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7th October – Adrian Smith

10 October, 2013

Adrian’s first challenge was to get the lathe to work, but it did not take long to change a fuse.  He started by passing round the three items shown in the gallery.  Are they vases or hollow forms?  The important feature is that the neck is very narrow and they are hollowed out from the bottom.  He told me that the narrow neck was so that Mark Baker could not get his finger in and comment on the finish inside.

Adrian started with a prepared piece of Oak with chucking spigots at each end and had been pre-drilled part way from the designated top.  He then roughed out the shape but did not make the neck too narrow as when re-mounted he needed the rigidity for the hollowing.  Having roughed the shape the foot part was parted off creating a spigot to glue back into the base.  He  also marked with a pencil the alignment of the pieces so a grain match can easily be made later.

Adrian Demo 1

It was then time to do the hollowing by reversing the piece in the chuck, first with a gauge and then with a hollowing tool.  With the small hollowing tool he used Adrian used a mole wrench clamped onto the stem to help control the tool, it can also double as a depth gauge (see photo).

Adrian Smith 2

Having done the hollowing with a wall thickness of approximately 5-6mm, the foot was carefully fitted and glued in.  Then ‘using one he prepared earlier’ Adrian mounted the foot end in the chuck to refine the top to give a pleasing flared shaped and also finished the body shape.  As he was planning to paint the piece it was sanded and then roughed slightly using a brass wire brush.  The final part of the turning was to turn a mandrel to fit the neck so that the foot could be finished off.

The result was a most enjoyable and informative demonstration.  Adrian’s enthusiasm and relaxed style was appreciated by all.  He admitted never having had a lesson, that it was very difficult to turn with the lathe running backwards and he called his tools diamond ground as the bevels are multi-faceted!  But he did emphasise the cutting edge must be sharp.

So, Adrian, thanks for a great evening.

John Holden

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