Tuesday, 19 July 2016

A bit of pyrography

Hi all,
Having done a 3 lidded boxes and a goblet made from mahogany on the lathe, the time came to be a bit more adventurous. Turning plain items in dark wood is pleasant enough, but I bought the lathe to enhance my pyrography. The problem up until now is that the only hardwood that I have had at my disposal is some mahogany that was given to me by a kind soul who has a shed full of the stuff. He isn't using it because at the moment he is making a Sterling engine from metal, cutting all the parts out himself using his metal lathe. The chap is in his mid eighties so he is an inspiration to me at least.

Anyway, I needed some light wood so I made a 100 mile round trip to ockenden-timber.co.uk/ on the Welsh border. I suppose I could have bought some wood on line but my wife decide a nice run into the countryside would do us both good. We took  the dog and had a picnic and it was a very pleasant day.

The man at ockeneden timber couldn't have been more helpful. They were out of stock on a square end scraper that I particularly wanted, but he said he would send me one by post. It arrived the very next day so how is that for service.

Regarding wood, the lightest colour wood they had was lime and maple so I bought 2off, 75mm square spindles of lime and another the same size made from maple. The spindles are 300mm long and I reckon that I can get 4 lidded boxes out of each spindle. With each spindle costing less than 8 quid it means I can make a blank box for less than £2 each. Below is a picture of one of the lime spindles before it has been introduced to the lathe and the roughing gauge.
He it is again after I'd turned it into a cylinder and cut it in half.
Eventually, and it is probably quicker to do than you think, I made the box and did a quick leaf pyrography design on it to see how it looked after it was polished up. Until now most of my pyrography has been covered with several coats of varnish or even lacquer, so a bit of polish would be different.
So there you have it, the finished article. I very pleased with the result and I think that from here the world is my oyster. I can't wait to get back on the lathe and see if I can do another or was it just a lucky fluke. I know one thing, turning round boxes on a lathe is easier and quicker than building square boxes. Trying to make perfect joints, keeping the thing square and dealing with the vagaries of hinges are now thankfully in the past.

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