Article: Tucker Garrison Demonstrates For CMW, December 17, 2016

Tucker: Tucker Inst Gallery Dec 2016:

December 30, 2016 08:42, submitted by Tina Collison (author: Alan Wasserman, photos by Tina Collison)

Tucker Garrison demonstrates for CMW, December 17, 2016

Our great past president (too many times to count), Tucker Garrison, was kind enough to share his knowledge and talent with the members of CMW at our year end gathering. The subject of the demonstration, time appropriate, was Christmas Ornaments. Tucker is expert at this project and we all benefited.

Without question and since the majority of his designs are small and intricate forms, Tuckers favorite tool is the spindle gouge. Tucker also makes his small hollowing tools used for small projects such as this one. He purchases from MSC 1/4” x 8” HSS with 10% cobalt. To shape these tools he uses MAP gas as that generates a bit more heat then the propane gas, thereby saving a bit of time in the process. Heat the area you wish to bend until it is ash yellow in color and then bend. No need to temper, just allow to cool.

For this particular form, with the intended use of certain translucent paints as its finish, Tucker suggests the use of pronounced grained wood such as Yellow Pine or Douglas Fir (other choices can include Ash and American Elm).

The jaws on the chuck you are going to use has to be elongated and Tuckers preference is the Vicmark #1 long jaws. The first step in this project is to turn an intended glue block with a tenon. Tucker creates the tenon using a spindle gouge or a parting tool, going on an angle from smaller on the top to larger towards the headstock. The tenon should have a diameter where it meets the shoulder a bit larger then 1 1/8”. When looking from the top of the tenon towards the headstock, the diameter should be smaller on the top to a bit larger at the bottom where it meets the shoulder of the newly created tenon. A skew is an alternative tool for the creation of the tenon.

Now select the block of wood that will end up being the body of the ornament. This block of wood should be about 3” diameter by approximately 1 1/2” thick. Mount on your glue block and true up. Use a 1 1/8” fostner bit to create a hole in this block, but not all the way through to the other end. Fit the block to the tenon, decreasing the diameter of the tenon until the union fits.

Mount the block of wood on the glue block with CA glue and use accelerator at the glue joint. Use the 1 1/8" inch fostner bit to open the other end of the hole. Before hollowing shape the outside of the ornament to your desired form. To assist in the form, mark a center line in the middle of the intended ornament and create “bead cuts” from center to one side and repeat on the other side, without eliminating the center marking.

Now for hollowing: use a small hollowing tool to hollow the globe. The wall thickness on the back of the globe is determined by the depth of the tenon. To gage the thickness of the ornament, place your curved hollowing tool on the tool rest facing the mounted piece in the position you will be inserting the tool to hollow. Be aware of the position of the tip of the hollowing tool and then insert into the ornament and hollow. Repeat this process until you are satisfied with the wall thickness/thinness. Once satisfied with your form, sand up to 320 grit. Before removing the ornament from the glue block, examine the glue area and clean up any spill with a spindle gouge and sand. Remove the globe from the glue block by inserting the fostner bit into the hole and catch the piece (it will slide onto the fostner bit shaft) as it separates from the glue block.

The next step is to create caps for both ends where your fostner bit holes are on the bulb. Use a contrasting color wood for these caps. Create a tenon and reverse and chuck. Shape your cap to your desire. Create a small dimple and then drill a small hole in the tip of the cap, small enough diameter so that an eye hook of your choice will fit into it snuggly. Sand and use friction polish to finish off the cap. Create a tenon on the bottom of the cap so it will fit and seat into the fostner bit hole you created on the ornament but the shoulder of the cap will overlap the hole. Use a thin parting tool to separate the cap from the chucked block (make sure you part off leaving the tenon).

The creation of a finial is tricky. The main lesson we learned is the choice of wood. More particularly, you must use wood with straight grain. Otherwise a thin finial will crack either due to cutting pressure or mere centrifugal force of the turning lathe speed. Once you have the correct grained wood, mount it on your # 1 jaws and start to round off to say, 3/8”. Then place the rounded piece in a collet or your elongated jaws/chuck. Push the rounded piece into the collet so that only 1” at a time is exposed for turning. Use a smaller (3/8”) roughing gouge, spindle gouge or skew chisel to now shape the finial. Decide your design and use calipers and a thin parting tool to mark your dimension changes on the anticipate completed finial. Turn in small sections (1” at a time) from what will be the tip of the finial and working your way down to the base of the finial (which is towards the headstock).

Complete your shape, sand and apply friction polish to each stage of the final. Use your fingers on your opposite hand (from the hand holding your tool) using it like a steady rest, gently holding the turning finial steady on the opposite side that you are cutting. Create a tenon on the base of the finial so that it will seat snugly in a pre-drilled hole on the cap that will receive same.

Finishing: Tucker uses an auto spray paint available at most auto parts stores/ The first coat is a thin application of Duplicator Metalcast spray paint. There is a good selection of colors to chose from. Red, green and blue seem to work best. Presto, you should have a lovely ornament with a translucent finish.

Thank you Tucker. A DVD of this demonstration will be available in the CMW library.