Article: Michael Hosaluk Demonstrates For CMW June 16, 2018

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June 23, 2018 09:19, submitted by Mike Seltzer (author: Alan Wasserman, edited by Mike Seltzer, photos by Scot Roberge)


It was our pleasure for the CMW membership to experience the talents and mastery of a Mike Hosaluk demonstration. Mike has evolved over the years from furniture maker to wood turner to artist. Mike's repeated wood turning “commandment” is the importance of how your work product looks when done and not how you got there. This thought, together with understanding what will happen to the wood when it changes shape (obviously when turning green wood) will guide one to individual goals and satisfaction.

First safety tips, to name just a few: protect your eyes speed down when turning on your lathe don't use your hands as mallets keep hands behind tool rest, especially when turning off center objects

Form/design concepts and tips: the catenary form (use light chain hanging between both hands and follow the natural curve) microwave bending (cloth rap soak object and then microwave for 2 min. proceed to bend) object subtraction techniques embellish with carving, coloring, burning, adding and subtraction of items cutting natural cracks out of bowl, creating a design in the cuts (Mike professes a crack in his pieces generates more revenue)

Turning Tips: keep tools sharp main go-to tool is his 5/8 and 1/2 (Thompson) spindle detail gouge use a contrasting colored object behind your turning to better visualize form being created always remember to rub the bevel during the cut (cutting rather then scrape) control depth of cut by lifting handle cut downhill if vibration occurs on small and thin turnings, support turning piece with your fingers (wearing protective gloves helps) grind spindle roughing gouge with a longer bevel and it can be used similar to a skew but with more control better to have one good piece then 5 mediocre ones do not hesitate to finalize form with sandpaper when turning the last 1/3 of a bowl, use a shallower bevel angle to reach cut to bottom best tool to use when end grain turning is the hook and termite tool. Also available are the Monroe designed hollowing tools. hook and termite tools must be used on the vertical, not flat horizontal position


Baseball: Object of this project is, first, to obtain tool control and experience and control creation of form. Of course, the finished project is real cool Mount a rectangular dry block, center to center and true up Shape piece by taking off the corners, working one side to the other, leaving the trued up center alone until the ball form is created Maintain a contrasting sheet below turning so you can better observe your form Set diameter of center and your goal is to duplicate same end to end. Finalize shape with sandpaper Cut off nibs with saw Draw line for stitches by first drawing two crossing circumference lines. Then draw a mark on each ends of the intersecting circumference lines, spaced at the anticipated distance of the stitch line. Draw arcs from each half of the ball to meet the “cross” marks and join all lines that way. Use a skew burning tip and burn along stitch line. Then burn in stitches at approximately 45 degree angles on each side of the line.

Utensils/spatula: Cut (with your band saw) a rough form from a dry block to match your idea of anticipated finished product Create a “jam” jig type chuck that has a slit that the spatula end will fit into and fastened to your live center. tighten piece to the drive center Use roughing spindle gouge (with elongated bevel grind), cutting downhill with a skew type orientation to cut your design preference.

Add design to the handle. Mike likes bead designs but use your imagination and create Sand handle and then part off with sawing nibs. Sand and shape spatula on belt sander or sanding disc fixed to lathe

Utensils/ladle (ball and stick): Pre-cut from a dry block the rough shape of your anticipated ladle Mount center to center and true up to desired form using your roughing spindle gouge I use the roughing gouge. Mostly and refine with detail gouge Make sure the length of the piece is small enough to rotate in a cup chuck which the ball portion is fastened to (example: if you have a 20” swing, because the ball section will be centered in the middle of the chuck, you can probably get away with a 11” length from end of ball portion to tip of handle Once happy with general form, create a cup chuck that will hold the “ball” portion of your present designed piece. This chuck should be made from green wood and the cup need only hold approximately 1/3 of the “ball” portion. You can also use hot glue to secure fasten to cup chuck You need a bit more than 1/3, almost 1/2 Once fastened to cup chuck, assure all body parts do not go past the tool rest.

Utilize basic bowl turning to hollow out ball to form the ladle. When doing so, always cut in direction of chuck and use light cuts. Using your spindle or bowl gouge, start cut with flute parallel to wall of ladle. Once your cut begins, you can commence rotating the flute towards 2

I only use a bowl gouge for the inside and both grinds are important, two different angles Thin bowl: Mount a green piece of wood, center to center. Shape outside to desired form Hollow using either a 5/8 spindle or bowl gouge to approximately 1” thickness Use a bright light on outside, shinning to outside wall opposite of your stance.

Hollow in stages approximately 1 1/2” to 1/64 (+-) thinness. You will follow the color the shining light into the wall side creates (yellow/red) so that the color is uniform. You have to keep the piece wet when turning so it does not warp Continue until reaching bottom. You can also use a scraper at a 45 degree angle for the light finishing interior cut, using your hand on the outside to steady the cut Wet sand to completion Part bottom assuring your depth is safe

Leg design: On any of your pieces (bowls, vases, etc) you can create a 3 leg design by maintaining a thicker ring at the bottom of your piece. Concave the outside of the ring.

Take piece off lathe and mark the general shape of your 3 legs. Saw off “space” area and then finish with chisel, rasp and sanding paper so that the middle of the bottom follows the outside form of the piece

Drinking mug: Mount a green block (end grain orientation), center to center. True up and create a tenon Reverse in 4 jaw chuck and true up one more time Drill a 5/8” + hole to desired bottom of bowl (plus a fraction thickness) This hole will not only guide you to the inside bottom but also provide space for the hook tool to enter Begin cut with hook tool cutting edge parallel to wall (vertical orientation) Begin cut with hook at 6 and as you are cutting from center to wall, slowly move cutter to 7. When you are close to the edge, bring back cutter to 6. Continue until you reach your desired thinness (less then 1/4”) Keep thinness uniform so as to minimize cracking when curing For inside bottom use the termite cutter, smaller side parallel to wall. Push into bottom and slowly cut towards wall and up.

If you have my video most of this is covered.

The above summary authored by club member Alan Wasserman.

Michael Hosaluk can be contacted by email at