Report on our meeting 11-11-2021 Demonstration by George Burgess.

Our meeting on Thursday 11th November 2021 was a demonstration by George Burgess, George was to make as he called it a “Banana Bowl” now if your are wondering what exactly he meant by “Banana Bowl” well it’s a bowl made from a log split in half forming a “D” shape then turned, what makes it into a “Banana Bowl” is the fact that the half log is 3 times longer than it is wide. The wood George chose for the bowl was a piece of Laburnum, it’s a good wood to work, pale olive green heartwood with pale cream colour to the sap wood, as it dries the cut ends turn a dark chocolate brown, but the pale green colour will be present even after it’s dried and worked, it does however eventually turn dark brown from the effects of UV light, a process that effects all woods, some more dramatically than others.

Here are a few pictures of George and his bowl as he progressed with the turning.

1, This is George doing his introduction with the piece of Laburnum already mounted on the lathe, George used a small face plate and screws to hold the work. You can see from the picture the blank is much longer than the width, possibly x3. The 2nd picture shows the lathe turning, the centre part can be seen as a normal bowl would be seen, the ghost of the much longer ends can be seen as almost transparent. George started by using a square ground roughing tool.
3, The first cuts being made, these were to the underside of the bowl. 4, George drew a profile of where he was heading with the bowl, seen on the board above, he also stopped the lathe to let those watching see his progress.
5, George can be seen working the centre part of the bowl, again using the roughing gouge. 6, A change of tool now, George is now using a heavy duty scraper to create a short spigot and a flat area next to the spigot to be used with the dovetail jaws when turned around.
7, Having created the spigot, George is now trial fitting the chuck prior to turning the bowl around. 8, Here George is refining the profile and cuts on the underside.
9, George is explaining how the spigot works, he explains that it needs to be dovetailed and there needs to be a short flat area next to the spigot to increase the stability when mounted in the chuck. The lathe was still spinning and the profile can be made out using the ghost. 10, George places the tool rest as close as possible for the final cuts.
11, George used a scraping technic for his final cut on the outside, he used a scraper that had been ground on both sides much like a skew, this is a personal preference for George and something that should be approached with caution if you adopt the same procedure. 12, Now George is sanding the underside, here he is using a powered sander with soft velcro pads , care needs to be taken when using this method, the pads need to be working on the trailing edge and not the leading edge.
13, George has turned the bowl around and is now securing it to the chuck using the dovetail jaws on the spigot. 14, Now George started to remove some material from the centre of the bowl again using a square ground gouge, this would also serve to reduce the bulk of the centre and in turn the weight.
15, Now George has started to work the outer part of the bowl working from the edge towards the centre. 16, Still working on the inside profile George concentrates on getting the profile right, still some work needed in the centre.
17, Here George is back using his heavy duty scraper to get his final cuts on the wings. 18, The centre part was completed much like a conventional bowl and George now checked his work for constant thickness, this is done by looking at the width of the bark, it should be of even thickness all round, and in this case it was, he also had the bowl cut to about 8mm in thickness.
19, George getting ready to power sand the inside, George commented that a good fast speed for this is not your enemy. 20, The power sanding in progress.
21, The bowl as it came off the lathe, George would do the final finishing at home. 22, the bowl now that the final finish has been applied, George used Satin Osmo Oil as his preferred finish.

That ended the demonstration, It was very much appreciated by everyone present, George received a large ovation of appreciation for his demonstration.

Our next meeting is on the 25th November and it’s going to be a demonstration from David Hutcheson on the making of Christmas decorations.

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