The Face Vase - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-06-2009, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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The Face Vase

Well guys after yakking on here for along time it is finally time to show something I have turned. First a little background: I bought a used lathe last summer and messed around for awhile just turning cut up 2x4's and such and never seemed to get a very good turning. I questioned my technique(which probably wasn't the best) and everything else. Well after finally turning some mallets I noticed while putting rings around them that the ring was only showing up on about 3/4 of the turning. I came to the realization my spindle headstock was badly unbalanced. The previous owner had shared with me that it had taken a tumble in the back of a pickup. I had lined up the head and tailstock and they seemed to be right in line. This may have just been dumb luck. Because after reading somewhere to line them up and then turn on the lathe it was obvious the headstock was turning circles around the tailstock. I kinda became disgruntled and began a plan to upgrade my lathe. That plan still exists but in the meantime I came across a great deal on Craigslist for a Delta midi lathe which I became the proud owner of while I raise the funds for the Jet 1642. So with all that being said I finally turned a couple of pens and a small vase that gave me a neat surprise.

First the pens are slimline kits from Woodcraft. One is Birdseye Maple and the other is Walnut.

Next is what my 8 year old son has called the face vase! I had just put a piece of wet log on the lathe to just practice with and as I was turning away this face started to emerge from the wood. The first picture of it is from the rear which shows just how clear it was on that side, but the next pic show what looks like two eyes, nose and crooked halloween type smile! I included the last picture as it shows the inside where I really wasn't sure what to do. I started with a scraper and got some out pretty well but was afraid I was going to lose the whole side where the face was because it ran down the whole way. I also tried my bowl gouge(first time) but got a couple of catches and decided I needed some instruction before trying it on my own. So give me some feedback and ask away on anything. Appreciate all critiques good or bad! I'm not sure how to make my text go between the pictures so it is all up front for now. Sorry if that makes it a little more confusing.

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-06-2009, 11:07 PM
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The face Vase

Nice lookin work there,love that bowl and vase,all nice work.

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post #3 of 8 Old 04-06-2009, 11:18 PM
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Part of the fun of turning is finding something interesting in the wood. Nice pens and vase. I think I would have used a scraper off in that vase but then I've only got 5 months experience so don't take my word for it. Good job.

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post #4 of 8 Old 04-07-2009, 06:14 PM
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John, your pens look great. your vase is the reason I have been woodturning for many years. Like Tim said above you ever know what you can end up with which makes turning so interesting. Your face vase little spooky (lol) but very cool. keep up the good work.

looks like end grain, have you look into a hook or hunter tool? Alan Lacer shows how to make your own hook tool (link Below). both work very well on end grain.


"Just because your not bleeding, don't mean your turning safely"..
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-07-2009, 06:48 PM Thread Starter
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Ken, thanks for the kind words.

Tim, again thanks for the encouragement. I did use a scraper in the inside. bowl scraper I believe. It's the one with a side grind too around the top and down the edge. It worked pretty well but I was scared when I was getting close to the portion that was "rotted" away. Hey 5 months, 5 years or 50 years I'll take all the advice I can get. Thanks for your input.

Jeff, Thank you too for the kind words. I will look into the Lacer hook tool. I have a Sorby Hollowing tool that I got with the lathe I purchased but I haven't used it all and haven't even seen one used so I was hesitant to stick it in there and screw something up bad. Like I said I was just messing around really and was thinking merely about spindle turning but when the face showed up I tried to do a little more. Gotta get the next chapter on faceplate turning read in my book!! I guess I could always chuck it back up later and take some more out when I feel a little more comfortable. Thanks again!

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post #6 of 8 Old 04-16-2009, 11:42 PM
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Very nice work. You did real good,keep it up. You can never get too much practice. Mitch
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-17-2009, 09:58 PM
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Alright John,
Glad to see you're turning. The pens turned out nice and I like the face vase. Keep it up.
Mike Hawkins
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-18-2009, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Mitch, thanks for the encouragement. Yes practice is what I need! and plenty of it!

Mike, I have been having fun with the pens. Those things are addictive. I've been trying some different finishes to see what will hold up well.

At our turners club meeting this past Wed. we worked with the bowl gouge on scraping cuts on the outside of the bowl. Watched part of a dvd by Ellsworth on his style and practiced a cut used by Nick Cook that a couple of members had seen at his guest appearance in St. Louis. Next month is bowl gouge on the inside of the bowl. Can't wait. I will say it is great to have a good club to meet with and I would encourage anyone not involved with a club to try and find one in your area.

Thanks again guys for the nice words.

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