Club Night – 3rd July

This was a hands on evening with 3 lathes set up and all in use plus the sharpening station in place. The members using the lathes were practising their tool skills and also testing out some new tools. The other lathe was being used for instruction by Mick Denton on the art and techniques of creating finials. The sharpening station had some use with instructions on sharpening different tools. Overall this was a relaxed but informative evening with the opportunity to socialise and discuss turning (and non turning) related topics. It is well worthwhile attending the hands on events because there is always something you can pick up on and take away to try yourself.

The July competition table was a little sparse but held some quality pieces which was nice to see. The winner was Clive Bryant with a well constructed and decorative condiment set.

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Second was Roger Gilbert with a very nicely presented spalted beech bowl.

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Third spot went to one of our newer members (and very aptly named) Bryan Turner with a well crafted and practical lidded box.

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Club Night – 6th June 2019

This evening was billed as the Three Musketeers with a difference. One of the usual line up was unavailable so the guys called upon a trusty D’Artagnan to help, so the line up was Mick Denton, Roger Gilbert and Geoff Warr. Between themselves they set a task of producing their own individual take on a bottle stopper.

The woodturning principles for each of them was basically the same, using standard spindle turning techniques and tools. However, the designs were subtly different with Mick using a glued up blank to produce a striped pattern, Roger produced a snowman themed stopper for Christmas (yes it is coming around again!!) and Geoff used a golf ball as a finial.

There were also 2 options for the seal for the bottle with the use of drilled corks glued onto a small spigot and rubber seal from drinks optics which had to be trimmed slightly in length to fit snuggly in the bottle. This did not involve gluing but relied on a bead retainer and interference fit. Maybe you can come up with your own ideas on this.

The demonstrations also included the techniques of reverse chucking, wooden jam chucks, finishing with wax sticks, the dreaded skew chisel (although this demo debunked some of the reasons for this fear) along with many other tips and tricks that these experienced turners gave us.

Not only that, there was a nice balance between the serious stuff and the banter and light heartedness that made the evening pass quickly and made it really entertaining.

The June competition was well represented with the result throwing up a tie for first place. The 2 pieces that came first were and inside out turned vase and bullrush made by Clive Bryant and a large salad bowl by Mick Denton. Third place was a dish made by Tony Lack. Well done to all participants and especially to the top three for their excellent work.

Club Night – 15th May 2019


Tonight Gerald Hubbard stood in for the evenings demonstration. He said the decision on what to do was simple bearing in mind the excellent result at Woodworks (see Club Notices page). The practice he put in for the gavel and anvil were ideal preparation for the evening. First he created the handle from a piece of laburnum as a spindle turning between centres, turning the shape and adding decoration as required.

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It was sanded and then finished with sanding sealer and a wax finish. The gavel body was turned from a pre-constructed blank with a hole drilled for the handle made from a box wood body with ebony ends bonded to it. This too was set between centres and turned to almost complete, adding embellishments as wanted.

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Great care was taken to ensure the body was reproduced as a mirror image either side of the centre hole. The body was sanded but Gerald had to be very careful that the dark wood dust did not contaminated the light colour. To achieve this separate abrasives were used on the different colours. The light wood was sealed with sanding sealer again being careful about contamination. The body was then mounted in wood jaws which were made from pieces of wood screwed to special chuck jaws and then turned specifically to hold the body.

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This allowed Gerald to drill a hole in the end for a decorative insert, which were turned and glued into the body. The ends of the gavel were then finish turned and sanded, sealed and finished as required. The anvil black was mounted in a chuck and turned to a pleasing design then finished as required.

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The body and the handle could then be glued and assembled. All in all this was a very interesting demonstration and bearing in mind the short time frame for the evening was completed really well. There are lots of techniques and tips that could be taken from the demonstration.

Club Night – 1st May 2019

The evening’s entertainment was provided by one of our members Ian George who produced 2 projects for us. The first was an offcentre turned candle stick/ t light holder and the second a small box with brass threaded insert.

The offcentre project was started between centres with the tailstock having the offcentre. This allowed Ian to turn the spigot for the chuck.

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Once completed the piece was mounted in the chuck and the body and t light recess were turned.

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Unfortunately Ian was thwarted in finishing the piece because of serious woodworm in the log he used, but the principles and techniques were very well demonstrated.

The second project was a box with brass threaded insert which was started using a piece of Box wood mounted between centres.

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This was turned to round and spigots created at both ends for the chuck.

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The piece was then mounted in the chuck and the lid parted off using a thin parting tool. This meant that the grain match would be the best. The threaded ring was measured and this dimension transferred onto the endgrain of the piece. Ian then carefully turned the recess to fit, taking a small amount off at a time and checking the fit regularly. Once the fit was established he turned out the inside of the box and then sanded and finished it, only then did he glue the threaded ring to place.

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The lid was then mounted in the chuck and the same process carried out.

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At this point Ian needed to get the grain matched before bonding the ring in the lid (however, he forgot in this instance but never mind). Once both sections of the threaded ring were bonded to place the outside can be finished. Ian had already prepared 2 temporary chucks for this by mounting spare rings on scrap wood. This meant that all he had to do was mount the block in the chuck and screw the corresponding part of the box to it.

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The bottom and lid were then turned to a finish.

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This was a great project and was a nice change from push fit lids on a box.

The May competition was well subscribed with quite a number of intriguing and well executed pieces. Third place went to Clive Bryant with his pedestal table and goblet and tumbler, Second was Geoff Warr with an intricate segmented vase and first place went to Ted Sargent with a very well executed segmented bowl. Overall this was a really strong competition which we hope will be continued over the following months.

Club Night – 17th April 2019

Tonight we welcomed Stan Bryan who offered us a demonstration that would give us an insight into 2 tricky subjects, offcentre turning and thin turning. The project for the night is a figure with thin turned legs. A nominal 20mm square blank of straight grained strong wood was centre marked and one end only marked with 2 off 10mm offsets diagonally opposite.

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The blank was mounted in a chuck with pin jaws at the offset end and the tailstock brought up for support.

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Stan gave a major technique tip here, the tailstock is purely for support at all times in this project. It should only just touch the piece. A test for this is that you should be able to stop the revolving centre spinning by just touching it, any more pressure than this will risk the piece breaking. This was turned to a cylinder except for 20 mm by the tailstock as this will be turned to make a ball mount for reverse chucking. This allows the piece to be offset without stressing the workpiece. The piece was reversed and the tailstock located lightly in one of the offset points and the chuck tightened. The waist of the figure was turned to about 3mm with a cove and round.

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This was sanded using an emery board working up to the highest point to retain the crisp edges. This area was then sprayed with a clear lacquer, denibbed and then sprayed with a colour. A couple of quick squirts is all that was needed. The piece was then reset into the other offset mark and the chuck retightened. To make sure that the tailstock was not stressing the piece Stan disconnected it and the piece did not move so it was all ok. The tailstock was reconnected and the neck section was turned up towards the chuck.

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This area was sanded as before and the piece reset on the centre mark and the head turned to 10mm to accept the hat. This was sanded and then cut off with a hacksaw as parting may break the piece. The piece was reversed in the chuck and a cup revolving centre was used to support the head again very lightly and with some tissue paper inside for protection.

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The body was turned down to the leg, sanded and after masking off the other sections was sprayed as before to finish the body.

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The legs were then turned to about 2.5 to 3mm with a blob for the knees and the “ankles” made with a tenon on the bottom to take the base.

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After sanding the piece was again cut off with the hacksaw.

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All in all this was a very interesting demonstration and Stan provided loads of technique explanations and tips so it seems that everyone took away something from the night.

Club Night – 3rd April 2019 Club AGM.

The evening comprised of the Annual General Meeting and the April Competition. The meeting followed the usual format with reports from the existing officers and thanks from the chairman to all of the people that have helped during the year with teas, setting up equipment and cleaning up after meetings. The treasurer’s report was positive showing that the club was in a good financial position at present. Membership shows an upward trend which will help the club in the near future. We will know better the current membership once the subscriptions have been collected.

The subscription issue was discussed with proposals for an increase in the yearly subscription to £12.00 OR to remain as it is at £10.00. The motion to remain at £10.00 was carried by a majority. Subscriptions are therefore now due and are payable on the door over the course of the next few meetings.

The subject of committee members and club officers was raised and all of the current committee were happy to continue with their post except that the Quartermaster post held temporarily by Clive Bryant was now open. A vote to retain the committee was undertaken and carried unanimously.

The April competition was a little better represented with the standard still high. The top three pieces will automatically be entered onto the stand at Woodworks in May. Once we have the photo’s they will be published.

The turner of the year also featured here which is where the whole years competition results are compiled and points awarded for placement and entry. The overall winner was Mick Denton. The challenge is now on for someone to depose him of his crown this time next year.

Club Night – 20th March 2019

The evening was a demonstration by Steve Heeley who introduced the project as a means of utilising square or rectangular offcuts to make a vase for silk flowers which included texturing and colouring.

The rectangular block of pine was mounted between centres as accurately as possible.

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One of the faces had 3 holes drilled for fitting plugs later on. A chucking spigot was turned at the tailstock end using a spindle gouge as a parting tool may damage the square edges. This was then mounted in a chuck with the tailstock brought up for support. The neck and shoulder were turned using a spindle gouge with the final cuts being light and continuous to get the best finish.

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The neck was refined with a skew again to obtain the best finish. The base shoulder was cut in the same way. The hole along the centre of the vase was drilled and the top was blended into the hole.

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The flat surfaces were then textured quite coarsely and randomly but you could do this in any way you wish. The neck and shoulders were then sprayed with sanding sealer and the flat faces were then sprayed with Chestnut black lacquer.

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Once this was dry the pommels and neck had a final skim to a fine finish and sanded. The flat faces were lightly sanded to remove the black lacquer from the high spots.

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This created a striking finish of black with light wood showing through. The vase was reverse chucked onto a wooden jam chuck with the tailstock to support it. The base pommel was finished and the chucking point turned away.

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3 plugs were turned and fitted into the 3 holes on the flat face as additional decoration. The vase can be finished to your choice using oil or spray clear lacquer etc. This was a really good way of using up offcuts that would usually end up as firewood and looked very effective as a finished item.

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Club Night – 6th March 2019

Tonight Roger Gilbert set up for 2 projects both based around bowls with a common theme of “propeller turning”. This is where the bowl is not round so you are “cutting air” for a large proportion of tile. It can be scary stuff so it is important to make sure your fingers etc are behind the tool rest and not in the line of the spinning wood.

The first bowl was a 3 cornered piece which is made by mounting an accurately cut cube of wood from point to point between centres (see photo).

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The bottom was turned to finish and a chucking spigot created. The outside was sanded to a finish and the bowl rechucked on the spigot. The centre was then hollowed out but to make sure the wall thickness was accurate the toolrest was marked at the limit of your cut.

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Sanding to a finish was done as power sanding and the points done with the lathe stopped. The bowl was then reversed onto a wooden former with the tailstock in place so that the spigot could be turned away. Roger’s hobby horse is that the base should always be finished so that the chucking point cannot be seen.

The second project was a natural edge Ash bowl where half a log was mounted on pin jaws in a chuck and the turning undertaken in the same was as for the first project. However, instead of a spigot for rechucking Roger used a recess on this bowl. The trick is to try to preserve the bark on the bowl but in this instance a large chunk of bark flew off. All was not lost, Roger suggested that the rest of the bark could be picked off and the natural edge scorched as a feature.

The 2 projects certainly produced interesting bowls that were a little out of the ordinary, and although not finished to Rogers usual standard looked amazing. This was another excellent demonstration with plenty of tips that we can employ on our turnings.

The March competition was a little disappointing in the turnout although the quality was as good as usual.

First was a lidded box by Mick Denton.

Second was a bowl by Henry Howard.

Third was a coloured platter by Gerald Hubbard

Club Night – 20th February 2019

The evening was a hands on, however, there was only one lathe in use. Glyn Jennings had a go at a natural edge bowl then started a natural edge pot which drew quite a bit of attention from the members.

We also built the stand that will be used at Woodworks this year and several useful suggestions were made for improving the look of it. These are being worked on over the next couple of weeks and then we can see what the results look like.

The Vicmarc lathe that had failed the PAT test was also modified and is now ready for retest so that should put us back up to full strength on the equipment front.

Club Night – 6th February 2019

For this evenings demonstration we welcomed Robert Till who introduced his projects both of which were based on a discus form rocking bowl. The first was to be painted black and gilt waxed and the second was to be coloured with Chestnut spirit stain.

An Oak bowl blank was mounted on a screw chuck which allowed Robert to true up the edge and faces and cut a tenon.

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  A pencil line was made midway along the edge which would be used to define the discuss shape. The bottom of the bowl was shaped out using a pull cut and then finished using a shear scraping cut with the toolrest dropped right down to get the angle on the tool and the lathe speed increased.

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Keep the tool traverse slow to give the tool time to cut. The bowl would be sanded from 120 grit to 600 grit wiping off the dust between each grit and the bowl reversed onto the chuck using the tenon. With a little bit of juggling the bowl ran true on the pencil centre line. The top of the bowl was shaped in the same way as the bottom making sure the curve looked the same. This was sanded 120 to 600 grit and the dust wiped away. The top was sprayed black with Chestnut Ebonising Lacquer  and dried using a hot air gun. Gilt cream was rubbed over the black area using his finger and allowed to dry a little. The excess would have been wiped off using Finishing Oil so that only the pores are left filled with the wax. Normally the bowl would be left to dry but for this demo Robert turned out the bowl with an undercut. A great couple of tips here was to use the shaping of the top of the bowl to practice the colour on. If you do not like it you can turn it off an d try something else. Also with the hollowing of the bowl use each cut as a practice cut to pick up the bevel without a catch.

The finish Robert uses is 6 to 8 coats of Finishing Oil each allowed to dry thoroughly and denibbed with webrax between each coat.

Although not fully completed the bowl was passed round and looked really striking.

For the coloured bowl Robert produced an Ash bowl that was completed to the colouring stage in exactly the same way as he worked the Oak bowl. The colouring was done on the lathe and consisted of a base coat of purple which was dried off then sanded back so that the colour became a background. Make sure you use fresh areas of the abrasive as it clogs with the lacquers in the stain. He then applied red, yellow, blue and green “smears” and using Robert’s words it looked like a child had coloured it.

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He then used methylated spirit on a tissue to blend the colours. More coulours can be added until your artistic talents decide that enough is enough.

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Once dry the surface would be denibbed and then sprayed with Acrylic Sanding Sealer. The bowl was then reversed onto a wooden form with a felt pad and the tenon turned away. As this is a rocking bowl the base was turned to a curve. One tip that came from the audience was if you can get an old wet suit this can be cut up to make the pad on the wooden form. The oil finish would really make the colours sing.

This was a very inspirational demonstration and gave us many tips that we can use on other projects.

At the end of the evening Robert donated one of his finished bowls to the club for us to raffle or auction to raise funds for the club. We are very grateful to him for this generous gift.

We also had the February Competition and the results were as follows.

First                       A Birch Burr Bowl by Marcus Buck (unfortunately Marcus had to leave before we could get a photo)

Second                An Ash Platter by Gerald Hubbard

Third                      A Salt, Pepper and Toothpick Acorn by Clive Bryant