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Mantaray Review Wood Turning Design Magazine

Posted on 23rd Feb 2013 @ 9:14 PM

Published with  permission of Woodturning Design Magazine

Written By Bill Basic

Terry Scott was born and raised in New Zealand, the land
of ever-changing beauty. For the past decade, he has
demonstrated at symposiums in the United States,
Australia, Europe, and New Zealand. I have long been a
fan of Terry’s work and frequent his website (www.timberly.
The manta ray vessel is one of Terry’s signature works
and I have wondered exactly how the manta ray pieces
are made. This set of two DVDs shows the process from
start to finish. It was filmed at Hunters Lodge and directed
by Karl Tickle (www.ktmp.co.uk). The DVD set starts with an
introduction in which Terry gives his bio, detailing his turning
history and the manta ray bowl. He then moves on to
the process of turning the bowl.
Terry begins with safety concerns and then goes into
his technique of using a jig for sharpening his tools. He
explains his choice of the Tru-Grind sharpening system and
why he uses it. If you are so inclined, Terry directs you to
the South Auckland Woodturners Guild webpage, where
you can download a file with directions for how to make
the spacers that he uses to set up this system.
Terry then explains the importance of using a square
piece of timber. The piece is started on a screw chuck.
After discussing form and design and offering a hint about
tool rests, Terry proceeds to turn the piece. His starting
point is with the wings and the bowl. The piece is turned at
a fairly fast speed, and he explains how the cuts are made
in relation to the cutting edge of the tool.
Terry shows the spigot-turning procedure and explains
it very well. He also explains the relationship to the wings
and what will be the foot of the bowl. It is here that there is
another gem of a tip: Terry uses a glue stick to check the
shape of the bowl. At this point, he describes tool position
when the wings are being cut, in a way that is easy to
understand and see.
After showing the procedure for gluing on the struts to
protect the wing corners, Terry marks where the other set
of wings is going to be. I always wondered how a skew
chisel could be used safely for this procedure. (Note: Now
that I’ve seen how it is done, it was not as I had imagined,
so I will give it a try—but that’s not to say that it won’t be a
“muscle-tightening” event.) Once again, dowels are used
for support—this time between the wings with hot glue.
At this point, the piece has to be reversed on the lathe
74  Woodturning Design April 2013
by Bill Blasic
Manta Ray Bowl
by Terry Scott
Antipodean Adventures inWoodturning
and it is most important that the piece runs absolutely true.
To make this happen, Terry uses a reversing mandrel with a
chuck. Once the chuck is attached, it is removed from the
mandrel, the piece is turned around, and the chuck is
screwed onto the headstock. Terry now proceeds to cut to
form the top side of the wings and the inside of the bowl.
He stresses that the bowl flows through the wings as if the
wings were added to the bowl. After sanding the bowl to
conclusion, Terry gets rid of the dowels by cutting them in
half and then using a heat gun to melt the glue. Now is
when he checks the grain orientation of the wings in
preparation for the removal of the wings.
After removal of the unneeded wing tips, Terry shows
how he blends the transition areas of the wings with a neat
little tool. (Note: I was impressed enough that I actually
purchased this tool.) After the heavy bulk waste removal,
he goes through the grits while sanding the piece, carefully
watching to keep the wings an even thickness and to
make sure that there are no flat spots. Even though the
piece will be textured, Terry sands through 400 grit.
The piece is now readied by a jam chuck to produce
the three feet at the bottom of the bowl. Terry explains
tool position and the direction of the cut that he uses in
this area. The dowels on the bottom side are now
removed to allow for finishing this side of the piece.
Careful is the optimum word while sanding this side,
because without the struts, the piece is vulnerable to error
while doing the sanding process. The three feet are now
carved with the piece attached to a carving stand (using
that neat little tool), and then sanding to finish.
Terry now moves on to decorating the piece with
woodburning equipment. He shows how to make a burning
tip for a basketweave pattern. Terry explains why he
uses the tools he does and then proceeds to brand the
piece. He shows different branding patterns that he
makes, plus he shows the tips that you can get with the
pen that he uses. There is a lot of good information in this
section on branding and burning.
Then the piece is treated with a drybrushing technique—
using a gold or other metallic paint—which gives
the piece a 3D effect. Using additional color just adds to
the effect; gold, silver, and violet were used on this piece.
Lastly, the piece is finished with a matte lacquer and finalized
with a signature.
There is a slide show at the end of the DVD showing a
number of Terry’s works, which I found very interesting.
This DVD is chock-full of tips, and when you’re finished
watching, you will have a good understanding as to the
entire process. The DVD would be a great addition to anyone’s
personal collection and is an absolute must for any
club’s library. I highly recommend this DVD. It is priced at
$39.95 (plus a flat rate on shipping) and is available directly
from Terry at www.timberlywoodturning.co.nz/products/
Only-NTSC-Format-.html. (Note: You can get to the link
quicker by typing “Terry Scott Manta Ray DVD” into a
search engine.) Terry indicated that he would be happy to
personalize the DVD with a signature if you’d wish.



Bill Blasic


Bill Blasic retired from
General Electric after thirtythree
years. He started
woodturning in 2002 and
joined the Presque Isle
Woodturners, of which he
has been the president for
the past eight years. He is
also a member of the AAW,
North Coast Woodturners, Buckeye Woodworkers and
Woodturners, and Genesee Valley Woodturners Guild.