Lava Inspired Hollow Form with Hand Threaded Finial

Courtesy of G Brad Lewis/Aurora/Getty Images

Lava ‘Eruption’ Inspiration

This lava inspired hollow form is dedicated to my wonderful Step-Daughter, Hannah, for graduating this week from Bristol University with her second degree, Master of Science in Vulcanology.

Vulca-what?? I hear you cry.  Vulcanology: the study of volcanoes.


Well done Hannah!

Hollow Form Inspired By Lava

The base of the vessel was turned from spalted Sycamore.   The blank came from stock I harvested in 2014.  The piece is styled in a slightly Japanese fashion, introduced to me by Mark Sanger during a two-day workshop in the summer of 2016.  I will be offering a review of the session (somewhat late) in a future post.

The finial is turned from a piece of ash, chosen for its prominent grain pattern, which I hoped would enhance the ‘flame’ aspect of the piece.  I am aware that the finial isn’t quite as elegant as might be expected, but there was madness in my method.  I wanted a little more wood towards the tip in order to carry the colour up and continue the feel of ‘explosive lava’.  I was also considerate of the fact that Hannah, though incredibly brilliant in achieving, is horrendously clumsy and would likely break anything finer!  In my mind I carved the tip of the finial into a ‘flame pattern’.  In reality, I felt an attempt to carve would ruin the piece!

Lava Hollow Form with Threaded Finial

Joining the two parts together is a hand threaded boxwood plug, used since neither sycamore or ash can be hand chased.  This is a method I have used previously.  Though this paired plug was turned specifically for this piece, I have previously turned a number of matched pairs and saved them for future projects.

I turned a couple of similar shaped pieces in the ‘run up’ to this one in order to fine tune the shape I wanted.  The very first one I turned, with Mark Sanger, was used as a canvass for different texturing techniques.

A practice piece before the final Lava Form. Interesting warping!

Texture Exercise, With Mark Sanger

Featured Turner: Mike Waldt, In His Own Words

Featured Turner: Mike Waldt, In His Own Words

Mike Waldt, often dubbed 'The Goblet Master'

Mike Waldt, often dubbed ‘The Goblet Master’


Full Name: Mike Waldt

Year of Birth:  1951

Nationality:  British (Welsh)

Place of Birth:  Cardiff, South Wales

Where do you currently live?  Bedfordshire, England

What is, or was, your main job? I am a bus/coach driver, and have been for the past 16 years. Prior to that I came from a Sales and Marketing background.

What would be your dream job?  Professional Woodturner/Instructor

Other than woodturning, do you have any other notable hobbies? In the past I used to enjoy building Gaming Computers, and playing golf. But now woodturning, coupled with my garden, take up most of my “free” time.


Staved Goblet

A Staved Goblet

Are you a professional turner, hobby turner or something else?  Definitely a Hobby turner.

When did you begin turning, and why? I got my first lathe in November 2011, after randomly watching a turning video by my now good friend Carl Jacobson. I think it’s fair to say that after the first time I turned on the lathe…I was hooked!

Are you a member of a turning club and if so which one? No, I am not, as my “free” time is very limited, but I would like to join my local club one day.

Who (or what!) has had the greatest influence on your turning? There are so many turners that inspire me, I couldn’t single out just one.


Who is your favourite woodturner? Again, I don’t have a single favourite turner, as there are so many great and talented people that share their work, for us all to be inspired by.

Do you have a favourite artist, in any medium, other than woodturning? Not really no…however in the art of Opera singing Luciano Pavarotti is my all time favourite “artist” 🙂

Do you have any formal training that helps your turning (e.g. Art, Design, Photography, Engineering etc)? No, I’m completely self-taught…and sometimes it shows!

Do you have any other similar or allied skills? If general DIY and working with wood counts then yes

Birds Eye Maple Bowl

A Birds Eye Maple Bowl

What is the most unusual thing that you have turned? Most of the things I turn are unusual, as they rarely end up as I had anticipated initially.

What are your favourite pieces that you have turned?  I have only a few absolute favourite pieces and they are

A Staved Goblet –

A Birds Eye Maple Bowl –

A Natural Edge Ash Vase – 

An Oak Burr Natural Edge Bowl –

What is your favourite ‘sphere’ of turning (e.g. Bowls, Platters, Boxes, Pens, Hollow forms etc)? Apart from “segmenting”, I enjoy all areas of turning, but I have to say that goblets have a special place in my heart, for some reason.

A Natural Edge Ash Vase

A Natural Edge Ash Vase

Are there any other woodturners (or artists / crafters etc) in your family? No, I am the first in a very short line!

What has been your biggest disaster? There have been many, as each time things go wrong it seems like it’s the biggest “mess up”.  I think the Coventry demo I recently did at UKIWS ranks pretty high on the disaster stakes, as far as turning goes anyway 😉


An Oak Burr Bowl

An Oak Burr Bowl

Is your workshop a dedicated space or shared with other activities (i.e. a garage shared with a car, art studio etc)? I share my workshop with my wife’s car, and no amount of pleading will make her keep it outside!

How many lathes do you own? Just the one.

What is the make and model of your main lathe? The Axminster Trade AT1628VS

Have you had any previous lathes? The Axminster AWVSL1000

What is your ‘dream lathe’? I think it has to be the Robust American Beauty.

Other than your lathe, what is your favourite tool or machine? My Record Power BS400 Band Saw

Is your workshop very tidy, a ‘work in progress’ or a disaster zone? I do like to keep the workshop as clean and tidy as possible, but there are times it looks like a disaster zone, despite what the majority of my turning friends think!

Mike's lathe (Axminster Trade AT1628VS) is under here somewhere...

Mike’s lathe (Axminster Trade AT1628VS) is under here somewhere…



Do you have a public YouTube channel that you would like to promote?

Yes I do here’s the link to it –


What is your favourite drink and snack food whilst in the workshop? Diet Coke and Walkers Plain Crisps….lol


Anything else you would like to say or be known about you and your turning life? I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends in the turning world, who have given me incredible support, and inspiration over the years, for that I am truly grateful.

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Coming up in future Featured Turner articles we have, amongst others, Stephen Ogle, Erik Anderson (The Naked Turner), Carl Jacobson and Cindy Drozda

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Jet 3520b. New Lathe Joys? Errr No….

It’s only a few weeks ago I was writing on social media sites telling of my excitement after ordering a shiny new Jet 3520b.  After a stock shortage delay it arrived just a week ago.  It took me two days to get it into the workshop and commissioned for first use.

Sadly, I only enjoyed two days of turning with it before I started to detect a knocking noise…  I had read about an issue with 3520b’s and the speed detector… but no, this wasn’t the problem.  It looks like it’s one of the spindle bearings 🙁

Axminster, the UK supplier, are sending out a replacement head unit, but it will be a few weeks I suspect before I’m up and running again.  It’s a good job I still have my Nova DVR XP (for sale!!) as this failure coincides with a bulk order for one of the pieces I turn.

I’m very frustrated at the moment.

SOLD! Nova DVR XP Lathe for Sale


Nova DVR XP (Stock Image)

I’m happy to announce that this is now sold and will be going to its new owner very soon.  The new owner is a well known YouTube turner, so I will happily be able to keep an eye on it over the coming years! 


Due to the purchase of a Jet 3520b, I am unfortunately having to sell my lovely Nova DVR lathe.  I had hoped to keep them both but I have realised I just don’t have the room.  I will eventually buy another, much smaller lathe.


The Details

Record Power branded Nova DVR XP Lathe, 2HP digital motor.  No belts / pullies to change! 100 to 3500 rpm variable speed.  I have had this for around 3 years from new.  It is in almost perfect condition other than one manufacturers sticker starting to peel and the addition of a magnetic tool holder! This cost £2,200 and includes full outrigger turning kit with outboard tool rest and extra large bowl surfer rest.  The sale includes all the equipment shown here at ‘Yandles’ and much more (see below):

Full specs on manufacturers page:

DVR Bowlsurf.1

Bowlsurfer Rest (Stock Image)


The package includes the Nova Bowlsurfer rest. This can be used in either the standard banjo or on the included outrigger unit.




The lathe has the additional benefit of fully fitted wireless remote control.  This can either be worn on the wrist like a watch or attached to any part of the lathe as it is magnetic.  I remove the straps and attach to either the tool rest or tailstock.  This cost around £120.


 DVR Remote1DVR Remote2

Included with the lathe are:

1 Supernova-2 scroll chuck with two sets of Jaws – Standard 50mm / 2 inch and Pin Jaws. Cost £120.

1 Axminster Sk114 Evolution Scroll Chuck (No jaws supplied) Cost £180 –

Other parts and tools specific to the lathe will be provided, including original Spur Drive and Live Centre, Beall Spindle Tap (to make your own chucks, faceplates and jigs), Peter Childs dedicated ‘screw chuck’ and various faceplates.  The image to the left shows a large magnetic strip along the front of the lathe bed.  I used this to hold small tools and spanners etc.  This strip is included.



Chucks, Faceplates and Accessories included




Package includes homemade friction plate and sanding disk.



Total Cost of Equipment:

Nova DVR XP Lathe Package £2,200
Bowlsurfer Rest £40
Wireless Remote Control £120
Teknatool Supernova2 Chuck £120
Axminster Evolution Chuck (Bare) £180
 Accessories in excess of £150
Total Cost In Excess Of £2,810

Image of actual lathe. Draws and shopvac not included!

Image of actual lathe. Draws and shopvac not included!