use it until this past weekend. I’m learning the art of delayed gratification.
That’s the new NovaTek 1624 Lathe. And it’s a beauty. Quiet, powerful and with all the bells and whistles. Well, almost all of them.
Dying to get on the lathe even more desperately than I was my eldest son. He was about to come straight out of his skin to get his hands on it. And get his hands on it he did this weekend. He spent the whole day Saturday, and most of the day Sunday working away out in the garage turning bowls.
And got annoyed when I interrupted his concentration with the camera.
I managed to get a little time on the lathe myself and practiced making some wooden eggs out of Padauk and Claro Walnut. As soon as I made one it was confiscated by The Tot though. I did manage to convince her to let me at least document their existence.
I hope to get more opportunities soon, but they will remain fairly limited for the next couple of months, sadly.
- A day in the shed (stusshed.com)
Last night was my last night at TechShop RDU. I’m going to miss that place. So I took in a piece of what is becoming my favorite wood to turn. It is like butter. And even sort of looks like it! Orange Osage. So nice to work with. However, here’s what it does to me after an evening of working with it:
I end up covered in a layer of yellow dust. I couldn’t capture the funny look of my eyelashes covered in yellow dust. But you get the idea. Anyway, on to the evening’s bowl(s)
First I went back and repaired one of the first bowls I turned. It had developed a crack due to some … ummm … rough treatment … during the original turning. So I repaired that and re-polished it. I really kind of like this bowl.
Now on to the larger Orange Osage bowl I turned. About the same diameter as the above bowl (about 6 inches) but much deeper. I’m always amazed that the bowl seems to already exist in the block of wood and that I just have to find it. At least that’s how it feels as it’s happening. This piece has these interesting, delicate striations in it that look like cracks, but I don’t believe they are. It looks much lighter than the previous Orange Osage bowls, but I believe that this wood darkens over time as it is exposed to light. I’ll see if this one darkens over time.
And yes, I turned another mini-bowl in the center of the larger bowl. It’s amazing how tickled I get with these little bowls! Positively giddy I tell you! Really. They are almost more satisfying that the larger ones. Ok, not really, but they are really really fun to do.
So that’s that. Those are my last 2 bowls for an indefinite period of time. You see, my 2-month membership to TechShop has expired and I can’t really afford to re-up my membership. And I really can’t afford the lathe I want to buy so I can turn bowls anytime I want at home.
That being said, if anyone wants to buy the bowl(s) above, bidding starts at $800.00. I’m only sort of kidding. Except for the little bowl. I’m keeping that one.