A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.....well actually just a little while back in County Durham an AWGB member workshop happened to take place on May 4th which as I am sure you all know is International Star Wars Day so prepare for some unbelievably bad star wars puns....


The workshop was advertised as an intermediate bowl making session so we set off to the workshop of Andrew Hall in County Durham the day before and began the day at 9.15 with introductions ad the initial briefing from Andrew and Janet who made us all feel very welcome - ably assisted by the two dogs Kato and Indy.

The obligatory photos were taken at the start of the day and of course some fool had brought Star Wars masks ....

The shape of the day was outlined as making a nest of bowls from some ready sawn seasoned Cherry blanks, as you may be aware I have some experience with coring but my travel buddy (lets call him Luke Skewwalker - I did warn you!) doesn't and the other chaps had little or no experience of this technique.

We started by putting the blanks onto the lathes using a mounting point created using a 50mm Forstner bit and then creating the exterior shape of the  larger bowl aiming in this case for a shape with a foot. Andrew was on hand to help correct my bad habits and instruct us in the finer points of bowl gouge use, in some senses you could regard him as a jedi master...Obowl Wan Kenobe.....oh dear.

Andrew (aka Obowl) then showed us how to set up the coring system on the lathes and went on to demonstrate the use of the coring system, the system used in this case was the two blade Woodcut coring system but of course other systems are available and were discussed. Regardless of which system you use these systems offer a great way to get more out of a blank and reduce the amount of waste - I'm almost sure I could hear the blank saying "core me Obowl Wan Kenobe, your my only hope" ..... and they just keep on coming!!

We each took our turn at the coring and everyone managed to produce a cored main bowl and a core which could be used to create a second bowl from what would have been waste. That being done we were then sat down to lunch provided by Janet and Andrew.

After lunch we returned to the workshop....I won't make any comments about Return of the Jedi as I think we've all suffered enough!

The larger bowls were completed, then sanded and left ready to finish again under the guidance of Andrew though of course I opted to explore the dark side and use my new Jimmy Clewes Mate #2 Carbide tools to complete the interior of the bowl. Under my new identity of Darth Turner I was tempted to work in  "come over to the dark side, we have carbide" but thought it was a bit obvious....

The cores were remounted using the original holes drilled at the start a spigot was formed and the outside of the smaller bowls was shaped and finished. Once reversed a mixture of Carbide and traditional tools were used to get the smaller bowls ready for application of finish.

The bowls were finished using a buffing system on the outside and jar (or was it a Jar Jar Binks .... groan) of food safe oil was produced to allow us to finish the interior of the bowls.

All told a great day courtesy of the AWGB and hosted by Andrew and Janet and then off home to Tatooine on the Milenium Falcon....May the force be with you!