Not a drinker, but I still appreciate the form of champagne glasses. I had a chunk of completely unsplit European olive from my pile of blanks, about the right length and diameter when turned to cylindrical to let me try my hand at something beyond plates and bowls, even though I’ve far from mastered them yet.
I put the block between centers, turned it cylindrical, then swapped the head center for my Oneway Talon chuck, and used the tail center to support it a bit as I carved the outside of the flute, down to the stem, but not narrowing it down anywhere near the final thin diameter. Once I had an okay shape outside, I removed the tailstock and carefully turned the inside with a mix of Sorby tools: 1/4-inch bowl gouge, 1/2-inch Spindlemaster, and as it got deeper, the internal shear scraper. Then I went back and did the stem and base, still unsupported.
I got the wall pretty uniform in thickness, and it’s pretty smooth. The outside is perfectly smooth, but the inside has very faintly-felt ridges. Still have to learn better how to feel those away with the tools.
At this point I was excited to try BLO on this thing and wiped on several coats. I decided I wasn’t too thrilled with it. It really mutes the contrasts instead of making them stand out. Also, I picked up wipe-on poly, but it’s water based, and later I realized I should really use an oil-based topcoat over BLO. I guess I’ll have to go out and get some of that, too.
You can see some light coming through the thin wall of the cup inside.
I’m leaving the chunky base on it so I can chuck it back up later to do more sanding and finishing work, then I’ll part it off to leave a thin base.
It’s been 3 days since I turned and coated it, so I’ve got at least another 3 or 4 before it’s pretty dry and ready for the next steps.
The base and cup have both warped into a rounded isosceles triangles sitting on my desk this week (no pictures since the turning day yet), so I won’t be doing any more turning on this piece. The walls of the cup are about 3/32” – not enough left to try to re-round the shape. I’m fine with that, and like the odd look to it, but it’ll be fun in the future to also turn some perfect things that stay more or less perfectly round. I’ll have to wait for the olive to dry entirely before I can do that.
I’ll follow up on this with pics of the warped shapes and final finish when I get there next week sometime.
The important thing is that 3 days later, I still have not one check anywhere in the entire piece. No splits! This is Euro olive we’re talking about. It splits when you look at it funny. I think it has a lot to do with where in the log the turning blank comes from. I went through a week ago and sorted all my Euro olive bottle-stopper blanks into 3 piles of ‘no checks at all,’ ‘very few, light checks,’ and ‘heavily checked down entire length, some nearly split in half.’ The piles were surprisingly even – about the same number per pile – but I noticed something later. All the ones that split lightly were a pretty mix of sap and heart woods, with the division kind of cutting through the middles of the pieces. All the completely unsplit pieces seemed to be without one, though I forget which. They were either all heart, or all sap, and I kind of think it was all-heart. I’ll have to check later and get some pics, and do a blog post on just that, as I think it’s interesting info.
I think the BLO is also helping this thing to not lose moisture too fast as it dries.
-- Gary, Los Angeles, video game animator