Well it’s that time of year again when all of our staff are encouraged to make something using Arbortech tools. The idea was to help everyone understand how the tools work and what they can be used on so we can all help our customers questions and queries with real experience and knowledge. This is now the third staff competition we have had and the benefits have far outweighed our expectations and any hesitation anyone might have had before starting their project has gone. We now have people planning their project way ahead of the start date and hear stories of working late into the night sanding and shaping. All new employees are encouraged by others to get started so creativity and healthy competition is well and truly alive and well. We are very proud of everyone for participating in this competition and producing such a wonderfully high standard pieces. I am going to write up some blogs about each piece over the coming months and while I am getting the photos and stories together for these I thought it was probably easy for me to write about my own entry first. As a Director of Arbortech, some people think that being married to Kevin and being around woodworking for the last 30 years that I would be quite good at using our tools. The truth is that I am not and can be considered as much of a novice as most other staff. So onto my entry which won runner up prize from the independent judging panel……….
We recently picked up some lovely wood called Sheoak which was cut down by mistake by the local council who had left several logs of approx. 30cm (12”) diameter.
I chose a piece which I estimate to be approx. 60cm (24”) long and decided to carve a bowl. The wood looked like it had been cut a couple of months previously so it was still quite green. I first started by using the Turbo Plane to smooth the surfaces and give me a nice surface to work with.
The Mini Turbo was great and easy to use and as I had made a bit of a wave shape on the top of my bowl so I could get in and under this.
The shaping part of my bowl was done in about an hour and a half so I then started using the Mini Grinder sanding discs with 60 grit. After the rough sanding was finished I used the Contour random Sander with some finer sanding discs attached and this was great for getting up under the lip and into the bowl.
After I had finished the sanding there was some splitting in the wood happening as it was still a little green so I started filling it with some resin and waited for it to dry. After a day or so it was cracked some more so I filled it some more. This went on for several days until I decided that I would never end up filling all the cracks and knocked out the resin and sanded back the crack to make it a feature.
I then painted a Black Japan stain onto the outside to give it a point of difference which I am happy with and hence the name seed pod. I finished it off with some wax on the outside and oil on the inside.