Category Archives: OnTheLathe

What I’m currently working on.

Eyes Drawing Project

The last assignments in the drawing class I’m enrolled in was much more open than the previous ones. We were allowed to start with an image/subject of our choice, required to use at least 3 mediums and use an alternative drawing surface. Of course, I selected wood to draw on. I turned a platter out of cherry and sanded it only to 220 grit so the mediums would have a surface to hold onto. For the mediums I chose to use charcoal, conte, graphite, india ink and a small amount of acrylic paint.
The subject of the drawing was going to be a set of eyes. I selected an image of a woman wearing a hijab which allowed me to focus on the eyes without having to deal with other facial features. The charcoal and conte held onto the wood surface much better than I expected. To replicate the fabric the wood surface was stippled with a wood burner then covered with india ink and a small amount of gray acrylic paint to highlight some light reflection.
Overall, I’m very pleased with the way it turned out.

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Blind Collaboration Bird Project

This isn’t a Dodo bird, its more like a Dumb-dumb bird. These are the odd results from a blind collaboration project I was part of. Seven of us were each given a piece of wood and instructed to make a bird part. Of course with a slight mix up we ended up with four legs. Once we collected all the parts, a few dowels, nails and some glue was all it took to attach them all together.

And the end result….. Let’s just say it’s interesting/ More importantly it was a fun learning experience to see how individuals artists approach a project with minimal requirements. Hopefully we will do more of this in the future.

Thanks to:

Eric Blom, This was his idea and he provided the wood we started with. Erik also contributed the two back legs.

Mike Foydel, Front leg

Jeff Grill, Tail

Ken Kiernicki, Body

Roger Meeker, Both Wings

Alfred Schembri, the large middle leg supporting everything

Myself, Neck and Head

A welding project

In the Sculpture Welding class I’m taking, the first project was to create a piece of furniture using the demonstrated welding techniques. So, I made a stool. I figured a stool is something I can always use in my studio regardless of how well it turned out.
Even though this is a welding class, I wanted to combine some wood into the project. The wood is walnut and most of the steel is 1” x 1/8” hot rolled. During construction of the steel frame I used a MIG welder, Hossfeld bender and lots of angle grinder sanding disks & cutoff wheels.

In designing this project, I took inspiration from Sam Maloof chairs. The front legs are straight while the rear legs have a curve and none of the wood sections form 90-degree corners.

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DAW Holiday Meeting

This months Detroit Area Woodturners meeting challenge was to bring in a turning that represents the holiday season. So I turned a happy snowman box.

For the holiday gift exchange I turned and embellished a walnut vase. Its approximately 5.5 inches tall and 3 inches wide.


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The Detroit Area Woodturners biennial gallery show was held November 10th thru December 7th. This year’s location was the Pontiac Creative Art Center which is where we have our club meetings. Twenty-seven club members entered three turnings each with a total of eight categories being judged. My turning called “Ripples” won the Best of Show award. It was sold before the end of the opening reception.

Ripples is a wall hanging measuring 27 x 18. It took two years for me to complete.

My other two entries in the show were:

Stanley, which also sold during the show.

And Vortex.

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DAW Holiday Challenge

Today the Detroit Area Woodturners had their annual holiday party during our December meeting. The club Holiday Challenge was part of this. At the last meeting members were given two pieces of wood to make something with. Bring in what you made to the December meeting and get a gift certificate. This is always a fun activity because most members come up with interesting and different items instead of the standard turned bowl or vase.

I was given a piece of Maple and what looked like a piece of Koa. The maple block had a rather large tear out that would limit what I could do with it. After some thought I decided to turn a block of cheese out of the maple and some mice from the Koa.
The hardest part turned out to be the mouse ears. I tried using several different types of material and couldn’t get them to look right. I eventually picked up a small piece of leather from the craft store to use.
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Copper Bowl

Copper Closeup

I finished this bowl with a paint that has copper embedded in it. The mahogany brown patina I applied after painting didn’t have as big an effect I thought it would. Probably because of the other ingredients added to the paint.

It measures approximately 2 inches high by 5 1/2 inches wide.

CopperCopper Top

This paint is a three part mixture of paint, hardener and catalyst that goes on thick. Next time I’ll try spraying it on. Hopefully that will cut down on the amount of sanding required to get the brush strokes out.



Tagged , | Site Upgrade

Hopefully you have noticed the new look of The site had its two year birthday last February, I decided then it was time for an upgrade. As my skills and techniques have developed over this time I figured the site should also change to better display my art.

This is the first of several upgrades I have in the works. I hope you like it.

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Another Peek

Another look at what I currently have going on.

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Grinder Stand

Like every wood worker, I spend time sharpening my tools. As a woodturner I spend a lot more time at the grinder. A while ago I purchased another grinder that was on sale. Having a second grinder for woodturning tools allows me to keep the jig settings without having to constantly change them when I need to sharpen a different style tool. Some turners have three or more grinders so they rarely have to adjust the settings.

My main grinder has been attached to a base and sits on my workbench. I’ve always had two issues with this: it takes up valuable workbench space and whenever I check the alignment of the tool to the wheel I have to bend over to see it. It’s that second part that I find the most frustrating. So this new grinder has been sitting in its box because I wanted to build a stand that will bring it up to my height. I knew if I unboxed it and put it on the workbench I’d never get around to building a stand.

Grinder Stand PlansI searched through my Wood magazine collection for some stand ideas and I found one in the May 2011 issue that looked promising. The only problem I had with it was the height. But that is easily resolved with a little re-design.

I had a three quarter sheet of plywood sitting in the shop and that was just the right size for my stand. In their design the side leg panels were 36 inches high, so I made my 50 inches. Because of the extra height I also made the panels wider at the base so it wouldn’t be tippy.

This is one of those projects that start out simple but then I kept adding to it. I added a second shelf to hold the jig fixtures and storage for spare grinder wheels on the back. My Delta grinder has a built in lamp that does a good job of providing light right where I need it. The new grinder doesn’t have that option. As soon as I mounted the grinder on the stand I knew I needed a light, I had an Ikea LED light that would work well for that. After I mounted the light I realized I now had two power cords to deal with, and that’s not good. I added an outlet with a switch to the side to fix that.

The centerline of the grinder sits at 56 1/2″ which is about the center of my chest and over a foot higher than the other grinder. In the few times I’ve already used it I feel much more comfortable standing straight up compared to the old setup on the workbench. The stand seems sturdy and I can slide it around the shop as needed rather easily. The only issue I have is vibration. The wheels aren’t balanced so when I turn it off the stand it vibrates as the wheels come to a stop. It doesn’t seem to be an issue when they are running at full speed, only when they hit a lower speed coming to a stop. As a work around I’m considering adding a box near the base and filling it with sand to dampen the vibration. Of course the proper solution would be to balance the wheels but I don’t have the tools to do that correctly.


Old and New grinders

Grinder Stand Side View

Grinder Stand Side View

Grinder Stand Storage

Grinder Stand Storage

It looks like I’m going to have to make one for the other grinder now.

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