Hourglass archive

Monday 8 September 2008

Nick Arnull copy turns an hourglass

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Following on from last month's article on simple copy turning, I am now going to show you how to make an hourglass. I have chosen a classic design that is stable and would equally look good as an ornament.

We have a daughter who plays many instruments. Like most parents in this position, nagging about levels of practise often leads to tension so I decided to make her an hourglass, a 30 minute timer she can use for her practise. She is currently studying towards her diploma in classical clarinet and after music college, she hopes to teach and intends to use this piece to time her lessons.

This project is all about repetition and creating multiple components that appear to be the same as each other. The answer is to get the key dimensions identical so that when assembled, they appear to be exactly the same. If you look closely at hand- turned stair spindles, they will be similar but not identical.

I chose European walnut for this project as it is dry, stable and easy to turn and as time passes, you will notice that it ages superbly.


David Preece

Tagged In:

Nick Arnull , Copy turning , Hourglass

Glossary Rollover a term to view its definition

Bowl Gouge , Parting Tool , Skew Chisel , Spindle Gouge , Spindle Roughing Gouge , Tailstock

"I have chosen a classic design that is stable and would equally look good as an ornament"

Top Tips

- Protect your eyes and lungs at all times and work at a speed you feel comfortable and safe
- When turning accurate spigots, use a spanner to get them spot on. When drilling through wood, clamp it to the table using a base board to achieve clean holes with no break-out on the underside
- When assembling the project, apply small amounts of glue applied with a small brush to reduce any seepage
- Various glass timer designs are available. Sizes vary so adjust dimensions to suit your glass size. Glass timers are available from Turners Retreat

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