Stones River Woodworkers Club Murfreesboro, TN

Jay’s Ramblings

January 2016

Well it’s been a while since I wrote the November Ramblings so as is normal for one my age, I have to go back and refresh my memory. After all the Christmas ornaments I made last year, I have kind of laid low over the holidays and not made very many things. As you know, I really like the difficult woods such as Osage Orange, Mesquite, Persimmon and of course Yew. Because the Yew is found in bush form in our area, large pieces are hard to come by so I have to shift all my ideas to a smaller size. Pens, letter opener handles, small scoops and things like Compacts with mirrors, purse hangers and the like. I recently made some Trivets using 3/8” thick cork cut into 9” diameter discs. I bought the cork from Craft Supplies and some 4” discs for coasters.

Well they have gone over quite well with Nancy daughters that now there are a need to supply some for granddaughters of which we have four. To make a trivet for a 9” cork disc you need a blank of 3/4” wood and 10” in diameter. Good luck finding 10” diameter boards so I grabbed some wood off of Doug Pelren’s trailer and started cutting and gluing. While I had the clamps out, I needed some 3” x 3” x 5” blanks to make some wine glass stems for some wine glass bowls I also purchased at Craft Supplies. I found some scraps of Walnut and Persimmon and glued them up, then turned them into cylinders with a tendon on one end to fit my chuck. I kept thinking that some Yew would make a nice looking wine glass stem but the wood was too small so I turned a small chunk large enough to make the base and then turned a small cylinder out of a limb for the stem part and glued them together. I used Gorilla’s new clear Polyurethane glue

recommended for pen tubes since the moisture in the wood helps to kick it off and my Yew is very wet. When I turn it, if the joint is too obvious then maybe a small bead will help hide it. It

did not work, the wood split apart from the tail stock pressure where the glass fits the stem. Nancy wanted the stems to be shorter than ones made in the past so by making the stems 2 1/2” to 3” tall, I now had enough wood to make some more wine glasses. I have a woodworking cousin in Colorado who buys Libby wine glasses at Wal-Mart for about $1.50 each, breaks the stem about 1” below the bowl and then glues them into a turned wooden stem. He says they sell well at the craft shows. I did the same and now have 12 gift glasses. Jerry uses a glasscutter to score the stems prior to breaking off the stem; I used the corner of a diamond jeweler’s file to achieve the same results.

Now back to the trivets, the blanks I glued up didn’t stay very flat so it looks like I have to drag out the planer along with the band saw to get them flat and round. I need them halfway flat as I use double-sided tap to stick them to a 6” face plate so I can turn a 6” recess about 1/4” deep on the opposite side for gripping with my Barracuda 4 chuck. After reversing the blank and expanding my #3 jaws into the recess, I can turn the top recess to accept the cork, which I use double-sided tape to secure it to the wooden disc. This is a project where a light soft wood works fine and I used up a lot of my Cedar scraps.

I used the same procedure to make the first prototype coasters. I buy the soft plastic stick-on feet for the bottom to prevent the wood from marring the table and/or sliding. Being basically lazy, I’m always looking for an easier, faster way to do things. While double-sided tape on a 3” face plate works, I think I found a better way. I had used a circle cutting jig I had made for my band saw to cut out a bunch of 5” disc’s about 3/4” thick. My #3 chuck jaws will clamp a 5” disc so it works in place of the faceplate and double-sided tape. Once in the chuck, I flatten the other side and cut a 2 1/2” diameter recess 1/4” deep. Switching to my #2 jaws I flip the disc and expand the #2 jaws into the new recess. I now cut a shallow recess to fit a cork disc followed by truing up the outer edge. A coat of shellac, some wax and I use the double-sided tape to secure the cork into its recess. Add some feet and the coaster is a done deal. While I have completed a few prototypes, I now have a dozen blanks with the chuck recess cut into one side waiting to be completed. On thing that takes a lot of time is custom marking and cutting the cork recess to size, so yesterday while running errands, I had an idea on making a template to mark the exact size and depth for the recess. While it initially takes some time to make the template and get it sized correctly, it will save me time in th long run. Anything helps when you still have a dozen coasters and 5 trivets yet to turn along with a granddaughters wedding gift to complete. Wish me luck!!

Take care,