All posts by Bill P

About Bill P

Served for 20 years in the USAF. Afterwards worked as a Software Engineer and Computer Security Specialist, finally retiring all together in 2014. Enjoying hobbies of woodworking, ring making, photography, rock hounding, learning piano, and amateur radio.

Wood Turning Challenge

One of the more challenging tasks in lathe work is creating segmented pieces. They are beautiful when one takes care in mixing different species of wood. The challenge arises in cutting the pieces so they fit without gaps, gluing pieces together and clamping them, and then turning them on the lathe. Mounting on the lathe can be tricky and one has to take some safety precautions in case it comes off the lathe at high speed or the parts come apart. 🙁

This piece was my first segmented bowl and I am proud of it. It is about 8 inches in diameter at the top. I think the different types of wood fit together pretty well. Makes for a pretty good candy dish for a coffee table.

Segmented Bowl Side View
Zebra Wood, Red Oak, Walnut, UI Wood, Purple Heart
Segmented Bowl Top
Segmented Bowl Top Zebra Wood, Red Oak, and Walnut Segments
Segmented Bowl Standing
Side view of segmented bowl, standing on base.

How to Contact an Admin or the Webmaster

To provide feedback to the webmaster, place your mouse cursor over the Contact menu choice and when the choices are highlighted, click Contact. You will land on the page with a form to complete to submit feedback.

To create an account (register), place your mouse cursor over the Contact menu choice and when the choices are highlighted, click Account Registration. You will land on the page with a form to complete to create an account.

Visit to APA Claim – Sep Monthly Meeting

Went to an Arizona Prospectors Association (APA) meeting yesterday, September 19, held at one of their claims. Around 35 people attended the meeting and several remained afterwards to do a little prospecting. Several items were raffled off including: gold nuggets, pay dirt, rocks and minerals, fire starters, and chips (you had to be there). One individual won 3 nuggets!

After the meeting I met with another new member and we went to a nearby location on the claim to test out our metal detectors. We only found some bullets and some fragments this time. I returned to my truck after about an hour, and the other person went back to the place where we were detecting. He had found something interesting to pursue. Hope he found gold…

Weather Information

Weather conditions in Arizona may seem boring and repetitive. It is true to some degree, but one has to be aware that conditions can change so rapidly and unexpectedly. Dangerous conditions can pop up at any time. Just the damage the sun can do is cause for concern. During the monsoon season and other rainy periods everyone must consider rain and wind. Flooding occurs frequently. Severe thunderstorms spring up quickly. Lightning causes many fires. Dust storms (haboobs) can reduce visibility to near zero. These conditions often cause serious problems.

Staying aware of conditions and forecasts is fairly easy with today’s technology. Apps and equipment allow accurate and fast access to current weather information.

I have a weather station near my home, and it uploads current conditions to the internet frequently. The weather information is identified by Citizen Weather Observer Program (CWOP) station KAZWITTM16 which belongs to me. No video camera is currently associated with the station, but maybe sometime in the future.


Current Beta-Pi Weather Conditions

Current Phoenix Area Weather Radar

Inlay Materials

Minerals make for very good inlay material and look very nice embedded in wood or metal. I inlay different minerals in several type of ring cores including stainless steel, tungsten, and rhodium plated. The materials come in different grades or granularity, most often sand-sized and powder. The powder packs a little more and so gives a more solid look. The sand, being granier, will look a little less solid, but it is still smooth and presents as polished.

Red Coral Sand

Red Coral Powder

Pipestone Sand

Pipestone Powder

Green Malachite Sand

Green Malachite Powder

Chrysocolla Sand

Chrysocolla Powder

Turquoise Sand

Lapis Sand

Lapis Powder

Goldstone Sand

Wood and Acrylic Pens and Pencils

Lathe-turned pens and pencils are some of the most popular items made by hobbyists. Materials include domestic and exotic woods, colorful acrylic, crushed stone, and resin impregneated with other materials. They can also include inlaid designs of many types. If you have an interest, there is a pen or pencil design available to match it. Fountain pens, ball points, click, twist, parker type, and others. Trim pieces can come in various colors: silver, gold, gun-metal, and sometimes black or other colors. Pocket clips can even be customized for different occasions, professions, events, or specialties, such as a golf club, fishing rod, rifle, and others. Profiles can vary according to owner preference: bulging (as pictured), straight (aka slimline), or custom. Velvet-like slip cases or hard wooden or plastic cases are available for single or multiple sets.

Blue Swirl Acrylic Pen
Acrylic Blue Swirl Twist-Style

Acrylic pen and pencil colors vary tremendously. Just about every color combination or single colors are available. Usually these are highly polished, and they are very durable.

Padauk Wood Pen
Padauk (padook) Wood

Wooden pens or pencils vary greatly according to the species of wood. Some rare woods are fairly expensive, but they all have a unique character and feel. Most woods accept different finishes to protect the wood from skin oils or other contaminants. Some polish to a high gloss and others remain more natural finish.

Zebra Wood Slimline

A zebra wood slimline pen with gold trim. Profile is slightly bulging which is comfortable for most people.

Laminated Wood

Manmade laminated wood with different colors and species of wood. Various color combinations are available.

Wood & Acrylic Wine Bottle Stoppers

Have an unfinished bottle of wine? No need to try to put the cork back in if you have a custom wine bottle stopper. Stoppers can be made from exotic wood, laminated wood, or acrylic material and will look nice atop your wine bottle. And some of the stoppers will stand by themselves on the counter or shelf if you don’t need to stopper a bottle. Wine bottle stoppers are turned on a lathe to the initial shape and sanded. Wooden materials are then finished and buffed to a higher gloss. Acrylic materials are sanded to a very fine grit and polished to a high gloss. The material is then attached to the metal portion of the stopper.

Veined Acrylic

Custom wine bottle stoppers add a little character to your wine bottles that are not quite empty. Acrylic stoppers are eye-catching. Many shapes are possible and the business ends of the stopper come in different styles too.

Laminated Wood

Custom wooden wine bottle stoppers add a little different character to your wine bottles. Laminates, domestics, acrylics, and hybrid wood & acrylic are available. Various profiles are possible and the business ends of the stopper come in different styles too.

Inlaid Rings

Inlaid rings consist of a core with a channel where the inlay material is placed. Cores and the channels vary in width. Cores are single piece and made from tungsten, stainless steel, or rhodium plated. Inlay material can be minerals like opal or lapis and come in various colors, including solid, translucent, opaque, glowing and glittery. To make the inlaid rings, the material is built up on the core, turned on the lathe, sanded, buffed, and then polished to a high luster. Pretty much the sky is the limit. This type of ring can come in just about any size. One disadvantage of this kind of ring is that it cannot be resized. Inlay material often comes in more than one grain size, often sand or powder. Powder packs more tightly and will not show the graininess as much as the sand-sized material. Some inlay material has amounts of impurities included, but I try to get the best quality possible for a cleaner, purer look.

Pictures coming soon!