Moroccan Style Coffee Pot

Monday 9 July 2018

This coffee pot has both a spout and handle, but is totally non-functional- simply decorative. I have not added any colour but couldn't resist adding some texture to the main body of the piece, which was made from imbuia (Ocotea porosa), but you can leave the piece natural, if you choose.

The turning is simple. The challenge is creating/turning the additions, which make this piece somewhat more difficult to create. This is because the fitting has to be just so and therefore requires patience. Teapots are huge in America, just take the recent exhibition at the AAW symposium, but not so much in the UK. Why Not? They can be such fun to create.

There is no shortage of ideas for inspiration. With this project I also looked at glass and ceramics to help give me a starting point and from there created the piece you see here. As work progressed, the shape developed a distinct Moroccan feel. In addition to the turning tools pictured here, you will also need a range of power tools and accessories, a flexi-shaft Dremel tool, Saburr Tooth burrs and small drum sanders. To create the body of this piece I chose straight-grained kiln-dried timber to minimize any distortion that may occur.

Tools used: 12mm (1/2in) Kelton hollowers, 10mm (3/8in) spindle gouge, 10mm (3/8in) round skew chisel, box scraper, 3mm (1/8in) parting tool, splayed parting tool, Reg Sherwin spindle roughing gouge and 32mm (1 1/4in) spindle roughing gouge

The body

Step 1

The first step is to mount the imbuia blank between centres, make round and then add a spigot to either end of the blank to match your chuck jaws – 50m (2in). Next, measure 110mm (4 1/2in) from the chuck end and part the two pieces off, using a thin parting tool. Be careful to not part all the way through here – stop when around 8mm (5/16in) is left – then saw through carefully without damaging any of the faces you have created

Step 2

Next, once you have the pieces separated, you need to place the piece you are using for the bottom of the vessel into the chuck. Use a large spindle roughing gouge to reduce the diameter and begin to create the shape of the coffee pot

Step 3

Next, you need to define the bottom of the piece – this will become the very bottom of the base for the coffee pot

Step 4

Now refine the outside shape using a 10mm (3/8in) spindle gouge

Step 5

Use a 10mm (3/8in) drill bit, fitted into a Jacobs chuck, mounted in the tailstock to drill the piece to the required depth

Step 6

Hollow the piece out leaving around 8mm (5/16in) wall thickness and create a parallel opening – this will become the joint to which the top is added. At this stage, remove this piece from the chuck

Step 7

Mount the second piece into the chuck and create a cone shape – this needs to be wider at the chuck – then create a spigot to match that on the base of the piece. Drill the centre as before, then you need to soften the opening of the vessel

Step 8

Return the base accurately to the chuck and, using the tailstock for alignment, glue the top into place before allowing it to dry. Then drill, as before

Step 9

Use a 10mm (3/8in) spindle gouge to refine the outside shape, using the tailstock for added support

Step 10

Remove the tailstock and carefully refine the inside of the top, adding a shoulder to allow the stopper to be fitted at a later stage. When the piece is finished, add support as you turn the top of the fine neck

Step 11

Finalise the outside shape at the bottom and add a small bead using a 6mm (1/4in) round skew chisel

Step 12

The last thing to do is to add a small bead at the join to disguise where the piece was cut. Now sand the piece, seal the neck using cellulose sanding sealer, and denib

Step 13

Carefully part the piece from the chuck, using a 3mm (1/8in) parting tool. Then hand finish the bottom

Turning & shaping the coffee pot spout

Step 14

When I started this project I wasn't sure how to create the spout, but after a little experimentation I developed a method that worked for me. It used simple offcentre turning methods similar to those used to create pad/Queen Ann feet on spindles. Mount your blank between centres, make round, offset by 50 per cent, then turn. This is the resulting shape having turned with the spindle set offcentre – this is creating the overhang for the spout

Step 15

Return to the original centre and refine the diameter along the length of the spout, until it is small enough for your design

Step 16

Remove the spindle from the lathe and angle the end – this I did using a disc sander until I was happy with the angle. Offer it up to the vessel and get this fitting correctly before moving on to the next stage. The area that meets the body of the vessel needs to be relieved to allow the outer edges to meet the body. Now the top of the spout can be set at the chosen angle. I wanted mine to be as flat as possible along the horizontal. With the shaping complete, carefully glue the spout to the body of the vessel – now it is beginning to look like a pouring vessel

Step 17

Further shaping can now safely be carried out, carefully viewing the piece as it progresses. I used a coarse Saburr Tooth burr to remove the waste material and created the shape I wanted. When you are happy, sand the spout to the final finish – this can be done with a mini drum sander fitted into the flex-shaft dermal

Step 18

When all the shaping and sanding is complete remove some material to create the opening. This will give the illusion that there is a hole in the spout

Turning the stopper

Step 19

Mount the blank between centres, make round then create a taper – this is the bung that goes into the opening. You then need to reduce the external diameter to match the opening at the top of the vessel. Reduce the blank further and begin to lay out the design of the stopper

Step 20

I chose to have a simple bead followed by a small finial. At this stage, you now need to sand and finish

Creating the handle

Step 21

This seemed to be the most complex part of the project. I wanted to create a fine, elegant handle that reflected the proportions of the spout. I used a paper template as a starting point for the creation of this handle. Begin by gluing your template to the blank and cutting away the waste wood. This needs to be done with care

Step 22

With the blank cut out, begin shaping and fitting the joining points to the bottle, then removing the waste using a Saburr Tooth burr. This really does speed the process up, but alternatively, you can use a coarse mini drum sander. Work at a bench and take care as things become finer and more delicate

Step 23

Work on all faces and keep a careful eye on the proportion, flow and balance as work progresses

Step 24

Carry out the final shaping with a small drum sander

Step 25

Finish by hand with the greatest of care, removing any imperfections. Raise the grain using water, and work through the grades until you are absolutely happy with the result. Seal the handle with cellulose sanding sealer, allow to dry, denib and then lacquer with a satin lacquer – this will ensure that the inside of the handle is covered before final assembly

Step 26

Texture the body and carefully mark the handle position. The handle needs to be very accurately positioned, using a High Tec rubber band. It is amazing how well this holds the handle in place when you are setting its position

Step 27

Work carefully around the point at which the handle joins the body. Keep offering the handle to check progress – do not rely on the white pencil mark alone. With the texturing complete, apply a light sealer coat with a spray cellulose sanding sealer and allow to dry – this will raise the grain slightly but can be cut back by using a stiff bristle brush. It will also change the feel of the body after texturing

Step 28

Position the handle very carefully, making sure it is upright and radial to the centre of the vessel. Glue in place using a medium Cyanoacrylate adhesive. Alternatively, you can also pin the handle if you choose – this will make it more secure when it is picked up – but this depends on whether you intend for this item to be picked up regularly

Step 29

When the glue has fully cured apply a lacquer – light coats are best – building up the layers. Allow each layer to dry before adding the next