Turning Archive 2004

Using a digital camera as a turning tool... *PIC*

Russ Fairfield
>In last nights Chat Room, we discussed using the digital camera to better see the form and line of a piece while it is being turned. I promised that I would post a typical photo that I would use.

This photo has been edited to add the arrows and numbers. In real life, I would make an 8X10 glossy print and mark it up with a marking pen. If I was good with an editing software, I could use the photo to see what would happen if I were to change the line and form. If we were working from a plan, sketch, or another photo like many do with segmented assemblies, we could use this photo of the real thing to see how we were doing.

The advantage for making this photo is that it reduces the piece to a 2-dimension flat, making the lines and problems with the shape more pronounced. Changing the background will accent the outline of the form. A flash can give a sharper image that other lighting for this purpose.

The vase in the photo is 15" diameter and it is attached to a 6" faceplate for turning.

Looking at the photo, there are several problem areas that are visible.

Point A--
There is a flat place in the curve at this point. It needs to be rounded. This is a difficult place to "feel" the curve while it is one the lathe because of the glue joints and different wood textures in the area.

Points B--
There are two (2) breaks in the curve at Points-B with a flat line between them.

Points C--
It looks as though there should be a dark separation line between the checker-line and the background field behind the Thunderbird. I could part the the feature band in two places and add the necessary layers. This is something that is easy to do with a segmented turning. I waited until the next morning, and chose not to do this, leaving it like it was.

Base Diameter--
The diameter of the base is too large. It is being determined by the faceplate, rather than what it should be for the form. This is a common problem for woodturners, and without this photograph would not have been discovered until the piece is finished and sitting on the table.

My solution was to smooth the curve at "B" and carry it down to a smaller base diameter. The thicker waste-block allowed me to do this without running into the screws. Another solution would have been to change to a 5" faceplate.

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