President’s Message

Our February meeting was a good one, both in terms of participation and instruction.  We had 44 people in attendance including two potential new members.  Welcome, and I hope you will enjoy and participate in our club’s activities, and make sure to take advantage of the Mentor Program.

Sam Turner demonstrated and provided succinct instructions while turning a letter opener from a stringy piece of wet Orange Osage that he bought expecting it to be dry and firm.  From a beginner’s point of view, it was most instructive to listen to his explanation of grain orientation during the preparation of the blank prior to turning.  His emphasis on the use of a simple template as a guide, combined with his meticulously detailed explanations while performing various types of cuts with the skew were outstanding.  Thank you Sam for a great presentation!

(Click here to see photos of the meeting.)  (Click here for letter opener instruction sheets.)

Gary Toro launched the first project of “The Toro Challenge.“  He distributed 24 blanks of White Oak to be turned into finials.  We look forward to a variety of beautiful and creative work.  During our next meeting March 26, at Cabrillo Middle School, the attendees will have an opportunity to select their favorite finial for three categories of wood turners: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.  Each category winner will receive a gift certificate from Craft Supplies USA.  By popular consensus April’s challenge will be a lidded box to go with the finial.  All members are invited to participate, especially those who are beginners or new to CIW.  The Mentors are looking forward to calls from any member who would like assistance.

I had the pleasure to present Chrystal Craver with a special award for her services to the club over the last years, including, among other things, help with our library.

At this month’s meeting – March 26, 9:00AM at Cabrillo Middle School – we will have a presentation on how to photograph wood art, by the renowned photographer and CIW member Art Waldinger.

I look forward to seeing you.  — Pedro


Mentors Available

The following list of members have offered to act as mentors to any member of the club who wishes to have hands-on instruction.  This can be done at the mentor’s shop or at the member’s home on their own lathe.  It is an excellent way for beginning turners to quickly learn basic skills and safety and for more advanced turners to develop new ideas and skills.  Using your member roster, give any mentor a call to arrange a time.  If you don’t have your roster or want to add your name to the mentor list, give the newsletter editor a call.

Each mentor can teach basic skills; some have also listed specific topics in which they are especially interested or have more advanced skills.

Bruce Berger         Any topic including segmented turning

Warren Brown       Any topic

David Frank            Any topic

Al Geller                   Open form bowls, natural edge bowls, bowl design

Ron Lindsay           Any topic including hollow turning freehand

Jim Rinde                Anything to do with using and turning resins, turning goblets, hollow turning with a boring bar with/without a laser

Herm Ross              Miniatures; tool making and metal work

Chuck Stevenson Basic turning; he is learning to do segmental work

Gary Toro                Anything you want to make

Sam Turner             Any topic (if he doesn’t know how, he will learn it with you)

Turning(s) of the Month

During our meeting this month, the attendees selected Jim Rinde’s bamboo and epoxy bowl to represent CIW at AAW’s 25th Anniversary Symposium.  This bowl already won third place at the 2010 American Bamboo Society’s annual Arts and Crafts Competition.

Jim’s bowl, “The Eye of the Beholder,” will be part of the “Turning 25 – A Celebration” exhibition that will be at or near the symposium in Saint Paul MN and then will travel to other sites.  All pieces in the exhibition will be for sale, but many will not be sold and will be returned to the owner at the end of the exhibition tour of one year.  If a piece in the exhibition does sell, 30% of the sales price goes to AAW and 70 % to the owner (Jim).
Jim writes:

Materials: Three types of bamboo, Black, Green Stripe, and Giant.  These are embedded in an epoxy resin that contains green and pearlescent white fillers for the eye and red iron oxide for the reddish color.

Size: 4.5” diameter by 3″ high.

The technique I used to make the bowl is the same that I use when I make turnings from epoxy resin and other materials, such as wood, pine cones, and ferns.  This technique consists of making a design for the bamboo and then casting it in liquid epoxy resin, curing the resin to form a solid block of material, and then turning it using a woodturning lathe and tools.



Questions and Answers (Q&A)

This is a regular feature of the monthly Newsletter.  Send your questions to the newsletter editor, Ron Lindsay, .  He will forward each question to our panel of experts.  We will get answers to each question from at least two of our experts and publish them in a future newsletter in this Q&A section.

Question: I’ve been playing with a piece of walnut that a friend had in his wood pile.  Actually it doesn’t matter what kind of wood I use.  I’m having problems with “scuff” marks in the bowls.  Sanding helps, but I’m there sanding longer than everything else combined.  Is it the wood, need to sharpen tools, wet wood?  It’s killing me.  90% of the bowl looks great, but that 10% makes me want to throw it away.  What’s the problem?

 Response #1: It could be the wood; however, I suspect that most of your problems may be tools that are not properly sharpened.  The scuff marks, as you call them, are likely on the end grain portion of the bowl.  It takes very sharp tools to cut off the ends of the grain clean.  A tool that is not sharp enough will simply bend the fibers over or tear them out rather than cut them off cleanly.  Walnut is a moderately soft wood, which requires even sharper tools to cut cleanly than some of the harder woods such as hard Eastern Maple.  I suspect that you need some training in sharpening your tools.

Response #2:  There is not enough information in the question to respond, except for generalities.  What is a scuff?  Where is it?  What tools are you using? It sounds like his frustration level is high.  Hands-on help is the best way to find out what is causing your problems.  There is a lot more fun to be had at the lathe when you hit that sweet spot and the shavings are peeling off like butter.  Yes, it can happen on dry Walnut too.  Sharpening is huge.  Grain orientation and direction of cut are important factors.  Tool control with bevel supported slicing/sheering action might be the helpful.  Sanding is not fun, good tool control reduces sanding, big time.