22 March 2023
Wolfgang Schulze-Zachau (aka Fuzzy Rainbow) made a welcome return to us with another fine demo. He explained that he is now turning full time, working on various commissions including supply of finished Persian clubs and components for
His first piece was a thin-walled goblet with natural edge, using green hazel. The stock was mounted between centres ensuring the pith was not on the centre and using a spindle roughing gouge began shaping the top, leaving some bark for the natural edge. When the outer shape was achieved the base was squared off and a chucking tenon formed.
Once mounted in a chuck the inside of the goblet was machined until light was visible through the wall. Wolfgang explained that it was the high moisture content in the timber that allowed the transmission of light through the material. He noted that the thin shape would distort heavily when drying but probably not split.
On removing the tailstock support the inside finishing cuts were started. Wolfgang advised to keep the gouge flute completely closed to establish bevel support at the start of cut and warned to always stop the lathe when positioning the tool rest inside a hollow shape.
At almost the last cut the goblet shattered, so it was start again.
Wolfgang mused on “a master has failed more often than a beginner has tried.”
This time a piece of cherry was selected although cracked and the same steps carried out. Although a decayed area caused some adjustments to the shape, the bowl part was completed then the stem and base.
The second part of the evening demonstrated how Wolfgang manufactured the three parts of the kit he supplies for high end table lamps assembled and finished by others. Because the components are batch produced extensive use is made of jigs and fixtures including spacers to align the cable holes in the stem to his steb centres.
To drill the holes, he uses a very long auger bit, which requires much care to keep it centralised. He recommends starting with a metal twist drill as it is very stiff and will drill true, giving a positive guide for the auger.
He started with a predrilled beech stem, mounted between centres, and using a spindle roughing gouge made it round to the maximum diameter. Care was required to avoid vibration of the slender turning, however as he said, “if the lathe’s not shaking and you’re not shaking you’re doing ok”.
Using a marking stick and dedicated and labelled callipers the top and bottom profiles were completed to the design dimensions, incorporating various coves and beads.
The two base components would be prepared by flattening one surface in a thicknesser then mounted using screw chucks. The evening was concluded with an informal Q&A session covering design, finish and repeatability in batch production.
A most enjoyable evening.
Report by Bill Clyne