Stones River Woodworkers Club Murfreesboro, TN

Jay’s Ramblings

August 2015

     The other day I got the notion to make a small wooden scoop such as you would use for measuring coffee. There are three different style scoops that I have plans for.

    The first is a simple scoop where a wire is wrapped around a grove turned into the outside of the bowl’s surface about 1/3 of the bowl’s length and down from the top or open scoopy end. The wire is then twisted tight and about 3/4” of the twisted wire is epoxy’d into a hole in the handle.

    The second one has a 5/8” wide rim where the wire grove would go and a small hold is drilled into the center of the rim and into the hollowed out bowl. The rim adds enough thickness to the sidewall so the tendon on the handle can be glued solidly into the bowl.

    I modified the second one so that rather than having a distinct rim, I just tapered the bowl wall thickness where it’s actually about 1/4” thick where the handle tendon fits into the hole.

    Since I use about 4 oz. of coffee grounds to make my coffee in my 4-cup coffee maker, if you use a 1 3/8” Fostner bit and drill 1 5/8” deep and then round out the bottom, you will be close to a 2 oz cavity for the bowl. Now turn the outside of the bowl accordingly. I finish the outside of the bowl with Myland’s Friction Polish and leave the inside of the bowl unfinished.

    Some years ago when Tom VanDervort was president, I had recovered enough from my motorcycle accident to start attending wood club meetings. Tom notified the club that a large Cherry tree had been blow down and the wood was available to club members. Nancy and I borrowed our grandson’s truck and went over near the old medical center and got a load. This was before Doug Pelren began getting a drum of Anchor Seal to sell at a very reasonable price to club members so I grabbed a can of leftover latex paint and painted the log ends. A few years later I band-sawed the logs into bowl blanks and tossed them into a large wooden box in my shed. Anchor Seal works better and as I’m using these blanks, I am finding some cracking.

    I recently grabbed a cylinder that was about 6” in diameter by 7” long as it looked like it contained a lidded box. The box would be an end-grain box so I got lots of sharpening practice. I drilled a 3/8” “depth hole” and began hollowing using a 5/16” bowl gouge followed by scrapers to square up the bottom. Every time I found a crack, I used CA glue and some coffee grounds if the crack was large enough. The outside had a knot that was reasonably tight but still had some cracks and voids. A little glue and coffee allowed me to leave the knot in the side but turn it safely as well. Coffee grounds “fill” goes well with Cherry and just about any wood that isn’t real dark. I use it on Walnut but it doesn’t show up very well except in the sapwood. I like to blend in some sapwood in any Walnut project that I do so it is a good tool for me. Another trick is to mix some black Tempura paint into some epoxy for some serious crack repair. While it can be said that turning and cracks don’t go together, I find that some of the most interesting grain can be found around cracks and knots so I strive to save “defective” wood and find it enhances what might have been a very plain project. Just remember where the “Line of Fire” is on your lathe and try to position as many of your body parts to the side of it as you can and wear a face shield.