Recent Meeting Reports

All as seen through the eyes of a novice unless otherwise noted
 Appologies for the quality of some of the photos in many reports.
Unfortunately various circles are caused by reflections from the camera flash on dust particles.

July 2008 Meeting

Hands on Nite

Our second Hands on Nite this year, it was a totally different sort of meeting,
just like a massive big workshop.
There were lathes and tools and woodturnings everywhere!!
Members got really involved and thought it was an excellent evening.




A selection of some of our members work
which was brought along to show us.

June 2008 Meeting

Demonstration by Reg Slack
(a professional woodturner)

Reg using his Jamb Chuck to turn the offcentre recess.

Some of Regs finished work including the Jewelerry Container in the foreground

Reg specialises in demonstrating to new woodturners. He does everything using just six basic tools. He also likes using up scrap pieces to save waste. Today he was going to show us how to make a jewelery holder with 6 pieces of wood about 5.5" to 6" in diameter. These would be sort of trays with hollowed out recesses and then fitted to a vertical pillar. There would be 3 feet on the bottom section.
To demonstrate keeping costs down for beginners, he only has a lathe, a grinding wheel and a bandsaw. He regularly only uses a woodscrew chuck and has made disc to fit his lathe about 8" diameter to which he sticks a piece of abrasive sheeting to use as a sanding disc. When making up laminates prior to turning, he always sands the two surfaces to be glued flat prior to gluing and builds these up in stages allowing each glued section to dry before adding the next. The finial on top of this sample tonight was going to be turned from a multi coloured laminated piece of wood. He claims the actual height of the tool rest is not important, what is important is that you should always be cutting on or slightly above the centre line of the piece you are turning. If in doubt about the proper speed for turning then use a lower speed which can be raised if needed and he recommends that 2000rpm approx is the highest speed needed. Higher speeds than this are a waste of time.
Cut a spigot on a finial first then make a rod for the pivot pillar. Set callipers to the dia of the drill bit you will be using for the hole. Then make various grooves along the pillar to the callipers setting. Then these provide a guide to turning a parallel pillar by turning it until these marks are just elliminated.
Make sure all the discs are flat. Reg uses a cardboard box attached to the pipe from a vacuum cleaner to minimise the dust when sanding.
When finishing Reg advises that he uses Sanding Sealer rubbed along the grain.
Reg used a piece of scrap timber to make a jamb chuck, turning a recess of suitable size which if slightly slack on grip this could be improved by insering a sheet or two of paper. There was a large hole predrilled in this jamb chuck to allow something to be poked through to release the finish turned work.
When you consider the high speeds that wood turns on your lathe, tools quickly lose their cutting edge. So Reg recommends that you resharped your cutting edge prior to the very last cut, in so doing you will get the best possible finish with the minimum of sanding being required.
Reg showed us a simple way of sharpening tools. This method is shown on one of the DVDs that he has made, "Getting Strarted in Woodturning"
This was a really interesting evening.

May 2008 Meeting

Demonstration by Guy Ravine
(a professional woodturner)

Guy showed us an enormous selection of unusual woodturning tools he had aquired over the years. As a professional turner who regularly is demonstrating at various shows many of these were samples from various manufacturers who wanted his opinion on them. It was a quite interesting evening but the fact that a lot of these tools were not now on sale seemed  to be rather a waste of time.
He does not recommend the use of small gouges. One really interesting tip that he gave us was that to improve the safety of a woodturning chuck it pays to lightly grind off the sharp edges to reduce the chances of cutting ones hands.
He demonstrated bowl turning using some ash. It was interesting as well when he demonstrated how he turned gavels from african black wood. The head was predrilled at the side prior to turning to take the handle. He has made lots of them, and some had been sold for really phenominal amounts of money at charity auctions.

April 2008 Meeting

Demonstration by Gerry Marlow
(a professional woodturner)

Using a piece of cloth to protect the veneered face while finish turning the underside

Buffing the finished bowl



Gerry told us he was going to show us how he makes off centre bowls. The top of his bowls have a veneer glued on with PVA. They are glued up as squares then when dry two centres are drilled for a screw chuck on the bottom approx half an inch offset. The offset centre is used first to cut through the veneer using a very low speed to avoid damaging the veneer. Then the centre hole is used to clean up the outer edge, working from the veneered edge first otherwise it could get lifted. The face was scored with many rings prior to turning to make sure the veneer remained intact.

He then demonstrated how he makes an offset candlestick, he calls it a dog bone candlestick!! The stock is secured using two steb centres. Start by putting a small chamfer on each end of the stock then re gripping the stock at opposite corners on the chamfered section which will then allow the steb centres to get a godd grip.
Start by putting a cove in the middle, but make sure you use a very strong chisel, as because of the offset the tool rest will be quite a way from the cutting edge. Although the stock is offset it will still be in balance. recommended turning speed around 1500rpm.
Another most interesting evening.

March 2008 Meeting

Demonstration by Ivan Pedley
(a local turner)

This was a really different demonstration, Ivan always comes up with a lot of innovative ideas which he shares with us at our meetings. He was going to demonstrate turning a bird nestbox. The main part of the box was going to be made from 6 strips of wood chamfered along the long sides at 30 degrees so that it would make a hexagonal tube, ready to be turned. The strips need to be a minimum of ¾" thick, slightly thicker would be better. The inside flat is 2½" wide and each strip is 8½" long. One of the strips needs an entrance hole to be predrilled at this stage ( 1" or 1.125" diameter for blue tits or great tits respectively). Polymite, a powdered resin woodglue suitable for external use, was mixed up and liberally coated on the edges to be joined together. He showed us two methods he uses for holding the strips together while the glue sets. Which is quoted to be about 6 hours, but to be on the safe side leave for 24 hours!!

First he used a staple gun to fire a staple into both ends of the two strips which were currently being glued then added another strip and secured that with staples at both ends. Then repeated this with three other strips. Finally gluing and stapling the two units together to make the finished hexagonal tube.
The second method was to lay all six pieces with the outside surfaces uppermost. Then carefully apply generous strips of vinyl packaging tape across them to hold them all together. Carefully turning the set of strips over and liberally coating the edges with glue. Then folding it all up on these temporary tape hinges to make the finished tube. Finally using some more vinyl tape to hold the last joint together.
Vinyl tape or staples were all removed before turning.

Ivan had a sample with him which he had glued together the previous day.
He had a scrap disc of wood with a turned dovetail with a diameter suitable to fit tightly inside the hexagonal tube which had been already prepared to fit into his chuck. This disc was placed on the workbench and the tube fitted to it. Then three strips of scrap wood about 1" x ¼" were hot glued equally spaced inside the tube and the ends in contact with the chucking disc. The length of these strips was sufficient to act as spacers to support another disc turned to be a close fit inside the tube which would then be held in place by pressure from the centre in the tailstock. This arrangement was to facilitate being able to turn a recess in the base of the tube to fit a turned disc which would be the floor of the box and is clearly illustrated in the above picture.


Three or four small holes were drilled in the base to allow rainwater to drain out. A disk was turned to form the roof and a small groove was turned on the underside near the edge to form a drip to minimise rainwater seeping into the finished box, a finial was also turned to finish the lid.
A thick strip of wood was attached to the rear of the box as a spacer to which was attached a longer strip which was then clear of the edge of the roof, holes were drilled in each end to facilitate final mounting of the the box.


A really unusual upmarked home for birds!!

February 2008 Meeting

Hands on Nite

This was a totally different sort of meeting, it was just like a massive big workshop, there were lathes everywhere!! Members got really involved and thought it was an excellent evening, So we will be having another one soon.


You may notice in many of the pictures that the same lathe is used for different meetings. This is the groups own lathe, many demonstrators like to save themselves the trouble of bringing their own lathe!

Look out for more Reports in the near future

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Updated 17/8/08