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Thread: Carving a simple flower - with lathe

  1. #1
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    Carving a simple flower - with lathe

    I debated on where to put this posting so if the moderators think this is the wrong place, please move it.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Here's a few pictures of how to carve a simple flower using a lathe to rough out the flower.

    I glued up some cherry scrap I had in the shop and cut it round on the bandsaw. Then I attached a faceplate to a sacrificial block and then glued the block to the cherry work. I next turned the cherry block round. See the first picture.

    I then used a bowl gouge and cut the outline of the flower - see the second picture.

    Next, I used the bowl gouge and roughed out the shape of the flower. Note that I cut inward but left the button in the center. See the third picture.

    I then prepare the top with a cut to allow it to sit within the bottom, and part it off. See fourth picture.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flower-lathe-1.jpg   Flower-lathe-2.jpg   Flower-lathe-3.jpg   Flower-lathe-4.jpg  
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 04-28-2008 at 10:24 PM.
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  2. #2
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    The roughed out flower is perfect to put into a chuck so that you can finish the back of the top. See first and second pictures.

    The next thing we're going to do is to glue the top down to a board so that we can clamp it while carving it. Pictures three and four show the process. Don't put a lot of glue on the top - it doesn't require much and you're going to have to get it off later.

    Now, clamp the top as shown in the last picture.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flower-lathe-5.jpg   Flower-lathe-6.jpg   Flower-lathe-7.jpg   Flower-lathe-8.jpg   Flower-lathe-9.jpg  

    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  3. #3
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    Once the glue's dry, we can begin the carving.

    Begin by using a set of dividers to step off five equal spaces - see first picture. Mark the landing sites of the dividers and draw a line at each towards the center - see second picture.

    Then use a V-tool and cut in along the lines to outline the petals - see third picture.

    Next, we want to begin rounding off the petals. I use a gouge with the right sweep to make the ends of the petals round, and clean out the wood in between with a 2/5 or 3/5 gouge. See last picture.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flower-lathe-10.jpg   Flower-lathe-11.jpg   Flower-lathe-12.jpg   Flower-lathe-13.jpg  
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  4. #4
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    We do each of the petals, as shown in the first picture. Then I "hollow" out each of the petals to make them look more like a real petal - see picture two.

    The last bit of carving is to do the cross hatch in the center and to put the accent lines on the petals, as shown in picture three.

    Then, using a medium sandpaper, I sand the petals to remove the tool marks - see fourth picture.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flower-lathe-14.jpg   Flower-lathe-15.jpg   Flower-lathe-16.jpg   Flower-lathe-17.jpg  
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
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    Now we have to remove the top from the board, which I do by putting a chisel at the edge (on the cardboard) and rapping it with a mallet. It comes off easily, but with cardboard stuck to the top. See first three pictures.

    I hold the top up to a ROS, starting with coarse grit and finishing with fine grit to remove the cardboard and glue. See last picture.

    Now, I have to go back to the lathe and turn the bottom of the box. I keep trial fitting the top to the bottom to get a good fit.

    After that, all that's left is sanding and finishing.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flower-lathe-18.jpg   Flower-lathe-19.jpg   Flower-lathe-20.jpg   Flower-lathe-21.jpg  
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  6. #6
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    Here's the final product. I'd deepen the "scoop" of each petal next time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flower-lathe-22.jpg   Flower-lathe-23.jpg  
    Ancora imparo
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  7. #7
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    Thanks Mike

    It looks allot simpler the way you do it.

    Back to the carving board!

  8. #8
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    Thanks a lot for that Mike!

    You make it look so easy, that I'm going to have to give it a go
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  9. #9
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    Hi Mike ,
    Just noticed this thread you did. Thanks alot. I wanted to understand your method of work, never know when a flatworker will get sucked into the lathe.
    I just skimmed through it but plan to return tonight when I can just easily relax with your tutorial.
    Appreciate it ,
    Shaz
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  10. #10
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    Another question Mike, did you dish out the pedals or where you just cleaning up the tear out?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Flower-lathe-15.jpg  

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