Dexter Dogwood How It's Done
Most of the pieces of my pieces come from 3/4 x 1 1/2 inch stock (also known as 1 x 2). After the edges are planed true, blocks can be cut.
The blocks are cut on my table saw. By flipping the stock each cut the pieces are trapezoids and will fit together to form rings.
This home made fixture allows me to drill holes for dowel pins at a steep angle. More on why pins are used in the next box.
The trick to getting an asymmetrically shaded look (one side of the piece is always darker than the other no matter what angle it is viewed from, usually the right) is asymmetrical grain orientation. Click the image at right for more about ring assembly.
This ring is ready for the last step, truing both sides flat. This process also removes the excess glue on and around the joints.
Here the rings have been stacked and clamped. On the left is the base, center is the upper part (the lamp tubing acts as the clamp) and at right is the lower part (assembled and clamped upside down)
The upper and lower parts have been glued and the piece is ready for turning. The base will be turned and finished separately.
Turning is the fun part but it takes the least amount of time. After four days of making the blank (mostly spent waiting for glue to dry), it took me about an hour to turn this piece, then about two to sand and burnish.
After completing the base, both it and the lamp are remounted in the lathe, which is covered and taped. With the lathe on its slowest speed (36 rpm) I apply the finish (two coats of natural stain and several coats of lacquer). This prevents runs and drips.
The finished piece.