Jimmy Clewes Event 2005
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The turning demo with Jimmy Clewes was held on May 6th and 7th 2005 at the Bozeman High School. The first item that Jimmy turned was an Oriental Style Lidded Box. He stuck on a piece of maple that was essentially a 2x4 and spun it up to 3200 RPM. That got everyone’s attention as it sounded like an airplane propeller.  You can see in the picture the block being formed. The justification for the high speed was to have less time for the tool to get in between the parts that are being cut. Several classes of students were able to view parts of the demos. The shop students normal class schedule is 2 hours so they were able to see most of a project. Jimmy showed the technique of using denatured alcohol to raise the grain. By raising the grain you can get a better sanding job and the alcohol works better than water because it dries quicker plus you can speed up the process by burning it off. Gary Corneer, the shop teacher, quickly stepped up and explained to the students that ‘don’t even bother asking, we are not going to do that in the school shop’.  After the base was formed then the top was formed and the parts mated with a friction fit for a final turning.

The next demo piece was a long stemmed goblet.


After the goblet, Jimmy attacked a piece of crab apple that John Montagne had brought in. The plan here was to make a natural edged end grain vase and show hollowing techniques. He used a Hamlet guarded ring tool for some of the hollowing and a long grind bowl gouge for the roughing. Jimmy reports he will use up a bowl gouge in 3 to 4 months. The students were real impressed with the stream of wet chips. Jimmy commented that it was some really fun wood to work with. As it was getting passed around you could tell it was drying and moving quickly.

A lidded box out of Walnut was next on the agenda.

Hosts Gary and Gunny

Next Jimmy started on a colored platter. This allowed him to explain pull and push cutting. His argument is that pull cutting is more efficient. There was some good natured back and forth with Ken Emerson with Jimmy asking why he keeps asking the hard questions.

A natural edge wet bowl was next turned. More alcohol induced fire was used to help dry the wood.

The final item was a textured colored piece with gold leaf in the center.

On May 8th and 9th, the hands on sessions were held at Tom Robinson’s shop. Lots of smiles and hard work all around.

Photo credit Tom Robinson

Photo credit Tom Robinson

Photo credit Tom Robinson


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