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 is to be arranged. All other events between 16th march and 1st June have been cancelled.

Slimbridge Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Egg Lockdown Project

In Early May 2020, Phoebe Vaughan from Slimbridge Wetlands & Wildlife Trust contacted Blackcountry Woodturners via the contact page on the web site enquiring if the club would be interested in supplying the trust with a quantity of around 50 wooden Goose eggs in two different sizes and what the cost would be.

The eggs were required as dummy eggs, to be painted by staff and then used to swap the real eggs from various nests around the complex, this serves two functions helps reduce damage and breakage by other birds and preserve boost numbers of new chicks.

The real eggs would then be incubated within facilities at the trust and replaced on the nest just prior to hatching. This would ensure the maximum return and best chances for the young bird’s survival going forward.

Wolfgang drew the request to the committee members and it was agreed that this would make an excellent lock down club member challenge for all levels of ability, It was agreed the club would pick up costs and ask all members to make and donate the eggs. With this an email was circulated to everyone proposing the idea, this came back as a resounding yes and so the challenge was born.. Game on…

Wolfgang emailed Phoebe informing her that the club would make all the eggs and would do this at no charge to the trust to which they were stunned and very appreciative.

Within two weeks club members had made 106 wooden eggs, the eggs were then either collected from member’s porches and front door steps or dropped off the same way at the two agreed collection points Mell and Wolfgang’s homes.

A small sample of the eggs before sending off…..

Six boxes of wooden eggs were boxed and sent to the trust, 5 by Mell and Wolfgang and 1 by Nigel and Teresa Goodricke who sent their own egg contribution as due to distance was simply a more practical solution during the Covid19 lockdown.

Within no time at all Phoebe had made contact stating the Trust had received all six boxes to which they were thrilled with the result and were staggered by the amount of eggs made for them by our members.

A section of the reply…

To let you know that I have now received 6 incredible boxes of eggs.

Thank you so much! 

Today I managed a lesser snow goose nest, and put together a few photos to show you all.  You can see one old wood, with chipped gloss paint after a herring gull tried to eat it. There is then some real goose eggs mixed in with a few of your wooden ones.. The real goose eggs range from 105g to 140g, and so you see how different sizes can work in our favour 🙂  

Both new and older club members beginners to advanced were more than happy to help the trust in this very worthwhile cause, this being a different type of challenge not one that comes around every day, the egg making being a welcome distraction to the mad Covid19 world we currently live in.

Here is a link to their website https://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/slimbridge/

Youtube Demos

Let me start by saying that I hope you are all well and safe at this particular time, and that we will be able to start the club nights up in the near future with a lot of luck.

I have seen a couple of these demos and have noticed some club members names come up so I thought that if you all have the information of when they are on might be of interest to you all.

Please note the following dates that Martin Sabin-Smith will be carrying out live demonstrations on Youtube for the rest of April and all of May. All demos will be available for 7 days after the stream.

Martins Youtube Channel – Link

Tue April 7th 7pm ProEdge Sharpening

Sat April 10th 10am Elegant Beginners Bowl

Wed April 15th 7pm Intrinsic Pastels

Wed April 22nd 10.30am Fly on the wall

Sat April 25th 10am Day demo

Tue April 28th 7pm Live demo

Thur April 30th 7pm Live demo

Wed May 6th 7pm Live demo

Sat May 9th 10am Live demo

Wed May 13th 7pm Live demo

Tue May 19th 7pm Live demo

Sat May 23rd 10am Live demo

Wed May 27th 7pm Live demo

More Info – Link

At the time of putting this together The Tiny Turner Emma Cook was trying to set up a similar demonstration set up but at present is having trouble with Youtube and live streaming services, so watch this spot if I hear of anything more.

Tiny Turners Youtube – Link

Regards

Barrie Fisher

Axminster – Martin Sabin-Smith Demo

1st Feb 2020

Took a visit out to see Martin Sabin-Smith carrying out a full day demonstration where he undertook three projects. I must say sorry but I did forget to take my camera with me but thanks to club members this has been overcome. There were seven club members present, but thanks go to Steve for pictures.

The first was a goblet made from two woods (Bubinga and Ash), the head of the goblet was produced first by hollowing out the main body and then shaping the external part, this was then sanded down using the following grits 120, 180, 240 and 400, these are the ones that Martin uses and he stated that he does not go higher than 400. He started with his own sanding sealer, then used the Hampshire Sheen Bronze product to enhance the grain on the bubinga, after which he used Microcrystaline wax to give the project it’s shine. The second part was making the base out of ash, where the pattern kept changing from it’s original concept. Again the finishing was exactly the same as for the top and then glued together to form the complete goblet.

The second project was small Olive bowl, where as he was turning the outside he came across some checking which showed up more after sanding this was then covered with thin CA glue to give the wood it’s strength back again. A small bead was put around the top of the bowl at a distance that the bead was wide. The project was then edged with Frog tape ready for colour to be applied to the beading only, this was an earth dye which was air-sprayed on. At this stage the sanding sealer was applied, Martin stated that he uses as much as the project will take. This was then finished off using the Hampshire Sheen High Gloss Wax. Martin then started on the inner part of the bowl but came upon a problem where a internal crack just kept getting larger, therefore this project was abandoned for reasons of safety.

The third project was adding colour to a large bowl which was pre-shaped for the outside. He started by making sure that the bowl had been sanded to the required level prior to adding the dye. This dye was added in two parts for the base colour where both Black and Ruby was added to cover the outer shape. This was then sanded back to remove an amount of the dye which would be ready for the final dying. The sanding was started in reverse with 400 grit and then using lower grits if required. The additional colours were then added using Ruby, Red and Orange. This was then sanded back in certain areas to identify differing aspects of the wood. At this stage a Honey colour was added over these areas to give it’s overall effect. When dry Martin applied the sanding sealer to the required level prior to adding the High Gloss Wax. It was at this stage where he showed another way of finishing the project. First apply the wax over the complete dyed area, this was then melted with a hot air gun without causing the wax to bubble, if this happens the process will need to be started again.

At the second stage of adding the wax and heat to melt the project was buffed up by a paper pad to give it’s shine. This process was again repeated a further three times to give a very deep shine. Martin stated that this was a more advanced way of applying a finish and getting a better result but needed additional care carrying out the process. The hot air gun that Martin used was where he could get a value of 650 degrees from it. Martin then started on the inner area and showed the technique that he applies when removing the waste wood.

The show itself was well worth the day out and gave a better insight to completing projects by spending more time on the finishing aspect of wood turning

Wolfgang – Fruit Turning

Thursday 20th February 2020

It’s that time again where we welcome a club member or members to carry out the turning demonstration for tonight’s event. The member is Wolfgang, he is producing a project of Apples, Pears, Lemon and a small box all made out of Yew.

Wolfgang used a type of screw chuck that the members were able to produce back in Jan, instead of it being made out of pine this was a stronger and more stable wood Laburnum.

The Yew blanks had already been turned round ready for the demonstration, these were in two lengths for the fruits.

The Apple was turned first which can be turned to a apple shape that does not need to be perfect for every one produced as we do not get exact shapes in nature.

Wolfgang gave a commentary whilst turning and answered question that members had whilst the turning was taking place.

The Pear was next which was started basically the same as the apple but was finished with a differing shape to produce elongated section of the pear.

Both the apple and the pear were finished off by applying microcrystalline wax and then polished with a polishing mop which was dedicated to this wax, prior to inserting a clove into the base of each. The stalk was made from a small twig that Wolfgang had growing at home.

The next area of fruit was the Lemon which was turned without the use of the screw chuck but needed a spigot to work from to produce the shape required which is more symmetrical than the other fruits. All of this took place before the half time break. After the break A Yew box was started by using spigots and jam chucks to get the overall shape required.

It’s good that we have a large amount of expertise within the club and members are able to step in and deliver their knowledge for various projects.

Thanks must also go out to Rob who set up the camera and video set up which made the demonstrations clearer for those seated watching.

The members also bought into the clubhouse a selection of their own handcrafted items for other members to look at during the evening, and give them additional ideas for themselves.

CLUB CLOSURE

DUE TO CORONA VIRUS FEARS THE CLUB WILL NOT BE MEETING OR TAKING PART IN OUTDOOR EVENTS FOR THE NEXT THREE MONTHS FROM 16TH MARCH -1ST JUNE 2020. WE WILL ADVISE IF WE ARE ABLE TO MEET ON THE 18TH JUNE IN DUE COURSE.

PLEASE CHECK HERE FOR UPDATES.

MEL ADAMS

SECRETARY

07533 219152

Hands on Evening

Thursday 16th January 2020

Welcome to everyone that turned up for the Black Country Wood Turners event, the first for the New Year. We have had the pleasure of having Bob Mercer for this evenings demonstrations, which was a three part event.

The Black Country Woodturners put on a hand’s on event with two lathes being used for this process and two different projects on the go at once, the club members are invited to take an active part within these sessions so that they can develop their individual skills to a new level.

In addition to the practical aspect of this the other members can ask relevant questions to gain underpinning knowledge of other areas that they may be struggling with.

Project 1

Tool Sharpening

Bob Mercer will be taking the lead with evenings interest.

Bob will be bringing his own grinding station to the evening event and hopefully members will aid the event by bringing along their own tools that they need sharpening or if they require additional information in how to sharpen properly. Bob will give an explanation of the ins and outs to gain a good sharp edge with the correct bevel angle for the tool. Bob was using CNC grinding wheels for the demonstration.

Bob was kept busy for the duration of the night with other members taking an active part in developing their own skills, in addition to correcting poor techniques used by some members due to approaching the grinding station correctly.

Project 2

The next part of the demonstration was showing the correct techniques for stripping down and cleaning a scroll lathe chuck. Andrew Dore taking the lead for this part of the evening. In addition to demonstrating the cleaning of chucks, and what to look out for when putting them back together in the correct manner.

Andrew also showed some of his own made chucks for development of other projects such as pool-ball boxes.

Project 3

Rob and Wolfgang also demonstrated how to make a simple screw chuck. Other members were then invited to take an active part within this session, this also had a number of people around asking questions throughout the session.

The materials used for this are as follows:-

  • 65mm x 65mm x40 Pine blank
  • 50mm Woodscrew
  • 3mm drill bit
  • Countersunk bit
  • Screwdriver
  • Super glue
  • Members are able to use club tools for this small programme.

Bob hopes that the members will make their own screw chucks and bring them with them for the April event on the 16th where they will be used to make items of fruit or some other small item.

For each of the Black Country Wood Turners evenings, the members bring along their latest creations for the interest of the other club members, and will also explain how they went about turning them and putting them together or decorating them.

As normal the club itself has a number of wood blanks for sale which is a regular for the club, In addition to this individual members can use this time to sell on any unwanted tools or wood blanks that they no longer require, There is also a raffle with various items donated by members going on at the same time as having a mid-session break for a drink.

We also had the potential to take on an additional eight new members who turned up for the evening and from what was stated would be interested in taking up the hobby of turning, two have actually signed up on the first night.

Epoxy Resins & Adhesives demonstration evening.

Thursday 21st November 2019

For Novembers meeting we had the pleasure of Richard Ross, regional area manager from Wessex Resins and Adhesives, who are based in Romsey in Hampshire.

Wessex Resins and Adhesives have been developing and manufacturing high-quality epoxy products since 1981. During this time the company has worked with a large range of organisations that demand specialist formulations, including the Ministry of Defence, London Underground, Bombardier and BAE Systems, the company have in recent years been developing a range of general pouring resins, suitable for numerous applications including the professional and hobby craft arena.

Richard began the evening with a very interesting history of how the company Wessex Resins began by two brothers from humble beginnings in the early 1980’s, its continual development to, todays achievement where it has a substantial product range covering a worldwide market for many diverse industries.

Richard distinguished the differences between epoxy resins and polyester resins, describing their advantages and disadvantages; he described exactly what an epoxy resin is, being a bi product of the petro chemical industry, and highlighted to the audience how the industry in general is working very hard to make resins a “Greener” more sustainable product.

Richard then went on to discuss, demonstrate and mix a range of resins and adhesives, establishing and emphasising the need to measure the resin and hardener in the correct proportions and mix meticulously for at least two minutes allowing the chemical compositions to bond together properly. His demonstration of what happens when proportions are mismatched was an eye opener.

Richard encouraged and fielded a lot of questions from the audience throughout the whole evening who were eager to fill their subject knowledge gaps.

After the break Richard invited anyone to go up to the demonstration table and have a go at mixing and pouring and experimenting with the resin products.

Steve Hackett had kindly prepared some bowl/platter blanks by drilling holes around the perimeter to be filled with resin for the Christmas raffle where lucky winning members will take away to practice on.

Several other members also brought in items for discussion with Richard on how to progress with project ideas or simply fill with resin to have a go with at a later time.

Sadly the meeting had to be drawn to a close at around 8.45pm with audience members still keen to gain product knowledge.

Richard was given a warm and appreciative round of applause for giving up his time to educate and entertain us all.

The club wishes to thank Richard for a great evening and hope he will come back to entertain us at some future time.

Hopefully in the months to come we will see resin based projects appearing at our meetings.

For product information, Wessex Resins company web sites being

www.wessex-resins.com & wessexresins.co.uk/en

AWGB – NEC Stand Creative Craft Show

Thursday 1st Nov –Sunday 4th November

In October 2019, the AWGB contacted a number of Midlands based woodturning clubs seeking a little assistance.

The AWGB Committee required help in manning the AWGB stand at the Creative Craft Show, National Exhibition Centre NEC, hall 20 between Thursday 1st and Sunday 4th November 2019.

The call went out to our Blackcountry members, which was met with a great response, 5 members agreed to help out during the event, Bob Mercer Thursday 1st, Ian Brown & Roger Cheshire Friday 2nd, Bill Hubbard Saturday 3rd & Kim Harris Sunday 4th.

Without exception everyone enjoyed their day, and agreed it was well worth their days’ time.

We all met and chatted to some very interesting people from all over the country and further afield, many interested in taking woodturning up as a hobby, and were pointed in the direction of their local home clubs, several were pointed in our direction and we may get lucky with a few new members in the future.

H ope the AWGB come to the show next year as we will volunteer again, below are some pictures from the event.

Les Thorne All Day Event

Saturday 19th October 2019

For the 2019 all-day club event, Blackcountry Woodturners were very fortunate to have secured the professional services of the renowned National and International Woodturner Les Thorne, who travelled to us from his Hampshire home. 

This was Les’s first visit to Blackcountry Wood Turners, but hopefully not his last.

Les Thorne has been on the Register for Professional Turners since 2001 after spending the majority of his working life involved with the family wood business.

From his workshop in Old Alresford in Hampshire, Les is primarily a production turner and works on a huge variety of jobs and with many different clients.

To entertain and educate us today Les was treating us to a number of projects with and without decoration, covering box making, bowl turning and a candle stick. 

Doors opened at 09.00; the audience began to drift in and engage in the wood and tool sale areas, viewing and discussing displayed members work, hot drinks and general banter. 

At 09:30 the audience took their seats, Les was formally welcomed to the club by Mell Adams, Club Secretary, and the day began to unfold. 

Les began by introducing himself and described his woodturning journey to this point in time; he then began his first project and one that would then take up the morning and early afternoon sessions.

Project 1: A long curved lidded box, textured and coloured, this style being one of Les’s signature boxes, the audience were completely embroiled for the whole of the morning in listening, laughing and watching Les work his magic, each stage being well described, and demonstrated in great detail, his open manner prompted many a good question from the audience. 

Les has an instinctive knack of using tools gained over thousands of hours and many years of work, he is always in complete control of what goes on at the cutting edge, and portrays this in a relaxed, confident style and light hearted banter.

Having had lunch the audience assembled for the afternoon treats, initially Les finished off the lidded box, describing each step of the texture and colour application.

Project 2: A decorated Ash bowl “au natural”…no colour on this one, to the delight of Elwyn in the audience!

Les demonstrated each step of the way from mounting the blank, consideration of design and tool usage. Les again described and demonstrated to great effect various types of cuts including pull & push cut, shear cut and scrape used to form the bowl profile detailing the pros and cons of each method and the best time and place for their usage. Once the back of the bowl was complete in profile, Les then demonstrated how to place several bead rows onto the piece without taking the tool off the wood, a feat none of the audience had seen before, earning Les an appreciative and enthusiastic round of applause. 

The bowl was turned round, Les began work on the front outer rim decoration and hollowing techniques, again he very effectively describing the tooling techniques used at each stage, going to great lengths to fully demonstrate and describe the inner lip undercut tooling sequence.  

Following afternoon tea Les treated us to the making of a candlestick; he did this in what he described as “working mode” we all being amazed at the detail speed and accuracy he was able to achieve this project from complete start to finish, all the way through describing why and what he was doing. 

His final half an hour is what he described as his “Play” time, demonstrating to us his bead forming skill with a skew chisel and a few other very unusual tools.

The day came to a close at around 16.30 with Les receiving a well-deserved and warm round of applause from all in attendance; we very much hope we can lure him back to the club in future.