Demo Report – May 2024 – Club Turners Evening

An evening demonstration from club turners Barrie Fisher & Andy Dore.

First up was Barrie Fisher with a demonstration on decorating turnings with Jo Sonja iridescent paints & marbling with drawing inks.

Here is a description written by Barrie on techniques, he used during the the demo with added photos from the evening.

Development of decoration on either a bowl or vase will always depend on what
effects that you are trying to achieve and the shape of the object to be decorated.

One of the most basic is what is known as a string pull to form a decoration, this can
be either a solid colour or a mixture of several colours.
Either way I tend to use a piece of plastic tube which has been cut through length
ways and fixed on to a flat base. This will hold the paint even with a flow medium to
thin the paint down, and still keep it from running away.
Any new designs are always tried out on a flat piece of smoothed plywood first to see
if they would work. For myself I find that the Jo Sonja paints work the best, which is why I stick with them.

Different effects can be used throughout with differing types of paints, dyes and
inks, all being available. For the vase the paint would be applied first by fingers after putting on a pair of
plastic gloves, the vase is covered in this way to cover the complete surface area, Then, still at this stage still with the plastic gloves that have on, pat the point all round the vase to form a pattern that you are happy with.

  • Cling film
  • Bubble wrap
  • Air blowing
  • Feathers
  • Wool or string
  • Rolled cling film

Feather Effect string pull

  • Step 1 – Lay a length of wool which has had Jo Sonja paint along the length as shown, then pull in the direction shown in picture above.
  • Step 2 – Repeat the process along the opposite side, this then forms the main body of the feather.
  • Step 3 – Lay the wool along the centre and pull back to give the effect of the quill.

Flower Effect

  • Take a length of wool and load it with Jo Sonja paint.
  • Lay the loaded wool line out in a pattern similar to that shown.
  • Put a piece of tape at the base of the design to take up the overload of over-spill paint.
  • Always pull through at the same point.
  • You may need to wipe off any excess paint at the base.

Other effects

Other affects can be achieved using real Feathers or Artists fan paint brush.

Water Ink Dip (Alcohol ink)

This can produce some good effects on the blanks, but you have no control of the
pattern. This is an expensive process due to the waste of ink.
You will need a water bath for this, deep enough for your requirements, then drop
some ink dyes onto the water in a random manner and cause a gentle swirl.
With using water for this method the blank needs to be smoothed down twice, once
dry and the other wet, in this way you will get a smooth bowl.
Then carefully dip the bowl into the water and again carefully remove, at this point
you can see the effect that the inks have produced on the bowl. This then needs to
dry prior to final finishing.

For the second half of the evening, we have club member Andy Dore who demonstrated his process for inside out (involute) decorations.

Andy explained to the group how first came across inside out turning. He read an article in a wood turning magazine many years ago, and the process intrigued him so decided to have go to see what he could do. This developed into the we saw on the night.

Andy turns the decorations from white wood 34mm x 34mm from Wickes. He finds the wood clean to turn, it sands well & is not gummy like most pine woods. He cuts pieces 120mm long, and reduces them down to the 30mm x 30mm using the band saw and had a hand plain, making sure all sides are square. The centres are marked on the end using the corner cross method. The centres were punched accurately & then placed on the lathe between centres.

  • Step 1 – Andy turned a cove into the piece (see pic above) to the sizes in his plan, then its sanded using a round block. The coves then has finishing oil applied with a cloth. Some times up to 3 coats.
  • Step 2 – The block is the accurately cut into 4 pieces. Then turned around and glued back together with PVA, making sure that they don`t move. This leaves the coves now on the inside. They are held together with rubber bands until dry.
  • Step 3 – The centres were the punched accurately again on the ends & then its placed on the lathe between centres. Andy then turned the block round. (see pic above).
  • Step 4 – The round block is the placed in a chuck on the lathe, he the turns the decoration to shape looking to keep an even thickness around the windows, Finally it is sanded, and then is parted off to a point. As before it is finished with finishing oil applied with a cloth.

The club and committee would like thank Barrie & Andy for an excellent entertaining evening. It was enjoy by all present.

Report by Steve Hackett

Demo Report – March 2024 – Bryan Milham

For tonight’s demonstration, we have Bryan Milham who has travelled up from Weston Super Mare to entertain us with his skills and knowledge. Bryan is also the secretary of the AWGB.
Tonight Bryan will be going through the process of applying texture and colouring from the ceramics industry, and applying them to the wood-turning environment. Beyond colour is what the evening is all about. Bryan went through Health and safety information at the start of the evening, before starting the turning process.

Bryan reminded us about the three things that all turners need to keep in mind while turning, these are:

  • The tools to be kept sharp
  • The tools bevel angle needs to be controlled
  • Think about the design of the project

Decorated Bowl from Ash – 8” x 2.5”

Bryan used a pull cut to form a flat face across the surface of a blank followed by a push cut to make the blank round and balanced on the lathe at about 750 rpm. The shape is then cut to a regular shape. Bryan used an aggressive cut when removing the waste wood from the outer-shaped area. A foot was produced for the bowl to stand off the table, this was then sanded down to 120 grit to give a key for the next stage.

Next white gesso was applied to totally cover the blank in a thick layer, black gesso could also be used. Then a dog comb or bamboo sticks were used, these had points on the end and were placed across the gesso as the lathe was running to form a row of groves all over the outer area of the bowl, the gesso was now allowed to dry before moving to the next stage.
When it was dry a layer of blue and red spirit stains was applied to the gesso with a Mouth Atomiser, on an equal basis around the bowl, this would then need a lacquer finish applied.

Decorated Vase from Sapele – 4” x 4” x 8”

Placed into the lathe axis and turned to a round by use of a roughing gouge, a skew was then used to get a smoother surface which was used by using the skew as a planning tool, this was also used to form the shape of the vase, a parting tool was used to form a foot on the base of the vase. A Velcro pad system was used for the sanding abrasives which were fixed to a flat shape and used in varying grits to the vase.
It is at this stage that the vase needs to be completely finished with a polish or wax before moving to the next stage.

An area was marked off at the top of the vase about 1” from the rim and again by use of the skew the area edges were cut with the toe of the skew and then the inner area just marked out an extra layer of waste wood was removed. Decorator tape was used to mask off the edge of the cut area and additional paper was fixed to the other area not to be worked on. The edge of the decorates tape was again cut with the skew to the outer edge already cut.

A hot glue gun was then used to apply the hot glue to the open area in a random manner around the open area. When cool a black lacquer was applied over the entire area which was open and then left to dry.
The edge of the decorated area was again cut with the skew to give a very clean edge. A guilt cream was then applied over the top of the dry glue, place some guilt on the back of your hand and keep going back to this whilst applying it over the glue, if it goes over this is not a problem.

Decorated Platter

This was already turned and just the inner hollowed-out area to be decorated.
Tacky craft glue was used in the hollowed-out area of the platter and then allowed to dry a bit before applying some ultra-thin metal foil, this was applied by putting your finger into the metal foil and applying it to the tacky area of the platter till it was totally covered. This is then rubbed with your fingers to get a smooth surface and remove the loose parts from the hollowed area. This then requires a covering of lacquer to embed the foil.

Bryan also showed how to use modelling clay to form decorations which can be set into moulds and then painted and then applied to the outer areas of the bowls or vases for additional decoration.

The evening finished early, so we finished off with a question and answer session and Bryan stated that if any member needed additional information they could contact him directly, his information is given in Revolutions.

Materials used:

Once again the club would like to thank Bryan for the evening’s demonstration and explanations of what was taking place during the demo.

The club would like to give their thanks to all members who helped out with both the setting up process and also the cleaning up at the end of the evening.

Report by Barrie Fisher & edited by Steve Hackett

Demo Report – January 2024 – Wolfgang Schulze-Zachau

We start this new year off with our first demonstrator of the year, Our very own club member Wolfgang Schulze-Zachau kindly agreed to start the year with what is becoming his annual demo club, Wolgang is fresh from appearing on Handmade: Britain’s Best Woodworker 2023, in which he came an excellent 2nd place. During 2023 Wolfgang also transitioned to a professional wood turner. The club wishes him well in his future endeavours.

For tonight’s demo, Wolfgang will be covering some helpful turning basic tool use.

  • How do wood-turning tools cut the wood?
  • Why do you get catches & how to avoid them?
  • Achieving a good surface cut.

To help explain how turning tools cut, Wolfgang will be using extra large dummy tools he has made. There was a Skew, a Spindle Gouge & Bowl Gouge that were all made from wood.

The first tool Wolfgang demonstrated the use of was the spindle roughing gouge.

The skew chisel was next. Wolfgang explained about following the bevel and cutting in the correct area of the cutting edge. He also demonstrated how catches occur.

Next, Wolfgang covered Spindle gouge use.

And finally the bowl gouge.

Members asked relevant questions throughout the evening which is a good thing, with everyone taking in the relevant techniques employed by Wolfgang.

Once again the club would like to thank Wolfgang for the evening’s demonstration and explanations of what was taking place during the demo.

The club would like to give their thanks to all who helped out with both the setting up process and also the cleaning up at the end of the evening.

Report by Steve Hackett

Demo Report – October 2023 – Stewart Furini

For our entertainment of the evening, we have Stewart Furini, who has now retired from being an English teacher to become a full-time professional woodturner and demonstrator who likes to play about with embellishments and texture in addition to colouring wood.

Stewart started by going through some health and safety information for the normal mask that he uses when he sprays paint or lacquer. He also showed how to attach the siphon glass bottles under the airbrush; he also stated that he had a different siphon bottle for each colour that he uses; in this way, he cuts down on the cleaning requirements. He tends to use chestnut spirit dyes, but he also stated that you would require a set of gloves as it was difficult to remove the stain from your skin. With a siphon/suction feed airbrush, you can use it without cleaning if you always go from light to dark.

Stewart started by applying a stain directly to the blank using a homemade template. He just followed the edge of the template and kept moving it around the blank to develop a pattern. He demonstrated how to alter the degree of shade by moving the airbrush at different distances from the blank. The template needs to be kept dry for this and needs to be wiped every couple of uses so that the residue does not mark the blank.

Various templates can be obtained from both Amazon and eBay; these come as singles and also as bundles of different effects; they are relatively cheap.

Next, Stewart showed how to use masking tape on a blank after using a lighter colour first and going along the edge of the tape to form a shadow effect. The centre of the blank is now removed to give an overall effect. At this point, you could also frame the colouring of the effect with an outer ring effect, which will also add framing to the blank. The blanks that are used are then all sanded down to 240 grit to give the colour a base for the dye to adhere to.

A second blank was then mounted on the screw chuck of the lathe, and while all of this was going on, Stewart answered all questions that were asked The rim was also trued up, and an angle was produced in the rim. A spigot was also produced on the base of the blank for later use. The foot was established first by using a pull cut, and then an ogee shape was formed.
With the blank in reverse, a Proxon Long Neck Grinder/texturing tool was used (alternatives include the King Arthur Merlin2 Long Neck Grinder and the Abortech Mini Carver) to go across the face while the blank was turning. Without excessive pressure being applied at this point, the speed is around the 550 rpm mark. Stewart then used the airbrush and cloth with spirit stains to demonstrate colouring the texture.

Stewart then used the same textured blank to show a different technique; he used acrylic paint by Jo Sonia, but first, the blank was covered in black ebonizing colour and allowed to dry. Next, white and blue colours were applied, with the lathe turning slowly. Stewart used a wood frame cover to go around the blank, which was held in place with magnets. This was used to stop the overspray from the blank The lathe was then sped up to produce a flying-out effect with the paint.

Stewart tends to use the following types of cutters on his Proxon: Arbortech and Manpa, with the size being 51 mm x 8 mm.

The above Manpa cutter was used on the first part of the demonstration`s bowl blank while it was being turned by hand, and a series of indents were produced around the blank. This was then sanded down to remove the feather edges. Stewart then used his airbrush again to colour the texturing.

Stewart covered a lot of different techniques throughout the evening, which everyone seemed to enjoy. He stated that you can use the blanks to practice prior to turning a blank down, as the wood would get turned away anyhow, so you do not need a finished bowl to practice with the techniques.

Rob, as usual, took control and looked after the video and sound, while Steve looked after the raffle.
Thanks go to all who helped with the refreshments, setting up the room, and cleaning up at the end of the event.

Report by Barrie Fisher, edited by Steve Hackett

Demo Report – September 2023 – Keith Fenton All-day Event

It was that time of year again when we had our all-day Saturday event featuring professional woodturner Keith Fenton.

But first, we must thank all those who turned up early at 7:30 to sort out the room and prepare it for the event by means of covers and setting up the video and sound system.

Keith also used his own lathe for this event, which was to cover the following projects:

  • Laced Vase with Jo Sonja paints
  • Wine bottle Tee Light: demonstrating how to cut the bottle safely
  • Selection of fruit turning

The total number of people who attended the event was 25, who were made welcome to the event. It was also nice to see two members of Burcot Woodturners turn up for the event, and at the end, they stated that they had enjoyed the complete experience of our open-day turning. We did feel that this was a poor turnout for our club due to the fact that they had voted for it to go ahead.

Thanks must also go to Kim Brown for preparing the food, which was available for free to all attendees at the event.

There was also tea and coffee on the go throughout the day on a self-service system for everyone.

The college was open from 7.30 so that we could set everything up in preparation for the 9.30 start. Greg got the event started and introduced Keith.

Keith started off by giving some information on himself and the health and safety issues associated with woodturning.

`1. Laced Vase with Jo Sonja paints

The wood used for this was Holly, but also Ash, Lime, or Sycamore could also be used.
The size was around 175 x 100mm
Keith started off with a piece of timber that had already been turned to the round and had a tenon positioned on one end. When mounted on a chuck with the tail stock brought up. The basic shape of a barrel was turned, and then the end was faced off square. The outer shape was then sanded down to 240 grit so that the ebonizing spray could adhere to the smoothed wood. At this point, the vase was hollowed out. Keith showed various methods of hollowing it out using different tools and methods. The first was a Simon Hope 6mm hollowing tool for the first three inches; this was then swapped out for a Rolle Monrow hollowing tool, quickly moving on to a Crown hollowing tool; this was then changed for a Woodcut tool, so it depends on what you require from your own turning, with the Woodcut being Keith’s preferred tool. The speed used, depending on the hollowing tool being used, was between 650 and 1200 rpm.
Keith also showed the various types of sanding tools used for smoothing the inside of the vase, one of which we can get in this country and can be purchased from Chainsawbar, and the tool itself is made by Manpa.

With the ebonizing dry to the touch, it was time to apply the Jo Sonja paints. The colors used were gold, red, and green, all of which had a flow medium applied in addition to a pearl effect being added to each color. This was applied to the vase with a plastic glove; it was applied by using his fingers in a haphazard way all around the vase. When this was complete, a layer of clingfilm was used over the paint, and it was manipulated to form a pattern.
TIP When using this system, it would be good if you had another vase to color, as there is enough paint left
on the clingfilm to be used again. The clingfilm needs to be removed by lifting it off and not dragging it off, as this would change the pattern that you have produced.

We had a Blue Peter moment at this point, when Keith brought out a vase that was dry, to demonstrate cutting the slot down the side. Keith started by applying three strips of masking tape, marking a strip around 12mm down the length, and then another line on either side, which would be the line for the eyelets down each side of the slot.
Dividers were set at 15mm, with each row marked along the two outer lines; these were then drilled out by using a 5mm brad point bit first and then 6mm after. A 12mm hole was cut towards the base of the vase; this would be the endpoint for the slot that is cut using a hand-pull saw. A cut was made down both lines until the wood strip was removed. The edges were then smoothed along the length, and the corners were rounded off. If the thickness of the vase is out at this point, filing the inner edge of the slot to an even thickness is one way of fooling anyone looking at the item. The eyelets were now fitted into place by using super glue to stick them into place. Keith then used some 2mm leather lacing to lace up the slot; this can be in any pattern that you choose, and then a type of toggle can be used to hold the ends of the lace. These toggles can be purchased with leather or glass beads.

Prior to fitting the lace, the tenon base needs to be removed; this was achieved by having a pressure pad mounted on the chuck, and then the tail stock was brought up to hold it in place. This needs to be done carefully because of the slot being removed, which makes the item a bit weaker than if it had been a complete round.
To finish off the vase, a blast of lacquer would be used as a finish.

2. Wine bottle Tee Light – Demonstrating how to cut the bottle safely

The wood Keith used was Sycamore – Size 100 x 100mm

A line was marked along the base going through the center, and a 16mm bit was used to drill towards the center of the block from both directions, with the bit cut partly out of the block. When both of these were cut, a 32mm Forstner bit was used to hollow out the middle of the block about halfway along the block. The base is again turned down so that you only have half of the 16mm hole showing.

When mounted, this was turned into a round, with the required diameter being set by means of a parting tool and a set of callipers. Also, at this point, a tenon was put on one end. Then it was mounted in the chuck and trued up. We now need to drill three holes, which are breather holes for the candle.

It is now time to cut the bottle.
A bottle cutter was used for this, which is available from Amazon.
The bottle was mounted on the cutter at the required depth, and steady pressure was kept on the bottle as it was turned around and scoured with the glass cutter. At this point, some boiling water was poured over the marked bottle and then cold water, each for about 20 seconds, and the bottle should make a pop sound as it separates. This is known as a thermal shock on the glass.

The base of the bottle now needs to be smoothed down using a flat diamond disc that is mounted between two pieces of wood and mounted on the lathe. As the lathe spins, the bottle is kept square on the disc and polished both along the bottom and on the outer edge, with the inner edge being smoothed by using a diamond file. The Diamond disc and diamond files can again be found on Amazon.

The wood is now turned round and mounted on pin jaws; at this point, the main body can be shaped to your desired shape. The tenon spigot was also turned off at this point.

Again, a line was marked across the center of the top, this being the markings for the breathing holes to be cut down into the body. The center was marked out for the size of the tee light holder first before drilling down the sides internally, with 12mm on either side of the center. A Forstner bit was again used to cut through to the other hole, so we now have a hole all through the block. At this point, the hole for the tee light glass base is cut which leaves about 2mm sitting proud of the top.

The inner part of the bottle is now measured prior to the wood being marked and the wood being cut to a depth of about 20mm. This is deep enough that when people go to pick them up, the wood will catch on the glass base of the bottle. This can be done by using a taper until the bottle fits correctly.

The unit is then sanded to a final finish, and a sanding sealer is used prior to finishing with a hard polish that was made of a Carnauba wax and Bees wax mix; this was applied in a thin layer and then polished to a high shine. Keith makes his own by using a 50/50 mix of both.

You must consider warnings when selling these items due to the use of candles.

3. Turning Fruit

The blocks of wood were about 75mm in diameter when turned round. Keith stated that the required shape for both the pear and the apple is down to the turner, as there are numerous shapes of the fruits around. A small hole of about 4mm was drilled into the base, and a clove was glued into the base to form a more natural-looking item. Again, the hard wax was applied to the items of fruit and polished up.
At the top of the fruit, a 5mm hole was drilled at an angle to simulate a real fruit and a leaf stem was inserted and glued. The stem is found around the bottom of chestnut trees when they lose their leaves and the leaf has died off. The remains are a stem, which, when left to dry, becomes hard and is a more natural stem than turning one.

A big thank you to Keith for his input and effort throughout the day, and everyone should have learned something new and hopefully be able to apply it to their own projects.

Also, we must thank all those who cleaned up the room at the end of the event.

Report by Barrie Fisher, edited by Steve Hackett

Demo Report June 2023 – Emma Cook – The Tiny Turner

For our entertainment this evening, we were lucky to have the excellent Emma Cook as our pro-turner with the memorable projects that she comes up with.

Emma is better known as the Tiny Turner, which she has used as her brand name since 2013, she also continues to move forward and develop her skills in her unique way.

It was with great regret that we were unable to have Emma’s demonstration at our meeting last month due to an electrical problem within the college itself. We were very lucky to be able to Re-book Emma straight away for this month, thankfully she was not booked for the evening.

We had a good start to the evening, with Emma being stuck on the M6 in slow traffic, therefore the evening demonstration was delayed due to this, but only for a short time. Over the last three times that Emma was booked for a demo to the club, the first was cancelled due to Covid, and the second last month for electrical reasons, so now she can attend our meeting tonight.

Project 1

Emma started with a platter made out of Sycamore and explained the relevant process for developing her chucking point for the platter after first mounting the blank between centres. 

When mounted within a chuck an ogee shape was produced for the outside of the platter in addition to a dome and raised ring within the area for a decorative aspect of the foot.  This was then sanded for a smooth finish with Emma stating that she started at 240 grit.

From this point sanding sealer was used first, this was then followed by True Grit Woodturners Abrasive Paste from Taylorsmirfield, both having one coat. This was then followed up with a microcrystalline wax as a polish, again with one coat.

Whilst mounted in reverse the outer edge was removed and this was then smoothed down,  this edge was then painted over the edge part with gold and the other part left as a plain area, this was then covered in the crackle effect followed by a layer of black, this was then covered in the final layer of crackle effect which was the second bottle.  All layers were applied evenly utilizing a brush, at this point, the platter was left to dry, the drying process for this effect takes about 48 hours which should be taken otherwise the first effect layer could cause the top layer to slide a touch. 

At this point, Emma moved on to her second project, but I will carry on with the first.  At the end of the evening, Emma returned to this project and mounted the platter to remove the centre.  At this point the crackle effect had taken place but whilst on the lathe it just started to slip,  When taken off the lathe Emma used an acrylic lacquer to cover the affected area.

Project 2

The second project was a textured banded bowl, which was again mounted between centres and mounting point produced, this was then turned to a curved rounded shape, sanded and finished.  Emma then cut two groves around the bowl.

The area within the two bands was then cut out with a carving chisel 3F/12, 3 is the shape of the curve on the chisel,  F states the shape of the chisel which is a fishtail and the final 12 is the width of the chisel.  Before starting the carving, Emma explained the problems of cutting across the crown at 45 degrees so this is cut at 90 degrees.  Emma started across the bowl after the crown and she continued all around the bowl with neat clean cuts.  

A sealer was then applied around the textured area before a layer of black gesso was applied around the band area and then allowed to dry.  When dry a size was applied ready for a metallic flake effect to be applied, these flakes are brushed on and rubbed into the size.  When complete this then becomes the finished effect with no spray being applied over the flaked area.  The bowl was then reversed and the centre was taken out, Emma also explained how she went about turning within bowls due to her size.  When complete a 2mm diameter leather band was applied to the cut groves of the bowl, this was applied with a 45-degree cut on the end of the leather and laid into a layer of Fabritec glue, when coming back to the start another 45-degree angle was cut to line up with the original first cut.

Project 3

For a third project, Emma finished off a piece that she had with her, it had a dry layer of black lacquer applied on the inside of the bowl, She then used a Jo Sonia colour which she mixed with a flow medium of about 50 – 50 mix.  This was then applied to the inner edge of the bowl and then mounted back onto the lathe and covered by cardboard before spinning up to speed, this produced a radiating shape around the edge of the bowl.  

When dry a layer of size was also put around the inner edge of the bowl and allowed to spin.  This was then taken off the lathe and a metallic powder was applied, this being brushed on in the same direction of the flow, this is to prevent the crossover of the powder and take it away from the centre.

We also had a very good turnout of the member’s work which was out on display for all to see, well done all who took part in this section.

Thanks go out to all club members who undertook the setting up and breaking down of the equipment, also to Rob for the technical backup, Steve for looking after the raffle and Barrie for this report and Photos.  And special thanks to Chris who got down on his knees for Emma, to remove the flying dust.

Thankfully we got through the night without needing the lights in the college rooms as they were not working.

Demo Report Mar 2023 – Robert Till

For this evening’s demonstration, BCTW was pleased to host Robert Till, who has demonstrated for the club many times previously.

Project 1

For this first part of tonight’s demo, Robert introduced everything to do with using ‘Green Wood’. Green wood or wet wood is kept in clingfilm to keep the moisture in, in this way it stops the drying-out procedure from being so quick and allows the wood to dry with less stress and hopefully less cracking.

It must also be kept in mind that whilst shaping the wet blanks and letting them stand after this can cause them to warp and move out of shape, which some might want. If any of the items do crack it gives the turner another avenue to produce something with added features. Robert gave a good explanation of why and how to treat the ‘Green Wood’ prior to it drying out completely.

The wood used in the demonstration is Cedar, with the first project to be a rough-turned bowl from a half-split branch. This is mounted by means of a screw chuck, but do not overtighten it as it may cause damage to the wood and become loose. The tail stock is also engaged for safety to stop the blank from flying off.

Robert used a bowl gouge which had a long grind feature with a 48-degree grind, he went on and produced a tenon as a mount for the chuck, prior to this though the outer shape was produced to a level that needed additional work when the blank had dried out some more.

With the blank being reversed and mounted to the chuck the waste from the middle of the bowl was removed, this being done to a set size again prior to it being finished off after drying out. Robert then used PVA glue to coat the outside of the bowl and also the rim but not the inner of the bowl, this was where he wanted the moisture to come out without undue pressure on the fibers of the wood.

At this stage a set of kitchen scales can be used to measure the weight of the blank with the remaining water or sap content, this was written onto the blank with the date, and this could then be checked out in the future to see how much moisture has dried out from it. Keep checking weight until it becomes stable or no more moisture is coming out. It can also be checked via a moisture meter to check the percentage of moisture held within the wood, this needs to get down to about 10%.

Robert then referenced the sanding of the projects whilst wet, this needs to be carried out when the blank has dried out more and the abrasive does not clog up so much, the project is then finished with finishing oil.

Project 2

The second project was again Cedar which would be made into a vase time permitting with a thin wall. The blank was made round by using the side wing of the bowl gouge, a roughing gouge can also be used but care needs to be taken if there are a lot of twigs and branchlets protruding.

When round a tenon was put on one end, if you require a lid to be fitted it would be best to put a tenon on each end prior to separating the parts. The outer part of the vase shape was achieved by Robert using three different tools a bowl gouge, a spindle gouge, and a spindle roughing gouge. This was taken down to an acceptable shape that was pleasing to the eye.

When this was achieved a 20mm hole was drilled down the blank to a sufficient depth ready for the hollowing out process, with the hole drilled some of the tension had been taken out of the wood, to help the drilling process candle wax can be applied to the drill to aid with the drilling process.

For the hollowing process, Robert showed a number of tools that he uses but settled for a Simon Hope hollower with an 8mm cutting tip. He hollowed out the piece until it was about 6mm thick. He then used an LED light internally on the hollowed-out vase.

Robert then started to remove waste from the outer again and took the thickness down to about 4mm, This showed up well on the screen with the light being visible through the wood thickness.

If you do not have time to complete the hollowing-out procedure then pack it with the wet shavings and cover it again with clingfilm but leave the hole open so that the moisture can run out.

Robert answered all questions directed at him throughout the evening, as a club we must thank him for an interesting demonstration with some good advice being given

For this evening’s demonstration, we had 27 club members present.

Thanks go out to all people who helped the evening go without any problems and to the members who helped with the setting up and taking down procedures.

Report by Barrie Fisher, edited by Steve Hackett

Demo Report Feb 2023 – Wolfgang Schulze-Zachau

We start this month with our first demonstrator of the year, Wolfgang Schulze-Zachau, he is also a member of our very own club and is always helpful to anyone who asks. We had a total of 26 members in attendance for the demonstration this evening.

Part One Of The Evening

Wolfgang’s demo was turning a thin-walled goblet from a length of green Beechwood, which had not been down for long and so therefore there will be more moisture in the wood than normal, giving it different properties whilst turning and then whilst it is drying, with water coming out as it is turning. The Wood used was Beech about 100mm in diameter and around 200mm long.

Wolfgang started by turning one end down to a tenon so that it could be mounted within a chuck. The blank was reduced in diameter by means of a bowl gouge being used in the pull-cut orientation with the speed of the lathe set to around 1800 rpm.  The bark is left on at the goblet bowl end so that it would be left with a natural edge to the goblet, this was then faced off to produce a square face, using a spindle gouge.

The bowl part of the goblet is the first part to be hollowed out prior to removing any additional wood for the stem.  The tailstock was left in place as long as possible, after tailstock removal, the hollowing continued until the correct depth was reached.

Waste wood was then removed from the stem side of the project so that the thickness of the goblet will be reduced to a thin layer so the light can be seen through the layer.  It was at this point that Wolfgang went for the wood turners proverbial one last cut and the head of the goblet came away from the main body of the stem, Wolfgang then proceeded to demonstrate how to get around this problem so that there was no waste of wood and we still end up with a goblet. The base of the goblet was turned down to accept the hole in the base of the goblet bowl, making it look acceptable to the eye.

Part Two Of The Evening

Wolfgang stated that he works with a light fitting firm producing lampstands, and went through the process of being a production turner. He follows a plan (supplied by the customer) as accurately as possible for woodturning. The lamp-holder spindle had a hole drilled out, all the way through by use of an auger bit with a screw section as the point prior to this demo.

Wolfgang then demonstrated how he mounted the spindle blank, then how using a spindle gouge he forms the beads and coves along the length of the spindle, this was done with the use of a memory stick with all of the measurements marked along the length.

The base of the lamp holder was next on the lathe and was turned at around 1000 rpm. Wolfgang used a template for marking out sizes and defining the shape of the piece. He stated he has found that the template needs to be thinner, and he would be making another one.

Members asked relevant questions throughout the evening which is a good thing, with everyone taking in the relevant techniques employed by Wolfgang.

Once again the club would like to thank Wolfgang for the evening’s demonstration and explanations of what was taking place during the demo.

Wolfgang stated that he would be turning professional in about four weeks’ time which would be halfway through March. The club members wished him well with his new career

Once again Roger Sherwood and Arthur were stalwarts of the tea urns, and Steve was looking after the raffle for the evening with many excellent prizes up for grabs.

Thanks must also go out to Rob and Ian for setting up the video and audio equipment, this included using our new camera, which was used for the overhead shots.

The club would like to thank Dean Smitheman for the donation of a large amount of wood (Ash, Silver Birch, Laburnum, and Blackthorn).  All proceeds from this wood are to go towards the club’s charity, Mary Stevens Hospice.

The club would like to give their thanks to all who helped out with both the setting up process and also the cleaning up at the end of the evening.

Also, just a reminder that a new events calendar has been released which includes a Saturday all-day event on the 22nd of April, where members can go along and have a go at various tasks and hopefully sort out any problems that they may have.

Report by Barrie Fisher, edited by Steve Hackett

Demo Report Oct 2022 – Wolfgang Schulze-Zachau

The subject for the evening was Christmas Decorations.

Projects will be a Christmas tree, a Snowman & a Star Shape German Ring Turning

Wolfgang started by going through the various items that he was to cover through the evening and gave advice on which project would be good for the beginner and the more experienced woodturner, also starting that any new members should take tuition from a more experienced turner so that they can develop their own individual skills to a safe level and then to keep practising.

Project 1 – Christmas tree

He started by turning an approx 50mm square spindle down to a round, during this process, he stated that you needed to listen to the sound of the wood as you can sometimes hear problems prior to something happening on the lathe.

When in a round state a dovetail tenon was cut by means of a parting tool which had been reshaped to form the dovetail shape for the chuck mount.  At this point, the blank was remounted in the chuck in a secure and safe manner so that the tenon was gripped all the way around.

The shape was then looked at and a taper was cut down to a point whilst the tailstock was in position when the point was achieved the waste nub of timber dropped off and the tailstock was now removed.  The shape was cut mainly by means of the spindle roughing gouge and then refined with a skew.  The layers of the tree were then cut and at this point, you could use either a skew or spindle gouge with a fingernail grind applied. 

Wolfgang also demonstrated how he sharpened the fingernail grind with a diamond card to establish an edge again.

The bevel must always be in contact with the blank as that is the direction of the cut that you will require.  During the process, Wolfgang demonstrated using the tools both right and left-handed which is good practice to get into but again this will take practice.  This exercise will help develop your skills for both skew and spindle gouge turning.  Pine is a good wood to use for practice sessions.

Project 2 – Snowman

The blank was again mounted between centres and turned to a round again the wood blank being 50mm square.  A tenon was again produced in the same manner as the tree, at this point, the blank was again remounted in the chuck.

The top of the blank was now cleaned off and made flat, the shape of the snowman was the next thing to be marked up so that the dimensions were clear, the largest section of the wood being at the headstock end and then gradually getting smaller as you get to his head.  Each section is turned as a bead but they need not be a total round, these being produced by rolling a spindle gouge.  For the head, only part of the head is showing as the rest is in his hat.

The item itself was then painted on the lathe so that any overlapping paint could be removed easier.

Project 3 – Star Shape German Ring Turning

The wood blank for this project was a large slice of a Leylandii tree with the grain running lengthways in line with the bed, Wolfgang explained that Leylandii was ok to turn but produced a poor quality finish with lots of tearout. But was the only blank he had available at such short notice and it would do to show the ring-turning technique. He mounted the blank in the spindle orientation, its size was approx. 9in x 3in.  Wolfgang used his sanding disc on the headstock as a drive plate with a pointed live centre in the tailstock pressed up against the blank, it was then cleaned flat and a tenon was produced for when the blank was turned. 

Wolfgang started by showing his template of half a star which would be used on a regular basis to keep checking the shape, this template needed to be accurate.  He found where on the blank the centre of the side wall would be and then proceeded to mark the areas for the other points of the star.

The removal of waste was by means of a spindle gouge, and always developing the straight lines to produce the crispness required and also to cut down on the sanding process.  When he was satisfied with the shape against the template he remounted the blank and carried out the same process on the opposite side.

With the thickness getting less and less a securing tape was added to the back of the blank so that it could be held on to the chuck as the last cuts are trying to get the hoop to come apart from the main core, again you need to listen to what the wood is telling you.

When the last cut had been produced the hooped star came away and it then needed to be cut into strips around the edge to form each individual star.

Wolfgang used a pull saw to cut through the hoop and took one star out which left plenty more, a better way would be to use your bandsaw as he stated.

This is a process which was developed in a region of eastern Germany in the Ore mountains of Erzgebirge.

You will need to be very patient with this process as the majority of waste is in the form of dust instead of shavings.

Using this technique you can achieve amazing results

Thanks go out to Wolfgang for stepping in at very short notice and the evening was well worth the change.

Also, thanks again to Steve for the raffle and also to Ian for stepping in this month, and setting up the video and audio equipment.

Additionally thanks to all who set up the room and also who put it back in a usable manner for the college.

Report by Barrie Fisher, edited by Steve Hackett

Demo Report Oct 2022 – Chris Parker All-Day Demo

For our October all-day demonstration, we have booked Chris Parker who is a very accomplished woodturner who is very approachable and is willing to impart his knowledge to everyone who is interested. Chris, (also known as The Bald Woodturner) enjoys adding texturing to turned work, and likes his pieces to be organic and individual in their own right. He has stated that he looks towards ancient ceramics for his ideas.

Chris parker

The committee stated that the cost of the event would be £10.00 for the complete day with tea and coffee on tap all day, also during the day, we had a good selection of food for everyone who attended the event. Club members also were able to take their own items for sale in addition to the wood on sale for the club and the donated wood selection the profits from the sale are going towards the club charity.

Chris brought with him a couple of fellow woodturners as guests for the event, these being the Canadian woodturner and carver Kade Bolger, we will also welcomed Martin Clarkson from Lincolnshire, this is a big plus for our club as we will have had a good opportunity to discuss other areas of woodturning with these guys and take advantage of their combined knowledge, which I hope club participants took advantage of to a good degree.

For this event Chris planned out the following projects:

1 – Textured and coloured curved-rimmed platter

2 – Round-bottomed pot with external texture and internal stone layer colouring effect

3 – Making an off-centre jig, which can be used for many projects.

Project 1 – Textured and coloured curved-rimmed platter

Chris turned a recess for chuck expansion mode on the block of wood ready for shaping. The blank was reversed and the tool rest was set at the mid-point and also parallel to the work, this was then turned to the round, ready for shaping. In this position, a flat was turned smooth and parallel and then a 450 angle was turned across the corner. Chris showed how to mount the blank on the chuck correctly and safely.

A negative rake scraper was used to refine the base of the platter. This is now ready for sanding, a sanding disc was used by means of a battery drill, and an area on the outer section was then made ready for texturing.

The Sorby texturing tool with the largest fitting wheel, Chris also stated how to sharpen the texturing tools so that they remain sharp. The large wheel was used first then swapped to a smaller texturing tool, both tools being held in the upright position. In the centre of the band, an orange peel effect was used by moving the tool over and over the surface area, you must be able to traverse the surface without too much pressure.

The block is now reversed and the outer rim of the platter is rounded to give an interesting shape to the piece, this will allow people to handle the item with a pleasing effect and feel. The edge of the platter was sanded at this point. The centre of the piece is now removed but leaving a wood nub right in the middle to add strength at this point. An electric cutter was used at this point to give added texture to the inner area and then with a rotary sanding brush remove the fluffy bits from the texturing. A graphite stick was used at this point to embellish the raised points of the texture. (graphite stick available from Amazon)

Chris used an airbrush to colour from the inner to the outer edge of the texturing at about 600rpm. A plain shoulder has then added on either side of the airbrushed texture, the bottom rim is done when the base is removed. A matt lacquer and wax are then used to finish the project.

Project 2 – Round-bottomed pot with external texture and internal stone layer colouring effect

Chris used a 5″ x 5″ x 5″ blank mounted on a screw chuck, the tail stock was also moved up to secure the wood between centres and then it was turned to a round. A tenon is then produced so that the project can be mounted in a chuck when reversed, also at this time, a basic shape is put on the pot

When reversed the outer shape is also refined prior to applying a grinder with a wood sanding disc attached for carving, this being applied around the bowl in a random manner until all the required area had been covered, the lathe is switched off for this operation, move the grinder in a small circular motion for each area, do not put pressure on the piece as this could cause burning and you would need to carry out the process again.

The project is now remounted so the wood core can now be removed, this was started off by means of using a drill set to the required depth which will also be used as a depth measure. The edge of the pot is now cleaned off and made square. After it has been hollowed out a small-headed sander from Simon Hope is used, also a brush sander to remove the fluffy bits again.

The pot is then sealed with a spray acrylic sanding sealer and the inner surface is then painted blue, with a granite spray added over the top of the paint. The front edge of the pot is now cleaned up.

After the paint finish had dried, Chris turned away the tenon and textured the bottom of the pot to finish the project.

Project 3 – Making an off-centre jig

The blank for this project must be hard and have a good grain like Oak.

A screw chuck was used first to develop the round shape required, when this is done the offsets were marked onto the blank and drilled and then remounted on the screw chuck to each hole with a thread in, these can be strengthened by running CA glue down the threads to give longer life to the jigs. At this point, you will need to mark where the holes will be placed for the countersunk woodscrews to be positioned for attaching the blank that you require turning. These woodscrews need to protrude through the jig by about 12mm or ½ inch depending on what camp you are in.

From this position a blank can be attached and then by turning out the blank in one position, move to the next screw chuck hole and repeat the process, and then on to the last, in this way a bowl with three hollows int can be produced which Chris showed. When all three hollows had been finished the jig was again mounted in the central hole and the outer shape refined up to the outer rim of the project.

Thanks go to Rob for operating the camera and audio equipment for the duration of the event. A big thank you goes to Kim (Ian’s wife) for the food during the day which went down well if you will forgive the pun.

Finally, the committee would like to thank everyone who helped set up the room and also to take everything back down again at the end, to meet the college requirements.

Report by Barrie Fisher, edited by Steve Hackett