Article: Dick Sing Demonstration For CMW March 16, 2013

March 23, 2013 16:46, submitted by Tina Collison (author: Bob Gunther, photos by Tina Collison)

CMW Demonstration March 16, 2013 with Dick Sing


Dick resides in Illinois. He has been a professional woodturner since 1989. He started at the age of 19 as an apprentice tool and die maker and then worked for many years in quality control. He has demonstrated in numerous countries and for the AAW. He teaches at John C. Campbell Folk School and at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. He has authored nine books on woodturning as well as numerous articles and videos. He primarily turns small objects of which ornaments are a prime example. He is an honorary member of CMW.

Morning Session:

Dick began the morning session making an ornament consisting of a finial, globe and lower icicle. A block of box elder burl (2¼”x 2¼”x 3”) was placed in the #2 jaws. Usually Dick uses a glue block to conserve wood. Medium CA glue is used to glue the piece to the block and accelerator is placed on the entire surface of the glue block. Ornament blocks are turned end grain.

The piece was rounded off with a gouge back to near the chuck jaws. Dick then rounded off the tailstock end of the wood cylinder. The headstock end was shaped as much as possible while keeping enough wood to maintain support. A drill chuck was placed in the tailstock and a 3/8” drill was used to drill a hole through the piece. To make the hole as true as possible bring the bit to the wood with the tailstock not locked down. Once the drill centers on the moving wood, the tailstock is locked in place. Dick then began hollowing with a ¼” round nose scraper with the heel partially ground away. This permits shaping the interior tight curves. When hollowing, he first goes only partially into the interior, which leaves enough wood to support the piece in the chuck. He hollows with the tool on the center line. To turn the areas just inside the 3/8” opening Dick uses a ground allen wrench. When he grinds the wrench he first shortens the arm, flattens the top and bottom surfaces, and then grinds the cutting edge to the desired shape at a scraper angle. The exact angle of the grind is not really important. If it works for you use it and be sure you can duplicate it.

Dick evacuates the shavings by leaving the piece in the jaws and removing the chuck from the headstock and dumping the shavings out. Wall thickness is measured using a bent section of a coat hanger. He sets the distance between the ends at 5/16.” One end is placed inside the globe and then looks at the other end on the outside. Whatever the distance of the outside tip from the wood subtracted from 5/16” is the true thickness of the wall.

The remaining bulk was removed from the inside, but not enough to affect the shaping of the exterior. Once the interior was shaped, the exterior portion nearer the chuck was formed. Any voids in the wood surface were filled with dust from the wood and thin CA glue followed by accelerator. The interior was further turned to the desired final thickness. When using the wire wall thickness gauge the opposing ends need to be perpendicular to the wood to get true wall thickness.

A parting tool and calipers were used to partially part the piece near the headstock to ¾”. Then the exterior was further shaped down to the ¾” parted diameter. This ¾” diameter is where the ornament cap will oppose the globe’s surface. This completed the outside shape. The interior was further hollowed at the deeper levels down to the desired depth and wall thickness. Dick then sanded the piece – first with the lathe running and then randomly with the lathe off. Deft polyurethane was then applied and wiped off. It was then buffed with the lathe running.

Once hollowing was completed, the bottom hole was drilled out to 5/8” with a Forstner bit. This produces a true hole with no distortions around the circumference due to hollowing tool bumps. Then the parting tool was used to part the piece off. Now the globe had a 5/8” hole on one end (base of globe) and a 3/8” hole on the headstock end or top of the globe.

The jaws were then changed to #1 type jaws to hold a 1”x1”x8” piece of wood that is a contrasting color to that of the globe. In this case it was cherry. This would be the wood for the finial to fit into the base of the globe. The jaws used by Dick were Vicmark extended jaws. The tailstock was brought up and the piece roughed into a cylindrical cone shape with a spindle roughing gouge. A spindle gouge was used to shape the piece beginning at the tailstock end. Details were formed. Dick formed a captive ring about in the middle of the finial. Before completely turning the ring he put thin CA glue on the ring wood, thus stabilizing it. Then the ring was formed using small captive ring tool that he ground from a dental pick using a metal cutting 1/16” disc. The ring was sanded prior to being set free. Once the ring was formed and set free the remainder of the finial was cleaned up using a skew. The proximal end of the finial was then formed. The entire length of the finial was about 4½”. The shape was made so that the captive ring slid up and down between two areas that had a diameter greater than the internal diameter of the ring. A deep cove was made just distal to the headstock end of the finial. A 5/8” tenon was turned to fit the 5/8” hole in the base of the globe. A micrometer was used to measure the tenon diameter. The finial was sanded and then parted off. Before parting the distal end of the finial was completed and sanded. Deft was applied.

The top cap or finial, was then turned using the remaining portion of the wood. Thus the top and bottom matched. The tenon on the cap was made 3/8” diameter to fit into the previously drilled hole. An eyelet was placed into the top of the cap prior to shaping it. It was finished by sanding and using the Deft. This completed the globe ornament. It was assembled using Tite Bond Glue.

Afternoon Session:

Dick began the session by turning a wood pocket watch case. A disc was placed in the #2 jaws and a tenon turned with a dovetail shape to use with the Vicmark chuck. The disc (oak) was then reversed and the tenon placed in the jaws. A recess was then formed in the face of the disc with a square nosed scraper. This recess would accept an ebony disc inlay. The inlay was glued in place with medium CA glue and then thin CA glue was placed around the edges. Then a recess was turned in the ebony inlay to accept a smaller oak inlay. This smaller oak inlay would accept the watch movement. The depth was made about ¼” to accept the watch. Dick then formed the shape of the outside of the watch case. It was sanded and Deft applied. It was removed from the #2 jaws, reversed, and placed in the extended jaws.

The back of the watch case was turned. A recess was made to accept an ebony inlay. A multi-inlay inlay (photo) was recessed into the ebony inlay. Both were glued and accelerator was used. Then the rear of the watch case was turned to its final shape. Final cuts were made with a scraper. It was then sanded and Deft finished.

Before completing the watch case a harp needed to be inserted into the rim of the case so that a watch chain could be attached. A jig was used with a V-groove to fix the case in a vertical position permitting a small hole to be drilled in the center of the edge. The harp (similar to an eyelet) was then screwed into the hole. This completed the inlayed watch case.

Next Dick showed how to make a finish jar. A small jar with a metal screw lid was used. A disc of maple was placed in the jaw and a recess formed to accept the jar lid. The entire lid was in the recess. Then a ¼” hole was drilled through the metal lid and wood lid holder as one. The #2 jaws were removed and the extended jaws put in place to hold the handle of the brush. A ¼” hole was drilled. Then a tenon was turned to go into the lid (¾”).

The lid piece previously turned was placed on the #2 jaws in the expansion mode. Inlays were done as on the watch case. They were ebony, holly and Masur Birch. The handle was placed into the lid and the tailstock brought up to hold and center the end of the handle. The tailstock was then backed off. The handle was CA clued in place and the tailstock quickly brought up to keep the handle centered. The handle was turned to the desired shape. The edge of the wood lid was given a radical edge. The end of the handle was shaped and parted off. A paint brush was cut to length, and ¼” tenon turned on the cut off area. This was fitted and glued in the hole on the underside of the lid. Epoxy was used to glue the lids together, and silicone applied around the inside joint to protect the epoxy from lacquer fumes. A 3\16" ball bearing can be placed in the jar to help stir the lacquer. This completed the finishing jar and a great, informative demo. A DVD will be available in the club library in the near future.

Submitted by Bob Gunther