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Been working on some inside-out vases for a couple weeks. They're done. These are for my brothers and sisters. Next weekend is the family party and we will use these as the center pieces. I have been collecting some metal vases at the Restore and reused them as inserts to make them capable to hold water for real flowers. Most of them had to have their bottoms cut off to make them smaller than the bodies of and the tops. I fit each one individually to there respective turning. Some of them had a top that was smaller than the body. For them I made a bushing from plastic counter top material. There are six of these and I made six smaller ones for some friends. I had another one on the lathe and finished it today and still have a few more glued up but these will fill my Christmas list. Most of them are made from from some fir panel doors in a 100 year old house.
Decided to try and get some inlay worked in to the inside-out ornaments. Trouble is the inlay would be best done on the diagonal of the segments and thus the ornament blanks. I decided the best way to go about was to use the crosscut sled. I took some 45 degree wedges and used double stick tape to hold them along the cut line. I set the blade height cut the grooves in the pieces. It is not necessary to cut through the pieces Just deep enough to show in the largest outside diameter thus leaving the segment in one piece. Size and glue in some pieces of contrasting wood. Ran the segments through the saw to trim the inlay and cut the pieces in half. Put the blanks together for the first turning. The inlay needs to be pointing out so when it is turned around the inlay will go all the way to the center. This is for the first turning. Turn the shape for the inside and remember to leave the end corners sharp and untouched. Then turn it around and turn the outside. Put a finish on it and done.
Decided to go ahead and make inside out ornaments for Christmas this year. Much more glue and clamp time than I envisioned not to mention running all the pieces through the saw to size them and make sure they are square. While running them through the saw I keep track of the grain match too. Turning them is the easy part and takes the least amount of time. I start out gluing two pairs together and when they are dry I glue the two halves together to get the square blank. Then they go on the lathe and turn the inside and put some shellac finish on with a rag while still on the lathe. Then I break them apart, turn them inside out and glue two pairs together and when they are dry glue the two halves together keeping track of the numbered pieces to keep the grain oriented. I glued 36 blanks up, here are some of them. I am now working at turning the final shape and will have to put the finish on once they are turned. Whew! I make 60 to give away each year so I still have another batch of 24 to do after these.
Here is another inside out turned vase. I used some brass components found at the thrift store and polished on the lathe. It is about eight inches overall and the wood is Poplar. Used a different window design but think a wider window would show the brass insert better. I got a small photo booth in the tools I bought at auction but is was a bit too small for this vase. Took this picture with the set up I have had for a while.
Inside out turning starts with a glue up of four sticks cut perfectly square and glued together to make a square twice the size of the cut pieces. There are limits to how deep a cut can be made and not have the turning ruined because the cut was too deep. One inch square pieces will be glued up to create a two inch blank in this case. When the blank is mounted in the lathe the first order of business is to turn the area where the window is to appear to the max diameter which in this case is two inch diameter or a one inch radius as seen on the right. On the left is what it would look line if it was turned inside out now. The center diamond would be air space and the points of the diamond are where the windows will appear when more turning is done. This shows that a one inch deep cut measured from the corners would be too far. The maximum cut has to be at least one eighth inch short of one inch and that may be pushing it. So if two inch sticks are glued up to make a four inch square the cuts have to be less than two inches deep measured from the corner. Depth of cut mystery solved. Okay, time to get the table saw tuned up to cut perfect square and install a smooth cutting blade. Start by cutting four sticks the same length and perfect square. I used one inch square by six long pieces here. Decide the best looking orientation of the end grain and put a rubber band around them. Mark the four inside corners and number the pieces. Keeping the same orientation turn the inside corners to the outside and glue them together. A quarter inch line of glue on the ends is about all that is necessary as they will need to be split apart later. Let it dry and wrap the ends with tape. Heavy plastic tape can be as an added insurance that the blank will stay together. The tape is also a reminder to not turn that area away. It needs to remain for gluing later. Mount the blank in the lathe and turn it just round in the area the window is to appear. With it turned just round there will be no windows when turned back to finish as shown here. Anything turned away from here on will open the window. This was put back in the lathe and small grooves cut into it to show result. Notice how any cut made is automatically doubled. Next is how to make an ornament with a cross for the windows. Here is the blank mounted in the lathe. Here it is turned just round where the window will be and the cross upright length, one and a half inches, is marked out. Everything turned away now will open the window double the depth of cut. The upright of the cross is going to be a quarter inch wide so a groove one eighth deep needs to be cut the length of the upright. Each side of the horizontal part of the cross is to be a quarter inch long so a groove that deep a quarter inch wide needs to be cut next. To make it round seven sixteenths measured from the corner had to be removed plus two sixteenths for the upright and now four sixteenths for the horizontal arms comes to thirteen sixteenths leaving just three sixteenths of meat left to hold it together. Good to go. Here it is broken apart to check the window. Didn't care for the top and bottom of the upright so it was put back together and the sharp corners were blended in and the finish put on it. Be careful not to get finish on the glue surfaces. When the finish is dry it is time to knock it apart and turn the inside to the outside and glue it back together. Then mount it in the lathe for the finish turning. Turn the whole thing to just round again. If turned deeper where the window is the window will get steadily wider as wood is turned away. There is plenty of meet above and below the window to shape as desired. Just watch where the inside cavity top and bottom are so they are not cut into. Once it has the desired shape, part it off and put on the finish. Dan
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