These are process shots that were taken during the creation of the minimal bench, which was commissioned by Brockport State University. All of the lumber that was used in the making of this ash sphere was reclaimed ash that was donated by Brockport State for this project. This lumber was taken from ash trees that fell down during a wind storm. The material is 8/4 or 2 inch thick ash, which is surfaced on a jointer and edge glued first to create a 2 inch x 15.5 x 15.5 inch solid ash panel. To create a 15.5 inch ash sphere there were 8 layers of 2″ x 15.5″ x 15.5″ panels. This sphere has two 1/2 inch holes located and drilled into the face prior to chain sawing. These holes accept the lower aluminum rail that completes the bottom structure of this bench. Once the ash pieces have been laminated all excess wood is removed with a chain saw. This creates a faceted cylinder which has to be turned into a round cylinder. All excess wood is removed then this large ash block is mounted on a lathe. Because of the size this piece is turned very slowly until a 15.5 inch cylinder is created.
Once the cylinder is created then a series of measurements are taken from the center of the cylinder to each edge. These measurements were taken from a shop drawing and transferred to the ash piece with a pair of dividers. When I turn a sphere I work from the center to each edge until I have a sphere. Once the sphere is roughed out with lathe tools the sanding process starts. I started with 36 grit and worked up in progression to finish at 320 grit. The next step was the finishing process which was spar varnish in this case. This sphere was a lower support structure for the minimal bench. This sphere is attached to the bench with a large mortise and tenon. This process was intimidating at first, but by following basic layout processes for creating a sphere made everything easy and fun.