Sunday, January 29, 2017

Turn, Turn, Turn....

We had a nice, intimate gathering in January - marking the start of our eighth year as Sin City Woodworkers. 

Yes, that's right - eight years of sharing great woodworking tips and techniques, as well as having some fun field trips to our woodshops around the city. 

Along with some general announcements, Eric took the floor with an offer to try out his Bad Axe Tools handsaw.  

He explained that they will take a 3D scan of your hand upload it in to a CAD program, to make a custom sized handle, if desired.

 His one bit of advice - when facing the choice or several different sizes - choose the smaller one! The balance and cutting action of this saw was amazing - it cuts remarkable straight and true.

Jamie mentioned that one of our member's daughter owns a lumber company in northern California, and has some of their live edge slabs on sale at the shop. Most are Claro Walnut, but several English Walnut are also available. These are terrific boards, and most sold in the first week or two. These boards are a great value and if anyone is interested, you can call the school and get more information. 

The woodcarvers were well represented, and Len brought some of his terrific chip carved boxes to share - like this sweet little shark carving, 

and this intricate box with what he calls "Gothic" inspired designs. 

It was beyond amazing, and the quality of these cuts were top notch.

 Len will be giving a demo at the Woodcarver's meeting next month - check out their Facebook page for more info about their group.  The Carvers’ Meeting is the fourth Saturday of the month from 8:30 to 11:30 Woodworkers Emporium, BTW.

The box featured some interesting embellishments and a clock movement,  

Leon brought in a lovely bowl he'd turned, with reclaimed wood from the side of the road. It's adorned with iridescent acrylic inks. He calls this his "cosmic" bowl, and the photo below barely shows its incredible depth of color.

Finally - on to the main event - Richard's demo on turning a keyring.  

He brought a nice array of examples, 

and explained that when Zac Higgins gave a demo on casting Alumilite a few years ago, Richard got the bug to start casting it, as well. 

Using these three Easy Wood lathe tools 

and an Easy Chuck, Richard guided us through the process, 

mounting and drilling out the blank,

and then gluing in the liner. 

He sanded them flush, 

and then mounted both on a mandrel, to begin turning them. 

It's delicate work, and it seems like Richard find his moment of Zen in it. 

Once he was satisfied with the shape, 

he sanded it up to 12,000 grit polishing paper - and viola! 

It was time to press on the ends...

 and stand back to admire these beauties. Thanks to Richard for a fun evening, his humor and easygoing nature made this a very enjoyable meeting!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year - from our woodworking group to your home!

Our annual holiday bash lived up to expectations this year,

 with a nice crowd of wood lovers and a much better turnout for our woodworking contest on Boxmaking. This is the time of year that spouses and significant others show up to see what we've been up to the last eleven months. 

The boxes were distributed around the room, and everyone had a chance to inspect them before voting on their favorites.  

More on that later, but a HUGE thank you to Andrew and Nic Moore of Reclaimed Secrets, who donated this amazing live edge slab of Beetle Kill Pine for us to auction off. 

 These two saleswomen handled the raffle, and ticket sales were fierce!  All funds ($200!) raised went into our Sin City Woodworker account - not bad for a last minute raffle. 

Before the award ceremony, there were lots of lively conversations and catching up, 

and finally - on to the voting...

It's getting to be an annual tradition - Lupe Nielsen won (again!) first prize for her amazing stack of Shaker boxes. Not one, but EIGHT steam bent boxes, all constructed without a drop of glue. The craftsmanship was (as always!) impeccable, and her efforts certainly deserved to win our top award. 

The entire stack measured 17.5" high. The bottom box was 10" wide x 7" on the narrow side x 4" high. The tiny box on top was 2-1/4" x 1-7/8" x 3/4" high. 

Impressive, to say the least. 

Second prize went to Denny LaRocca for his walnut CNC carved box, with an inset medallion in Zebrawood. The outer box was made fashioned with handmade moulding, again - cut on the CNC, and one thing's for sure - Denny has really upped his game on the Legacy that he bought at the last AWFS show. 

Third prize - almost no surprise here - was won (again!) by Lupe. Since we had such a disappointing turn out last year, we didn't limit our members to just one entry. Lupe's blanket chest, made in African mahogany, with ebony plugs, featured a hidden drawer underneath and a top with bread board ends.  

When she enters a contest, Lupe really gives it her all! 

Congrats to these two woodworkers. 

Here are some of our other entries... 

Since the category of "boxes" is so broad, we a really diverse batch of pieces entered in the contest. These bandsaw log boxes were terrific, 

as was this finger jointed box. I wish we had gotten a the inside tray and dividers. It was graceful and beautiful.

There were quite a few boxes turned on the lathe, like this simple, but gorgeous, box with an inlay on top. 

Once opened, it revealed a delicate lift out tray. 

Here's another example a gorgeous turn box with inlay.

 (Nice work, Mike!) 

 Other entries included this turned lidded box,

this terrific stacked lamination box, 

and much more....

Randy's stacked lamination box captivated the crowd -

 it was colorful and fun!

 And these three turned boxes featured Ann Casey's turning talents.

The wood turners really did "represent" at this contest, and their skills have grown by leaps and bounds!

 Finally, Ken Martin shared his box - a tribute to a friend that has passed away. This box featured some intricate pyrography, 

and a bottle of Jack Daniels, to boot! 

There is a small urn inside that will eventually hold ashes. This box was emblematic of the holiday season – keeping the ones we love in our hearts.

 We hope your holidays were great, and wish only the best for each and everyone of you in 2017.