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Stuart is an internationally recognised woodturner who has regularly demonstrated to audiences across the world but who is now cutting back on this aspect of his work to focus more time on ‘making things’, and so we were particularly delighted to be able to welcome Stuart to our annual all day June demonstration.
Stuart is well known for his skill in creating ‘twists’ into his pieces…
… but before he got down to business he shared 3 basic thoughts …
Most of the morning session was taken up with demonstrating twists of various types e.g. single twist, double twist, hollow form and finials. For me, as a relative newcomer, it would be presumptuous to attempt to detail the methods of marking up and cutting the twists. The photos below illustrate the processes but for a more detailed account you are recommended to view some of the material on Stuart’s website, where on-
The next demonstration was the making of a box with included triple twist finial from a piece of sycamore about 9” x 3”.
Rounded off using a preferred bowl gouge rather than a spindle roughing gouge and then parted off about 50/50. Hollowed out the bottom of the box and then sprayed with Halford’s clear lacquer rather than sanding sealer which has a french chalk content. Note though that the lacquer dries very quickly so needs to be wiped off to ensure no lumps form. After the lacquer, wax is applied to the inside and the reversed into the chuck so that the lid can be hollowed out, lacquered and waxed. The box was then reassembled, matching the grain, and then shaped into an egg shape and detailing added around the join between the bottom and lid.
After shaping, the finial is formed and then a triple twist cut using the methods described above. Note that there was a black insert right down the centre of the original block of wood so that when the twist was cut this showed through as a very attractive embellishment to the finial. The bottom was then parted off and then carefully reversed into the chuck, protected by paper, and then with a reduced lathe speed the bottom was cleaned up using a gouge.
Stuart demonstrated the creation of a pigtail using similar methods although the markup was of course different. The top of the pigtail was shaped using the cone shadow.
Finally, Stuart showed how to create a laminated spindle using different colours. The key when drilling the hole through the spindle is to use a skew to create a countersink on the end of spindle larger than the drill diameter. It is also important that the hole must be exactly in the centre -
A busy day with so much being covered it seemed at times that Stuart was a magician as well as a woodturner! Thanks Stuart for the Masterclass.