Michael Fortune and Wood Bending


At a Lee Valley Tools seminar today, a number of woodworkers including myself had the privilege today of experiencing a 3+ hour instruction seminar conducted by Michael Fortune on wood bending.
Extremely interesting topic and when you see how easy wood bending is (for the most part), it opens up a whole new world in the art of working with wood. $50 or so and several minutes with a few purchases in each of Home Depot and Walmart is all it would take to get into the hobby in a substantial way.
I was truly impressed. Add onto that the fact that the seminar only cost $25 and all attendees received a $25 Lee Valley gift certificate at the end just puts the icing in the cake.
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And, the fact that the seminar proceeds are donated to the United Way. So the $25 you paid is not covering the gift certificate, that's free ice cream.
The web site finally gives a hint that we'll see some seminars this summer here in Saskatoon. I'm sure looking forward to them.
djb
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Well, if Saskatoon is anything like Toronto, I'd suggest looking up available seminars on LV's website at least once if not more every day. Most of them sell out in hours from what I've seen. Maybe we should talk Robin into having his webmaster set up a subscriber list with updates on what's happening at LV stores.
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wrote in message

Most
Hi Dave(s)...
It's been on the MIS project list for awhile...
Cheers -
Rob
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That's right. Rub it in. Next you'll be telling us that the Canadian dollar is at a 14 year high and Canada Post got bought by Lee Valley.
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You're 50% there.
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Good enough for government work.
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"Lobby Dosser" wrote in message

Only in Canada ... we only require 25% for government work here in the good old UC of A (United Corporations of America).
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Though the USPS seems to do pretty well. Certainly better than before they were semi-liberated.
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Dave may not be telling you this, but ever since I found out that Canada Post bought Purolator, who knew?
Even though I was, as an EE, involved with Purolator's venture into the 20th century, with the implementation of manufacturing software (MRP using Cullinet http://www.cullinet.com /, a company I was very proud to have been involved with...) after I left the Province-wide Power Company (Ontario Hydro), I came to the realization that anything is possible in business.
The Lee family buying Canada Post?
It can happen.
*G*
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From Rec.crafts.woodturning:
I finally made it to Lee Valley. It's nearly a three-hour drive from Champlain, NY, but the prospect of attending a Windsor chair making seminar made it worthwhile.
First off - store impressions: Nice, but too much Plexiglas. About 1/2 the products are secured behind locked Plexiglas. While I'm sure that the staff would be more than willing of allow fondling of the goodies, that is simply unrealistic on a Saturday afternoon. That place was packed. Believe it or not, I left empty-handed, but not unfulfilled. The seminar was outstanding.
The seminar was held in a 600 sf room, directly adjoining the showroom floor. The seminar was fully booked at 10 attendees. The layout was semi-circle of chairs surrounding David Fleming, the presenter.
http://www.spokeshave.ca /
Mr. Fleming brought with him a large collection of mostly antique hand tools and demonstrated the use of the Froe, Adze, Inshave, travisher, drawknife, spokeshave, Bit&brace with spoon bits and reamer, as well as a spring-pole lathe.
Starting with what was essentially a pile of firewood, he was demonstrated how each component of a Windsor char was made. Although the time constraints of a six-hour seminar did not permit fabrication of all of the parts a entire chair pretty much all of the bases were covered.
One particularly nice feature of the seminar is that all of the attendees were, for the most part advanced hobbyist woodworkers, but new to chairmaking. The pace and length of the length of the presentation was just right. A hands-on seminar would not have worked in that time frame, but there was opportunity for each of us to touch and try out the tools.
If I had just shown of and gotten an adequate explanation of how to measure and execute all the compound angles of the legs spindles and rungs I would have been satisfied, but I got much more.
He even steam-bent a compound-curved chair back/arm. I found this demonstration particularly useful as I had never seem steam-bending done. I've read about it, but I did not have a sense of what (ease/quantity of bend) could be achieved until I saw the process in action. Reading that you have about 45 seconds from the steamer to the form is just not the same as watching it.
See the "ross chair" in this link http://www.spokeshave.ca/chairs.html
I have never watched a spring-pole lathe in action. It certainly goes a fair way to dispel the notion that you need 1300 lbs of ballast on your Oneway before you can consider yourself "in the game" ;-)
His spring-pole lathe pictured here: http://www.spokeshave.ca/shop.html (although not a great picture).
I took a couple of cuts on it, and damned if it did not work reasonably well once you got a sense pumping with your left foot and backing off the chisel for the backward return spin of the workpiece. It felt like a carving but with the same rhythmic sense of hand-sawing.
As an accessory to the lathe, he had what he called a back-steady. It just a steady-rest, but it had a pivoting jaw behind the workpiece. The nice thing about this arrangement is the rest does not have to be adjusted to a particular spindle diameter. The pivoting jaw would just "fall" against the back of the work-piece and was given constant light pressure by a weighted wedge behind the jaw. The wedge was loose and just danced around a bit has he turned and reduced the spindle diameter, even right in front of the back-steady.
His setup has inspired me to make a couple of accessories for my Jet 1442.
First, I think I will make a similar back-steady. His was locked in it's horizontal position by a wedge under the maple ways. I bet that I could use rare earth magnets to mount a similar accessory directly to the machined bed of my lathe. Has anyone else tried magnet-based accessories on a caast-iron bed?
Also, he had a tool bin, not unlike a quiver for arrows, mounted on the right front leg of his lathe. I have been looking for the right solution to the "where do I set my tools, while turning?" problem for quite some time. This looked like a pretty good answer to me. Once again I think that magnet-based mounting might be the way to go as it is simple, flexible, and reversible.
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Well, if you ever make it to Toronto and visit the new store at 590 King St. West, everything is out on display including stuff like handles, knobs, etc.
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