Thursday, July 28, 2022

Birthday Box

I made this box for my friend Irene's 60th birthday from an old oak board.

The plaque is brass, deep-etched in ferric chloride.

The nails are square copper nails, and don't really serve any structural purpose; they're just there for decoration.

It's roughly 110mm square, 300mm tall.

Sunday, July 24, 2022

The Tale of Tuan Mac Cairill

 I've shown these before, but I thought I'd get them all into one place. They're a series of illustrations for the Tale of Tuan Mac Cairill, a very ancient Irish origin story about the coming of the first men to Ireland. Tuan does a lot of transforming into animals.

Standing Stones


0.2mm fibre-tip pen, coloured in Krita

Friday, July 15, 2022

Fence Post Vase


This is a nice piece of wood from an old fence post. I don't know for sure what the timber is, but considering its age, I'd suspect it's black maire, since that was extensively used for such purposes, as well as for flooring. Back then, a hundred-odd years ago, when our house was built, New Zealand native timbers were not valued as they are today. Nowadays it's far too expensive to waste on a fence post.

It's 110mm tall.

Alas, it's not much use as a vase, not only because there are various holes and cracks present, but also...

...because I delved too greedily and too deep, and burst through its bottom into the tenon.

When I sawed the tenon off, it left this gaping void in its bottom.

It could be fixed, but I'm probably not going to.


I've found that one of these disposable plastic tumblers is almost exactly the right size to fit inside the wooden shell.

I'll add some open-cell self-adhesive foam tape (the sort of stuff you use for sealing windows and the like) around under the rim of the tumbler. That will keep it centred within the vase, stop it from rattling around, and give it a bit of grip so that it won't just fall out while still being easily removable.

It's not 100% perfect as far as shape goes, but it will make the vase somewhat usable as a vase.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Footed Oak Bowl


Another little bowl, turned from another offcut scrap of oak.

This one is 125mm wide by 40mm tall.

I like a foot on a bowl; I think it gives it a better visual connection with the ground than just curving away into nothing.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

Scrap-Wood Platter


This is a bit of wood I pulled out of the firewood stack a while ago. It had split along one of the growth rings to create a smoothly curved piece.

I just adzed out the inside of the curve and smoothed out the rest of the contours, and flattened off the bottom so that it would sit a bit more stable.

I don't know what you'd do with it. Put a couple of bits of fruit on it maybe, or use it for change and keys and what-not. Whatever.

It's just a piece of pine, stained, oiled and waxed.

Friday, July 8, 2022

Another Little Cup


Turned from an offcut of oak this time, this little cup is about 85mm in diameter and 45mm tall.

Little things like this are handy for using up scraps of wood that would otherwise just go to waste, and at the same time they teach me things. So, win-win!

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Lathe Extension


A little while ago I ordered an extension for the bed of my little lathe, to enable me to turn spindles longer than about 400mm.

What I had failed to take into account is that then I would have a much longer lathe to accommodate in my fairly teensy-tiny workshop. Ah well. So, now instead of a lathe that is a bit cramped, I have one that's probably going to be too long 99% of the time.

I knocked up a side table out of crappy, soaking wet fence rail and plywood. It does the job, and as an added bonus, there's space underneath it to store my car-jack router lift. The minus is that I now have to find somewhere for some other stuff, but no doubt that will be resolved eventually.

The lathe bed extension just bolts to the end of the original bed, but there are no positive locating lugs or anything, so it's just held in place by tension on the two bolts. It doesn't match the corresponding surface exactly in dimension, so the tail-stock and tool rest don't slide smoothly across the border; there has to be a certain amount of jiggling to get them past. Still, it's workable, and possibly the connection could be fettled a bit to make things work more smoothly.

Next up, I really need a wider tool rest. The one that came with the lathe is only 150mm long, and that's just too claustrophobic. Fortunately, a tool rest is a very simple thing to make for anyone with welding capabilities.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Sketchbook Critter


Fibre-tipped technical pen and coloured pencils.
Approx. 100 x 120 mm.

Approx. 120mm square

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Little Pine Cup


I turned this little pine cup (only 70mm in diameter) as an experiment in two things:

First, in using a Forstner bit on the drill press to cut the small 28x7mm mortice to hold it in my small chuck jaws, and

Second, in applying beeswax directly on the lathe without any other finishes (like oil or shellac) and to polish straight over the wax by friction with wood shavings.

I'd call both of them a success. Drilling the mortise on the drill press rather than cutting it on the lathe really sped things up, and the friction-finished wax gives a very nice smooth surface, very pleasing to the touch.

So now I know that.