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October 3rd Meeting – Adrian’s Balls

13 October, 2016

What a great evening’s entertainment! We at HWA are spoilt by having great guest turners at many of our meetings, but we also have a wealth of talent in our own ranks, one of those being Adrian Smith, one of our longest serving members.

 

This month attracted a very healthy 70 members including new member Keith House from Romsey.

 

The title of Adrian’s talk had already lead to much joviality, but then he took to the front of house and we were treated to a couple of hours of first class entertainment, a blend of an experienced turner showing how to produce spheres of a consistent size, lots of very useful tips laced with a regular dose of fantastic wit and anecdotes that had the audience eating out of his hand.

01-adrian-ready  02-adrian-with-gouges

The demonstration started with comedy from the beginning when the microphone didn’t work, Adrian gave us a quick overview of his previous work in producing many spheres commercially. He then proceeded to show us first hand, starting with a rectangular blank in the chuck, he quickly reduced it to a cylinder close to the required diameter with a gouge, then divided it into two halves with a parting tool.

05-adrian-large-ball-cup  06-adrian-ball-cup

The next step was to create a “Cup Chuck” or shaping template, this was achieved by hollowing out the half of the blank that was left in the chuck, using a narrow gouge and then a ring tool. The inside of the template doesn’t need to be a perfect concave, just deep enough to accept approximately a third of the proposed sphere, the cup can then be rotated around the sphere as it is turned to size. This template can then be used to create numerous matching spheres.

04-adrian-shavings-2

The other half of the blank is then returned to the chuck to be turned into one of Adrian’s Balls. Again reduced to near the required diameter cylinder measured with callipers. Adrian then marked the centre line of the piece and also the end nearest to the chuck with pencil marks, he then reduced the second line down with a parting tool leaving enough wood to hold the piece in place. Next Adrian applied further pencil lines in equal amounts to the face of the cylinder and the half furthest from the chuck in equal numbers, he then made cuts with a small gouge from one set to the other i.e. 1-1 2-2 etc. forming one half of the sphere. This was then repeated on the second half of the sphere

07-adrian-shaping-ball  08-adrian-finished-ball-in-cup

He reduced this to a cylinder of about the required diameter as measured with callipers. Adrian then marked the centre line of the cylinder (at a length of half the diameter) and also the end nearest to the chuck with pencil marks. He reduced the latter with a parting tool leaving just enough wood to hold the cylinder in place and relieved the scrap part in the chuck to allow access to both ends of the cylinder. Next Adrian applied further pencil lines at equal spacing to the face of the cylinder and the half furthest from the chuck. He then made cuts with a small gouge from one set to the other i.e. 1-1 2-2 etc. to form one half of the sphere. This was then repeated on the second half of the sphere.

 

The chuck cup was then offered up to the sphere and pressed gently until friction marks appear to highlight the raised areas to be removed thus creating a near perfect shape.

The sphere was then parted off, taking care to leave the pencil line in the centre and two pimples on the axis. This would be useful as the process continued.

The cup chuck was then inserted into the lathe chuck and the sphere gently tapped into it and using a spray of water to aid its grip.

The sphere was then smoothed using 60 grit abrasive with frequent reseating in the cup chuck until it spun inside the cup independently, a small hole that appeared was repaired using super glue and sawdust from the lathe bed and sanded to a nice finish.

We then had tea followed by a very short gallery critique by Bob Hope of just seven items from only four members this month including Mike Haselden’s Wenge bowl containing a delightful variety of balls made from a wide selection of woods intended for a solitaire board.

bob-critique

Ironically Adrian started the second half with his own solitaire board and quick demonstration of how to solve the puzzle.

Amongst several useful tips he then showed us how he sets the banjo on his lathe by turning the chuck in reverse by hand, the wood then pushes the loose banjo into the correct position clear of the wood to secure in place, and ready to turn.

09-adrian-small-ball  10-adrian-shaping-ball-with-tube

Adrian then turned his attention to making much smaller balls, these he produced a lot faster by using an open ended spanner of the required size, which he had ground a sharp edge on it doubled as a calliper and cutting tool he reduced the piece of wood into a cylinder of the required diameter, he then used a short length of stainless steel pipe to shape the ball in the same fashion as he had done previously with the cup chuck, but cutting at the same time. This was then sanded and sealed using a small bit of rag in preference to paper towel, he justified this as safe as the rag is only just long enough to wrap around the work and not the hand. With time running out fast we were then treated to a quick demonstration of how to turn a Christmas tree with a skew chisel in the style of a tree he had placed on the gallery table.

11-adrian-making-tree  12-adrian-tree-done

 

The meeting ended with the usual raffle draw.

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