Saturday, April 4, 2009

Oh, Chef of the future-can it core a bowl?

The Water Gap Woodturners met on April 1 at the Peters Valley woodshop. Business was quickly covered and there was a mention of working in the Man Tent at the NJ state fair, formerly know as the Sussex County Fair for those of us locals. We will be informed about the requirements for this event at a future meeting.

From the business meeting, we dove into the Show and Tell. Unfortunately, no one took any pictures of the items, so you'll have to recall the 2500 piece segmented chinese ball from memory. How it was every turned on 512 axises is beyond me, especially since it was done on a foot powered treadle lathe using tools made from old Altoid tins.

April Fools. (The Altoid tins were new.)

The main topic for the evening was coring bowls to preserve wood and make more than one bowl per blank. Members got to try out the McNaughton system an the Steussy BowlSaw. There was an ornery block of dry cherry that refused to be cored, and a few tense moments when the big Oneway wouldn't power up, but eventually, the chips started flying. Steven Antonucci demonstrated the McNaughton, and then encouraged others to try it for themselves. Maurice Cohen from the NJ Woodturners was one of the intrepid souls who found out that coring isn't very difficult with a little bit of knowledge.

Also demonstrated was the BowlSaw from Richard Steussy. Dick sent the Water Gap Woodturners both the small and large version for us to review at no cost. While not as versatile as the McNaughton, it sells about 1/8th the cost of the McNaughton and has almost no learning curve. You can contact Dick at for more info.

Overall, we had 3-4 members core 3-4 bowl blanks and see two systems in action. At the end of the meeting, the clean-up was contained to one small shovelful of shavings because of the use of the coring systems. If you are a bowl turner and want to up your production while decreasing the waste, coring is an excellent way to achieve both goals.

Our next meeting date is in early May, and the topic is TOP SECRET. It will be announced in the next blog entry after all of the details have been planned out, but I can assure you that if you only go to one meeting this year, make it the May meeting. It will be a once in a lifetime event...