As promised Graham took us through the production of a classic kitchen towel holder explaining as he went one or two of the tricks of the trade he employs to produce a good result and ease transportation problems to and from shows. Finally he used a liming wax as a finish to demonstrate another way of producing a different effect. Firstly as with all projects the end result needs to be fit for purpose. To this end Graham has measured several common rolls of towels and determined a good size to make the finished item to make it more or less universal. Fundamentally this is a base with a 140mm diameter and a spindle that is 35mm diameter and about 300mm from base to tip (don’t forget the spigot to fix it to the base). Next Graham spends a minute or two before starting to turn any piece deciding where to position the banjo. He is looking to find a
position that will allow him to merely turn the toolrest rather than continually moving the banjo itself. Graham does not use glue to put the two pieces together. He prefers to use a screw through the base into the spindle so that when he is transporting several to a show he can carry them not as an awkwardly shaped towel holder but as a set of spindles and bases. These take much less space and are less likely to be damaged en route. To ensure that he fits the right spindle to the right base on arrival e colour codes the pairs using a dot inside the base fixing hole and on the bottom of the spigot. When producing the hole in the base into which the spindle will fit Graham uses a
forstner bit that has a head that is just less deeper than the width of the badan he will use to create the spigot. Thus he knows if the spigot is smaller than the width of the badan it is OK for length. Finally when producing a long spindle Graham uses two techniques. Firstly he uses a steb centre and cuts wood from the tailstock end before turning the wood round and then cutting the second half also at the tailstock end. This keeps him away from cutting near the chuck and means he can use the banjo in one position. Secondly having set his callipers to the desire size he cuts a series of small widths along the length of the spindle to the correct size and then merely “joins the dots” as he puts it.