Turning the enormous lampshade...

23 April 2014, Woodturning in practice, Would you like to leave a comment?

In my last post, I’d prepared a huge piece of ash, ready for turning into a lampshade. It took quite an effort to get on the lathe – the engine hoist stopped at a quarter of an inch too low, so I needed some friends and a bit of pushing to get it in place!

The initial turning was very slow. Being out of center and very heavy, it took a good hour of cutting, before I could balance it and then increase the speed. Frustratingly, at such low speeds, the lathe had little power and would stall at almost every cut. However, after removing the angular edges left by the chainsaw, I could get some decent sized shavings to flow and soon got it into shape...

Shade-blank-before-turning.jpg

Turning-the-outside.jpg

After a couple of hours, the outside was turned to the required shape...

Outside-finished.jpg

With the outside profile completed, it was still too heavy to lift, so I had to use the engine hoist again. I knew the next stage was going to be a challenge – the shade had to be hollowed to a depth of 16 inches, whilst avoiding that natural edge.

I started hollowing towards the edges, but left a raised section near the center. This could be removed with a grinder and hopefully speed up the process. It seemed to take for ages, but I had to be very careful with every cut. That natural edge certainly looked fearsome when it was spinning around and not something I wanted to get involved with!

Blank-in-sling.jpg

Starting-the-inside.jpg

Ash-shade-inside.jpg

This is the completed shade – although, it will of course be upside down. One of my mid sized natural edge bowls is just beside, giving an idea of scale…

Finished-shade.jpg

I’ll be sure to post some photo’s of it in place and there’s also going a short film of it being made. Watch this space…

Jonathan Leech

Written by Jonathan Leech

Jonathan Leech is a woodturner working and living in Cumbria. He specialises in making bowls, dishes and platters from local sustainably sourced timber. Read more or about Jonathan or see a selection of his work.

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  • Hi Chris,
    It's great you've got some yew coming in - as you can probably…
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