Turning Archive 2008

Turning A Familiar - Challenging

charlie belden
>Hollow forms, lidded boxes, plates, platters and vases - they give you a lot of leeway - there is no commonly recognized image of any of them. But turn a very familiar shape and what initially seems easy - ain't.

Easter - Easter Egg. What could be easier? Two curves - that's it. A spindle gouge or a skew -either or both will do the job.

Then I turned one. Close - but no cigar.

Turned another one. A flat area between the two curves - that wasn't noticed 'til the attempt was held up between thumb and forefinger - the acccepted way of holding an egg for viewing.

Turned another one - this one with what later was recognizable as having a "bullet shaped" top.

Turned another one - and it looked sort of like a football - or more like a rugby ball.

They all looked eggish - on the lathe. But when parted off and held using the approved Thumb and Forefinger method - THAT ain't egg shaped!

Other than a sphere, the egg shape is probably the next most recognizable "organic" form (as opposed to cubes, pyramids and the like). And because everyone on the planet knows what an egg actually looks like - they can notice, and often be irritated, when a shape that's almost egg shaped is NOT egg shaped.

But you're probably thinking "A hemisphere on one end and a bullet shape on the other - what's the problem?"

That's not a hemisphere nor is that a bullet shape -more like parabolas or more likely catenary (sp?) curves (the ones formed when you hold a piece of string on both ends and move your hands towards or away from each other - the ones used by skateboard ramp builders).

So turning a "simple" egg shape isn't all that simple. And it sure is great for learning to see and cut fair curves that blend into each other. And if that gets boring try an egg shaped lidded box. And just to make it interesting, turn them using just a skew.

Anyone come up with a use for ALMOST egg shaped turnings?

Fun this wood turning thing.

charlie belden

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