My Biggest project ever!

Discussion in 'Follow Along Projects' started by Glenn McCarron, Aug 15, 2019 at 4:09 PM.

  1. Glenn McCarron

    Glenn McCarron PRO Member

    The forum has been extremely quiet lately so I thought it might be time to post a follow along project. Please feel free to pass on any comments or suggestions to make my life easier.

    Although not extremely challenging as compared to some of my earlier projects it still has some definite challenges for me and my tooling.

    The vase that I want to build, replicates a clay vase that we had some time ago. It is no longer with us. To the best of my recollection I came up with what I thought to be the overall dimensions and shape. It stood about 24 inches tall and probably about 10 inches wide at the widest point. I did make a draft in Woodturner Pro but I was not happy with my proportions. A friend and fellow woodturner helped me out and refined the final shape.

    Ash Vase 24 inch Rev 1.PNG
    My same friend had given me a large half round piece of Ash a few years ago. I had applied some end sealer at the time but it still started checking. I elected to re-saw the piece into lumber that was about 1 1/4 thick. I ended up with 7 pieces. I stickered the wood and it has sat in my shop for a few years. Occasionally being moved from spot to spot.

    Today I milled the lumber into the strips that I need. I basically have no spare wood so any mistakes will mean a trip to buy some more ash. I made the base and added it to a waste block. I also cut and glued the first two rings and cut the third ring.

    The challenges that I have is the fact that my main lathe (General 25-200M1) can only handle about 17 inches between centres. I do also have an old Beaver 3400 that can handle the size. What I intend to do is to build the vase in two or three sections and then assemble and refine it on the older lathe.



    IMG_3566 2.jpg

    My local hardware store had the Gorilla wood glue on sale for $2.97 CDN so I thought I would try it on this project. Any opinions on it?

    If I reach completion I want to use some sort of blue dye to allow the grain of the ash to show through. Then maybe a satin poly finish. I'm open for suggestions from you folks that have experience with this.

    I do have a home made steady rest built to support the vase at it grows in length.

    Like I said earlier in the post if you have any suggestions or comments please do not hesitate to comment.

    I will post again as I add some rings.
  2. mfisher

    mfisher Super Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks for starting a follow along project Glenn.

    May I suggest you post your WTP or SP file you used for designing the vessel. That would answer questions like how many segments per ring, how many rings, ring height, etc.

    I have not used Gorilla wood glue. It is a PVA glue that claims it dries pretty clear. My experience is TiteBond tends to have a yellow tint when dry. Elmer's PVA wood glue dries clearer than Tite Bond..
  3. Glenn McCarron

    Glenn McCarron PRO Member

    Thanks Mike. Don't know how I missed those fundamental details. It is only 12 segments per row and 32 rows. I hesitate to post the wtp file as it was technically a file my buddy provided and I just enlarged it to meet my dimensions. So it is his design. He is aware that I am using it.
  4. mfisher

    mfisher Super Moderator Staff Member

    No problem. Will still be interesting to see the build.
  5. Glenn McCarron

    Glenn McCarron PRO Member

    Today I added row 2 to the base, have row 3 & 4 ready to add and I have 5 & 6 in clamps.




    I have been using the thin kerf 90Tooth Diablo Ultra Flawless Finish Crosscut blade. I really like the blade and it produces a cut that requires almost no sanding. Here is a picture of the end grain cut straight from the saw.


    I also had mentioned that I was trying the Gorilla wood glue this time. Here is a sample that is wet. I will post a picture when it dries completely just to see the final colour. I only had Titebond III on hand and didn't want it drying dark against the ash joints.


    Lots to do these days so I will post again when I have some more rows added.
  6. Glenn McCarron

    Glenn McCarron PRO Member

    By the way each each row is 3/4 thick so 32 rows to make the 24 inch finished project.
  7. mfisher

    mfisher Super Moderator Staff Member

    Look like the project is off to a good start. It is amazing what a good high tooth count saw blade does for a project. It does cut down the sanding time.
  8. Glenn McCarron

    Glenn McCarron PRO Member

    Today I flattened row 2, flattened row 3 and added row 3.




    I repeated this a few times and now have row 5 added to the base.




    Row 6 & 7 are built and ready. Row 8, 9, 10, 11 & 12 are all cut but waiting for clamps. My stock of ash is dwindling very quickly. I think I underestimated how far my stock would go.
  9. Glenn McCarron

    Glenn McCarron PRO Member

    The other big issue that I have is that my General lathe has been operating intermittently lately. For about three weeks it would not start at all. Just before I decided to take it off my workbench I gave it a few taps on the front controller and then the rear power supply with my wood mallet to no avail. I gave it a firm tap on the spindle and it came back to life and has been running smooth ever since. Not sure what is causing the issue or why that would make a difference. There is a sensor on that shaft to read RPM. Not sure if that would stop it or not. These lathes have a long history of having electronic issues. Unfortunately General is no more. Another company has bought the rights to the lathe and parts are interchangeable but are very expensive. To change the controller and power supply is about $600.00. Considering you can buy a new one for $999 it does not make sense to put more money into it. The new company has also had a few problems with the electronics so when mine finally quits for good I think I will consider a different new lathe. Anybody else use or have heard of solutions with this lathe?

    That new Laguna 18/36 looks appealing. Heard a few cons on that one as well though.
  10. mfisher

    mfisher Super Moderator Staff Member

    The Sun City West Wood Club has mostly Powermatic's. A couple of them have had electronic issues. Some has been the controller and another was the on/off switch.

    Hope your lathe makes it through you project.
  11. Glenn McCarron

    Glenn McCarron PRO Member

    Gave row 1-5 a rough turning today and then added row 6. 7 & 8 are ready to go, 9 is in clamps and 10-13 are waiting for clamping.



  12. mfisher

    mfisher Super Moderator Staff Member

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