50 for 50 - turning 50 as I turn 50

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Blog series by mnguy updated 04-18-2019 01:49 PM 15 parts 5086 reads 16 comments total

Part 1: Project 3 - I'm dyeing here!

01-22-2019 02:46 PM by mnguy | 0 comments »

Last year, I bought some Artisan dyes to play with. I like the surprise, random figure I sometimes get with maple segmented pieces, and thought dye would be a great way to have some fun and accentuate the figure. This bowl was intended as a test piece for dyeing, using a tenon vs. a mortise for the chuck, and to tryout a new finish. I pulled out a plan I used to teach my sister segmented turning (she was a natural!), and the piecing and turning went quickly. The interior transition from th...

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Part 2: Project 2 - A lesson on drying of turning blanks

01-14-2019 03:29 PM by mnguy | 5 comments »

About a year and a half ago, a friend who is a tree trimmer gave me a ~5’ length of cherry log that had saved and stored by his garage for many months. I cut it into lengths roughly equal to the diameter and let them sit. I figured since the log had been sitting for a year or so, I didn’t need to coat the end of the segments with Armorseal. Well, that was a bad assumption – every chunk of log cracked badly. Lesson learned. I split the section on the band saw, made a flat ...

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Part 3: Project 1 - new lathe, old design

01-07-2019 07:16 PM by mnguy | 2 comments »

I began turning almost 4 years ago, and like many people, I find it a bit addicting. I am not at the lathe every day by any means, and I have gone weeks without turning it on. But, I am often thinking about turning, sketching forms to turn, planning segmented projects, looking at lathes and tools. For 2019, I want to get deeper into turning, and to help, I have set the goal of turning 50 project this year. They won’t all be big or elaborate, some might even be failures, but I intend to ...

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Part 4: Project 4 - baby rattle

01-31-2019 11:28 PM by mnguy | 0 comments »

Where I work, there are many people having babies. Like at least 3 – 4 a year in just the circles of people I know (I work at a big company). A couple years ago, I started making baby rattles for some of them. It was fun, and they were very appreciated. I hadn’t made one for several months (a couple new parents didn’t get rattles), but I was motivated to make one for this series. I have previously made single ended rattles – they were cute but tended to look like ti...

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Part 5: Project 5 - A ring box for Valentine's

02-19-2019 08:40 PM by mnguy | 0 comments »

My lovely wife of almost 27 years was kind enough to pick out her Valentine’s present this year, saving me from the brain strain of coming up with something. So, I thought I could at least make the gift box! Offcuts laying around the shop were planed to 1/4” thick and stacked up in alternating layers of maple, sapele, cherry, and walnut. My one miss in gluing up the blank was not thinking about how I would be removing a layer to separate the top from the bottom, so the finished...

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Part 6: Going big

03-14-2019 04:33 PM by mnguy | 0 comments »

I wanted to more fully explore the diameter capacity of the Nova lathe and use the outboard turning setup for the first time. I also didn’t want to slog through a million segments, so stayed with 12 segment rings. To keep a flatter shape, I used 1/2” thick segments for the two largest rings. Glue up was a bit of a challenge, as my bowl press was built for the 12” swing of the Rikon. I found that I had some gaps between rings using this clamping approach, so will need to add ...

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Part 7: 99% assembly, 1% turning

03-14-2019 09:06 PM by mnguy | 2 comments »

I decided to reduce the size of the tripping hazard of offcuts in the shop and make this project. Sometimes, just running things through the table saw is very therapeutic. I had intended it to be a pencil cup for a friend who recently started doing freelance furniture design (why someone who designs almost entirely on his computer needs a pencil cup, i can’t say :) ), but I missed his last day at our company and then it got a bit big for a pencil cup. One thing about a smaller item, I ...

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Part 8: End grain headache

03-19-2019 03:16 PM by mnguy | 4 comments »

Box elder, 8” diameter x 4” tall. This is the third green bowl I have turned, and the end grain is killing me! Between the Hunter #4 and a bowl scraper, I got a very smooth finish on edge grain even before sanding, but the end grain is not just a bit rough, it is ‘open’. I appreciate a natural look to the finished product of green turning, but this amount of roughness is detracting from the finished product, IMO. Any tips for reducing this issue and getting smoot...

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Part 9: Green turning class = new horizons

03-19-2019 03:31 PM by mnguy | 0 comments »

So, these posts are a bit out of order. I took a Green Bowl Turning class at the Minneapolis Woodcraft in January. Great class, and Dan Larson was a terrific instructor. It was the first time I had used steel tools (the home shop is pretty much 100% carbide), and only the second time I had ever turned green wood. The bowl gouge was alternately frustrating (when I had my angle off and tore a chunk out of the rim of my bowl) and rewarding (nothing like a long ribbon of fresh box elder stream...

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Part 10: #10 - final resting place for a friend's loyal friend

03-21-2019 07:57 PM by mnguy | 1 comment »

Our neighbor and friend’s dog had to be put down this week. It is an enormous loss to our friend, the dog was 14 and she got the dog as a puppy. We knew the dog it’s entire life, too, living next door. Body is figured maple, lid is walnut and the finial / knob is apple. The branch that birthed the finial was from the neighbor’s old apple tree, which died 5 years ago. I saved some of the wood for some unknown reason; now I know one of the reasons. Rest in peace, Kari Do...

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Part 11: Baby boom - another rattle

04-01-2019 01:19 PM by mnguy | 2 comments »

Many, many people I work with are in their prime years for having babies, and it seems like I could make a rattle every month for an expectant parent or someone coming back from maternity leave. I decided to try a little twist on this most recent one by adding an accent that only impacted the handle, to avoid the mismatch at the joints of the end caps with the handle. My ability to realign the parts after parting off the end has been low, and the material removed with the parting tool makes a...

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Part 12: Youtube inspiration

04-03-2019 07:40 PM by mnguy | 0 comments »

I have become a bit addicted to Gord Rock’s Youtube channel. I find his level of explanation, his dry humor and his pacing much to my liking. The fact he has the same Nova lathe as I do also helps :). He has posted videos making a couple shallow bowls / platters from ~8/4 planks, where he edge glues them to get a bigger diameter blank. I liked the look of the form he made, and I had length of 8/4 white oak left over from a project making a new threshold for friends’ back door, ...

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Part 13: Walnut rattle

04-09-2019 03:29 PM by mnguy | 0 comments »

ANOTHER rattle, for a coworker just coming back from maternity leave. Walnut with maple veneer between the handle and end caps. Does anyone have a suggestion for gripping one fully turned end of this form so I can properly shape and finish the second end? I thought it might fit a set of chuck jaws, but none of the jaws I have fit. I might have to make something, as I see more rattles in my future, and it gets frustrating to have one nicely shaped and sanded end, and one janky end that trie...

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Part 14: Lamp base

04-15-2019 03:47 PM by mnguy | 0 comments »

Segmented cherry lamp base as part of a larger project (posted separately as a project to talk about the shade). It was nice to not have to hollow this thing and to concentrate on the exterior form and finish. The project went well overall. I did a segmented top, and the true center was difficult to locate and the hole for the pipe / conduit ended up a bit off-center. I really needed a cone live center, as my small cup + point center didn’t center well in the hole. I now have a cone ...

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Part 15: It's hip to be square

04-18-2019 01:49 PM by mnguy | 0 comments »

(thank you, Huey Lewis) With 50 projects to turn this year, I am learning to not design everything, which you have to do with segmented projects. I am learning to look around the shop at the piles of blanks, offcuts, etc. for inspiration and material. Which is one of the reasons I am challenging myself to turn 50 things this year, so it’s working! I watched a video of Jimmy Clewes turning a square bowl, and thought that looked pretty cool, so I looked around the shop and found a w...

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