Another pot, baluster style and Alan

I’m getting a bit obsessed by shrink pots, especially now I’ve discovered turning them.  It’s possible to make vessels that would not be possible using a foot-powered bowl lathe as there is no requirement to leave a core in the work so the mandrel can drive the work round.  So this is the almost latest (made another couple since this one!)

(Sorry slightly out of focus – but he back board isn’t – doh!)

It looked a bit like this when turned except there’s a rebate at the bottom of the lid which is now inside the pot to retain the lid.  Lid and pot were turned in one, which helped retain the figure of the wood which is 2 year old beech , mellowed in the log, hence the brown colouring.  It also has a little linseed oil on in the picture to retard drying which has suddenly become quite a problem during this Spring drought (rain forecast for Wednesday though).

After turning, I sawed off the lid below its rebate and hollowed out the pot.  First with an inch and a half auger:

The new bench vice is really helpful here, it grips so hard I soften the jaws:

After drilling right through – a pleasant task where I either count the turns (about 10 per inch), day-dream, or drink in the view – I chisel out the remainder of the inside using a gouge with an inside bevel.  This is a bit nerve racking, if I get too greedy with the amount of wood I incorporate into a cut I split the whole thing.  Getting better at this now though, and no probs with this one.

The remainder is smoothed of with a long-handled crooked knife and then a rebate is set in to take the bottom:

I’m hoping to improve and speed up the rebate process, watch this space.

The bottom is made to be a loose fit as the pot, being quite green (unseasoned) will shrink onto it and make a tight, but not water-tight, fit.

Yesterday Alan called around for a little therapeutic woodwork:

he went home with a couple of items he made, as well as the spatula he was working in the picture above.

Well done Alan, good work!

Pots, sweet and savoury

I’ve been working on shrink pots. These are pots which are made as hollow cylinders and then a dry base is inserted in a rebate.  As the pots dries and shrinks it tightens onto the base.  Unless some kind of caulking is applied a waterproof fit is unlikely, but they are fine for dry goods etc.

Here is some work in progress.

The sycamore one on the far left is carved from a whole log, as is the brown birch one.  All the others are turned, some from a branch or whole stem like the barrel-shaped ash one and the two small birch ones.  The two tall ash ones at right are turned from quartered logs and I think that makes for a good pattern in the grain.  While the pot itself can be a fairly simple shape the tops can be more imaginative.  I’m working on some lumps of burr birch to make tops for the small birch ones, and I turned another quartered ash one yesterday with a top that looks a bit anthropomorphic.  I think these should be quite saleable as they are easily portable and shouldn’t be too expensive.  They will make good presents, which a lot of my sales become, seeing as many people who buy are on holiday.

I made stir-fry for tea last night and topped it with freshly home-roasted buckwheat.  I had the leftovers on my cereal.  I must get a wooden spoon and bowl made for eating breakfast!

And today another load of logs to the yard for maturing into firewood and charcoal.  First burn coming up next week.