Les Thorne All Day Demo

This lively professional turner will be appearing at BlackCountry Woodturners base at Dudley College’s Broadway venue on 19th October 2019 between 9.30-5pm and anyone who wants to see a top turner is welcome to come along.

The cost is just £10 and includes tea,coffee and biscuits. Sandwiches or cobs will be on sale for lunchtime.

For further details email blackcountrywoodturners@gmail.com or call Secretary Mel Adams on 07533 219152.

Welcome

Welcome to the website of the Black Country Wood Turners ( BCW ).

We are a friendly bunch of people , who have nothing better to do with their time than to reduce otherwise perfectly fine pieces of timber to piles of shavings and sawdust on our workshop floors. Oh, yes, and every now and then this also results in something mostly round and brown.

If this is your idea of having fun, then please joins us on one of our meetings or as a permanent member. If by now you are thinking “this is weird”, then you are missing out on the rituals of a tradition that is several thousand years old and you are definitely in the wrong place. We are having fun. Are you? Do you live in the UK near Dudley, West Bromwich, Oldbury, Halesowen, Stourbridge, Kidderminster? We meet usually every 3rd Thursday of the Month at 6pm at Dudley College, The Broadway DY1 4AS room F1, and we would be more than happy to welcome you to our next meeting.

GDPR: If you are concerned over or interested in knowing how we protect our members data, follow this link.

Important Notes:

Next Club meeting will be on 17th October 2019 and Professional Turner Steve Heeley will give a demo. Steve is entertaining and well worth coming to see. 

Mary Stevens Hospice -Summer Fayre.

Saturday 31st August 2019

The Summer fayre is the second of three events this year that Blackcountry Woodturners will be attending raising funds to help support the children’s hospice, this has been Blackcountry Woodturners selected charity for some years now.

We turned up on site at the Hospice grounds at 09:00 and were allocated our spot on the main field, it then took just over an hour and several cups of tea, to get things all set up ready for the grand opening at 11am, we were just one of many stalls supporting this great cause.

The event opened at 11am and things got underway, the crowds soon built up and were entertained by not only the stall holders but also the great entertainers and events that were staged throughout the day. The weather held until around lunchtime but then the heavens opened for a short while but quickly blew over and thing soon got back into swing.

From the clubs prospective again the stall looked great, with plenty of members work on sale, plus many items on the charity table. The public gave many complementary remarks and the lathe demonstrations were as always a great success, enjoyed by both adults and children alike.

Many thanks go to Steve & Rob Hacket, Roger Cheshire, Roger Sherwood Howells, Arthur Mills, Mell Adams, Ron Lunn and Ian Brown for turning out giving their time and talents to support the social event.

Special thanks go to Roger Cheshire who organised and oversaw the raffle of the skittles game made by him earlier in the year; lots of tickets were sold with the eventual lucky winner being a family from the Stourbridge area.

At the end of the day we managed to raise the sum of £157.80p which Mell handed over to the event organisers who were very supportive and grateful for the clubs attendance.

Thanks again to those that turned out and/or donated items for the charity table, a great day was had with a good pot of money going to Mary Stevens fund.

Our next Mary Stevens event will be the Christmas Fayre on Saturday 7th December 10am to 3pm please visit us and help in supporting a great cause.

Max Carey Woodturning Institute.

Thursday 12th September 2019

The Max Carey woodturning institute is a very well established and respected woodturning teaching venue based in Portishead, Bristol and is a fully equipped, multi lathed, and tooled workshop, delivering a selection of woodturning courses from beginner through to advanced woodturners.

This venue is also used by the AWGB for hosting training days and weekends.

Blackcountry Woodturners were very fortunate to be offered the opportunity to hold a professional Tuition day at the venue, hosted by Stuart Bradfield, institute manager and renowned Professional Woodturner Jay Heryet.

The aim of the day was the preparation, making, and individual decoration /texturing of a 250mm x 50mm Sycamore platter.

At 07:15hrs the crew of 11 Blackcountry members all met for breakfast at a local hotel in Portishead, some having travelled the night before and the remainder travelling that morning, after a good chat, several bacon butties and cups of tea we made for the Max Carey Centre arriving at 08:30am.

We were al welcomed by Stuart and Jay, when having had the day’s induction and safety briefing we were all ready to go, chosen sycamore blanks in hand and lathe stations chosen.

Jay started the day with an introduction of the days aims, emphasising that enjoyment and learning were the key elements, she then gave a demonstration on ways to mount the blanks, design features, general shaping and tooling processes, implanting ideas and suggestions for us all to try as the day progressed.

We all then retired to our chosen lathes and set to work making our own individual platters, using and practising techniques illustrated by Jay.

As we all worked on our individual projects, both Jay and Stuart moved around the workshop, talking to each of us and putting us right by demonstration on identified areas in need of individual attention, plus encouraging us to look at form, shape and consideration and development of the finer detail touches to enhance the piece.

Everyone was so engrossed time just flew by and before we knew it, it was lunchtime, more tea, sandwiches and banter in the rest room, what could be better.

The afternoon started with Jay again demonstrating how to improve a number of tooling areas she had recognised as she had visited and chatted to us all during the morning session.

Jay then moved on to decoration techniques and ideas, showing a number of nice pieces made and adorned by herself, highlighting numerous ways where shape, colour and texture work together to bring the piece to its final conclusion, her point simply being do not be afraid to give anything a go, if you do not try you will not learn and explore the endless possibilities.

With this in our heads we all set off back to our lathes to develop and try our own ideas on decorating the platter, watched over and encouraged by both Jay and Stuart. At the end of the session it was amazing to see the differing texturing and colouring ideas we had all chosen.

At around 4:30pm Stuart and Jay brought the day to a close with a final chat and Q&A session. I am sure both Jay and Stuart enjoyed the day as much as we did.

As a group we showed our appreciation of being invited to the venue and being privileged to have had such good company and instruction, a most memorable and satisfying day.

Some pictures of our Day…..

Evening Demonstration – John Aitken.

Thursday 15th August 2019

This month Blackcountry Woodturners were graced with the return of professional wood turner John Aitken, otherwise known as “The bowler hatted turner”, who last visited us in June 2018.

John is renowned for wearing a bowler hat when woodturning at craft shows, his theory being that “people cannot remember names but they never forget a hat!”

The first part of John’s evening consisted of detailing and demonstrating how he designed a three tier cake stand for his daughter’s wedding, and the production method he used as 50 were necessary to make for the day.

Having educated us on the whys and wherefores necessary, he went on to demonstrate the making of each of the items required to complete the project, this required both platter (Cross Grain) and spindle turning techniques. John as always detailed, demonstrated and discussed tool control, and finishing methods for each piece.

For the second part of his demonstration John educated us in the arts of colouring and paint texturing for use on platters or any other surface for that matter.

Showing various methodologies, he used and demonstrated several iridescent paint colours over the top of a black background, he detailed an interesting method stating that he had developed and used to good effect over a number of years, which consisted of a length of string approx. 18 inches long completely immersed into a tub of gold iridescent paint, when removed the laden string was laid in a random pattern across a section of the platter rim face.

 John then laid a sheet of magazine paper(shiny smooth paper) over the top of the string, placing his hand gently on top compressing the string slightly, John proceeded to pull  one end of the string and kept pulling until it came free, the resulting pattern was impressive, the process if required could then be repeated over additional areas of the rim.

John’s character, humour and sheer enjoyment of demonstrating his skills was again evident to all in attendance making a truly enjoyable evening for all. We hope we can persuade him to return next year to educate us more in the arts and joys of woodturning.

Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust

Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th June 2019

“Made in the Blackcountry” 

This was Blackcountry Woodturners third event at the lovely Dudley Canal & Tunnel Trust building.

This time we were at the “Made in the Blackcountry” weekend craft event, along with other local people displaying and chatting about their particular type of crafts on display, and what lovely people we met too.

The weekend started with several members turning out of their beds and arriving on site at about 08:30am, for the grand set up to begin, by 10:00am we were ready to go, with lathe demo area and splendid craft display all ready for the visiting public to enjoy.

The morning foot traffic was a little slow but picked up as the day progressed, during the day it was great to see a fair number of our club members turn out in support of club and we all enjoyed a good old chinwag between ourselves.

The lathe was kept busy all day, entertaining the public, who as usual were very interested in watching what was being made, and asking loads of questions, the children especially enjoyed the demonstrations and went away with a free spinning top.

The first day concluded at 4pm and we all went home for a well-earned rest….

On Sunday we arrived at around 9am and prepared the tables for the 10am opening.

Thanks go to Steve & Rob Hackett plus Roger Cheshire , Kim Harris, Mel Adams and Roger Sherwood-Howells  for making and giving away children’s spinning tops and other projects throughout the weekend, and also to all the club members that turned out to support us over the weekend….….well done all of you.

Again the public footfall was quiet to begin with but picked up throughout the day, again the lathe was in full swing keeping the adults and children entertained. 

Below some more photos from the event :- 

Evening Demonstration by Robert Till – 20/6/2019

Blackcountry Woodturners welcomed back professional Woodturner Robert Till for the evening. Robert last demonstrated at the club in October 2018.

For our evening’s entertainment Robert identified that he would be demonstrating how to make a “spindle Turned” finely shaped candle stick by using the “Reverse Turn” or “Inside Out” method, and during the process he would be showing in detail how the piece would be constructed highlighting how best to proportion / balance the project out to the eye as it went along.

He identified that the project was a “spindle turned piece using all the standard basic cuts that Woodturners of all levels would be able to have a go at, and that the project if made at home could be made as simple or as detailed that the maker wished by adopting his demonstrated methodology.

To start off with Robert detailed how he constructed two pieces of identical square stock and glued them together but introducing a paper seal between the two mating glued wooden edges, this technique later allows the joint to be broken without damage to the timber.

Blank after spliting

The blank was mounted onto the lathe and Robert detailed how to mark up the blank for initial turning which in this instance would be the inside shape of the candlestick, as when the shape was formed the blank would be split open and turned round 180 degrees then glued back together again to form the internal shape.

For the next 40 minutes or so Robert turned the initial shape where throughout he demonstrated the cutting stages, tool techniques, and logical step by step process needed to achieve the first stage shaping process. Robert then identified how to split the wood in preparation for the re gluing process.

Robert then re mounted a pre prepared blank that had been stage 2 glued up giving the internal shaped detail, the blank now ready for the external shape to be applied.

For the main part of the remainder of the evening Robert demonstrated the step by step process in achieving the outer refined shape, going into great detail around the eye line balance and shape proportion, illustrating this clearly by “tweaking” the shape as he went along.

His detailed explanation of the process was clearly enjoyed by those present and created some very lively and probing conversation around techniques, methodology and finishing processes.

For the final part of the demonstration Robert made the base to complement the candlestick, we were all amazed that he managed to squeeze it all into two and a half hours and had a cup of tea and biscuits in the process.

Another wonderful evening’s entertainment provided by Robert, well enjoyed by all and we look forward to his next visit with us in 2020.

Raffle Prizes

If any member wishes they can bring in a raffle prize at any time and donate it to the club, also if you see a tool which may be useful for turning which you can buy for around £5 or so (a receipt will be needed) then Ian can reimburse you on the night, our aim is to make the raffle as interesting and varied as possible.

Thanks

Mel

Secretary

Mary Stevens Hospice “Easter Egg Hunt” – 20/4/2019

For many years Blackcountry Woodturners have supported and raised funds for the Mary Stevens Hospice foundation.

For the past few months, in the background Melvin, club secretary, has been working hard with the hospice event organisers to secure the clubs attendance in support of several forthcoming charity events, the first being the “Easter Egg Hunt” This was the first time that the club had displayed and demonstrated within the grounds of the hospice in support of one of their own events.

On a really sunny Saturday morning we arrived at the Hospice in Stourbridge at around 8:45am to be met by Louise, event organiser, who showed us to our allotted area on the main events field.

Within a few minutes Melvin, Roger C and Ian were joined by Rob, Steve, Roger S and Arthur, our set up was to include a charity table, lathe demonstration area and member’s sales table.

We all got to work and by just after 10am we had everything set up and ready to go…having consumed several cups of tea along the way.

The event opened at 10:30 with a mass influx of very excited children and adults, the Easter egg hunt began in earnest and we all enjoyed the fun watching the children and adults making their way around the field seeking out all the clues for those elusive Easter eggs

Throughout the morning and early afternoon we had a steady stream of visitors to the stall with many visitors interested in what the club did, where we were located and how products on display were made.

Visitors enjoyed watching Rob and Roger C giving demonstrations on the lathe.

Steve, Roger S and Arthur did a sterling job on the charity table selling many items made and donated by club members for the event, a number of sales were also made from the members display table, combined sales all helping to raise much needed funds for the Hospice.

The Easter event came to an end just after 1:30pm, a good time having been had by all.

Having eventually packed everything away, we were all proud to have raised £50.40 for the Hospice which was handed over to the event organiser Louise on leaving.

Blackcountry Woodturners look forward to raising more funds for the Hospice at the summer and winter events later in the year.

Evening Demonstration by Keith Fenton – 18/4/2019

Keith has demonstrated at the club on several occasions and we look forward to each of his visits, this occasion was no different.

The objective of the evening’s demonstration was to show the audience a number of different colouring techniques to enhance a turned project and profile a texturing technique used by him on many occasions using an arbour cutting wheel.

Colour processes would be demonstrated via use of an air brush and several ways of using / applying Jo Sonja iridescent paints to produce various pattern structures and effects.

Keith brought with him a good array of his own finished work highlighting the various finishes that could be achieved by these methods.

He started off by mounting a part finished Olive Ash bowl onto the lathe, a few final cuts were made to the outside to true the piece up and complete the dimensional shape.

He then used the Arbourtech texturing wheel to score groves randomly around the outside and round the top Rim of the bowl, highlighting that he believed the best effects using this technique were random patterns as opposed to formal or repetitive patterns.

The outside was then sanded back to 320 grit in preparation for the first Black colour coat, the part turned inner bowl was then waxed to stop any pain residue on the inside; Keith stating that this was merely a protective coat and would later be turned away.

Black satin paint spray was then applied all over the outside of the piece ensuring that the paint entered all cut channels. Having demonstrated the process, he produced a like piece that he had made earlier which had fully dried and was ready to process further.

Having sanded back the black paint to the outer wood leaving the black groves clearly visible; this effect on its own could be a striking finish, the next objective was to apply a series of chestnut spirit colour stains.

Keith then invited the colour application to be completed by a member of the audience, Ian volunteered then over the next ten minutes under Keith’s guidance, Purple, Red and yellow stain was randomly sprayed across the whole of the outer surface.

Keith then went on to take a few cuts from the inside of the bowl to highlight the colour contrast against the grain in full, this really made the outer pattern stand out and cleaned up a small amount of overspray.


Via audience discussion it was agreed that this project had achieved its objective and no need to apply a finish to the piece, this created time to demonstrate his other finishing methods.

He moved onto the Jo Sonja Paint products which created a good audience participation discussion with a good flow of questions, answers and amusing stories floating across the room.

For the first application demonstration a part finished tea light, mounted on the lathe, was again pre sprayed in satin black paint, providing the ideal sub base for application of the Jo Sonja colours.

Having donned his trusty rubber glove Keith, by using his fingers rubbed a thin covering of the Gold iridescent paint over the whole outer surface, he then chose blue and green and in the same manner put on top of the gold layer randomly placed colour patches onto the surface.

In his own innovative way, he assured that the next bit of the demonstration he had practiced to a fine art and had taken many years to perfect, he was laughing whilst he said it. He then ripped off sheet of cling film and slapped it across the surface applied pressure onto the film and twisted his hand back and forth on completion removing the Clingfilm to reveal an amazingly good blended pattern, he went on to state that when fully dried he would apply of gloss lacquer which would make the colours pop even more.

This provided a great stopping point for tea and the opportunity for members to have a look at the first two items.

In the second part of his demo Keith continued with the Jo Sonja paint theme.

He began by mounting a pre formed 12” platter, centre hollowed with a 3-4” border all round and the piece sprayed black stating that for this piece again dabs of iridescent paint would be placed on the surface but the paint would be spread by blowing compressed air from the air gun, merging the colours together forming a “cloud like” pattern. Again he invited members of the audience to come and have ago at making the final product, when all the paint had been applied a layer of Clingfilm was dabbed over the surface giving the final cloud style impression.

Keith then moved on to demonstrate the application of paint by spinning colours onto the surface of two projects. Both methods would be applied to part finished black sprayed tea lights mounted onto the lathe.

For the first style he applied a rim of gold paint around the inner cut out part where the candle would sit, to stop paint flying over the audience and walls a plastic cake lid was placed over the tea light and chuck area then started the lathe up at quite a fast speed. He let this run for a few seconds then revealed the radiating striped pattern around the outer edge of piece, this gave a striking thin lined pattern that could be repeated in as many colours that you wished but Keith advised that two or three were usually sufficient.

Keith repeated the process on anther tea light but on this occasion, having applied a slightly thicker coat of paint, spun the lathe at a much slower rate, again after a few seconds stopped the lathe to reveal pattern with much more build up around the inner edge and thicker lines shooting off around the surface.

Having had a packed evening of information and fun we just ran out of time, the evenings events coming to a close with a warm thank to Keith for giving us a wonderful last few hours.

Blackcountry Woodturners all-day event. 3/11/2018

Blackcountry Woodturners all-day event.

This was the first all-day event that Blackcountry Woodturners have hosted for the past several years.

The Aims…

The aims of the day were to provide some well-earned entertainment for our current members, provide an opportunity to invite woodturners from other West Midlands Clubs, and with the aid of local media publicise Blackcountry Woodturners to the general public. This gave likeminded people the opportunity to visit and view the day’s events, talk to current members, and see what we as a club are all about.

There was also the opportunity for club members to buy and sell their unwanted / unused second hand tools, purchase project wood, and bring in some of their own work to display, and refreshments were provided  to all who attended during the day.

The club had secured the services of professional Woodturner Paul Hannaby from Gloucestershire, Paul agreed to complete three different types of projects throughout the day, ranging from basic through to advanced woodturning techniques.

The day’s summary…

It started at 8am with early bird members arriving to set the rooms out for the day’s events, the main body of people began to arrive just after 9am, first job of the day was a hot drink, biscuit and general chat. The tool sales started in earnest along with the wood project sales. The first project , bowl turning techniques commenced at  9.45am. Paul explaining  how not only to approach such projects but also design considerations, lathe mounting techniques, tool and cutting techniques plus  ways to finish the project dependant on use to which it was to be put.

On completion we all took a 15 minute well-earned refreshment break then at 11.30am Paul began project 2, Box making with texturing and colouring instruction. Paul began by demonstrating a number of market available texturing tools, how to use them and varying types of effect that each are capable of achieving, he also demonstrated various ways of colour embellishing the patterns to bring out best effect. Paul then went on to produce a small decorative oriental lidded box.

At 1pm we had a 40 minute break for lunch, socialising, raffle draw and more purchasing of tools and wood.

The remainder of the afternoon was taken up with the “Off Centre” platter with decorative and air brushed coloured rim.  This was a detailed advanced project well received by all present, with many questions being asked as the project unfolded. Paul explained and showed in detail the techniques, both turning and decorative, to complete the project from start to finish. The challenge now for us all to go away and give it a go…

The event concluded at around 4.30pm with everyone going home having enjoyed their day, learned a little or lot as the case maybe and hopefully inspired to have a go at new projects.

A big thank you must go to all the club members who brought in their own pieces of work to make up a fantastic display for all to see, providing project inspiration for us all.