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.
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.
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.
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.
And here is the completed piece. Just needs to dry out, have a final sanding and finish applied. What a beauty!
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.
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?
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!
And, before you knew it, he had finished this amazing bowl with wings and 2 natural edges.
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.
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.
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.
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.