In this series of woodturning projects for beginners I aim to describe my attempts as a complete beginner to turn particular items and learn from my mistake.
This post will describe my first efforts to turn a wood apple and a pear.
In earlier posts on woodturning projects for beginners I have described my visit to Yandles Sawmills where I purchased a series of woodturning blanks.
This project was commenced using Bubinga.
Bubinga is a hardwood which grows in equatorial Africa. It can grow to over 150 feet tall. I am totally ignorant of wood types and species so these projects help me learn about the wood I use.
There is a helpful resource I have found called The Wood Database where they have detailed descriptions on many species of wood. They one thing I have learned is that Bubinga will easily blunt your tools!
Onto the project. I cut a length of 3×3 inch square Bubinga 6 inches long.
Next I had to find the centre of the wood which is easily done by marking a line across from each corner then the wood is centred between the lathe and tail stock.
Once set up the first woodturning stage commenced with turning the square shape to a round.
Once I had knocked all the corners off the tricky part commences of turning it down to the desired shape.
The title of the blog mentions an Apple. You will see pictures later of my first attempt at turning an Apple.
It failed because I did not have a proper image in my head of what an Apple should look like. Having learnt from this mistake I asked Karen to buy me a real Pear at Tesco to use as my template.
Armed with my real pear I set about shaping my blank to resemble natures own shape. I started by putting the turned blank into my lathe chuck ( I feel much happier with it secured in a chuck) and once centred I started turning the thickest end first.
I then worked my way towards the thinnest section which would be the top of the pear. Once shaped and compared to an original I was happy I had got the shape as near as I could. It was then ready for finishing off.
This is a process I really enjoy.
First I sanded the wood through a series of grits finishing on 1000. Then a coat of cellulose sanding sealer.
Once dried it got a good sanding again and then two coats of Liberon friction polish before drilling a 3.5mm hole in the top and glueing in the gold coloured leaf (an accessory bought from Axminster Tools)
And there you see the finished article.
It is still not quite the shape I intended but it is way better than my first attempt at an Apple (see below)
You will note the squat shape and flat top. The reason for this I attribute to not having a real life example to compare it to.
My second attempt as you can see was a lot better as this time I was using a real apple for comparison as I did with the pear.
Lots of learning for me with this project. I now know all about Bubinga, I now have had plenty of practice sharpening my tools and I also need a real reference point to be able to shape things free hand.
There is a really good video example on how to turn an apple on Youtube from Mike Waldt which you can view below.
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