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Woodturning News: General News

EDMONTON EXAMINER: Edmonton Woodturners Guild creates large-scale commemorative platter to usher in

Thursday, April 6, 2017   (0 Comments)
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The Edmonton Woodturners Guild’s plans for this Canada Day are big enough they needed to jerry-rig their lathe.

Ten members from the group have teamed up to create a five-and-a-half-foot-diameter commemorative platter that they hope will help usher in Canada’s 150th birthday.

The unusually large piece is made of strips of poplar wood, laminated together to make a plank that was about six feet in diameter before the team cut it down to 66 inches with a band saw.

After some extensive lathing and smoothing, the team turned half-circle shaped “beads” into the wood, forming 150 rings around the circumference of the platter.

“Our objective in this whole thing was to create a unique piece of art to honour and commemorate Canada’s 150th,” said Bill Nestor, chapter president of the Edmonton Woodturners Guild.

At the centre of the platter sits a maple dome which contains a map of Canada showing each province and territory and the dates that each joined the confederation.

It’s surrounded by a two-and-a-half inch band showing the Canadian flag and each province’s floral emblem, painted on with an airbrush.

“We definitely wanted to stick with native woods to Canada,” Nestor said.

A textured motif, resembling a river, runs from the top of the platter to the bottom, breaking up the pattern formed by the beads and representing the rivers in Canada, Nestor said.

A project of this size comes with its challenges. Lathing projects of this diameter are rare, though not unheard of, Nestor said. Before it was cut to size, the plank of laminated wood weighed in at 240 pounds, and it was possible that, because it was composed of many separate strips, the centripetal force could have simply torn the plank apart.

Most lathes can only take a slab of 48 inches of diameter or less. Because this platter was a good bit larger than that, the team members had to make some temporary adjustments, including welding some extra steel to the lathe.

“That’s a huge piece of wood to turn on a lathe. Most lathes won’t even accommodate that; we had to actually modify the lathe that we turned it on,” he said.

Because Nestor wasn’t sure the platter would actually work out, he had the team hold off on making any big plans for its completion.

Nestor hopes that the federal government will want to display it at different Canada Day venues and events leading up to the big day, but hasn’t ventured too far into the process just yet.

“Eventually, we’d like to see it in Ottawa on permanent display,” he said.

“That’s more or less up to the government.”

View source and photos.

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