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Richard Findley - York woodturning group

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Our Demonstations > 2014 Demos

April 2014
Spindle Turning
Production turning techniques
Walking Stick
Demonsration by Richard Findley

A very informative, instructive and entertaining demonstartion by the professional production turner and author Richard Findley.

Richard Findley provided the Jorvik Woodturning group with a very interesting evening, his demonstration included many tips about tool use, design, setting out, production techniques, home made jigs and many other usefull ideas.

Project 1
A stool or small table leg with flutes.

The first part of the demo was a small stool or table leg of about 12 inches or 300mm in length. The top section was to be left square, so the first job after mounting the wood between centers was to slice into the square blank with the skew to form a square shoulder. The remainder is then turned round.
The next stage is to "Block out". with the aid of a simple marking template Richard marked the key points along the roughed out blank. The key diameters are then turned down to the correct size with the aid of slightly modified verneer calipers. It was explained that it is more important to get these key points exactly inline, than the diameter, the alignment can be picked up easlily visually, whereas the diameter cannot.
A thorough explanation of bead and cove cutting was next with many tips on how to achieve the desired result using a skew chisel or a beading and parting tool.
he blank was then roughed down to a taper with the spindle roughing gouge, before having a few very light finishing cuts with the skew chisel.
Now ready for the first simple jig, as can be seen in the photos, Richard has created a few simple but very effective jigs for create flutes, beads etc to spindle turned items. The bed of the lathe was extended with a flat board securely cramped inplace, onto this sat the router holding jig, (Richard used a Trend T4 , as this has a removable base) this positions the router cutter on the centreline of the turning. A small wood and metal depth stop was fitted over the cutter to control the depth of the cove.
The next jig was a home made indexer, again very simple and easy to use.
The leg was re mounted between centres and the lathe unpluged for safety. The blank was locked into place with the index system, PPE donned and the routing process started. With the jigs used, the process was very controlable and quick, and gave a good neat flute, 12 in all around the tapered section of the leg. A gentle sand along the grain with the lathe stationary completed the leg.

Project 2
A Thin tapered walking stick.

Richard firstly expalined the many challenges and pitfalls of turning a very long slender item.
A close grained hardwood was recommended, Richard used steamed beech for this project, partly as the finished item was to be painted, so a "nice" piece of timber was not necessary.
The first job was to drill a small hole to suit a homemade screw chuck, and then mount between centers using a ring center at the tailstock and a small wooden washer at the screwchuck end to help size the top of the stick.
Richard had an ingenious, yet simple way of making and setting up a very long wooden tool rest, it was explained in detail how to make this excellent tool rest.
The base of the stick was turned first, a small spigot was formed to accept the metal ferrule, then then top diameter was roughed down, this portion of the project was fairly conventional.
Next Richard proceeded to gradually rough down the square blank, whilst supporting the work with his hand. Richard worked from the tailstock towards the headstock, as this motion gave a more relaxed and contolled feel to the work.
The process continued with gentle cuts and full support from Richards hand at all times. The long slow taper was checked with a straight edge and any high spots gently removed prior to sanding. Shock! Horror! Richard started sanding with 80 grit, this was ideal for helping to flatten the taper. The sanding was done overhand with the long tool rest still inplace. After sanding with the lathe running, the stick was then sanded with the grain, with the lathe turned off. Richard completed the sanding process (rotating and stationary) working though the grades from 80 to 240 grit, this achieved a smooth surface ready for finishing.

If you would like further information about Richard Findley's work please visit his website. (click here)

If you would like to comment on this demo, please click this link Comments

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