Apprenticeship Day 18
This morning I roughed out a little cup, ready for Jarrod to turn it into a goblet. I then grabbed the last bowl blank, axed off the biggest lumps and put it on the lathe. By the time I was halfway through that bowl, Jarrod came into the workshop. He got started on the bowl I roughed out yesterday evening. The one with the tidy slot. I asked if the wobble was any better on that one. I had turned it after filing down the metal centre. Jarrod could still feel a wobble in it. So more scraping metal entered my future.
As I was finishing clearing away all the axe marks from the bowl, Jarrod was working on a bowl template.
Seems as though he settled on a shape for us to focus in on. In his own words:
Tom @sylva_spoon and I are building momentum. Tom’s been helping me for a few weeks now and as his turning skills develop the work flow between us gets smoother. - I’ve been developing new bowl designs for a few months all for this day. I’ve made a template for one of these designs for Tom to use as he roughs out bowls for me. - By adding a definite shape to his work he should be learning loads about the forms I’m making. He’ll now be able to do more of the turning to near finish and then pass it off to me for the finish cuts and shape. - I’m thinking about the past a lot in regards to ‘craft production’ and it’s difference between it and the more familiar ‘mass production’. - At times I believe we as craft makers confuse the two in regards to our making of craft goods in this modern era. - Craft production has always had a deep focus on quality and high a skill level in making ‘products’. I believe both of these things contribute to our wellbeing as craft makers. - I’m a big fan of repetitive work.
While a template is certainly a big help, it's still quite tricky to use. Especially on an object like a bowl. Spoons are easier to use template on, as they have a clearly defined top and side. Getting the profile of a round bowl to match a template is a little harder. Taking the bowl I had on the lathe down to match the template took a lot of fiddling. Jarrod suggested that I start by establishing where the foot of the bowl will go and work from there. One of the tricky parts is lining the template up so it just covers the lowest part of the bowl. All the material either side of that low point needs to be brought down. And brought down so the lines match the template. It's a highly visual thing, so if this isn't making a whole lot of sense I apologise. I'm not sure if I understand it properly myself.
Once I got the outside form as close to the template as I could it was on to hollowing. Jarrod's been showing me how to undercut the core in a way that will help with nesting bowls. As the outside is a lot closer to the finished form I can leave a thinner wall and a bigger core. Hopefully big enough for Jarrod to get a second bowl out of. That means more tidy little slots.
Now that the last blank was all roughed out it was my pleasure to tramp outside in a foot of snow and -7'C. So I put on half the clothes I brought with me stumbled about in the snow until I tripped over the log pile. Jarrod was kind enough to have me chainsaw out just four bowl blanks. So the frostbite wasn't too severe. Might even be able to keep a couple of my toes.
Back in the warmth of the workshop I had another go at rounding off the metal centre. I was attacking it with a file when Jarrod had the bright idea of applying some stropping compound into the centre hole of an old mandrel and using that to grind/polish the tip. So I dapped a little of the green stuff into a mandrel. I ran the lathe for about ten minutes. Not entirely sure if it did anything.
So I axed out one of the freshly chainsawed bowls and popped it on the lathe. After removing the axe marks I took it down to the template then hollowed it some. While I was busy with that, Jarrod made this:
That's all which remains of the goblet. Upon discovering a crack, Jarrod flew into a fit of rage. Well, he swore a little bit and broke apart the goblet.