Gulf Coast Woodturners Association



Club Information




April 2011 Meeting Gallery

The month of April often brings Spring showers, but for GCWA, April brought some sunshine in the form of John Jordan.  John shared his skill, knowledge, mantras and wit with club members.  He also conducted several workshops including three hands-on sessions during club which members turned, carved and decorated hollow forms under John's watchful eyes.

Demo by . . . John Jordan!

John Jordan doesn't leave much to chance.  For his demo he brought his own wood--a piece of pear.

John believes that life is too short to use bad or cracked wood so . . .

. . . he cut and cut and cut until he got the piece he wanted.

He's also a BIG believer in sharp tools!  John's Mantra: Sharp tools and a light touch.  Words to live by for woodturners.

John went to the grinder many time while turning the piece of pear that was still wet.


John is also a big believer in keeping one's lathe clean and he brought this one up to his exacting standards before beginning to turn.

Grain orientation is especially important to John to minimize unwanted movement and surprises.

He used a flip chart to emphasize key points.

Almost ready to turn....

John  followed a 5 step process which we attempt to describe here. STEP 1: Begin by creating a tendon and shaping the outside of the piece.


John didn't bother to round up the blank first. He simply began to form the tendon, or, rather, a double tendon to ensure the piece was properly seated in the chuck, and then he shaped the outside.

Here's a better view of the double tendon.

There was a good turn out for John's demo, which was held at Jim Keller's Foxfire Studio in Richmond, TX.

STEP 2: Reverse the piece and true up the outside.  John used his bowl gouge to perform the first of two shear scrapings.

The second was done with his trademark shear scraper.


STEP 3; True up the top to get rid of any undesirable features and then form the rim.  John emphasized that you only get one chance to form the rim correctly and this is the time to do it.

After the rim was formed, John used a wire brush to add texture to the rim.  He also used the same brush to add texture to the foot later on in the process.

STEP 4: Remove the wood from the interior, starting from the center of the piece . . .

STEP 3 (continued):
. . . working in sweeping motions out to the rim.

STEP 3 (continued) Remove wood carefully and in steps if necessary as the final wall thickness is approached. Again: Sharp tools and a light touch!


STEP 5: Reverse the piece and form the foot.  In this case, John removed the second tendon before reducing the one that the chuck held.

John created a recessed foot using a shop-made tool and also added texture to the foot with the wire brush he used on the rim.

Here's one view of the finished  piece.

And another with the nub left from turning down the tendon.  The nub was thin enough for John to "flick" it off at one of the folks seated in the first row.

Another view.


A better view.

And another.

John Jordan with his pear piece.

Some of you may be curious about the finish John uses on his pieces.  Here it is: Krylon Matte Finish.




Some time ago, John Jordan lost a Maple tree on his property and offered some of the wood to AAW turners.  John Van Domelen (left) and Bill Pottorf (right) took him up on his offer.  They are shown here, with John, holding the pieces they turned from the wood.  

Turnings by John Jordan











photography by Paul Millo, and Dale Barrack