Got any tips for making a simple vase?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Mad Dog

New User
Mad Dog
Hi Folks,

Looks like the wife needs some prezzies to hand out as a "thank you" gift for folks that helped out at a conference she recently attended. Fortunately, the emphasis is on hand made gifts. Since I have some small dogwood pieces I thought I'd try and make some vases. Then the wife can get some dried flowers, or what-not, with a little bow and Bob's your uncle.

The tree fell down during hurricane Fran so that would be a point of interest - if I can make a half decent job turning the blanks into vases. (Hey! I just made a pun!).

OK. The plan is:

1. Use an axe to remove the bark and rough cut to roundness
2. Drill a 3/4" hole about 2" deep in one end.
3. Make (on the lathe) a cone shaped plug to fit in the hole.
4. Mount the blank on the lathe and try and get a good shape

Can I (theoretically at least) finish off both ends of the vase on the lathe? (the tree was cut up with a chain saw)

Much appreciate any tips!

Cheers!
 

sawduster

New User
Robert
i'm no expert, but I've turned a few " weed pots " in my day and do all of it on the lathe.

weedpot4.jpg

View image in gallery



I have an arbor chuck for drilling the holes that you can borrow . We can hook up someday soon if you like and I'll be glad to show you how I do it. :icon_thum
 

Mad Dog

New User
Mad Dog
Robert,

Wow, that is very kind - I would love to come over and see how you do your pots. I'll send a PM.

Weed pots! Ha! That is a good name.

Cheers!
 

Mad Dog

New User
Mad Dog
Well, Robert and myself got together Sunday and had a good ole time. Robert was kind enough to show me his techniques on the lathe for making weed pots and bowls.

I've sent away for the Barracuda chuck (500K) and a roughing chisel after seeing how well they perform on Robert's lathe.

Ha! Driving to the grocery store today I was visualizing new vase designs and checking out the road side for dead trees to haul off.

We have a monster white oak that fell during hurricane Fran - its rotting away in the woods but I checked it with the axe and I think there are some good wood still there. Also found a small dead cherry tree (I think) and another fallen hardwood tree that I have yet to identify. Happy days!

Cheers!
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
Ha! Driving to the grocery store today I was visualizing new vase designs and checking out the road side for dead trees to haul off.


Once you start turning you will NEVER EVER look a trees the same way again.
 

Mad Dog

New User
Mad Dog
I hear you, Scott. At first it was just looking at fallen trees, now I'm eyeing a dogwood that isn't dead but looking a bit rough.

Beginner's luck - that cherry tree is too badly split for vases (but good for pens, maybe) but that that fallen hardwood I mentioned is a walnut tree! Ar, ar!

It's only aboout 7" diameter (heartwood) at the base but plenty good enough for me. The upper part of the tree I can use for vases, the lower part I'm either splitting twice for 4 vases or splitting once for a couple of bowls (with the center of the tree cut out, as Robert recommended)


Is this a good plan? I don't want to waste good walnut.

The vase material I'll turn until round then store in a bag with the wood shaving for a month. The dish material, I'll cut the corners off and store also.

The roughing gouge hasn't arrived yet - in fact PSI haven't even shipped it - are they normally that slow - I put the order in Sunday. Must be patient.

Here's a close-up of the spindle gouge I'm roughing out with - seems like I should grind it at a different angle to remove those ears, whaddya say?


I'm having too much fun - are you sure this is legal?

Cheers!
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
The very center rings are no good for turning. Most of the time they will split. IMHO it is better to cut the logs with a saw then to split them. Splitting caused fractures.
 

Mad Dog

New User
Mad Dog
...Splitting caused fractures....

Scott, that is most interesting.

The St. Roy mantra has always been to split the wood to maintain strength. Thinking about it, I suppose banging the log with a maul and froe would tend to upset the bonding within the wood and lead to splits in a fragile vase/bowl.

I've taken your advice and started to chainsaw the logs lengthwise - easier than I thought and almost as quick as splitting.

Thanks for your recommendation!

Cheers!
 

Mad Dog

New User
Mad Dog
The very center rings are no good for turning...

Has anyone tried boring out the center rings in vase turning?
ie:
1. Turn the blank to final shape
2. Turn a tenon at the bottom end
3. Replace the headstock spur with a 4 jaw chuck and the tail end center with a drill chuck
4. Put the tenon in the 4 way chuck and drill a hole as far as you can
5. Grip the hole with the pin jaws and remove the tenon with a bowl gouge
6. Drill through bottom until there is a bore hole along the length of the vase
7. Fit a plug in the bottom and square it with a bowl gouge

Seems like a lot of work but not if you only have small diameter trees to work with.
I'm probably missing the point - just pondering.

Cheers!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Our Sponsors

LATEST FOR SALE LISTINGS

Top