Wood Turner’s Hat

In the world of JA Campbell.co.uk the main task of the day today is that of the wood turner (which is where the surname ‘Turner’ came from.) The job in question is a maple wood base for one of the two Hoggit decanters. The other one sports a silver bowl base.

Yesterday two discs were band sawn from a board of maple ans glued together to give the required thickness to make the base. This block is then drilled at one end and screwed onto a ‘chuck’¬†¬†fitted to a lathe. This is quite a modern wood turning lathe made in about 1950 and electric powered unlike the bow type which preceded all the power machines. Other forms of power could be coal, steam, water or wind.

Occasionally you will see demonstrations of ‘bow’ wood turning at craft fairs and the like. It is exactly as it sounds, the wood rotates in both directions, clockwise and anti clockwise. It is only possible to ‘turn’ or cut on the anti clockwise direction.

It is much easier and quicker to turn wood with power where the work rotates in one direction only and at a constant and controlled speed.

Once the base blank has been turned to height and diameter it is hollowed out to fit each individual decanter. It is then shaped with its distinctive waisted profile.

What follows next is two grades of sandpaper until the surface is smooth, two decorative lines are cut in (a distinctive design feature of JA Campbell) finally the baize slot is turned into the underside.

The nearly finished base is then unscrewed from the lathe and polished using two grades of polishing compound. A disc of mauve baize is pushed into the slot. Job done!!

Another skill used by a ‘Silversmith