Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Pot project ... ...

This is the result of a little project I've been working on.

As I've been learning to turn wood I decided to have a go at turning some end grain, this is basically turning the wood at a different angle to the lathe.

This will hopefully go some way to explaining what I'm talking about.

The wood on the lathe is the lid.

So what we have here is a picture of the wood I used for the lid, in the picture I've marked the direction of the grain, the horizontal line under the wood is the direction of the grain for that piece of wood and the vertical line marks the direction of the grain when turning end grain.

One of the reasons for turning the wood like this is because it shows of the grain in a different way, but there is a down side (as I found out) the wood behaves differently, for example it tears at the ends, which isn't a big problem it does require more care and your chisels need to be razor sharp, and even then you'll have a fair bit of sanding to do, as it turns out I used my Oland tools to turn the pot and the lid, I seem to be bale to get them much sharper.

There are ways to combat the tear off like using oils,waxes and even water, but I still didn't have much luck, not that I'm that bothered by it as this was a voyage of discovery :-)

A picture of the lid on the lathe -

It has a nice pattern.

The lid is mounted on my screw chuck, whilst this is a good chuck there's a little waste which I wouldn't get if I used an expanding chuck, which I'm hoping to buy soon, they are a little pricey (about £100 for one that fits my lathe) but it will be worth it.

This next picture is the base of the pot, this is one of the reasons an expanding chuck would be handy.

Fixing holes from screw chuck -

Not a big issue, but not good if I wanted to sell it.
You can see the holes where I've fixed the wood to the chuck, whilst these can be sanded out and made less obvious, it would be better to turn them out, and that's where an expanding chuck would be handy because I could mount the pot the other way round and turn out the fixing holes.

A picture of an expanding chuck, this will be the one I get, each jaw moves independently, which will be very useful.

I will be adding this to my collection soon :-)

Here's a picture of the pot I took while finishing it, it wasn't going to have a lid originally, but I changed my mind at the last minute :-)

The pot -

I'm very pleased with the pattern, it looks great.

You can see where the wood has been affected by the fungus that causes the patterns in the grain, it makes for some interesting features, I'm lucky in that all the Birch I have seems to have this all the way through it, on the downside I'm not sure where I might find some more.

The pot looks a little orange, this is mainly because of the oil I've been coating it in to try and prevent any cracking and such like.

The remains of the tree trunk -

I still have a fair bit left, and there's always the Pear ;-)

And here is the finished article -

Not perfect by any means, but an interesting piece.

There's a lot wrong with it, for a start the pot rim has warped slightly and is now an oval shape instead of round, and the lid has shrunk a little so it's quite loose fitting, there are a number of things I could do to fix it though. I could re-turn the rim of the pot down to where the wood is slightly thicker, this would help prevent warping, and I could also make a new lid, but make sure it's a little bigger than it needs to be, this would then help the rim keep it's shape, but it would make getting the lid off a little hard, at least until the wood had settled down.

As it's my first pot type thing though I'm happy with it, and I've learned a lot so the next one I make I can approach it in a different way and hopefully I'll be happier with it.

From a slightly different angle -

I think the pattern of the lid works well with the pattern of the pot.

And another slightly different angle -

Shame about the lid, I may try and fix it, not sure yet.

And that's about it really, the pot has changed colour slightly and now looks a little less orange, it's worth giving it a good few coats of oil though as it keeps the wood in good shape.

The pot after a few days -

Still a little orangey, but it will fade as the oil soaks in.

One of the other down sides of wood turning is the mess, I've been bagging the shavings up so I can use them as a mulch either in the garden or at the allotment, or both :-) it gets very dusty so I've had to come up with some kind of extraction system, which I made using 2 hoovers, I'll write a post about it some time ;-)

Here's a picture of the mess, I have a lot of spiders in my shed, which is why some of the shavings seem to be stuck to the wall :-)

It gets every where.

Hopefully I've solved this little problem now :-) we shall see.

Thanks for reading.