Today three TAG members joined four of our friends from the Northeast Florida Woodturning Association for a fun trip to Fort White to catch a series of demonstrations on woodturning and wood milling.
It turned out to be a lot of fun. Don Geiger did a great demonstration on how to turn a natural edge bowl. He also took us through in a short sharpening demo to show how he gets his gouges sharp enough to make some great finishing cuts. Don manufactures sharpening accessories that allows him to get a very consistent grind. He also showed off his new Robust lathe. Don is the area rep for Robust and it definitely is an impressive lathe. Big, steady and with a lot of woodturner inspired features.
Really important points that Don showed were how to layout the piece to get the best grain pattern and how to get the wings at the same height. He also showed a very delicate cut that left the surface smooth enough to start sanding with 220 grit sandpaper.
Next we had a demo from Don Watson, who specializes in making salt and peppermills sets.
Don gave us all the tips on how to measure the blanks to fit the grinder mechanism and drill the blank for the internals.
Then it was out to see the wood milling demos. Jim Lance, who owned the sawmill we were at, had his WoodMizer out and cut up a cedar log. This bandmill is portable and he will bring it to your site to mill your lumber.
The last of the demos was Paula Nicks from Florida Crotchwood, Inc. Paula and Lori from Florida Crotchwood have a big Lucas Mill. Unlike the WoodMizer, which is a bandmill, this is a chainsaw slabber with a 60” cutting width. As big as that is, the crotch that they were cutting pushed it to it’s limits.
The piece they were cutting was pecan and the slabs had some very nice grain.
It was a good day and we learned a lot and it was great to see the mills in operation. I have bought blanks from Paula in the past and they make very nice pieces.