Olly Writes

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Category Archives: Woodturning

Hope

As I mentioned yesterday morning; it feels as though time is ticking on the remaining duration I have left in this workshop. Just browsing the internet a little while ago, I found myself searching for a ‘woodworking club’ in the Bristol area… It’s actually a dream I have; to be able to create and host a large workshop where anyone can come along to make something, to make use of the tools and equipment and to learn about working with wood. I’m not suggesting an idea where I would run my own college and courses. It would ideally be a ‘community workshop‘, where people might pay a membership fee, with the freedom to come along on their weekends and evenings.

If only there was an easy way to make it pay… Realistically, I dread to think how much of an investment it would require on tools and equipment alone. You’ve then got to factor in the maintenance (not forgetting the building and premises itself) and I’m sure there would need to be a HUGE emphasis on Health & Safety and meeting all the regular requirements and expectations… Sadly, I don’t think it’s a dream I’ll ever achieve while earning less than £7 an hour! 😛

It’s another one for the ‘Lottery Winnings’ list, along with buying my own home and having a reasonably-sized workshop in my back garden (of course, I would need to start playing the National Lottery first!!).

One result I did come across, at the top of the list, was for the Avon & Bristol Woodturners (ABW). It’s an organisation I’ve come across before and they run a similar setup to my dream but focused entirely within the field of woodturning. If I am fortunate enough to end up in a place with a small garage (if, even, smaller than what I have now), I’d be quite happy with a lathe in one corner and a bandsaw for roughing out blanks (I think I will hang on to my turning tools anyway). But the AWGB are only a twenty-five minute drive from where I live and, even if I end up with nothing more than a few stacks of power tools in my next home, I could always join them for my woodworking fix.

I have always been curious about woodturning but, if you’ve seen images of my workshop then, the positioning of my lathe alone should give you an idea of how I approach it… Buried beneath my disc sander as a place on to which I can rest my saw horses!! It would always be warming the bench while my mitre saw and routers are making all the headlines…

It certainly won’t be the end! Thanks for reading.

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Second Turn

After recently exposing myself to the risk of a bite from the infection woodturning bug; shortly after completing the first repair job, I was contacted again by the same customer, with a request to return to my lathe and produce a second strut for his chair repair. You see, while attempting to fit the replacement, he somehow, inadvertently managed to break another strut!

Screw Thread?

Looking closely at the broken end, you can see what  appears to be a thread cut from a screw… I haven’t seen the rest of the chair wit my own eyes but, as most woodworkers know; screwing directly in to end-grain (following the long grain of the wood) doesn’t offer the strongest of bonds and can lead to the separation of the fibres.

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Turning the Corner

Recently, I blogged briefly about how I’d been approached by someone local to turn a replacement chair ‘strut’ to replace the broken one as shown in this photo. I honestly cannot remember the last time I used my lathe, prior to this small job so, I was a little concerned that I might be out of practice…

In truth though, I approached each stage with great care and it really didn’t take very long at all. I’m not even close to the speed of a professional woodturner and, I’m sure there are some stages to which a more seasoned ‘turner may have approached things in a different manner. I got the job done, it’s a pretty close resemblance to the original and the cusomter is very pleased…

In fact, he’s so pleased, he’s e-mailed me tonight to ask if I can make another to replace the other one that he’s just broken! 😉

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Time to Turn

This is something I briefly touched on towards the end of my last post, where I entertained the idea of selling my woodturning lathe (along with several other machines in my workshop). Recently, I was contacted by a local man who’s repairing a chair and requires a replica of one part (I think it’s a stretcher). We met once before through Freecycle, when he came to collect a box-full of my wood offcuts for firewood. So, he’s briefly seen my workshop (in one of its former, chaotic states!) and had obviously kept me in mind in case I could ever be of assistance.

He dropped the specimen off through my letterbox a few days ago. All I need to do is to create another one just like it. He’ll be refinishing the whole chair so, I don’t have to worry about much else beyond sanding, which is nice! 😉 It looks to me like beech, below the surface so, with plenty of offcuts lying around I don’t need to splash out on any new wood.

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