Andrew Hall 12 April 2012

The theme for this evening was ‘utility ware’ and, before starting the turning, Andrew showed us a porringer he uses every morning for his breakfast cereal. He had also brought along a selection of utility bowls and goblets he and his wife use, together with a rolling pin. See Andrew's Photos

1. Porringer

After showing us a selection of porringers of different sizes, including some very small ones for whisky tasting, Andrew mounted a section of half a cherry log onto the lathe. It had been harvested 3-4 months ago and had a diameter of approx. 200mm. He drilled a hole in the flat surface then mounted it on a screw chuck and brought the tailstock up to the work to steady it. With the lathe running at 500rpm he used a ½” bowl gouge with a long swept back grind to true up the edge, then he turned the speed up to 650rpm and started to shape the base and turn away the bark. (See photos AH12­_01 to 03).

Once he was happy that it was stable Andrew removed the tailstock and turned a spigot on the bottom. He continued turning the base, getting a nice curved shape and used the edge of the tool to remove some tear out. Using a bowl gouge with a conventional grind he refined the shape and, whilst doing this, he discovered a hairline crack near the top of the bowl which he was afraid might go all the way through. So he turned it round on the lathe and faced off the top in an attempt to lose the crack. Eventually, after turning about an inch from the top and some more from the outside the crack was gone and Andrew was able to concentrate on finishing the bowl. (See photos AH12_04 to 06).

Next Andrew turned away some timber from the underneath of the bowl, leaving a wide lip at the top, then he turned away some of the bulk of the timber from the inside and finished the top of the lip. He continued to hollow it out, finishing the inside with a scraper, then refined the cut on the outside. (See photos AH12_07 to 09).

To finish the underneath Andrew turned it round on the lathe, opening the jaws of the chuck into the inside. He hadn’t done the jaws up too tightly so he was careful how he turned it. Finally, to make the handles, he took it off the lathe and marked the shape on the lip with a pencil then used a Proxxon jig saw to cut away the unwanted material. (See photos AH12_10 and 11).

2. Small Bowl for Olives or Nuts

Andrew mounted the other half of the cherry log on the lathe using a screw chuck on the flat side and held it in place with the tailstock. He tidied the edge then turned a curve on the underneath using the swept back bowl gouge and tidied it with the traditional grind bowl gouge. He removed the tailstock, turned a chucking point then turned it round on the lathe and mounted it in the jaws. He hollowed out the inside with the swept back bowl gouge, leaving the wall quite thick, and finished it with the traditional grind gouge. (See photos AH12_12 and 13).

To finish the underneath he mounted in the chuck a piece of sponge which he had covered in some towelling and stuck to a piece of wood. He pushed the bowl onto this and held it tightly in place then turned away the foot, leaving the bottom flat. Finally he used a pull saw to cut the remaining pip off the bottom. (See photo AH12_14).

3. Drinking Goblet with Lid

For this project Andrew had a cherry log measuring approx. 8” long by 5” diameter. He marked the centre on each end and used steb centres to mount it on the lathe. With the lathe running at 620 rpm he used a roughing gouge to turn it down to a cylinder and remove the bark. He also demonstrated how to do this with a bowl gouge which had a long, swept back grind. Next he used a 10 mm beading parting tool to turn a tenon at each end then used a pull saw to cut the pip off each end and mounted it on the chuck. (See photos AH12_15 and 16).

Andrew used a goblet, which he had cut in half down the middle, to mark out the pattern then used an Ashley Iles beading tool to turn a group of three beads then left a space and turned another group of two beads. He parted off the tailstock end, making it deep enough to turn into a lid, then trued up the end with a bowl gouge and marked the centre with a parting tool. Using a ⅜” bowl gouge he turned the section between the two sets of beads and the section at the top edge into big beads. (See photos AH12_17 to 19).

To hollow the inside he started with a Black & Decker bullet drill bit mounted in a Jacob’s chuck which he used to drill down the middle to the required depth, then he hollowed it with his swept back bowl gouge, taking care to ensure he got an even wall thickness. To finish the inside he used an Ashley Iles closed cup hollowing tool. When he was happy with the inside he turned his attention to the base. He turned another large bead below the small beads then curved this inwards below it to form the stem. He turned a further small bead in the stem then a curved foot below this. He cut it off the lathe with a sharp parting tool, undercutting it slightly, then drilled a 12 mm stress hole into the centre of the underneath to prevent it from cracking as it dries. (See photos AH12_20 to 22).

To make the lid he mounted the piece he cut had off the top in the chuck, turned a lip to fit inside the goblet and decorated the inside of this with a gouge and a beading tool. To turn the top he mounted it on the chuck with the jaws gripping on the inside of the lip, then turned it to a hat shape. (See photos AH12_23 and 24).

There was a small piece of timber left after he had finished the goblet and he turned this into a finger rest. He often makes these from left over pieces of timber and sells them to nail salons.

4. Bread ‘basket’

Andrew mounted a disk of sycamore measuring approx 12” to 14” diameter by 2½” to 3” thick on a screw chuck and supported it with the tailstock. With the lathe running at 550 rpm he turned away the sharp edges and a lot of the bulk of the timber. He then turned a flat base with a straight side at a 50 degree angle to the base and another ¼” wide straight piece at the top. He used a regular bowl gouge to tidy up the bottom, slightly undercutting it, then used a parting tool to create an inset chucking point with a dovetail edge in the base and turn off the waste timber. With a traditional bowl gouge he tidied the area inside the chucking point. (See photos AH12_25 to 28).

To turn the inside he mounted it on the jaws and supported it with a revolving step centre in the tailstock. After truing up the rim Andrew started turning away the bulk of the wood from the middle, creating a nice gentle curve from the rim to the middle. (See photos AH12_29 to 32).

All the pieces turned this evening are suitable for everyday use around the home and Andrew doesn’t use any finish on them. One important point he made was that you shouldn’t turn beads or grooves in pieces you are going to serve food in as they can harbour germs. Photo AH12_33 shows all the pieces Andrew turned, including the finger rest.



Lorrie Flannery

SWC club member