יום שלישי, אפריל 10, 2007

Turning Sand (or sanding my tools)

Not long ago I decided I wanted to try the whole inlay thing, specificaly inlaying different materials in the turned work to add some color and contrast. This is a long practiced skill, that has had several books written about and you can see quite lovely examples of in many websites.

Having CSUSA a bit far from Israel and also a bit expensive, I decided to go look around in some local stores for inlaying material. We don't have a turners supply store here, but we do have hobby stores, which cater mainly to little children activities (painting, creative stuff) and jewlery making and other such popular hobbies. I was looking for inlaying material, and found some glitter dust and also colored sand in many colors. I bought a small amount that should last for many attempts.

First experiment was to make a turning top, this is a small easy project and very quick to make also kids love it and adding another to the collection doesn't take much space. I made a small groove on the widest part of the top with my thin parting tool, and applied the glitter while adding some thin CA this is a slow process done with the lathe turned off, filling a bit and putting a drop of CA, wait a moment or two for it to start hardening and then turning the top a little and again, until the whole top is done... then sand a little and see if there are any voids - fill and repeat. finish the top and this is what you get:





Then I turned a bowl from some Carob wood I have, the blank had some cracks in it, and more were revealed while I was turning the bowl. I decided I will try to fill the cracks with some colored sand - a bluish color, so after my fun experience with the glitter I'm all hopefull about this. At first everything is going fine, the sand quickly fills the cracks, and the CA seems to be working on it even better than on the glitter. OK now I bring my scraper to cut off the extra sand - something is wrong with the cutting sound... It ain't cutting. I stop the lathe and look at the tool, the edge is gone. I take it to the grinder, grind a fresh edge and try again, slowly - bang, the same bad sound after a second. Looking, again no edge. It apears that the colored sand is sanding the edge away of my HSS tool and quickly too... After a few tries I gave up and sanded with 80 grit sandpaper, and what do you know... Sand sands sand! here are some pictures (sorry, no pictures of the sanded tool):