Rudolph Lopez Turning Demonstration

© 2010 Bob Hunt - Rudolph Lopez mounts a log

Rudolph Lopez, a turner from Tampa, Florida, came to Jacksonville today and held an all-day demo for the Northeast Florida Woodturners Association, graciously hosted by Jim and Sandy Schroeer.  Rudolph spent the day showing how he turns a natural edge, footed vase, a natural edge winged bowl, and a natural edge thin stem goblet.  From the first moment he stepped up to the lathe (literally), he held the entire audience captive with his relaxed, friendly style.  He taught us the ABC’s (Anchor, Bevel, Cut), and the finer points of using negative rake scrapers.

After mounting a fresh log to the lathe, Rudolph’s first project was a footed vase.

© 2010 Bob Hunt - Hollowing a natural edge vase

Using a Rolly Munro articulated ring tool, he made quick work of the inside of the vase.  You can see Rudolph trying to start a new fashion trend with a single blond curl on the right side.

© 2010 Bob Hunt - The inside of the vase is finished

Rudolph, unlike many other turners, hollows, shapes and finishes the inside of the vase first.  He says that leave more wood behind the inside cuts to stabilize the log and minimize vibration.  And, he turned the vase this thin without losing a single piece of bark.  A beautiful natural edge.

© 2010 Bob Hunt - Turning thin using a bright light

He uses a light placed inside the vase opening to help judge wall thickness.  He only takes away the mass of wood a little at a time for better stability.

© 2010 Bob Hunt - The finished vase

And here is the completed piece.  Just needs to dry out, have a final sanding and finish applied.  What a beauty!

© 2010 Bob Hunt - The spinning wings of death!

Next he mounted a log perpendicular to the lathe bed and started turning the winged bowl.  When it’s spinning, it looks like any other piece of wood.

© 2010 Bob Hunt - Winged bowl in progress

But, when he turns the lathe off, you see this baffling piece of wood which has 2 natural edges.  Now how did he do that?

© 2010 Bob Hunt - Hollowing the bowl

In a few minutes I figured it out.  As you can see below, he used his No. 2 wood welding rod to put 2 pieces of wood together,  as evidenced by the flying wood sparks!

© 2010 Bob Hunt - The finished winged bowl

And, before you knew it, he had finished this amazing bowl with wings and 2 natural edges.

© 2010 Bob Hunt - Kat McCall enjoying a treat after lunch

We then took a break for lunch.  Sandy put out a wonderful lunch of beef stew over rice, nachos, cold salad and a relish tray.  Kat topped off her lunch with a chocolate treat.  The look on her face tells you just how delicious it was.

© 2010 Bob Hunt - Shaping a natural edge goblet

For his next feat, Rudolph turned a bright yellow tennis ball.  Amazing!  Actually, he uses it to help stabilize the thin stem goblet he is turning.

© 2010 Bob Hunt - A gorgeous winged goblet with natural edge

He likes to include unusual features of the wood, like this piece which had a smaller branch growing out the side.  What a beautiful, graceful piece.

© 2010 Bob Hunt - The fruits of Rudolph's labors

And here are all 3 pieces.  We were all privileged to have spent the day with this gentleman.  He is a great turner who is riding a fast train to success and notoriety alongside some of the biggest names in the turning field.  Keep your eye on him.  I will be proud to say I knew him when.  Thank you, Rudolph.

2 comments to Rudolph Lopez Turning Demonstration

  • Ed Malesky

    Very good write up. I enjoyed his demo a lot and I thought the people attending the Hands On learned a lot.

  • Sandra Meyer

    Bob, I agree with Ed, what a great write up. I was very impressed as was everyone with his talent.What amazed me was someone said he hasn’t been turning very long.Certainly was worth a lot more than a years dues to attend, and to think we have more to come.

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