Sunday, June 26, 2011

Making Woodburner Pens Workshop

I had ten woodturners sign up for a "make your own woodburner" workshop. We used car battery chargers connected to light dimmer switches as the power supply. Then we made handpieces on the lathe.
As you can see from the above picture my workshop is a busy looking place.
Many thanks to Harry who arrived with a completed woodburner but was a great help with the electrics. Sorry about your charger Ron. I'm sure you will get a charge out of the story sometime...

The resistance wire I used was from a stainless steel boat cable as used for stays. One multistrand cable provides a plethora of wire for the pen tips. This design is from the Graeme Priddle style self made brands. The bit of extra copper acts as a heat sink to keep the heat away from the operator. However it also reduces the operator's control over the burn. So more sophisticated burners can be made - stay tuned.
Using fine brass tubing will enable one to get the tip closer to the operators hands.
Here is a link to a full description of the woodburner we were copying: Graeme Priddle style wood vaporizer.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Brilliant Idea Brush

Sometimes an idea so simple comes along and solves multiple associated problems. Here is such an idea. Not totally original but applied here it makes a lot of sense.
I have been using an oil finish on the bowls I turn for many years and have found that I like Minwax brand antique oil about the best. Once cured it is food safe. It has more durability than Tung oil and a little less shine, both factors that appeal to me.
I have been using small rags to apply the oil, usually three coats means three oily fire hazard rags that need to be carefully disposed of to avoid spontaneous combustion.
In order to apply the oil with a rag one has to use vinyl gloves to keep hands oil free. Using this foam applicator technique avoids that as the applicator can be easily held without getting oil on ones hand.

The clip is a four for a dollar paper clip. I cut the foam from a piece of 1/2 inch foam received as packaging. The used foam applicators are discarded into the empty cup I used to hold the oil.
Why didn't I think of this before?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Preparing root stock for turning

Here I am washing a Japanese yew root. Colours are spectacular.
As one can see the root ball is full of hair roots that hold the soil.
I use a pruner to cut off the small roots.

A definite summer activity. One gets a bit wet.
Here is a yew root.