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.
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.
Yew blanks had already been turned round ready for the demonstration,
these were in two lengths for the fruits.
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.
gave a commentary whilst turning and answered question that members
had whilst the turning was taking place.
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 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.
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
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
must also go out to Rob who set up the camera and video set up which
made the demonstrations clearer for those seated watching.
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.
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
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
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.
Mercer will be taking the lead with evenings interest.
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
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.
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.
also showed some of his own made chucks for development of other
projects such as pool-ball boxes.
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
65mm x 65mm x40 Pine blank
3mm drill bit
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.
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.
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.
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.
Novembers meeting we had the pleasure of Richard Ross, regional area
manager from Wessex Resins and Adhesives, who are based in Romsey in
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
the meeting had to be drawn to a close at around 8.45pm with audience
members still keen to gain product knowledge.
was given a warm and appreciative round of applause for giving up his
time to educate and entertain us all.
club wishes to thank Richard for a great evening and hope he will
come back to entertain us at some future time.
in the months to come we will see resin based projects appearing at
product information, Wessex Resins company web sites being
Steve is a good old friend of Blackcountry woodturners we last had the pleasure of his company in September 2016.
Steve has not been too well of late but fulfilled his promise to the club to come and entertain us once again, for this we are very grateful, and very happy to have you back.
Steve’s project for the evening was a dried flower vase, starting with a flat piece of pine approx. 6 inches wide by 12 inches long, the intention was to keep the lower portion of the vase rectangular, this section of the piece would later be textured, sprayed black and then rubbed back, to again expose the natural wood, this then contrasting with the turned foot and vase neck.
Steve identified that this was one of his own creations unique to him, that he had been making for some time; he identified how the piece would usually be made with square stock but the rectangular style added another dimension to the overall finished product.
Steve initially mounted the stock into the lathe and proceeded to turn the opening of the vase then beginning to shape the neck area.
Steve very carefully described and demonstrated the” Pommel cut” that adjoins the main body to the neck area, he demonstrated how to approach the cut with both a bowl gouge and skew chisel, stating that without doubt this was the hardest cut on the project to get correct but if done well helps to set the piece off, Steve then went on to complete the final shaping of the neck to the main body area.
Having completed the top half of the vase and rough shaping of the foot, he turned the piece round to complete the foot detail as this gave better tool access.
Steve then progressed to texturing the main body of the piece using an electronic hand held grinder with Arbourtech cutting wheel attachment, texturing all four of the flat sides, once complete, the texturing and corners were sanded smoother to remove the raised and torn out grain, this was then covered with a light spray of sanding sealer and over sprayed with chestnut ebonising lacquer, then when dry rubbed back the high points exposing the natural wood.
The piece was then finished off with the addition of three box wood buttons, fitted into three pre drilled holes in the main body.
The evening drew to a close with the audience giving Steve a wholehearted round of applause for a fine evening of entertainment.
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.
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
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.
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
Another wonderful evening’s entertainment provided by Robert, well enjoyed by all and we look forward to his next visit with us in 2020.
has demonstrated at the club on several occasions and we look forward
to each of his visits, this occasion was no different.
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.
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.
brought with him a good array of his own finished work highlighting
the various finishes that could be achieved by these methods.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
provided a great stopping point for tea and the opportunity for
members to have a look at the first two items.
the second part of his demo Keith continued with the Jo Sonja paint
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
On Thursday last week we had Robert Till as our demonstrator. He has done a demo before, at our old venue, where he showed us how to make a turned bird’s house. This time he demonstrated his rocking bowls. They are mostly made from ash or oak, as the open grain in these timbers allows for the kind of surface decoration he is aiming for.
It all starts out with a blank about 8″ in diameter and 3″ thick. A drill provides a hole for the screw chuck and, once mounted, the out side is squared off, both on the flat underside and the rim. A centre mark is made on the rim to ensure the final bowl has equal curves on top and bottom (although I suspect this could easily be altered for variations of the form), and then the underside is turned into a gentle curve towards that mark. This curve must always allow for a small, but precise tenon.
Robert demonstrated using pull cuts for the shaping, and then putting the handle right down and closing the flute on his bowl gouge to perform a very gentle shear scrape. In this manner he gets a surface that needs very little sanding.
The bowl is then reversed into the chuck, and a similar curve is applied to the top. For the sanding he uses Rhinogrip, and he always makes sure to only ever use any particular spot on the sanding paper once, folding away used pieces as he goes along. His surfaces are sanded to 600 or 1000 grit. He then showed two different methods of finishing the top.
For the first method, he applied a thin film of Chestnut ebonizing lacquer to provide a simple black surface. On top of this is then applied some gilt cream, also from Chestnut, which is rubbed well into the surface and in particular into the grooves left by the annual growth rings. Once the entire surface has been covered, a paper cloth and some finishing oil are used to remove any excess, leaving behind only the cream in the recesses, and thereby dramatically enhancing the figure of the wood. This is left to dry, and the final finish are up to a dozen layers of finishing oil, applied one coat per day (or slower). Once the wood has been saturated with oil, it starts to build up a nice coat on top, which does not need buffing.
The second method of decoration was done with the coloured spirit stains from Chestnut. He first rubbed the entire surface with a purple colour, and then carefully sanded that back until most of the high points were left in natural again, and only the grain recesses showed colour. He then used paper cloth to apply dabs of colour in a pattern to enhance any natural features of the wood, and finally blended them all together with finishing oil.
A very instructive demo aimed at mid-level turners, and well delivered. Our display table was well stocked, and we had 26 members and one visitor in attendance.
Club member Wolfgang Schulze-Zachau was our demonstrator for the April meeting. His demonstration was based around deep hollow forms. Wolfgang started the evening talking about the pros and cons of working with dry or green wood. He had brought a number of blanks with him and asked his audience which blank he should use for his demonstration.
He gave incisive and thoughtful advise on how to deal with green wood turning, which he said was his preferred type of wood to work with. He answered several questions from club members relating to green wood turning. Wolfgang passed around a number of his very large deep hollowing tools and answered questions on how and when to use the different tools. He said that during his demonstration the method he would be showing us was the way he did things, and not specifically the way someone else might approach the same task.
Wolfgang chucked up the blank and set about shaping the outside of the form. He kept up a continuous commentary of everything he was doing, from the height of the tool rest to the different types of cuts he was using and which part of the tool he was using as well as the best angle of approach. This was ideal for some of the novice members in the audience but it was also helpful and thought provoking for the more experienced turners as well. Wolfgang then discussed the merits of different drill bits to make a start with hollowing. As it turned out he decided to start with a spindle gouge. He had a couple of issues with the club lathe and chuck both of which needed additional tightening up. But then he very quickly got on with the main event of hollowing out the form. This was when the necessity for the extra long handle became apparent. With the handle tucked under his arm Wolfgang showed club members the safe way to approach the opening and how to hollow out the bowl, slow and steady. He said you needed to develop a feel for the tool as it cut inside the form and the only way to do that was lots and lots of practice. He said that having a good light source was also essential to enable you to see inside the hole you were hollowing and recommended using a headset incorporating magnification and a light source.
Wolfgang gave a running commentary throughout the whole demonstration and answered a number of questions on the use of specific hollowing tools as well as the negative-rake scraper he used to clean up the inside of the bowl. He gave tips and advise on the thickness of the base of the bowl, thick enough to support the piece when it was re-mounted on the lathe but not so thick as to impede the drying process and risk cracks forming. All in all a thoroughly entertaining and informative evening was had by all. Thank you Wolfgang.
Club members brought in some fine pieces for the display table. (sorry about poor quality photos)
Our February meeting was a demonstration by Paul Hannaby, who was recently appointed chairman of the AWGB. He has demonstrated at the club before, a goblet with a barley twist stem, if memory serves. This time around his focus was on bowl turning.
We held the demo meeting in the room adjoining our normal meeting room, for a number of reasons. For one, it offers a big overhead screen which we could connect to our camera, and thus provide a much improved view for the audience. And I am pleased to report that we had a very full turnout of members. Another reason is that the layout of our normal meeting room is much better suited for hands-on days than demonstrations, since it has a massive staircase right in the middle of the room.
For his first bowl, Paul chose a piece of mahogany of about 8″ diameter. This was mounted onto a screw chuck. This mounting method, which works fine for bowls up to about 10″ diameter, has the advantage of giving unfettered access to the bottom of the bowl, so that a nice foot can be formed with push cuts, which leave a much better surface than pull cuts. Paul talked extensively about his choice of bowl gouges, which are in essence all standard grind, i.e. very little wing. For the finishing cuts he used a particularly heavy bowl gouge, showing us that the weight reduced any bouncing dramatically and the long inside curve creates such a nice slicing action that the finish turned bowl hardly needed any sanding at all. He also demonstrated how to use a stick of hot-melt glue to check the surface for any bumps.
His second bowl was to be a natural edge piece. The approach is pretty much the same: start on the screw chuck, finish turn the outside (and sand and decorate if desired/required), then turn around and form the inside of the bowl. Obviously the challenge with a natural edge bowl is always to get the first one or two inches of the cut done without losing the bark or any other accidents. A steady hand and a good eye for the ghosted edge of the workpiece is required for this.
A very pleasant surprise of the evening was the table showing the work members had brought in. A wide variety of items and, it must be said, all of good standard. Clearly our members are feeling fired up to get into their workshops and make things. Excellent all around. Here are some images.