For this evenings demonstration we welcomed Robert Till who introduced his projects both of which were based on a discus form rocking bowl. The first was to be painted black and gilt waxed and the second was to be coloured with Chestnut spirit stain.
An Oak bowl blank was mounted on a screw chuck which allowed Robert to true up the edge and faces and cut a tenon.
A pencil line was made midway along the edge which would be used to define the discuss shape. The bottom of the bowl was shaped out using a pull cut and then finished using a shear scraping cut with the toolrest dropped right down to get the angle on the tool and the lathe speed increased.
Keep the tool traverse slow to give the tool time to cut. The bowl would be sanded from 120 grit to 600 grit wiping off the dust between each grit and the bowl reversed onto the chuck using the tenon. With a little bit of juggling the bowl ran true on the pencil centre line. The top of the bowl was shaped in the same way as the bottom making sure the curve looked the same. This was sanded 120 to 600 grit and the dust wiped away. The top was sprayed black with Chestnut Ebonising Lacquer and dried using a hot air gun. Gilt cream was rubbed over the black area using his finger and allowed to dry a little. The excess would have been wiped off using Finishing Oil so that only the pores are left filled with the wax. Normally the bowl would be left to dry but for this demo Robert turned out the bowl with an undercut. A great couple of tips here was to use the shaping of the top of the bowl to practice the colour on. If you do not like it you can turn it off an d try something else. Also with the hollowing of the bowl use each cut as a practice cut to pick up the bevel without a catch.
The finish Robert uses is 6 to 8 coats of Finishing Oil each allowed to dry thoroughly and denibbed with webrax between each coat.
Although not fully completed the bowl was passed round and looked really striking.
For the coloured bowl Robert produced an Ash bowl that was completed to the colouring stage in exactly the same way as he worked the Oak bowl. The colouring was done on the lathe and consisted of a base coat of purple which was dried off then sanded back so that the colour became a background. Make sure you use fresh areas of the abrasive as it clogs with the lacquers in the stain. He then applied red, yellow, blue and green “smears” and using Robert’s words it looked like a child had coloured it.
He then used methylated spirit on a tissue to blend the colours. More coulours can be added until your artistic talents decide that enough is enough.
Once dry the surface would be denibbed and then sprayed with Acrylic Sanding Sealer. The bowl was then reversed onto a wooden form with a felt pad and the tenon turned away. As this is a rocking bowl the base was turned to a curve. One tip that came from the audience was if you can get an old wet suit this can be cut up to make the pad on the wooden form. The oil finish would really make the colours sing.
This was a very inspirational demonstration and gave us many tips that we can use on other projects.
At the end of the evening Robert donated one of his finished bowls to the club for us to raffle or auction to raise funds for the club. We are very grateful to him for this generous gift.
We also had the February Competition and the results were as follows.
First A Birch Burr Bowl by Marcus Buck (unfortunately Marcus had to leave before we could get a photo)
Second An Ash Platter by Gerald Hubbard
Third A Salt, Pepper and Toothpick Acorn by Clive Bryant