|Project by Brian Havens||posted 06-11-2012 10:08 PM||2307 views||9 times favorited||13 comments|
Lately, I have been unable to pull myself away from the lathe. And by “lately” I mean for the last year or so. At the same time, I have been itching to make some furniture. So I though that perhaps I could make some furniture on the lathe.
I set out to survey what kinds of furniture is being either partly or completely made on the lathe. For sure, I found some spectacular craftsmanship in the area of turned furniture, but there was something missing. Most of the lathe furniture was quite classical and traditional in style, with lots of beads, coves, and ogees. Not that there is anything wrong with that style of furniture, it is just not my style and taste. My proclivity is toward the contemporary usually with just a dash of Asian influence. I found few examples to fit that bill.
At this point I was thinking that, with all the wonderful and creative turning techniques available, techniques that I frequently see hobbyist turners and artistic turners use, there has to be some turning techniques with which I can create a contemporary piece of furniture.
This stool is the results of my exploration. All the parts for this stool were turned on the lathe!
The legs were made on multiple axes. The first axis was used simply to make a 2” cylinder. For the second axis, I shifted both the headstock and tailstock centers the same distance, but in opposite directions. Once spinning again, the blank makes a butterfly shaped shadow, with the shadow disappearing at the middle of the blank. I completely cut away the shadow on one half to form the top half of the leg, and turned a bead on the bottom of the other half to form the tippy-toe foot. The results are an inverted tapered leg that has the illusion of being slightly curved.
The stretchers were made similar to the legs, but using four different axes. The first, again, was used to form the initial cylinder. The second and third axes were used to form the tapers on either side, just like the top of the legs. The final axis was on the two offset centers, and is parallel to the first axis. This final axis was used to form the tenons so that the stretchers are moved outward.
The grand finale is the seat. The bottom of the seat was formed with essentially the same technique that is used to make winged bowls. The seat was mounted with the centers at the centers of the seat, top and bottom. The bottom was made with a straight cut, but at an angle. The results in the curved shape on the bottom of the seat. How cool is that? turing a curve with a straight cut? (For you math geeks, think about a plane intersecting a cone).
The top of the seat was formed with a curved cut, so that the thickness of the seat varies. It is essentially a “square” bowl.
This stool has opened up a floodgate of ideas for making furniture either partly or completely on the lathe. There may even be a collaborative effort being born. (shhhh!)
P.S. I was hoping to post this stool last Friday, before the AAW Symposium, but time did not allow. I did, however, have this stool in the Instant Gallery at the Symposium.
Woods: Wenge’, Honduran Mahogany
Finish: pre-cat lacquer (ML Campbells)
-- Brian Havens, Woodworker http://brianhavens.com