Despite quite some years of wood working experience I so far never had the chance to try woodturning. But this August the time finally had come and I attended a 2 day beginners course. The course covered spindle as well as bowl turning and handling the most common tools and techniques. For someone living in the Zurich area I can highly recommend the courses of Andreas Gerig at his Drechselwerk shop.
I didn’t start the course with any expectations and did put much thought into what objects I wanted to turn. So when it was time to pick something I thought a candle holder might be nice. Even though I have no real use for it it would have been a nice gift for someone else. During the lunch break, after having collected some first experience in the morning, I was wondering what I could make instead of a candle holder. The next best idea that came to my mind where egg pots. But then again: I don’t have any use for them either. But how about big egg pots…I mean really big. Goblet size big! Yes, now I knew what I wanted to be my project. I asked Andres if that would be a feasible project and after clarifiyng a few details it was decided. Not exactly an beginner project but I was confident I could handle it. In the morning I already noticed that woodturning turned out to be easier than I expected. ;-)
I have to say the biggest challenge then was to figure out and draw the shape of the goblet. Luckily the rest of the day was spent with preparation of the wood and I had the whole evening to work on the shape. True to my background as software guy I ended up refining the design on the computer and printed it in the desired size. The next day I started working on the goblet and everything was going acording to plan without any bigger issues. Until hooked up with the tool during just a little moment where the concetration slipped. That took out a big chunk of wood. However, nothing that cannot be fixed when working with wood and in the end I think noone is now able to where it happend. Nevertheless I was really glad when the goblet was finally ready for finishing. As there was still a bit of time left in the afternoon I also made a small bowl for snacks or similar. After the previous work that was a rather relaxing task and no further slipups happend.
The goblet is made out of mapple and the bowl is walnut.
A wood lathe is still not the first tool I’m missing in my own work shop. But since having done the course I already had a couple of situations where it could have been handy to have one. Maybe on day when I have more space I’ll get one too.