Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Workshop revamp

For some time now I have been meaning to revamp my workshop to sort through many of the items that have been stored away for years 'just in case' I need them. Working methods develop and change direction over time and with it the storage and set up of years gone by needs to be tweaked to boost efficiency.

In short I have been throwing out bags and bags of old equipment, tools rubbish and materials that are no longer needed. Any usable tools are given away, if I don't need them they have to go as they take up valuable space and  it is amazing how much has been hoarded into places I had forgotten about.

Once clear, new shelving was built and others moved and good white wash applied to brighten things up a bit. The picture here shows the coal face side of the workshop with the storage side behind the camera still being painted, this will be completed in a few weeks as I have to get back to making and teaching. In this vain I have been working on some new pieces as well as the normal roughing out forms for seasoning as with the spalted beech hollow form below,  I hope to show some new pieces in the coming weeks.


Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Woodturning Courses

On the 6th and 7th of this month saw four students (one regular who can't keep away), attended one of the many woodturning courses run by George Foweraker  and Mark Sanger at Georges well equipped workshop in Burnham-On-Sea. The course in this instance covered 'Turning Hollow Forms' in both unseasoned and seasoned woods.

Many other courses are being organised for the future at a fee of £180 per person for the two days, all refreshments, food, loan of tools and safety equipment included.

Courses include

Natural edge bowls and vessels
Box making
Vessels with lids
Bowl and platters

The courses start with a cuppa so every one can get to know each other followed by a safety talk, and the checking of PPE all of which is available for loan during the course.

The first project for the students was to make a deep enclosed form in parallel (end) grain unseasoned walnut, with subjects covered being;

  • Discussion and talk on selection wood, taking into the consideration grain orientation and the selection of good wood to give maximise project success.
  • Form- design using the 'Rule of Thirds' for proportion within forms.
  • Tooling techniques, covering the various hollowing tools and how to use them. 
  • Successful seasoning methods.
  • Finishing.
Each student works at their own pace with continued interaction with the tutors. 

Some pictures of the first days turning.

David, Brian and Charlie roughing the outside profile of their forms.

Charlie,Liz and Brian hollowing out

Mark working with David going through the cutting sequence

As well as refreshments on tap for all to help themselves to at anytime, lunch was served as a cold buffet on both days by Sue, Georges wife, and wonderful it was too.

Back to work with seasoning being discussed prior to finishing the forms.

The end of the day with the workshop clean and tidy, a debrief of how the day went and any questions answered. 

All the walnut forms lined up prior to being bagged.

Day two

On the second day we look at the turning of a hollow form from seasoned cross grain wood with an undercut and small opening. The relevant techniques and tools used for hollowing seasoned cross grain wood are covered together with refining any tooling techniques that the student requires. Design, form and finishing are also covered.

Here are some pictures of the second day. 

Brian, Liz and Charlie practising the pull cut with long grind gouge to shape the base profile of their forms.

Hollowing and finishing

The end of each was finished off with a tidy of the workshop, a debrief and question time with a cuppa in hand. Finally a group photo with all the student doing exceptionally well. 

Thank you all for a great two days.

More courses coming this year and in 2015. 

Contact use for further details via the websites below.