8 Nov 2022

Benjamin Maney - Customer project

Our latest customer project we are proud to showcase is some of Benjamin Maney's lovely work. Benjamin took up wood turning during lockdown and we think he is a talent. 

Benjamin recently came into Lincolnshire Woodcraft Supplies here in Stamford and brought the materials to make this beautiful piece.

We asked Benjamin to give us the low down on how it was made...

Thread chasing by hand, or the process of cutting screw threads into wood with traditional hand tools on the lathe, is a somewhat forgotten art, having once been a staple of the production turner’s repertoire. A pair of matching ‘chasers’ are employed to alternatively thread the internal and external walls with their respective tools, with a lathe speed of 250-500rpm, and a slow exact traverse, an identical, incrementally lengthening cut must be made with each pass to avoid a double, or drunken thread.  A tricky procedure, but worth sticking with it for some hugely satisfying results, don't be tempted to practise on wood that isn't dense enough...

These traditional tools are documented as far back as the 16c, with ancient craftspeople using them to cut threads in raw materials such as ivory, bone, jet and jade and for me, it’s all about preserving the knowledge for another generation. There are some incredible resources available still for the keen turner - research the late, great Bill Jones (6th gen. Ivory/Bone turner specialising in chess pieces) or Alan Batty. It’s also worth noting that only certain woods will take a thread as we’re working with spindle orientation timber and technically neg rake scraping long grain at a slow speed - dense, fine, straight grained hardwoods are required; Boxwood’s the best by a mile, followed by African Blackwood, Ebony, Cocobolo and similar true Dalbergias, or for possibly more available/sustainable alternatives, I’m told that epoxy resin, nylon and pvc will also take a perfect thread, as will brass and copper.

Various thread sizes are available, ranging from 10-40 teeth per inch, with 16tpi recommended for beginner chasers. My general rule is the smaller the piece, the finer the thread - the cocobolo jewel box above is cut with 18tpi threads.'

Have you got a wood turning project to showcase?

Email us your project and images, we will review and put it on display for the world to see!