Spiral Shaping
Part 4

By Jeff Junak
April 4, 2004

Well, I didn't get to the shaping until this weekend.   Between yesterday and today, I have roughly 10 hours into the shaping and I'm down to detail work.   Its been a pretty scary and gratifying process.   I was real nervous hitting it the first time with the carver.   After the first hit, I was committed, and plowed forward for 3 hours.

I've used a combination of the Arbortech Pro4 Carver, 36-, 40- and 80- grit sandpaper wheels on the grinder, 60-grit on the ROS and a new french curve scraper I got today.

I also decided to bevel the top and bottom edges during the shaping.   The difference in the visual weight of the piece after beveling was amazing.

I don't have any good pics of the shaping itself, as once I began I didn't really stop until the major shaping was done, and the chips and dust created were enormous.   I filled up the tank on my shop vac (16 gallons) collecting dust and chips.   My shop is still a complete wreck, with a heavy layer of walnut dust on everything.   Luckily today I could work outside.

For reference, here is the table before shaping and beveling:

My wife took this pic of me doing some touch-up today.

Here are several views of the final shaped piece.   Still a lot of finish sanding and scraping to go.   I'm really pleased with it, however.

I haven't fixed the biscuit problem yet.   I'm leaning toward staining them at this point to minimize their impact and just letting them be.

KenCouch, 04-05-2004 12:32 AM
I have been reading this forum for months and now I just had to register to say that you are an inventive and inspiring artist and your table is absolutly awesome.  Wow!

Larry Norton, 04-05-2004 09:26 AM
Hey, Jeff!
I would never have expected it to come out like that!
That's pretty slick!
What kind of finish are you going to use?
Uncle Fester WWAMDAUX#3

Hey Ken - welcome a board!
Welcome home we've been waiting for you.   Don't be nervous about posting project pics, we love 'em all.
Tim Eastman

tim eastman, 04-05-2004 10:14 AM
Jeese Jeff I was wondering how you'd tackle that and how it would turn out.   Thanks for showing us the pics - man did that ever turn out nice.

What kind of finish are you using huh? huh?
Tim Eastman

Olepeddler, 04-05-2004 10:31 AM
Wow, Jeff, I'm blown away. Didn't realize that that was what you had in mind.   Lots a work, lots a dust, fabulous outcome.
Joe T

KenCouch, 04-05-2004 10:56 AM
Tim Eastman
Thank you very much.   I probably will put a few pictures on here.   Not that they will compare to what you guys and gals do.   It's funny that you would be the first to welcome me "home" because I was born and raised in Grand Rapids.
Your dining table & chairs are incredable too.

RickJ, 04-05-2004 12:12 PM
Awesome job Jeff...  keep up the great work.

Ken ...  nice to someone else from 'area' in the group ...  welcome aboard !!

Jeffj, 04-05-2004 05:30 PM
I haven't even thought about the finish at this point.   I'm taking this one step at a time.   Any suggestions on finish are welcome.

It was really pretty gratifying attacking the wood with the carver.   I'm still fighting the demons of feeling guilty when I cut off the last couple of inches of a piece of wood, because I'm not using the entire piece.   This project is so different from that, in that I am ending up with maybe half the volume of wood that I started with.

When I began the shaping, I finished the first day with the spiral part much thicker than it is now.   I had beveled the top as well the first day.   We had some company over for dinner and I got impressions from them on what the shape looked like.   My wife and the neighbors were in accord that the spiral had to be the same thickness as the top beveled edge (roughly 7/8").   So I went at it again on Sunday and thinned down the spiral.   It was really a process of doing something, looking at it, noodling a bit and then doing a bit more.   Because I kept taking off more and more wood, I was able to "fix" the mistakes I was making in the original hacking.   I just kept working at it with finer and finer tools (the carver being the least fine, and the scraper being the most fine).   At this point, I will be fiddling with the flow of the shape for the next 4 or 5 days until I feel that I can't get it any better.   Then I'll worry about fixing the biscuits and how to finish it.

Warning!!!  Philosophical statements to follow:
One of the principles guiding me in this comes from the Dave (either in Cairns or Knipfer) view:  The shape was in the wood all along, I just had to find it.   Each of the pieces in the spiral is different, they cut at different rates, have different grain patterns, shape differently and ultimately contribute to the whole.   Each piece adds its own individuality to the completed structure.   Hopefully I've extracted some of that individuality.

Joe Lyddon, 04-05-2004 07:45 PM
Jeff, this is interesting...   I have been thinking of doing something like that with scraps as they become available.

Even with cabinet grade & baltic plywood!

I think the laminates would be interesting.

I was thinking of just starting to glue the pieces together as it happened, twisting and turning per the feeling at the moment.

Have you ever done that... or have you always somewhat 'planned' it out?

What kind of glue do you use?

It looks like you use a grinder...  I was going to attack it with a rasp, etc.   and go from there.

That's a beautiful piece!

What are you going to use it for?  Pictures, lamp, plants, etc.?

Thank you for sharing & have FUN,

Joe Lyddon, 04-05-2004 07:49 PM

W E L C O M E . . A B O A R D !!

I'm sure glad Jeff drew you in from the woodwork!

Have FUN!

The Plans

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