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The Humble Grumble

Jean Turner, RPT

   ...the sporadic annoyances & humble mumblings of a Jeannius.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Little Clocks or Standardisation...


Something different to come out of my Wonderous Cave.

Inspired by an article in one of the ancient wood turning magazines, I came up with my own design for a little clock. Having made so many since then, these can now be regarded as a JbT signature design. While I appreciate that there really is nothing new under the sun (in reality - the Phoenicians summarised it all by the time they looked after the planet) I did build a special chuck to hold these when turning them.


Vacuum chucking systems are wonderful and truly simplify some parts of the turning process. In other ways, they can be very frustrating, have the tiniest air leak and the integrity of the whole system is compromised and you run the risk of doming yourself as a sharp-cornered item the weight and size of a cricket ball flies off whilst spinning at 2500 RPM. That's like standing 2 feet away from the hand a fast bowler as he hurls a cricket ball in your direction (and then some)...

Which brings me on to the next topic of conversation - an object lesson. Brought home to us by the rather untimely death of a fellow lady turner (in America) who was hit on the head by a flying lump of cedar. The consensus seems to be that had she been wearing an impact face shield and integral bump cap, she may well have lived to tell the tale.


Instead, she was wearing what most of us use to turn in - a simple pair of safety specs. While they may keep splinters and sawdust from going in our eyes, they do little to stop a sharp flying missile that emerges at mach whatever from an exploding piece of turning wood on the lathe.

It was just this type of flying object which sliced straight through her left eye socket and left temple and embedded itself into the left hand side of her brain causing extensive brain damage on it's way. She was found some hours later in a pool of blood by her husband when he returned home from work, lathe still running in the background. She lingered in a coma for two weeks in intensive care, and then succumbed to her injuries.


How incredibly sad, and a reminder that woodturning can be very dangerous and we should be taking the proper steps to prevent those head injuries from happening to us. I think I shall dust off my old Trend face shield and put up with some inconvenience until I have saved up the necessary £250 to buy the lighter high impact/bump cap model.

Back off my soapbox again - these little clocks require a four stage process, and are turned to a 'recipe' while still being individuals. The recipe involves certain shapes at specific sizes so that they will fit into and be held most securely in the vac chuck I especially made for them.

These Little Clocks come with a quality Japanese movement installed which use commonly available watch batteries which are easy to change.

These and similar items are available to buy from my webshop in Boxes, Clocks and Other Pretty Things