Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble

Wednesday's Wisdom For Woodturners December 27, 2017

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Well I made it through the Christmas holiday- mostly by hiding out in the basement shop!


Member @Cliff posed a question about salvaging a warped bowl blank. Check out some of the suggestions and see if you can give Cliff some help-



@Steve Krumanaker posted a beautiful natural edge walnut bowl.  Keeping that much bark intact is quite a feat!!



Check out his post and the comments here-





@HandyDan set me a link to a really cool video about making multiple copies of little wooden horses- on the lathe! Although the audio is in German (I think), it is really neat to see how they duplicated the horses. There are additional items being made on the lathe- all from a log round!




I found a couple of videos on making platters. I think they are easier to make than bowls.

First from Carl Jacobson-



And the second one from Tim Yoder-


Tim's video is a two parter and the second part is  linked on his YouTube  site. Also, check out Tim's use of the Easy Wood Chuck!



While hiding out in the basement, I had the chance to experiment with a new (for me) turning media.I wanted to try my hand at some acrylic casting/turning. During a visit to Hobby Lobby, I found some "Alumilite" brand casting resin-



Hobby Lobby has 40% off coupons which brought the price down to about $20. I've had a little experience with casting in the past. I really didn't want to have to buy molding materials for a simple turning so I stopped by the "Dollar Store" and bought a 3-pack of plastic cereal bowls-



I figured this would make a fine mold to cast a blank for turning another bowl. Even if the resin didn't release the casting, I could just turn away the blue plastic.


I must admit, that most of these ideas came from Carl Jacobson and Peter Brown's YouTube videos.


Anyway, The little blue bowls held 2.5 cups of liquid. The resin pack was enough for 4 cups of liquid. Using Mr. Brown's idea of including a wooden lathe mounting piece molded into the casting and some extra filler, I figured I could get away with 2 cups of resin. I turned a bowl shaped piece of wood- not hollowed- for the mount and used a bunch of lathe shavings for the filler. Mixed up the resin and poured the blank. The instructions indicate that the ideal temperature is 70° or higher for the chemical reaction/hardening. Hmmm, 60° in the basement- the solution-



My seed starter heating pad and a cardboard cover to trap the heat and 24 hours later, the results-



Unmolding wasn't a problem either. I drilled a small hole on the center of the plastic bowl and used air pressure to pop the casting free. 

When I worked making casting, years ago, we either used vacuum chambers or pressure chambers to eliminate any tiny bubbles that may have been trapped in the casting material. I had neither method so I expected a few voids-



I think if the casting would have been done in a warmer environment, there would not have been as many of these defects.


I used the chuck screw to mount the blank to the lathe/chuck






Turned the outside to shape and created a recess to reverse the blank. Sanded the outside to 12000 grit and then used Turtle Wax swirl and scratch remover.



Reversed the blank and turned away the wooden insert leaving a support post to help hold the blank with the tailstock.






Never having worked with this material before, I wasn't sure how thin I could make the walls. I left them a little over 1/4.




Sanded/finished the outside the same way as the inside





I think I need to run it through the dishwasher to clean out some of the tiny air bubble holes that trapped the Turtle Wax compound.


Turned completely with Easy Wood Tools!!


Safe Turning

Edited by lew

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great post again this week.  I sure liked your resin casting.  I have been thinking about attempting one myself.  I wonder if a heat gun might melt the wax in with a quick swipe so as not to melt your nice bowl.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice job once again. I look forward to this every week. That resin bowl is incredible and tempts me to try my hand at it. Just not sure I want to deal with those shavings.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is so cool Lew! And a wonderful pictorial on the process. Thanks so much for sharing Lew, and thanks completely for your weekly topics, they are invaluable for this community, thank you!

By the way Lew, great job on the tagging!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Great work Mr. Kauffman!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Gerald Thanks!


@HandyDan Thank you! I never thought about the wax idea. It would probably work for some of the larger defects. There are quite a few of pinpoint marks around the embedded chips.


@Steve Krumanaker Thanks! Those acrylic "shavings" are really a mess!. I looked like the abominable snowman at one point!


@clhyer Thank you!


@John Morris Thanks! I'm glad to be able to do it.


@Jim from Easy Wood Tools Mr. Kauffman! He died years ago :D. Thanks for the kind words!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Who We Are

Operation Ward 57 Challenge Coin Display Project

We are a woodworking community with an emphasis on sharing and learning the skilled craft of woodworking and all of its related disciplines. Our community is open to everyone who wishes to join us. We support our American veterans and active duty, being a veteran is not a prerequisite to join. Join us now!


Air Force Command Center Plaque

Of course just like most online woodworking communities we are centralized in the arts, crafts, and trades that are woodworking. But, we have another focus in our Patriot Woodworker community, we are the only woodworking community that was founded on our care and concern for our disabled veterans.


Patriot Woodworker Volunteers

The Patriot Woodworkers are an all volunteer community, from the staff and hosts who run our online woodworking community to the members who frequent our forums, you'll find volunteers in all of us. We are not on a payroll, unless you consider the spiritual rewards gained from volunteering, as compensation.



One of the many projects we are working on is a wiki for our online community. A wiki is a great way for woodworkers and enthusiasts to share their knowledge to others, and to impart their knowledge for others to learn from, and utilize as well for their own benefit. We hope you'll consider being a wiki contributor.