Club Night – 5th December 2018

Tonight was a new twist on the 3 Musketeers format of demonstrations where instead of all 3 working at the same time they each did a 40 minute demo on a specific subject.

Mick Denton started with  a demonstration on sharpening. He showed the setup that he uses and the jig to set the table angle. He had made a number of jigs that were free to take if you wished (or make a donation to club funds). He also showed the setup for fingernail profile gouge grinds. Mick also showed the use of a diamond card as a means of sharpening / quick touch up between grinds.

Roger Gilbert picked up on the art of finishing, from basic abrasive work to standard finishes that he uses. His main tip for the sanding process is not to skimp on the abrasive. Dull abrasives are a false economy as you need to apply more pressure making the finished surface inferior. It is important to get the absolutely best surface before you apply a finish, take your time to get it right. He demonstrated getting a good surface straight off the tool as this reduces the time spent on sanding.

Roger went on to demonstrate and explaining the application of sanding sealer, Ebonising Lacquer and gilt cream, friction polish, food safe oil and wax.

Gerald Hubbard showed that the basic turning of a Christmas decoration complete with finials could be done in a reasonably short space of time. The body was drilled and countersunk so that it could be mounted on a pen mandrel. This was turned to a basic shape but when you make this you can make any shape, just let your imagination run riot. The top and bottom finials were turned at the same time from one pen blank.

It seemed that most of the audience picked up some snippets of useful information. It is difficult to incorporate all of these into this review, all of this just proves that you need to be at the meetings as there are so many tips that will only be valuable to you.

The December competition table was loaded with really excellent projects. First Prize went to Geoff Warr with an open barley twist table lamp. Second prize was Clive Bryant with a Taurus shaped vase and wooden flowers and third was Gerald Hubbard’s Christmas decorations.

Club Night – 21st November 2018

Bob Walder introduced his evening’s demonstration as the routing of flutes to a turned conical piece as an embellishment.

Bob had already mounted the router box on the lathe and the piece was set between centres. The basic setup for the jig was finalised and an indexing arm set so that 12 flutes could be made. An initial flute was routed to part depth and checked to make sure it was ok. The remaining flutes were routed to the same depth using the indexer to lock the position.

Set up
Index arm

Once this was completed the router depth was reset to make another cut.

Routing the flute

Usually Bob would make several passess to achieve the full depth but in this case he set to full depth in one go as time was a factor. Each of the flutes was cut in turn on the same index positions.

Backed off

Once completed the piece would be sanded through the grits along the grain, not with the lathe running.


The base is a turned disc but needs a deep hole drilled into the centre for the flex. Bob showed us his set up for doing this and the long drill that he uses and he very kindly donated one of these drills to the club. A really good insight into how these sort of problems can be overcome relatively easily.

Finished piece

The demonstration showed us that with a little ingenuity and thought you can add routed detail to your pieces using a relatively straight forward jig. The effect you can achieve would be well worth the effort.

Club Night – 7th November 2018

Tonight Ian George introduced his demonstration which was to be a natural edge, thin stemmed mushroom. Many of us have made mushrooms before but not usually with a long thin stem so this will prove to be of interest for the techniques surrounding this process.

A Yew log was mounted on a chuck and supported by the tail stock and the mushroom head turned sanded and finished.

The stem was then turned in short sections down to size as it would not be practical to turn it all in one go. In this instance there were heart shakes on this log so Ian thought that to go really thin could be impractical and potentially dangerous as the piece could break up during turning. He opted for a long but less thin stem. Everything was sanded and  finished with a type of friction polish.

After the tea break Ian demonstrated a candle holder using a proprietary holder insert. A small bowl blank was mounted on a screw chuck and turned to a pleasing bowl form. This was reverse chucked and the top shaped and sized to accept the insert. The centre was hollowed and the bowl brought to a finish. Although this was primarily faceplate turning it did show that useful and saleable items can be made relatively easily using such inserts.

Overall this was an entertaining and interesting demonstration which also reinforced the principle of safety first. You should always be aware of what is happening with your piece of wood and if necessary revise your plan to make the project as safely as possible.

The November competition was well subscribed with a good number of very diverse pieces.

1st position was a cup and saucer by Arthur Ellis

November competition 1st
November competition 1st

2nd place went to a laburnum box by Tony Lack

November competition 2nd

3rd place was a subtly coloured Elm hollow form vase by Mick Denton

November competition 3rd


Club Night – 17th October 2018

The new name for this series of demonstrations is the 3 Musketeers but the format is still the same as 3 turners. Mick Denton, Roger Gilbert and Gerald Hubbard each make a number of projects throughout the meeting all working at the same time. This is a busy evening as there is always something going on that is worth watching and questions were always forthcoming. Although it is a somewhat light-hearted demonstration, with a bit of friendly banter, there was much to learn and tips to pick up on. The theme was “a bucket of bits” which was basically off cuts and small blanks from which little projects can be made.

From my point of view it was a nightmare to keep up with, and the notes are so sketchy that it would not be easy to create a reasonable article; you needed to be there to get the full experience. Hopefully the following photo’s will give you a flavour of what went on.

Building crowd

Mick’s Light pull

The projects undertaken were as follows.

Mick Denton      Light pull,              Desk tidy,             Yew dish (using the lacquer now on sale in the club shop).

Roger Gilbert     Pedestal for an angel tea light,    Baby Rattle (captive rings),           Spinning top,     Tagua nut mounted using hot melt glue,                    small Bowl.

Gerald Hubbard                                Light pull ,             Christmas decoration (Angel),     coloured Spinning top,       Acorn box.

Club Night – 3rd October 2018

Richard Wright introduced his demonstration, saying that his inspiration came from one of the previous evenings where an off centre bowl was coloured. That demonstration was more about the colour so this will be about the off centre turning.

The principle of KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) would be applied so everything done would be a simple way of doing the process. The basic idea is that the bowl would be turned using a face plate ring screwed to a sacrificial blank and then moved off centre to create the effect. This did involve a number of re-chucking operations with a reasonable amount of accuracy taken over the positioning of the face plate ring. The turning element conformed to standard face plate work with the main difference being the off centre weight of the piece being worked on. This meant that it was started on a slow speed and this was increased until a safe operating speed could be achieved.

The bowl included a contrasting wood insert to add interest and this involved turning an off centre recess, making the bottom as flat as possible using a square end scraper and then gluing the insert into place. When marking out the location for the face plate ring Richard used a pair of dividers, however, he emphasised the safety aspect of having the left hand prong only marking the blank.

The bowl was turned so that the insert was emphasised as being off centre, giving it real visual interest.

The second project was a small, shallow off centre dish. Again this was done very simply by turning the blank to a basic footed form.However, when reverse chucked the number 1 and number 3 colossus jaws were the only ones used. The number 1 slide was set in the chuck and then wound in 2 or 3 turns before the number 3 slide was inserted. This created the offset. The only thing to bear in mind here is that only 2 jaws are being used to hold the work so any cuts should be light and care taken.

Due to time constraints the items were not sanded and finished but the overall principles were well explained and the projects should provide inspiration to the audience. The main thing to take away from this is that there are always alternative ways of doing something and that Keeping It Simple probably is the best way of doing it.

October Competition

1st           Natural Edge Bowl                           Mick Denton

2nd          Offset Box                                          Gerald Hubbard

3rd           Ships Wheel Table                           Bob Green

Club Night – 19th September 2018

The evenings demonstration by Mick Denton was turning of plywood. Mick had made up 2 blanks from glued together plywood. To add interest to the finished item the faces of the plywood had been painted black to create a black line once the edges were exposed. If you can get them you could also use powdered poster paints mixed in with the pva glue to make the coloured line. Another way to add interest is to cut the blank on an angle so that the finished item is not just rings straight across.

Primarily the turning is the same as for face plate orientation although working with plywood does result in tear out that needs to be managed. Another risk is that the gluing may not be solid and some voids may occur so additional ca glue and fillers may be needed. It pays to listen to your work as you turn it to pick up on any potential problems before they become dangerous.

From a turning point of view the glue in the plywood really blunts your tools quickly so sharpening is a major concern during the process.


Mick made a pot pourri bowl out of the angled blank and the makings of a vase from the concentric blank. The turning proved to be entertaining with some banter adding to the evening.

Club Night – 5th September 2018

Before the meeting got fully under way Doug Johnson made an announcement to the members that, for personal reasons, he has decided to resign from the club after 19 years of membership. Our Chairman, Mick Denton, thanked Doug for his years of service and input to the club and offered him an open invitation to visit any future meetings that he wishes as a guest. We all showed our appreciation with a warm round of applause.

Tonight was the turn of Gerry Marlow to demonstrate his skills and provide inspiration for something a little different. Gerry introduced himself and outlined a very ambitious programme for the evening which covered a very wide range of projects.

Firstly he was to produce an off centre turned goblet with a Perspex ornamental turned lid. The lid was created on one of Gerry’s home designed and built Ornamental turning rigs. Although this sounds a bit Heath Robinson ish the actual machine was far from it. It allowed set ups to cut patterns with automatic indexing and feeds. Really it was an awesome unit although Gerry did say that he had made another rig that could also oscillate along the centre line. Mind blowing! Gerry’s comment was that he enjoyed the design and making of the machines more that the turning itself. Anyway, the Perspex blank was mounted using double sided carpet tape and he set the machine going and let it run whilst he set up the blank for the goblet. The tape held remarkably well.

The goblet blank was turned to a cylinder between centres and a tenon created for the chuck. However, as this was for an off centre project it was a tenon with a difference. Slightly deeper than you would usually create and then formed into a bead which when put in the chuck acted as a ball and socket to allow the off centre but still safely hold the blank. The blank was first set dead centre and a cup turned hollowed and sanded as usual with the opening sized to accept the lid. The blank was then moved to an off centre position and the chuck re-tightened holding firm on the beaded tenon. The next part of the goblet stem was then turned and sanded and the goblet reset to centre to complete the rest of the stem.

When parted off and the bottom cleaned up and sanded the goblet was united with it’s lid.

The second project was a combined square section earring bowl and ring stand. A square section blank was set between chuck jaws and a revolving centre and an spigot created in what will be the top of the bowl. This was reverse chucked and the outside of the bowl turned to a cone shape leaving the four corners in place. A small tenon was turned into the cone to fit the chuck jaws. The outside was sanded and then reverse chucked. The bowl was hollowed out again leaving the 4 corners and was sanded. A square section blank was then set between centres and turned to a cylinder which was then set in a chuck and turned to a long cone shape. The tip was detailed slightly for decoration and was sanded. The cone needed to be parted off but at an angle as close to the bottom of the bowl as possible. This was done with a tenon saw and the lathe stationary although Gerry did say that he usually does this on a bandsaw. The base was sanded on a sanding block.

The next thing was to turn a connecting piece from a contrasting piece of wood. The critical point of this is to ensure the 2 tenons were the same diameter as the drill used for the holes that were created in the bowl and stand.

Once completed and sanded the bowl, stand and connector were assembled.

The third project was to make a very fine turned long thing (I did not catch what Gerry called it, sorry about that). A long piece of holly had been prepared to a square section on a planer/thicknesser and then the corners cut off using a jig on a bandsaw. This was fed almost fully into the headstock and fine finial like shapes turned in a short section. When that was complete the stock was moved out a short section and the next part turned and sanded. This was done until the whole piece was complete. Gerry used the tail stock to steady the piece by setting the empty quill over the end of the workpiece. It was recommended that the bore of the quill is cleaned before you do this as dirt etc could contaminate your work.

Gerry also showed some of his other creations which included items set in resin, if you want to try this do a test first as things like flower petals can go transparent.

This was a feature packed demonstration and we all learned something and took some inspiration from it.

The September competition was very well subscribed with lots of varied and impressive pieces on show.

First place went to Bob Green with his large segmented lidded form.

Second was Gerald Hubbard with a Banksia nut lighthouse, presumably inspired by the demonstration done by Gregory Moreton on the 1st August

Third place went to Marcus Buck with a burr bowl

Club Night – 15th August 2018

The evening’s demonstration was given by one of our members, Geoff Warr, who introduced the topic of his projects as the use of paper joints in turned work.

Paper joints are used where you want to join flat stock which after turning can be easily split along the joint line to produce 2 or more flat based objects and is often used for inside out turnings.

The first part of the demonstration showed how 2 blocks of wood were glued together with a piece of paper in between the 2 flat surfaces. This was clamped up to allow it to dry fully. More blocks can be glued together depending on what you want to achieve.

Geoff then took a previously glued blank and mounted this on the lathe with the glue joint dead on centre line. A ring centre is usually used because a pointed centre could break the glue joint before you complete the turning, however, Geoff added a simple bracket to counter this. The shape of the project was then turned out and then sanded and finished as required. In this instance the turned item created was support for a small shelf / plinth. The glue joint was separated using a sharp wood chisel and a hammer. The joint face can be sanded to remove the glue and paper residue and finished as required. The shelf top would be turned as a face plate project putting on whatever decoration etc you wish. This can then be cut in half so effectively you get a pair of shelves from the one set of turnings.

The next project showed once again the versatility of the glue joint by creating 2 bodies for a toy racing car. The principles were exactly the same just the turning design needed to be finalised. This particular blank proved difficult to split but apparently that is a problem that can frequently occur.

To fill in the last bit of time Geoff created an off centre turned stylistic bird. A blank was mounted in the chuck and then the free end offset by about 3mm.

This was turned to a neck and head of the bird and then sanded and finished. The chuck was released and the offset reversed by 180 degrees to give a 3mm offset the opposite way. The body and legs and plinth were then turned sanded and finished and parted off. A hole was drilled for the beak and a previously turned cone was glued into place to produce the finished item.

All in all this was a very entertaining demonstration and has given us all an insight into techniques that some of us have not yet used. Maybe we will consider similar work which will be seen on future competition tables.

Club Night – 1st August 2018

There was an excellent turnout for this evening where we welcomed Gregory Moreton to give us a demonstration. After a brief introduction Gregory started to demonstrate making of a lamp stand in 3 pieces out of Banksia Nut / Seed Pod and recycled Jarra fence post.

The first nut was mounted between centres with the first process was to remove the soft furry outer coating which was turned away using a roughing spindle gouge.

One thing to bear in mind is that with Bansia Nuts the “grain” does not run as a normal log it is across the nut. Effectively it is faceplate orientation and should be turned and processed as you would a bowl blank. The next task was to drill through the centre of the nut using an auger. Tip here was not to drill more than one inch at a time and withdraw the bit to clear the swarf. Only drill half way through then reverse and repeat for the other end. A 1 inch hole can then be counter bored at one end to accept a mating tenon. The nut can then be remounted between centres using the hole and the outside trued up. The base can then be shaped to what you want with the top edge shaped so that the joint with the next nut can be disguised. One thing you will need to do before finishing is to remove debris, seeds and sometimes critters from the holes. The little critter should be killed by the sterilising of the nut but if you get them from a non reputable source they could still be alive. As these nuts come from Australia they could be nasty. However, the risks are low. The fibres in the nut mean that sanding should be done first in forward motion and then in reverse to give the best finish.

Finish with sanding sealer then wax. The final process is to use a brush on the nut to remove the excess wax from the seed holes. Create a 1 inch tenon at the top of the nut and part off.

The second nut is treated in exactly the same way except that the top in this instance is opened out slightly to accept a brass light insert.

The base was made from a piece of recycled Jarra fence post turned in faceplate orientation on a screw chuck with a hole in the top to accept the tenon on the nut. A hole is drilled through the side of the base into the centre hole so that a flex can be inserted. All of the parts should be finished. The whole thing can then be glued and assembled. Gregory showed us a table lamp that he had completed previously. It really did look interesting and different from the usual wooden lamps.

After a cup of tea Gregory showed how he makes a rustic pen pot out of an old fence post, however, instead of boring into end grain the blank is mounted in cross grain orientation and he bores a 2 inch hole onto this. The outside is then turned to the shape you want leaving some of the flat surfaces for contrast and texture. Again this is faceplate work so a bowl gouge is used unless you need to make a sharp V groove when a spindle gouge or skew can be used. However, you need to make a steep cut. The round areas can be sanded but the flat areas need the natural surface texture to be cleaned up. This was done using a draper nylon brush in a Jacob’s chuck or a wire brush by hand.

The chucking marks are cut off as a slice on the band saw. The piece was waxed but the textured areas were brushed using a polishing brush in the Jacob’s chuck.

The last item was a Banksia Nut sphere which was mounted between centres then roughed and prepared the same as previously. The blank was marked so that the diameter and the working length were the same. The blank was roughly turned to the sphere shape then removed from the centres. The 2 spigots were cut down with a saw and the blank remounted between 2 cupped centres. When you spin this you see a solid section with a ghost around it. The solid is the true sphere so the trick now is to remove the ghost image. Light cuts, a bit of patience and moving the blank around gets you to the finished sphere. Sand and finish and there you have it.

The whole evening proved to be interesting, informative and entertaining.

August Competition.

The competition table was full tonight with many excellent pieces.

3rd place was a platter with laburnum inlays made by Mick Denton.

2nd place was a clock by Roger Gilbert

1st place was a lidded bowl and stand by Ken Garratt

Club Night – 18th July 2018

Tonight we welcomed Mick Hanbury to the club and after a brief introduction Mick commenced to demonstrate the making of a textured and coloured bowl. A sycamore bowl blank was mounted on a screw chuck and faces and edges trued up. The back face is trued to give a reference to determine the finished depth of the blank. A centre point is also established.

There were to be a number of tips given during the demonstration and the first was to always start with sharp tools and keep them sharp. The outside of the bowl was shaped and accent lines and foot were established. The outside was then power sanded but to keep dust to a minimum Mick used a homemade sanding paste made comprising an oil/beeswax at 80/20 mix with a little lavender oil to make it smell nice. When the sanding is finished you can clean of the residue with a clean paper towel and it does not affect the finish that you want to apply. The abrasive does clog up but a quick brush with a stiffish brush soon clears it.

To texture the face of the bowl Mick used an Arbotech chainsaw toothed angle grinder (a vicious looking beast) to carve lines. He then used a wire brush on a drill to texture the surface further working in line with the grain. Usually the face would then be scorched to remove fibres but in this instance it was brushed with a stiff brush then the face was spray painted with matt black acrylic lacquer. Make sure that all coats are fully dry before applying the next. Mick used a hair dryer mounted from the tool post to speed drying. A clear gloss lacquer was applied after each coat. This means that if the next coat is not what you want you can wipe it off without messing up the previous coat. An application of iridescent paint was lightly made with a sponge brush to the textured area to give a strong base. The next coat should not be an iridescent as it does not combine with the first coat, the next coat was a metallic red-gold applied with the same sponge brush very lightly and not covering the whole area. The last layer was a silver metallic again applied very lightly.

Once the painting is complete accent lines were cut near the edge and near the central bowl. The bowl was then cut and finished again using the sanding paste on a power sander. If you are left with a dimple or a pimple in the bottom of your bowls a tip was to not push your tool through the last bit just let it cut at its own pace.

The bowl was then reverse chucked onto a sponge covered face plate using the centre mark created earlier to centralise the bowl. The chucking spigot was then removed, the pip carved off and the base power sanded with the sanding paste. The finished article was a very nice looking bowl which was remarkable considering that it was made in only a 2 hour demonstration.

Mick very generously donated the bowl to the club, a gesture which was warmly appreciated.

Overall this was a very inspiring, entertaining and interesting demonstration.