North East Chapter – Irish Woodturners
We invited Joe Laird to our
September meeting to demonstrate the procedures involved in turning his unique ‘shamrock bowl’ which
consisted of 3 interlocking bowls resembling a shamrock leaf. Starting with a beech
circular blank measuring 50 mm x 200 mm mounted in button jaws, he flattened the back and then the face using
pull cuts with a long swept back grind gouge, and finished off the process with the skew in horizontal mode
with the handle well down.
Joe Laird preparing 3
Marking out the bowls requires
precise accuracy. First, mark dead centre, mark a line through the centre point orientated with the
grain, and continue the lines onto the end grain sides. Use the following 3
stage procedure to find the centre point of the 3 bowls:-
1. Set compass at 80 mm -
inscribe circle to define a 20 mm rim.
2. Set compass at 40 mm –
inscribe an inner circle.
3. Retaining the 40 mm
setting, place the point of the compass at the point where the bottom of the inner circle crosses the centre
line – score the inner circle right and left: this will locate the centre points of 2
bowls. The centre of the 3rd bowl will be at the point where the top
of the inner circle crosses the centre line: this will be the top bowl of the shamrock. Still retaining the 40
mm radius draw in the perimeters of the 3 bowls.
Marking centre of 3 shamrock bowls
Next procedure is to drill the 3
bowl centres to a fixed dept for mounting on a screw chuck in preparation for off-centre turning the 3
recesses on the base, 60 mm x 5 mm.
Reverse chuck and lightly define
the edge of the bowl with a narrow parting tool before hollowing out the 1st bowl, cutting to the bottom of the screw
chuck mark. Joe emphasized the importance of engaging the bevel before starting each cut and
taking light cuts during off-centre turning. He also recommended
sanding the bowl at the 4 o’clock position to avoid catching overlapping edge of previous bowl before moving
on to the next bowl.
To prepare the
stem of the shamrock, mount the bowls between steb centre and ring centre at 16 mm from the face on the original
centre line that was extended to the end grain. Again, this will be
slightly off-centre turning. Cut an 80 mm wide recess at the tailstock end leaving the central
button jaws to shape back and to remove the 3 chucking recesses and the steb chucking
points. Finally cut a fine 125 mm slightly concave base and decorate the
Joe Laird with his Beech Shamrock bowl
Thanks Joe for
making such a challenging project look so repeatable.
Thanks to Seamus
Cassidy for his critique on the following exhibits:
Macra Capra rolled rim bowl – Cecil
18” Elm platter – Cecil Barron:
Lignum Vitae bowl - Peter