As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 143
If you're a woodturner, you've probably looked at small oval picture frames from time to time and wondered if they could be made on anything other than an Ornamental Lathe.
They certainly can - and making them is the subject of this DVD by innovative English woodturner, David Springett.
The first section of the video is devoted to making the ingenious wooden chuck that converts the normal rotary motion of the lathe into the oscillatory motion demanded for oval turning.
Aside from the visual presentation of this chuck and its operation, there is a parts list and several drawings given at the end of the DVD. These show only approximate dimensions since the exact sizes of the components of the chuck will depend on the lathe being used.
A simple box framework is made to form a hood over the headstock and this carries the camplate. This plate can be adjusted to alter the 'throw' of the cam and therefore the difference between the long and short axes of the oval being turned.
The chuck itself consists of a slide - which David makes from Cooktown Ironwood - moving inside two runners fabricated from oil-soaked Oak.
The making of the chuck requires only basic woodworking skills and common tools, plus, of course, a wood lathe.
In use, the speed of the lathe must be limited to 500rpm and David says that the vibration is no more than might occur with an out-of-balance workpiece. Even so, he places a 44kg bag of sand on the tray beneath his lathe when doing oval turning.
The majority of the video covers the making of a small oval picture frame from the initial marking out of the workpiece to the final parting of the centre waste and sanding.
From time to time, the movement of the chuck becomes audible and a little candle wax is rubbed on the slide before continuing.
David stresses that the chuck should not be used for more than a few minutes at a time or friction will cause an unacceptable build-up of heat. Watching the video, it is clear that this is not the impediment it may seem, since the nature of the work is such that there are many interruptions.
The pace of the demonstration is measured so that each tool can be seen clearly and each cut thoroughly understood.
Other examples of oval turning are shown at the start of the DVD and there is little doubt that any woodturner who has absorbed David's advice and developed the necessary skills, could go on to making such attractive items as small oval boxes and bowls.
DVD - English