I mounted a small elm blank between the head and tail stock last week and turned the exterior shape and recess ready for turning around and holding with an expanding jaw chuck in preparation for finishing off by hollowing out the inside. I stopped after a while as I realised that I needed to shift body weight from time to time and this was not easy balancing on one leg.
I was told that I could do with a "Perching Stool" and sure enough one was ordered and arrived yesterday afternoon. This afternoon I adjusted the stool to its full height and continued where I had left off last week but this time by "sitting down on the job"!
I had expected that I would take the weight off my one good leg when adjusting posture during the hollowing out process but instead managed by and large by shifting around on the perching stool. I did have to get up from time to time to reach for sand paper, cellulose sanding sealer, friction polish and wax - all part of the finishing process - once the desired shape has been achieved through use of a variety of gouges and wood turning chisels.
I finished off the elm bowl and turned my attention to some cherry that I had sawn up when I could still stand before the latest operation. The cherry had come from my brother in law who we will be visiting this weekend so I wanted to see if I could repay the gift of the wood by presenting him with one of the products of his own garden.
The bowl is currently shaped, sanded on the outside and initially "finished" ( not really a contradiction in terms!). It is mounted in the jaws of the chuck ready for stage 2 and hopefully I will finish that off tonight or tomorrow morning.
A while ago I decided to "sign" the finished items and bought a wood burning tool set. At present I etch in the house name and year. I have not yet got around to numeric sequences nor do I think I will ever get that good or serious. However in years to come if ever the family collected together the various bowls etc that I would have made and given as gifts I am sure they would be able to see the progress I would have made.
Perhaps they might assign some of the designs to different periods of my "artistry" - you know that was his "early period", his "Laburnum period" etc. What I expect none of them will realise is that the produce of the next few weeks will in my mind at least be remembered as my "one legged period".
The wooden bowls that will result therefore will to my mind forever be examples of "one-legged bowls" i.e. not the genteel sport played by an amputee, but wooden containers for use around the house fashioned with the help of the very useful "perching stool".