Review: Wolfgang Schulze-Zachau – Sunday 17th September, 2023

We enjoyed a full day’s demonstration with Wolfgang Schulze-Zachau who presented two pieces: a bowl with a coloured rim and a Chinese style square-edged box.

Note: In the photos you will observe that Wolfgang wore no personal protection equipment (PPE) during the demonstration. You are strongly recommended to wear PPE appropriate to the work you are doing.

Bowl with a Coloured Rim

Wolfgang mounted a 14”x3.5” (approx) bowl blank held by compressing the blank between a pointed live centre in the tailstock and the jaws of a chuck. (Note: This method of mounting a blank this size on a relatively small lathe is not recommended. A more appropriate method, especially for the home turner, would be to attached a face plate or to use a worm screw.)

The blank is rounded on a low speed using a bowl gouge. The blank needs to be round before using bevel rubbing cuts. Cut a tenon for holding on a chuck. Flatten the area around the tenon using a bowl gouge. Wolfgang started to shape the back of the bowl (this could have been done later when the bowl is being held by jaws). Reverse the blank and mount in jaws.

Create a tenon on the front face. Reverse the blank again in order to finish turning the back of the bowl. Turn the foot which needs to be bigger than the tenon for a functional bowl. The tenon will be turned away later. Wolfgang created an ogee shape. Sand the outside of the bowl to 240g. Apply sanding sealer. Lightly sand with 320 grit. Apply microcrystalline wax.

Reverse the piece in the chuck to turn the inside of the bowl and the rim. Wolfgang left the rim quite thick but would normally he would make it thinner. Create a nice clean rim surface for the decoration. Sand and seal the rim to avoid colour bleeding. Wolfgang coloured the bowl with Chestnut spirit stains: yellow first, then orange and red. Finally blue. Precision was not required as it will be sprayed over in black. Apply sanding sealer.

Apply masking tape over the areas where the colour is to be retained. Use a scalpel and rule to remove any unwanted tape and to achieve crisp edges of colour. Spray with ebonising lacquer or similar. Use light sprays. Before the paint dries, remove the masking tape. Finish cutting the inner bowl.

Chinese Style Square Edged Box

Wolfgang suggested using fruit wood for best results. Wolfgang used two cherry bowl blanks for the base and lid: 8”*2” and 5”*2.5”. The base blank is held as before, rounded and a tenon is cut. Shape the corners using push cuts so that the corners turn downwards (i.e. towards the tailstock). (Sorry I didn’t get a photo of the finished bottom side.) Carefully find the bevel as you are cutting 95% air. Blend in the shape from the centre towards the edge. Sand and finish.

Reverse blank holding it in jaws using the tenon. Shape to give even wall thickness in the wings. Create the box shape. Note how the shape dips inwards from the corners towards the box.

Hollow out the box using a bowl gouge. Refine the bottom of the box using a scraper.

The lid is made in a similar way. Create a tenon to hold in chuck jaws and remove a lot of waste material. Mount in the jaws using the tenon. Make a tenon to fit into the box base recess. Create a shallow hollow in the lid.

Reverse in a jam chuck and start to create a dome shaped lid. It will be necessary to remove the piece from the jam chuck in order to compare the size of the dome versus the box diameter. Start to make the lid knob. Refine the final dome shape and the knob. Sand. Remove the unwanted nub (from the tailstock) with a chisel. Sand and finish.

Review: Wolfgang Schulze-Zachau – Sunday 17th September, 2023
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