Thursday 23 October 2008
A professional guide by Nick Arnull
1.Lots of lovely jewellery! (PHOTOGRAPHS BY JANE ARNULL)
Hand-made jewellery is very popular at the moment and a personalised jewellery item is a great gift for someone special.
It has been a long time since my family have taken an interest in what I was making but as I started to develop the idea of the pendant, requests started to come in thick and fast. "I prefer that wood" or "I want a matching bangle" were some of the specific requests.
The items are quick to produce and the earrings also continue the theme of copy turning. Ideas are endless but for this article I have covered the basic principles of turning jewellery.
Jewellery fittings can be sourced from your woodturning outlet or pay a visit to your local crafts shop. The only thing I struggled to find were tiny eyelets so I could make matching earrings to the pendants.
The timber should be decorative, either in grain or colour. Remember that there are also other materials that lend themselves to these items such as Corian, gemstone, acrylic, horn or the GPS alternatives. For the earrings, I used pen blanks.
Don't forget that the amount of wood required is only small so it will not cost a fortune. So have a go and make some jewellery for the ladies in your life rather than another bowl. The jewellery projects are also ideal to try some of the decorating methods that I have shown in earlier articles.
I re-applied spray lacquer once the jewellery was finished to achieve coverage of the entire piece. This allowed for the choice of a satin or high-gloss finish. The choice is yours but remember - if it is too glossy it may no longer look like wood and instead look and feel like plastic.
Glossary Rollover a term to view its definition
- Bowl Gouge
A cutting tool with a deep flute and a heavy cross-section. These are normally made from round bars and the flute is milled out. The round bar fits into the handle thus giving the tool a great deal of strength to enable it to overhang the toolrest a long way in order to hollow out deep bowls. Its primary function is for faceplate - or bowl turning - but it can also be used in spindle work. The bevel angle is ground to suit the user but is anything between 40 degrees and 80 degrees. Traditionally, bowl gouges are ground straight across, but many turners prefer to grind the wings back. There are many terms for a swept back bowl gouge - fingernail grind, O'Donnell grind, Irish grind, Ellsworth grind, lady's finger - to name a few. There may be subtle differences in these grinds, but generically they are all bowl gouge grinds where the wings have been ground back.
- Parting Tool
As the picture shows, there are several different types of parting tool - three of which are shown here. On the left is a narrow (3mm) parting tool which is very useful when parting work where the least amount of grain mismatch is desirable, for example when parting the lid from the base in box making. The middle tool is a straight sided, standard parting tool and the one on the right is a diamond parting tool where the widest part of the tool is at the cutting edge. This can be advantageous when cutting deep grooves because it means less of the tool is rubbing on the sides of the groove. Parting tools primary task is to part wood off in spindle work but they are also used to cut tenons or spigots and grooves. They can also be used to cut beads.
- Skew Chisel
An extremely useful tool but has a reputation for being difficult to control. Certainly you can get some nasty catches with it but it is worth mastering. It is used mainly in spindle work and produces a very fine finish from the tool, requiring little, if any sanding. Planing cuts, peeling cuts and slicing cuts can be made with the skew as well as turning beads, coves and 'V' cuts.
Typically, the cutting edge is ground at 60 degrees to the axis of the tool - hence the term 'skew' and the tool has two bevels whose inclusive angle is anywhere between 25 and 45 degrees.
Skews are now made in three styles - rectangular section, oval section and rolled edge section.
- Spindle Gouge
Modern day spindle gouges are made in the same way as bowl gouges - from a round bar of M2 high speed steel with the flute milled out. The flute is shallower and more open than that of a bowl gouge. Traditionally spindles gouges were forged from a flat, rectangular sectioned bar and some manufacturers have started making a modern day version of this, commonly known as the Continental Style spindle gouge.
Like their name suggests, spindle gouges are used to cut details such as beads, coves and fillets on spindle work.
health and safety
- Protect your eyes and lungs at all times, and work at a speed that you feel comfortable and safe.
- When working with exotic timber take extra care as these are hazardous to health - some exotics are very nasty indeed. When working with small items don't take the risk, it simply isn't worth it.
90mm (3 1/2in) x 35mm (1 3/8in)
15mm (5/8in) x 150mm (6in)
10mm (3/8in) x 60mm (2 3/8in)
- Please follow a simple safety rule when turning always keep your hands on the safe side of the
tool rest, never over the top
- Use highly figured timbers and unusual alternatives
- When abrading difficult timber use wax/oil to lubricate the cut to achieve a better finish. Applying spirit-based sealers will neutralize the wax/oil and will not cause any problems when applying other finishes over the top
- When spraying, try to get a look that appears wet but do not over apply it