Monday, 19 September 2011

Experimenting ... ...

I tend to think of myself as an experimental type of person, I'm always messing around with ideas on how to do things differently, and it has to be said I don't always get things to work how I wanted, but it's no reason to stop trying.

Just lately my main focus has been on wood turning (no surprise really) and although I have loads of wood I can't use it all as I have to wait for it to season a little first, and it was this that got me to thinking about ways to make sections of wood for turning, with out waiting for wood to season, so I can use already seasoned wood.

And not only that but I was thinking about patterns and wood grain and how to make some more interesting designs, this isn't a new idea for years wood turners have glued various types of wood together for artistic reasons and made some fantastic things.

 So the other day I made this -

What do you think ?

 Okay so it's an experiment, I'm quite happy with it, I like the way the grain goes in kind of a zig zag pattern, this pot is made from 3 different bits of wood, I'm now planning another one, but I'll be putting it together in a slightly different way to see if I can get the grain pattern a little more fluid looking.

It's made from 3 bits of 3inch by 2 inch wood, just normal pine I had lying about, I cut 3 sections and glued them together, with each section aligned differently, I tried to get the grain to run in opposite directions, the next one I make will hopefully stand out a lot more.

I also wanted to see if the glue I used would stand up to being put on a lathe and spun at 2500rpm, was a little worried that things might fly apart at speed, but it held, I left it to set for about 48 hours, and it's just normal wood glue, I also used some clamps to make sure it was held nice and tightly.

One of the problems I need to work on is hiding the joins, I think I can do this by thinking about where I put various design features, and by being clever with my cuts.
You can see the join in both pictures.

The join -

Notice the straight line about half way up ?

It has to be said that you can't see the join that well from various angles, so it won't take much more tweaking, least I don't think it will ? but I'm hoping I can make it as near to invisible as possible, this might be helped by changing the way I glue the wood together, maybe even change the glue, like I said it's all in the tweaking :-)

Over all though I was pleased with it, and the idea works, it just needs a little messing with to perfect it, at least on the outside as having the join visible on the inside isn't as important as what it looks like from the outside, it's a pot, you tend not to spend time staring into it that much, least I don't

You can clearly see the join on the inside - 

The join from the inside.

I could make it less visible by sanding the inside and polishing it, but for this piece I didn't pay too much attention to the inside :-)

Another picture - 

A nice little pot / box

Feel free to add any comments you have on the design, and whether it's worth taking further, I will start working on the next experiment, which is along the same lines, so stay tuned for that.

Thanks for reading.


  1. that is a great little pot!! love the way the grain flows. I whittle .... I've never done any wood turning. sounds amazing... maybe I'll give it a try :-)

  2. It's easy enough to do, I bought my lathe for £100 which is a lot, but very cheap compared to some lathes, I've made my own tools and chucks for it, this keeps the cost down.
    You can probably find courses on wood turning.

    I do a little hand carving, made a few crochet hooks for my wife, I plan to do more though, but turning has become a little bit of an obsession :-)

    Thanks for reading.