Monday, May 14, 2007

Mike Hosaluk visits the Central Ohio Woodturners

Michael Hosaluk visited the Central Ohio Woodturners May 4 - 6, doing two one-day hands-on classes and an all-day demonstration at Wood Werks on Saturday, May 5th. Mike is from Saskatchewan, Canada and puts his heart and soul into his work. I think you'll see his sense of humor throughout this posting.

We had an excellent turnout for Mike's demo at Wood Werks in Gahanna. The demonstration started with production items such as a spin top and sphere.

John Herrell helped me out with photos for the first hour because I had to go out and fetch some slide carousels for Mike's slide show.

Here's Mike getting his top ready to spin.

Mike used these spin tops as a bread-and-butter kind of item at craft shows. It's amazing how much income something like this can generate.

Mike next demonstrated how to turn a sphere without using any templates or tricks. The idea here is to develop you eye and coordination. You need to be able to see the shape and the flowing curve of the ball. It's much harder to do than he makes it look, that's for sure.

The sphere leads directly into this interesting project - a ladle turned from one piece of wood. You can see the starting material here.

The sphere-end is shaped first and then the handle is turned.

To hollow out the bowl of the ladle, Mike made a jam chuck out of green wood. He turned the inside shape and then put a slot into the form. The ball of the ladle is pressed into the jam chuck and the handle adjusted so that the axis is perpendicular to the bed of the lathe.

Here's that jam chuck.

You have to be very careful of that handle flying around. A couple of the turners who took Mike's class caught their arms with the handle of the ladle. Ouch! Blood can be a surface enhancement, of course, but one that is better avoided.

The lathe speed is turned down for this step. Hollowing the ladle is the same as turning a small bowl, but you have to watch out for that handle that's spinning around.

One of the techniques that Mike showed us in the hands-on classess was how to steam-bend wood using a microwave. He does that to the handle of the ladle. The wood has to be soaked or wetted by wrapping it in a wet cloth. Then the piece is microwaved and placed into a clamped form.

A much simpler project is a spatula or a spurtle. Mike started with another cut-out shape and turned the handle.

The flattened part is shaped on the edges.

After the turning is finished, the shaping of the spatula is done on a sanding wheel. The sanding wheel is a circle of MDF with a 12 inch adhesive-backed sandpaper. Ron Damon had made up several of these MDF discs for the club and offered them for sale for $5 each.

Here's the finished spatula and a turning blank for the same.

Did I mention that Mike has a great sense of humor? He had the club laughing throughout the day. Here's Jim Burrowes having a good laugh at something Mike said.

Here are some of the things Mike brought to show us. I think you'll see some of the interesting personality quirks that Mike puts into his work from some of these items.

He said the baby rattles are scary by design. ("Kids might as well get used to the idea that we live in a scary place. . .")

Many of the shapes Mike uses in his art are from turned, disassembled and reassembled parts.

Each of the designs have some significance to Mike, and each one tells a story.

Here's a ladle that was a collaboration between Mike Hosaluk and Jacques Vesery.

The handle part of that same ladle.

Mike also brought tools and handles to sell to the club.

Next project was a baby rattle (or, more likely, an adult rattle). This starts with a hollow form.

One end is shaped.

More levity. Jim sure enjoyed Mike's sense of humor. Craig Wright is in the middle, next to Jim.

To start the hollowing process, a half-inch hole is drilled.

Mike had a drill bit that has a #2 morse taper and that was placed directly into the tailstock.

The drill hole provides a reference from which to hollow.

Here are Mike's hollowing tools.

I don't know what Mike was explaining here, but it was another humorous moment.

After the hollowing is complete, Mike took the form to the bandsaw and removed the middle section.

That makes it possible to have an oval shape for the rattle.

The edges are trued on the sanding wheel prior to the glue-up.

The handle is done next and then a hole is drilled into the rattle part to accept the tenon of the handle.

Mike does all of his sharpening free hand.

The next-to-last-project was a bowl. Mike turned a flat ring on the outside of the bowl. The bottom of the bowl had a ring that would be cut away to form feet. The technique that was important to note was the continuation of the profile inside that ring. Mike used a tool that showed the profile so that he could match the upper and lower curves.

The placement of the feet are marked and then the excess wood is cut away with a hand saw.

You can see the technique there on the screen.

Notches were also cut into the flattened ring left on the outside of the bowl.

The wood between the notches was cut away, partly on the bandsaw, and then the rest using carving chisels.

Here's the roughout of the bowl.

Mike did some clean-up with a reciprocating carving chisel.

The rough edges are burned off.

Mike put Craig to work on finishing the scorching process.

Given how messy this job was, it was probably good to subcontract it to a club member.

The final project of the day was one of Mike's signature boxes.

This starts out as a long, cylindrical box.

Tenons for the chuck are turned on both ends and then the cylinder is parted and separated in the middle. Mike parted down to about half and inch and then sawed through the rest.

The female end of the box is hollowed first. A drill hole is made using the half inch bit.

The hole is started by turning the wheel of the tailstock.

That doesn't go very fast, so Mike put some muscle into it and just pushed the drill into the box.

The hole needs to be a half inch in diameter to allow room for the hook tool to do its job.

This is end grain hollowing, so a hook tool is perfect for the job.

This is the hook tool that is marketed with the Michael Hosaluk label. It fits into the end of one of Mike's tool holders.

After the top is turned, it's time to do the bottom. This one has a tenon to match the diameter of the top. The tenon is close to the diameter of the matching top, but not yet fitted. The hollowing is done and then the fitting is done.

After the two box halves are hollowed, the box is put together and the join is turned without having any pressure from the tailstock. Once that detail is done, the outside shape is turned as a long oblong.

That shape on the bench is where this project is headed.

Mike cuts the whole thing apart using various angles.

Just be sure your fingers are out of the way.

You end up with a series of rings cut at various angles.

All of the edges are trued on the sanding wheel.

The glue-up involves end grain to end grain. You have to seal the end grain by using a 50:50 dilution of wood glue to water. This is brushed onto the endgrain to seal it before the actual glue-up is done.

Mike usually does all the texturing of the inside as each ring is added.

While the sizing was drying, Mike finished off the rattle handle by adding concentric circles of paint.

Back to the glue-up.

The last part of the demo was an excellent slide show. Mike showed us where his inspiration comes from and it involves nature, his family, and cultural heritage.

Mike joined Steve and me in the evening for a walk at High Banks Metro park where we did a bit of birding. Then we had a nice dinner.

I took the hands-on class that was offered on Sunday. I really enjoyed the challenge of doing the ladle project. I found out, though, that I don't do spheres very well. I need those little tricks that I've learned from other turners.

Oh well - something to work on when I have some time.

We had seven students in the Sunday class.

It was a good crowd, though, and we had a good time together.

Thanks, Mike - I really enjoyed the weekend.

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