Category Archives: Turning

A Touch of Class

Thought it was time to go a bit ‘high end’… So here’s my ebony and brass pen.

Ebony & Brass Pen

I seem to keep fiddling about with the idea of ‘segmented turning’, i.e. mixing wood types to create patterns, but the idea of mixing materials keeps nagging too. So laying brass through wood seemed like a good idea, and – heck – why not go for one of the hardest woods around. In for a pound an’ all that. I reckoned the contrast might be quite nice.

Must say I’m right pleased with the result. NEXT!

The Lime and the Coconu…

Sorry. No coconuts. And no singing.

The latest in candlesticks/tealight holders are emerging from the workshop though. A marriage of lime and meranti woods creating a nice contrast and a curvaceously tactile shape, these are a joy to make.

Two Tone Candlesticks

A couple of these have now hit the shelves at Homemade Wales and more will follow shortly.

Crumbs, A Bread Board Pen

Just for Mum…

A while ago I made a new bread board for my mum (article here) as the old one that had been on the worktop since year dot – at least, as far back as I can remember – had over the years become somewhat… knackered.

Mum's Old Bread Board
The Old One
Mum's Bread Board
The New One

But… what to do with the old board? I try to keep the place as clutter free as possible but, to be fair, I’m quite rubbish at it; lots of strange bits of wood are stacked away for ‘something one day’. Anyway, I’m rambling. I made a pen! Chopped a bit of the old board off, popped it on the lathe and squeezed in a few bits of metal with a spring and voila!

Mum's Bread Board Pen

It’s even got a dollop of rubbery stuff on the end so Mum can stab at her Kindle more efficiently.

A Lovely Pear On Camera

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What A Lovely Pear

The first play with a bit of the recently acquired pear tree has rendered some rather lovely results, if I do say so myself! The chunk on the left of the picture below was chopped a bit more and popped on the whirly machine (lathe) and the results were very pleasing indeed.

Sawn Pear Wood

Here’s the video footage of the bowl being made. It’s speeded up quite a bit, but slowed back down for the fun bits like the nail I found buried inside, and the cake…

So here it is, the first proper bowl I’ve made from green wood. #happywiththat

Pear Bowl

A few days later…

So… turning green wood is fun. It’s a lot more forgiving on the blades than hard dry stuff, and the aroma can be delightful. But it’s green, so it’s full of moisture, and that moisture will evaporate at some point. In this case, ‘the point’ was over a couple of days after turning the bowl. Not really surprise as the amount of wood left was/is little enough that any moisture hasn’t got far to go before finding freedom. So the bowl dried out quickly, the crack that was already there got bigger, and I thought it was going to split in half pretty quickly. It didn’t do that in the end, but the warping was fascinating to watch.

The finish I’d put on (just wax) has deteriorated too, especially on the inside, but that can be easily remedied. All part of the learning curve!

Warped Pear Bowl

The warping has actually given a nice ‘scoop’ to the rim, so hasn’t made it total bin feed. I can see now why some turners like to work with ‘green’ and just let it do its thing for an organic and unique end result each time. There will be more…

To see a video of this bowl being turned, there’s a separate article here, and/or you can visit my YouTube Channel.


A Few Pens Worth

So after a play with some ornament tubes that needed a pen mandrel on the lather, I thought it was maybe a fun idea to have a go at making pens. Might as well; got the kit now…

The Lovely Lady H chose her desired types and I set to work. Not such a difficult task really, but my ignorance of what’s actually required came to light within, oo bout five minutes! And now I have most of the gear, so now I can make pens. And I’m going to make more.

It didn’t take long for a special request to come in, so shortly after the first four were created, this wooden ‘bolt action’ one was made for a friend. People keep wanting ’em, so hey… I’ll keep making ’em 🙂Bolt Action Pen

Spalted Eggs

What’s that? A new style of cookery chefery? Why no, it’s just craftery.

Spalted BeechBy using the kit and caboodle normally used for making pens, I decided to make some small ‘Easter Tree’ ornaments. Some were made from pencils in the same basic style as my Christmas baubles, while some were made with different types of wood stuck together (segmented turning that’s called; sounds awfully technical) and some from a bit of beech tree that I’d had stored for a while that had grown some lovely patterns through its grain (“spalting” sounds so much better than “fungal growth”).


So here’s a quick video of one of the latter being turned.
(Please do go and view this on my YouTube Channel too, so the numbers can go up nicely 🙂 )

The final touches were made with brass loops and finial thingies, and look like this:

Mini Egg Baubles

These are available via Homemade Wales, if you’d like to buy some!

Mini Spinny Egg

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37 Pencils (in motion)

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37 Pencils

I should probably have started with turning a few shapes on a solid lump of easy-to-work wood, but no. The idea was in my head, so it had to come out, and this is what came of it. Having set up the lathe in a decent position at long last, I decided to make some Christmas baubles… out of colouring pencils!

Madness you might think. But no, insanity I tell you.

That was back in 2014. In 2015, after someadjustments to the method, I made a few more that went down to the shop (Homemade Wales) for the Christmas season. Sold out within a week!

37 Glued Pencils - Before & AfterSo in a nutshell, the first job was to glue up some logs of pencils. 37 of them to be precise.

And then it was just a case of bunging the ‘logs’ on the lathe and turning them down into something that I quite like to consider as rather marvellous.

I say “just”. It’s somewhat more involved, delicate, and sometimes hazardous than “just”.

Please do go and view this on my YouTube Channel too, so the numbers can go up nicely 🙂

So here are a few finished items…

Christmas Pencil Baubles
Baubles #1 and #2.
The First Pencil Bauble
The very fist bauble turned. No finish applied.
Christmas Bauble made from coloured pencils
The third bauble turned; varnished, ribboned and hung on the tree.
Bobbin Style Pencil Bauble
From the 2015 Collection; bobbin style, and ready for the shop.
Ball Style Pencil Baubles
From the 2015 Collection; little balloons
2015 Pencil Bauble Collection
The 2015 Collection















New thoughts now for the 2016 Collection…