Saturday, January 24, 2009

Wing and a prayer

Our neighbor and good friend Tom Define dropped off some extra firewood a while back, and much to my delight much if it is Maple (appears to be of the red variety). I have turned some natural edge pieces with it and one lidded box.

One of Vencka’s favorite styles of turning I do is the winged-bowl. Typically, I have used the crotch section of a tree, which produces some interesting grain patterns and a Y-shaped piece. These have been “natural” edged, letting the wood shape speak for itself. However, some of my “firewood” maple logs came pre-cut in blocks that are relatively square, so I decided to try turning a piece where I controlled the shape of the wings.

After truing up the block on a band saw, I let the chips fly. From a purely technical perspective, turning a wing bowl is not too difficult. The challenge is overcoming a certain amount of fear and nervousness. Unlike turning a normal bowl, where your tool (gouge) is in constant contact with the wood, when cutting a winged bowl the gouge is passing through air which has a potential of catching a wing if you don’t have good control. The result is possibly (most likely) reducing the bowl to firewood and/or personnel injury ( I typically turn at about 2000 rpm, so you imagine the interaction if you catch the wood wrong).

Fortunately, both the bowl and I are in one piece. I am quite happy with piece, nice grain patterns which are enhanced by the overall shape of piece. Also, I am finding this particular batch of maple is producing some interesting 3-D effects. The finished natural edge piece below exhibits this unusual 3-D effect, almost like you are looking at it through a polarized lens as the piece is rotated..... I am hoping will come out in the winged piece.

I am still working on the final finish; I decided to use multiple coats of hand-rubbed polyurethane to see if I can really bring out the 3-D effect. Unfortunately, the cold weather is not conducive for this process. I work out of my non-climate controlled garage so I am lucky to get one coat on a day. So lets hope for some one warmer weather soon!!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Down hard....

We appologize for letting the chips and fur fall off. I came down with a bug as well as starting my new job this week, then of course I had to pass on the misery of my nasty bug to my lovely spouse. She has been trying to sleep it off the past two days. Sorry Vencka, dear!!

I have couple of new projects in the works and hope to share with you this weekend.

Ciao for now.. Louis

Monday, January 19, 2009

Let the chips and fur fly!

At the urging of blogging friends (Warren and Lisa, and Anne Beach) we are finally off and running on our own. Our aim is to share with you our adventures of our two passions - woodturning and cat rescue. We hope to give some insights in the fun, sense of fulfillment, the ups and downs, frustrations, and the host of other emotions kitten rescue and woodturning bring to our lives.

I (Louis) must say that originally I wanted to call our blog Wood Chips and Kitty Litter, but after a quick chuckle from Vencka I was quickly vetoed. However, if anyone wants to weigh in please do!

I may takes a few days to get into the swing of things so bare with us!

In the mean time here are some of our temporary furry friends:

This lovely Lena checking out her climbing skills on our Christmas tree.

Here is Ole (aka "the Snowman"), Lena's brother. Ole is blind from birth but you would never know it in the way he gets around and plays with the other kittens. He is truly a miracle.