Article: Greg Schramek Demonstrates For CMW, December 17, 2016

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December 30, 2016 08:34, submitted by Tina Collison (author: Alan Wasserman, photos by Tina Collison)

Greg Schramek demonstrates for CMW, December 17, 2016

We at CMW celebrated our year end festivities with having the great pleasure to observe demonstrations from two of our finest: Mr. President and President Elect of the AAW, Greg Schramek and Past President (too many times to count) of the CMW, Tucker Garrison.

This review will first be about Greg Schramek.

Greg’s favorite tool is his 5/8 bowl gouge. This is his “go-to” tool for almost all cuts but roughing spindles, finishing and parting. He does not switch to spindle gouges much, mostly out of convenience and to avoid sharpening a different tool.

The project demonstrated the making of a hollowed wine “bottle”.

Greg started with a dry 4 x 4 x 12 block of cherry. It was mounted, center to center. He used his roughing gouge to true up the piece. His roughing gouge was a Carter gouge with a 3/4” shaft for extra strength.

Greg instructs us to tuck in the handle and your arms to your side and use your body to move the cut. The observation was the cut was being controlled by the body while the arms and handle remained stationary at your side. The gouge handle was positioned relatively low and a bit below your waist.

While truing up, check for wood imperfections. This will guide you as to how you wish to orientate your piece to avoid imperfections (decide which side will be the top or bottom of your piece. Know that if you are creating a tenon, that space might be a good area to place the imperfection you wish to eliminate.

Once trued up, go to your bowl gouge (of course on spindle work, a spindle gouge is an alternative tool for this purpose). After you are satisfied with truing, Greg suggests the use of a bedan tool to create your tenon. Since this design will entail a “false bottom” or “plug" Greg creates a tenon for both the bottom piece and what will eventually be the top of the wine bottle. Now mark off the bottom (say 1+” from the tenon shelf) and separate with a parting tool. Before completing the parting, mark the position of the pieces being separated, from one to the other, as you will eventually be gluing them together and you want to match the grain in this process. Greg suggests using a saw to part the last 1/8” of parting as not to do so may create a tear in the last area of parting.

Mount the larger piece to your four-jaw chuck. Begin hollowing by the use of a Forstner bit (2" will clear the diameter of most standard Jacobs chucks-allowing your Jacobs chuck to insert into the hole being drilled for a hole deeper than the length of your bit), measuring the “bottom” of the drilled area (about 6 1/2” deep for the design being used), leaving distance to create the tapered neck of the bottle. (Greg prefers not to use a Forstner bit extension as that tends to heat up and describes how hard it is to “unstick” the Forstner bit during the drilling process). Mark off that area where the Forstner bit stopped. Next switch to a smaller Forstner bit (3/4” dia) to hollow the taped section (neck) of the design. This drill distance was about 2 2/3” deep.

For the remaining hollowing, Greg uses his go to tool, the bowl gouge. First, he sets up a steady rest to avoid most vibrations during the hollowing process. He also created a long (it appeared to be 1 1/2” long) side grind on his gouge for this very purpose and which also helps prevent catches (For those of us who have never experienced one, Greg illustrated for us what a catch looks like). The motion of hollowing with the bowl gouge is a pull cut. The flute is just short of 9 o’clock of the area being hollowed. The bottom of the cutting edge scrapes the inside. As you are pulling out your gouge, rotate the bevel clockwise, going from a scrape to a cut action, from short of 9 to 10 o’clock. If you get vibration, you may be able to eliminate it with less aggressive cuts, a larger (3/4”) bowl gouge and of course, a steady rest. Finish your hollowing with a curved hollowing tool, a John Jordan, Ellsworth or many others that are on the market. There is no need to finish your inside cuts smoothly or to sand as you are about to seal it up with your plug.

Once you finished your hollowing, you will start shaping your outside to create a bottle form. The larger piece is still fastened to the lathe with the four-jaw chuck so, Greg uses a cone, connected to his One Way live center on the opposite side of the chuck, to keep the piece stationary during the shaping. Greg uses a push cut with his bowl gouge in the shaping process. Keep in mind when shaping that the neck has to be larger than the 3/4” Forstner bit hole you used for the last part of hollowing. When shaping, using a scrape cut with the bowl gouge is helpful.

You have now completed hollowing and shaping. Gluing up the bottom plug is our next step. To set up for the plug, create a small shoulder on the inside of the bottle for the plug to sit on. This will create more stability. The bedan is the preferred tool used by Greg for this shoulder. Use the bedan going in on a slight (it appeared to be approximately 5 degrees off straight) inward angle. Now mount the plug on the four-jaw chuck. Before shaping the plug to meet the bottle, transfer your original grain marking form the side of the plug to the inside as when you shape the outside of the plug, you will erase the grain markings that are needed to match for the glue process. Once you have shaped the plug to meet the shoulder of the bottle bottom, use white wood glue. You can use your lathe as the clamping device. Allow to dry for one hour before going to the next step.

After gluing is complete you have to hollow the neck (top) portion of the bottle. Use the tenon that is still in place on your plug. Use a 3/4” Forstner bit and drill from the top/neck into the middle of the bottle. Clean up your shape. Create a lip a small distance down from the top, to duplicate the style of a wine bottle. Round off the sides of the lip.

Now it is time to shape the bottom and side of your plug. You need to create a jam chuck for the top of the bottle to fit into. Use a shelf liner or other protection on the jam so as to avoid marring of the top in the jam. Reverse the piece, using the original markings of center from when you were truing up, center to center. Shape off the bottom so the glue union is on the bottom of (not the side of) the bottom/plug. Turn down the nib but keep a small diameter remaining. Saw off that nib and sand smooth.

(Side bar: I am not sure how it came up, but Greg told us about obtaining cooper powder for fill of imperfections. He buys a 100-grit product form Walton Woodwork.com. Cost is $14. per lb.) [Ed note: the copper power is used to fill voids.]