Weekend Projected - Turned and carved wall hanging archive

Friday 17 July 2015

Decorate your home with this stylish turned and carved artistic wall hanging from Nikos Siragas

Gallery

There has been a movement in artistic turning over the last two or three years towards ambitious turned and carved wall hangings. Some of these are simply stunning. I have been particularly impressed by the work of Nick Agar and this project uses some of the same techniques that he adopts. In this project I will show you how I made a small, fairly simple version from a through-cut board with natural edges which includes turning in the centre, textured detail and easy to do hand carving. Of course you can adapt the style of the piece to suit your own tastes, but the principles will remain similar.

Tools used:

Flat skew chisel

6mm square scraper

12mm bowl gouge

Proxxon long-necked angle grinder fitted with Arbortech mini carving disc

Gas torch

Wire brush

STEP 1

Start with a plank of wood which measures about 30-40mm thick. The piece I used was mulberry wood (Morus alba) and was about 210mm wide x 365mm high. Take a piece of plywood - which is a bit bigger than the wood you will be turning - and screw this securely to a 230mm diameter faceplate. Then, to secure the wood you will be turning to the plywood, screw it to the plywood with two screws in opposite corners of the wood. Make sure the screws are long enough to go about 15mm or 20mm into the wood plank - not enough to come through the other side - and are close to the edge of the wood, so there is no chance you will be using tools in that area

STEP 2

Glue the other two corners to the plywood with silicon glue. Fix the faceplate into place on the headstock. Now you are ready to start turning the piece

STEP 3

The first thing to do is to level the surface. Start the lathe at a low speed, about 250rpm. Place a 12mm bowl gouge on the toolrest to protrude just enough to touch and cut the piece of wood in the centre, then draw it in slightly, towards you and then along the toolrest to where the edge of the wood will be, allowing the tool to touch the piece as it turns. Skim the surface to smooth it out and gradually move the tool towards the centre. Do this a few times until the surface is level

STEP 4

Next, you need to smooth the surface with a square-ended scraper

STEP 5

Draw two circles in the centre of the piece; one close to the centre at about 100mm diameter; the other right up to the edge of the wood at about 220mm. Increase the lathe speed to about 360rpm for texturing and tool work. Fill in these two circles with texturing. There is a variety of texturing tools available but I find an interesting effect can be achieved with the Arbortech black mini carving disc attached to the Proxxon long-necked angle grinder. This should be used with care, holding with both hands after turning the lathe on at low speed. Switch on the Proxxon and gently but firmly touch the area you want to texture with the carving disc. Hold it steady so the texturing stays within the line you have drawn

STEP 6

Now you can define the outer and inner edges of the texturing with a 'V' cut in the centre and a wider cut on the outer edge, using a flat skew chisel

STEP 7

Next, fill in the outer circle with texturing. As it is a wider band you will need to use the carving disc in two different positions to fill the area

STEP 8

Clean up the surface with a rotary brush attached to a drill. Use a 6mm square scraper to mark out two or three grooves at the outer line of the circle

STEP 9

Sand the surface using sanding pads attached to a drill. Start with 150 grit, then 220, 320, 400 and finally 600 grit

STEP 10

Sand any grooved areas by hand, doubling over the sandpaper

STEP 11

If there are any cracks or uneven areas on the surface of the wood, use a small gas lighter to emphasise them. Scorch the surface lightly and then brush off any excess dust and charcoal from the piece

STEP 12

Use a pair of compasses to draw three curved lines at one end of the wood

STEP 13

Remove the work from the lathe, place the faceplate in a vice and then carve out the marked lines with a 'V' shaped carving chisel. Carve into a fluted shape and then sand the carved area well, up to 600 grit

STEP 14

Return the work to the lathe. To emphasise the grain of the wood lightly scorch the surface, along the lines of the grain

STEP 15

Apply varnish with a brush, wipe off with paper and repeat

STEP 16

Remove the work from the lathe and take out the screws attaching it to the plywood. Then prize the wood off the plywood, where the glue holds it

STEP 17

Using a larger gas burner, scorch all around the sides of the work until it is quite black. With a wire brush remove any excess charcoal then finally apply varnish

STEP 18

The finished piece is now ready to be hung on the wall


Woodworkers Institute

Tagged In:

Nikos Siragas , Weekend Projected


Handy Hints

1. When selecting the piece of timber I suggest you get the piece cut so that the working surface is level. This is particularly important if you are turning a wall hanging for the first time. It is harder to turn on an uneven surface as your tools will cut unevenly into the wood and this can be a bit difficult to control
2. Scorching is a good way of turning faults in the wood into a feature and is particularly useful on pieces of wood such as the one in this project where there is a large surface area and the wood will probably not have been cut that cleanly. Any slightly uneven areas or cracks and blemishes can be highlighted by lightly scorching the area. For this type of work you are not aiming for a perfect surface finish; a more interesting effect is achieved by having some variety on the surface - a more natural look
3. When sanding pieces of wood which are not circular you can sand the central area - the textured area in this project - with the lathe running and the work rotating, as you will have consistent pressure. Outside this area the piece must be sanded with the lathe off
4. It is harder to turn on an uneven surface as your tools will cut unevenly