Gerry Marlow 8 September

Gerry turned three projects for us this evening - a round clock, a stand to put See Gerry's Photosthe clock on and a scoop. Each piece was turned for a purpose – the clock was to demonstrate turning a ball with a jig, the scoop was to demonstrate turning a ball without a jig and the clock stand was to show that you can do off-centre turning without the need for an expensive eccentric chuck.

1. Round Clock with Stand

Gerry mounted a piece of lime measuring 3” long by 1½” GM11_01 - the blank for the clocksquare between centres and turned it to a cylinder. He then mounted a ball turning jig onto the lathe bed. The jig had a spindle gouge mounted in it which he had to adjust to get the correct bevel rub, then he turned the tailstock end of the piece of wood to a curve, moving the gouge carrier forward a little after each cut. GM11_04 - the completed ball, ready to mount to hollow outWhen he was happy with the curve on this side he turned a spigot at the headstock end, turned the chisel round in the jig and turned a curve at the headstock end, taking care not to cut into the spigot. (See photos GM11_01 to 03).

Note: When using a ball turning jig it is important that the pivot point of the jig is on the centre line of the lathe bed, otherwise you won’t get a perfect sphere.

When he had finished turning the sphere Gerry took it off the lathe and mounted GM11_05 - hollowing finishedit in the chuck, bringing the tailstock up to make sure it was in square. Next he measured the clock with Vernier calipers and marked this on the end. After tidying the end up he drilled into it with a spindle gouge then started hollowing it. Once he was happy with the thickness and depth he finished it with a round scraper then turned a small flat area for the GM11_06 - cutting the slotsclock to rest against. He took care to ensure the clock had a good fit in the slot then lightly sanded it with Abranet. (See photos GM11_04 and 05).

  • To decorate it Gerry cut a series of slots all round it, using a special jig that had been designed by Keith Rowley and which is too complicated to describe here. Other ways Gerry suggests you could decorate it are:
  • Mark pencil lines all round and cut the slots with a dremel
  • Drill a series of holes
  • Use a dremel mounted on the lathe on a sliding bar

Once all the slots were cut he parted it off, using a thin parting tool, following GM11_09 - the finished clockthe curve of the ball. (See photos GM11_06 to 08).

He turned the remaining timber to a jam chuck to fit inside the hole where the clock goes then tidied the bottom with a spindle gouge, following the curve, and sanded it. Next he turned the remaining timber to a little stand to put it on. He turned it to a small ring which he curved to match the curve of the clock. Finally, he cut a small disk of lead to glue inside the ball, to balance the weight of the clock. (See photo GM11_09).

2. Off-Centre Stand for Round Clock

GM11_10 - starting the stand for the clockGerry mounted a piece of ash measuring 4” long by 1½” square between centres and turned it to a cylinder. He then turned a bead on the headstock end which he used to mount it in the lathe. He trued it up then turned the end to approx 1” diameter and hollowed it to fit the ball shape of the clock. He turned a curve underneath this, then swept the curve back out again. After sanding it he moved it in the chuck, turning the bead so it was a little off-centre. (See photo GM11_10).

With the lathe running slowly he turned the first part of the stem, watching the GM11_12 - off centre turning in progress‘ghost’ to make sure he got rid of the flat area but didn’t go too far. When he was happy with the shape he took some fine cuts to get rid of any rough GM11_15 - the finished clock & standareas and tear out then gently sanded it, taking care not to catch the sharp edges which he sanded with the lathe turned off. (See photos GM11_11 and 12).

Next Gerry remounted it in the chuck, offsetting it in a different direction. He then turned the next part of the stem, making it thicker than the first part, and sanded it. For the last section he mounted it straight in the chuck and turned some detail in the bottom section then parted it off with the thin parting tool, slightly undercutting it and making a shearing cut with the edge of the tool. (See photos GM11_13 to 15).

3. Scoop

For his final project Gerry mounted a piece of spalted beech measuring approx.GM11_16 - showing how the scoop started 6” long in the chuck and held it in place with the tailstock, It had a 1¼” square block at the tailstock end and the remainder was turned to a spindle, approx ½” square. (See photo GM11_16). After truing up both sides of the big end with a parting tool he turned it to a sphere, he did this using geometry to mark what he should turn and where. This is too difficult for me to describe here so, if you are interested in doing this, I suggest you read the following article:

Once the sphere was complete he turned his attention to the handle. Taking care to ensure the length of the handle was no more that the distance from the chuck to the lathe bed, he turned some detail at each end and slimmed the rest down. Then when he was happy with the shape Gerry used a skew chisel to turn off each end of the scoop, leaving a small pip on each end which he hand sanded off. GM11_19 - scoop mounted in nylon jaws to finish the inside

Finally he mounted the sphere in nylon jaws to hollow out the scoop. With the lathe running at just over 1,000rpm he used a spindle gouge to gently hollow it, working from the edge to the middle. Once it was the right diameter he started to hollow more deeply, taking care not to go through the bottom. When he had achieved the desired shape he finished the inside with a round scraper then sanded it. (See photos GM11_17 to 20).

GM11_20 - the finished products from the evening's demoThese were some interesting projects and whilst Gerry used equipment that is not available to most of us he gave us alternative ways of achieving the same result.

Lorrie Flannery

SWC club member