Contemporary Bud Vase archive

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Mark Sanger creates a thin-necked vase with a contemporary feel by applying lime green spray paint


For this project, I wanted to turn a contemporary vase from an end-grain beech (Fagus sylvatica) blank that could be used as a visual item on its own, or to display dried or artificial flowers. I wanted to incorporate one of the latest accent colours used in interiors - bright lime - to add a splash of colour while leaving a large amount of the natural wood showing. By using our preferred colour, the vase can be connected with your interior colour scheme.

For the colouring of this item I used acrylic car spray, however, you can just as easily use a paint sample pot from a local DIY store. These come in hundreds of shades and you can often get the exact match of a particular colour within your home.

Tools used

6mm (1/4in) Kelton Hollower

6mm (1/4in) point tool

6mm (1/4in) parting tool

3mm (1/8in) parting tool

12mm (1/2in) skew chisel

12mm (1/2in) spindle gouge

32mm (1 1/4in) spindle roughing gouge

Step 1

Take a 100 x 100 x 355mm (4 x 4 x 14in) length spindle blank and rough down to the round between centres using a 32mm (1 1/4in) spindle roughing gouge

Step 2

Use a 6mm (1/4in) parting tool to clean up the front face of the blank and produce a spigot on the base to suit your chuck jaws. Then, with a pencil and rule mark the main measurements of the form onto the blank. Mark the base, main shoulder/join, where you would like the neck to blend into the shoulder, and the top of the vase

Step 3

Reverse the blank into the chuck, and use callipers set to 50mm (2in) to part in to depth to denote the top of the vase, leaving a small amount of waste wood to clean up later. Then, set the callipers to approximately one-third of the diameter - 33mm (1 1/4in) - and part in at the join line - which in this instance is approximately one-third up from the base of the form, to a width of around 10mm (3/8in)

Step 4

Use the parting tool to produce another spigot at the top of the vase to enable the neck to be reversed for drilling out with a standard length drill bit. Use a 32mm (1 1/4in) gouge to remove some of the waste material and start to blend the neck of the form to the line marked just up from the join at the top of the vase

Step 5

Use a 3mm (1/8in) parting tool to part into the join leaving a registration mark on the left face of the form. Part down leaving approximately 10mm (3/8in) remaining, and then stop the lathe

Step 6

Remove the remaining waste wood and the vase neck using a fine-toothed saw blade

Step 7

Use a Forstner bit in a Jacobs chuck to drill out the centre of the form to the required depth for the project

Step 8

Use a 12mm (1/2in) skew chisel, held horizontally in a trailing mode, to open out the hole of the form until the spigot of the neck is a good fit

Step 9

Using a suitable hollowing tool, hollow out the main form to lighten the vase

Step 10

Insert the spigot turned previously on the top of the vase neck into the chuck and drill out the central hole using a standard 10mm (3/8in) diameter drill bit. Drill down to the full depth of the bit. Remove the drill regularly to extract the shavings and to stop the tool from binding

Step 11

Now glue the drilled end of the neck back into the main form using quick-set PVA glue. Bring the running centre up to add light pressure while it starts to cure. Alternatively, you can use low viscosity Cyanoacrylate adhesive

Step 12

Mark the top of the vase with a pencil and rule and part the waste wood off using a 6mm (1/4in) parting tool. Stop short of the 10mm (3/8in) drilled hole and remove the remainder using a fine-tooth saw blade, as previous

Step 13

Use the 10mm (3/8in) drill bit to drill into the neck of the vase. Ensure to go down to the first hole you previously drilled

Step 14

Use a 12mm (1/2in) skew chisel to clean up the front face, taking fine cuts due to the overhang of the vase from the chuck

Step 15

Use a 32mm (1 1/4in) spindle roughing gouge to rough down the main shape for the vase from the shoulder

Step 16

Once the main form has been produced, use a 12mm (1/2in) spindle gouge to refine the profile from the main shoulder of the form up to the neck of the form. Use the 12mm (1/2n) spindle gouge to refine the profile for the base and blend the two together. Sand the form down from 120-320 grit abrasive by hand, keeping the abrasive moving over the form to stop radial lines being induced into the surface of the vase. Next, use direct, ambient protection, and a facemask to shield you from the dust created

Step 17

Use a 6mm (1/4in) point tool to produce beads equidistant down the base of the form from the join line. Turn two beads above the join to disguise it within the base of the beads. Remove some of the waste wood from the base near the chuck so that the beads can be continued safely towards the base

Step 18

Produce three beads at the top of the neck, again using the point tool with the running centre in place to add support

Step 19

Cover the lathe and apply several coats of acrylic sanding sealer. Allow to dry between each coat and, once dry, cut back with wire wool with the lathe running at around 300rpm

Step 20

Mask up the form leaving the beading exposed, cover/protect the lathe and spray the exposed areas with your chosen spray. Allow to dry and repeat the coats until you have good coverage

Step 21

Allow to dry and then remove the masking tape. Define the joining line of the beech and coloured area by either using fine abrasive or the point tool

Step 22

Apply several coats of acrylic satin lacquer and cut back between coats with wire wool. Lathe speed should be around 250rpm, if required. Reverse the form onto a friction drive and protect the neck with kitchen towel. Part in with a 3mm (1/8in) parting tool taking fine cuts, removing the waste wood until you can gain access to the base. Cut the waste wood from the base using a fine-toothed saw blade. Finish the base by hand using 320 grit abrasive. Apply sanding sealer, and once dry, apply the colour using some of the paint and a fine brush to the exposed area. Then, when dry, apply several coats of acrylic satin sealer

Woodworkers Institute

Tagged In:

spindle work , Mark Sanger , contemporary , bud vase

Glossary Rollover a term to view its definition

Skew Chisel , Spindle Gouge , Spindle Roughing Gouge , Lathe , Forstner Bit , Jacobs Chuck , Spigot

Handy Hints

1. The design can be altered to accept a glass vase insert for cut flowers, if you so choose.
2. Changing the form of the base and flaring out the neck is another design option you could consider.
3. Instead of using a point tool to produce the beads a 3mm (1/8in) beading tool can be used.
4. To add more interest to the coloured area, a contrasting colour can be painted on and then wiped off the high points using a sponge or kitchen towel
5. If you do not have a hollowing tool you can also hollow the inside using a spindle gouge, if you prefer.
6. Altering the texturing from beads to an alternative such as vertical carving will add a totally different feel and dimension to the vase.
7. For a strong visual display, try making a set of three vases in varying sizes.
8. As an alternative to using spray paint try applying contrasting woods. The sky's the limit, so put some of your ideas into practice

Diagrams Click an image to enlarge