The Chris Stott demo was very successful, at Levi’s shop on October 30. Chris is a very dynamic, turning teacher, and author with an international reputation. We had 32 turners including CIW members and guests, including a turner from as far away as Atascadero.
Chris started the day talking about the use of a skew, including the difference between a machined and a forged (oval) skew. Chris demonstrated his techniques on several spindles explaining that there are only three things done on a spindle. According to Stott, and he should know, there a flat areas, bumps and hollows.
He demonstrated each in turning a small spindle, with a captured ring. He turned the captured ring completely using just a skew. After turning the small spindle, Chris turned a short table leg. He demonstrated and emphasized the technique for making the entry and maintaining the square at the top of the leg.
Changing gears slightly, Chris turned a weed pot from dry avocado. He started by explaining that in order to establish the weed hole using his gouge, he locates the center by creating a depression, then using the center of the shallow depression in the stock to start the hole. The depression was then incorporated in the design. Chris used the weed pot as an exercise in developing the pleasing ‘S’ shape he often uses in his work.
To finish his work after final sanding, Chris used Mylands cellulose sanding sealer and Minwax past wax. To use the sanding sealer, which is normally very thick and difficult to spread, Chris cuts it approximately 50/50 with denatured alcohol. After applying the sealer, he applies the wax using friction process. Since the sanding sealer is lacquer based he wasn’t able to explain why the denatured alcohol (100% not 70% rubbing alcohol) was compatible in solution but it works! This thinned solution allows for better penetration into the wood and a smoother surface for finishing.
Before the lunch break, Stott told the group that he was going to develop the ‘female form’ as a spindle.
1. He began by developing the foot and the legs at the revolving center end of the spindle.
2. He then moved the center of the stock (revolving center) about ¼”, and turned the torso.
3. Stott then moved the center ¼” the other side of the original center and turned a slender neck.
4. Chris then returned to location in # 2, and created a head and parted it off.
Few of us were able to anticipate the process or the beautiful result.
After a lunch from Jersey Mike’s, Chris turned to the part of his demo many of us were waiting for, BOXES.
Being a teacher, Stott emphasized the simple components of a box. It is just a bowl with a top. To illustrate, Chris made a box, with a lid in about 1 minute. Then he got serious and turned a footed ring box from Bocote (also called Mexican Rosewood) with a loose top. It is beautiful and useful for any of our ‘primary’ customers [Doug means “spouse” here]. Chris then made a pagoda-topped box from the same Bocote. The lid on this box fit tightly.
Added to all of this Chris made another ring box, this one from Osage Orange with a Bocote insert in the fitted top. Stott treated the insert just as if it were a very tightly fitted lid, leaving sufficient waste, so that he could turn the top to a smooth finish. He then completed the ‘bowl portion of the box. The finish of sanding sealer and wax really brings out the orange and creates a beautiful contrast with the Bocote.
Between the pagoda box and the Osage Orange box, Chris sandwiched in a flared top bowl turned from dry avocado, with another bowl shape in the inside center. He topped off the day with what he described as a wobbly goblet from a green Birch branch. Chris left the bark on the lip of the very shallow vessel, turning the goblet to ‘see-through’ thickness. When working on the stem, he put several beads at the top, turned a captive ring, and then the stem. Our peerless webmaster, David, challenged Chris to get the stem down to 3/16”. He took up the challenge and again using his trusty skew got the stem to 3/16” using a micrometer. Several more beads, a base and our day was ‘one for the books’.
All of this was brought to us through the hard work and perseverance of Joel Oksner.