This blog has moved

I now have a new site for my blog, with lots of posts and articles about woodturning. You can see my work, and perhaps even buy it, so please do visit!

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Another new article

Today I added another new article, on the wood used for bowls to my web site.

Visit my web site for more information about woodturning

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Wooden bowl design

Today I added an article on the design of turned wooden bowls to my website. I hope it will be of interest to potential customers and also other turners.

Visit my web site for more information about woodturning

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Tool and equipment reviews

I have started a series of reviews of some of the tools and equipment that I use in my woodturning workshop. I intend to add more from time to time.

The first are of my Graduate shortbed lathe and my Startrite 352 bandsaw. The list is growing, with more added since. You will find them on my website.

Visit my web site for more information about woodturning

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From today, my turning blog has moved to Please click the link to see later posts.

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Another day in the workshop

Today I spent some more time on the prototype globe stand I mentioned yesterday. This involved a lot of gluing and clamping to make large blocks for the turning stage. I hope it will prove popular for sales at Greaves and Thomas.

I also fished out a small bowl rough-out that I started a few months back. At the time, with the wood freshly felled and full of sap, it was a brilliant red in colour, very striking. I thought it looked like plane, judging by the grain, but I was not sure owing to the colour, which I haven’t seen before in that species. It came from the local tree surgeon’s log pile. The trouble with that is that I cannot always be sure what I am getting. Now it has dried thoroughly and the red has faded to pink(ish). I am more confident now in saying it is plane. It distorted a lot while seasoning (all trued up during the re-turning) and now has a number of small fissures, so will never be a very practical piece, but I think it looks good. It has the flecks in the grain that are characteristic of plane. When the surface of the wood is cut at the right angle to the log’s grain direction these flecks form a pattern. The wood is then sometimes called lacewood, and the part of this bowl where the pattern shows is lacewood. There wasn’t much of this timber though, just enough for three or four little bowls.

This colour change often happens when wood dries. The turner is sometimes the only person who gets to see the full beauty of the wood. The moment when I turn off the lathe and see the freshly turned surface is always one to look forward to.

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Bad luck with some bowls

Not much actual turning today. I have been working on a prototype of a big new globe stand.

I was looking over some of my recent bowl rough-outs and was disappointed to find a lot of rejects. Over the past few months I have acquired two lots of oak and a log of elder. Most of the oak came from a very old tree that had been taken down due to disease. The trunk had been sawn up into boards by its owner, the logs I used were the larger branches. The elderberry log was unusually large in diameter, and elder bowls are not often seen, so I hoped it would be of value. I roughed out quite a lot of bowls in the usual way and put them aside to dry, just as normal. Soon they started splitting at the edges. Some are OK and some I can salvage, but I think more than half will go to waste. I always lose a few, but these logs have been very disappointing. Other rough-outs over this same period have come out fine – some sycamore from Kennington, some mulberry, some ash and another lot of sycamore have all been successful and I hope to finish turn the rough-outs and get them on my bowl pages fairly soon.

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