GSWT Meeting March 24, 2012
Location; Donna Banfield’s Shop. Derry NH
Donna kicked off the meeting with general announcements. Some housekeeping info, a silent auction of barrows full “literally” of once turned bowls turned by and donated by David Belser.
Peter Breu asked for a show of hands of those that were planning to attend May Symposium. Nearly everyone raised their hands. A plea was made for volunteers as it will take many hands to have a successful symposium.
David brought in some of his turnings for the members to view, discuss and ask questions about.
David Belser was today’s presenter and he started with a slide presentation of few examples of some of his pieces. David also had sides of pieces made by other artists to show different points of view or interest. For today’s demo David will turn a small similar to the one on the table to the right. The project starts with tuning up the shop tools. The layers are very precise and identical in size. First on the band saw. David finds that finding the track of the blade and clamping a fence on that line works best. David use a “V” mark on the wood blank in order to keep all the pieces in exact order to keep the grain aligned
From the band saw they go to the drum sander. Again the sander had to be tuned up to sand perfectly flat. The veneer pieces are laid on a trued up piece of plywood “perfectly flat” that has a piece of sandpaper glued to it. The sandpaper helps to hold the thin veneers in place for sanding. For this project David is using a piece of maple acquired from Scott Russwick. The veneer layers are glued together with small spacer pieces “sticks”. The stick are also sanded to an exact thickness and width using the drum sander. David makes a custom press to fit the piece gluing layers of veneer and sticks. The form is cut on the band-saw with pins in two locations keeping the entire stack perfectly aligned. Dry fitted in the press the piece is steamed just enough to relax the veneers.
This helps to take out the “spring” in them and they are more likely to stay in place at the end (final step). The veneer layers and sticks are glued (still in the press) using CA glue. Best done outside says David, preferably with a breeze. After applying a coat of finish the piece is then placed in a bucket. The bucket and piece is heated up in the oven so that when the bucket is filled with molten wax it fills without voids. There is a turned foot inserted in the center of the lamination at the wax filling stage. This will be used to mount the piece using a chuck. David discussed the many waxes out there and that wax shrinks a lot in the drying process. After drying it’s to the lathe where the exterior is turned.
Oh by the way, wax all over and covering the floor is very slippery. David glues 60 grit sandpaper to the bottom of his shoes to keep from slipping. We covered Donna’s floor with shaings to try and keep the wax off her floor. Now the easy part.
Mounted on a chuck the piece is turned true using a bowl gouge at first. With the excess wax turned away David switched to using scrapers. He had Marcel running back and forth sharpening one while David using another.
With the exterior to the right shape/form David steps back to examine the shape and looks at it from multiple angles to be sure it good to go. Now the sanding. One member suggested that David pick his foot up and use the bottom of his shoe, ha ha. David goes through the grits and with just the right amount of pressure the paper does not build up with wax.
With the exterior complete someone asked, how do you reverse mount the piece to turn the interior? Good question said David. With a heat gun he melted wax into a shallow waste block that was shaped to fit the exterior of the turning on one side and had a tenon on the other for mounting into a chuck. With the bowl like waste block filled he heated the bottom of the turned piece. When the wax in the waste block was just right, like a gel he stuck the waste block to the bottom of the turned piece. Holding it in place he, by hand turned the piece slowly while holding onto and centering the waste block. He did this until he had the waste block just where he wanted it and that it started to stick. Letting go of the waste block to lathe was turned on and spun at a very slow speed. This was done to keep the waste block from slipping off center while the wax hardened.
As an extra precaution David melted some wax onto the bowl/waste block connection.
While the connection dried David showed a second slide presentation. One piece was a piece a glass. David said this piece was to die for and that if someone would buy it for him that would be great. How can someone design a piece of glass that appears to move. A must see. With the slide show complete and the wax hardened the waste block was trued up. This took very little as David had it glued on almost perfect. With the bowl reversed chucked he proceeded to hollow out the inside, again using a combination of scrapers.
With the piece sanded and finished the wax is melted off for the final reveal.
Great meeting. WOW
Many thanks to all who helped. A special thanks to Donna and Dave for hosting the meeting. Donna for organizing the silent auction.
An extra special thanks to David Belser for a very well thought out, organized, entertaining and inspiring presentation.