John Aitkin – Zoom Demo

THURSDAY 15th OCTOBER 2020 – Start Time 6.45PM

Our clubs second Pro demo will be hosted by John Aitkin the Bowler Hatted Turner. He will be demonstrating making a sea urchin ornament. Outlining all necessary design considerations and detail tooling techniques required to complete the project.

If there is time left he will turn a second project – a mirror or picture frame, again discussing design considerations and detail tooling techniques.

This is a paid demo, the demo fee is exactly the same as you would be charged at the club when we put on a professional demo such as this, as  Covid19 looks to be with us for the foreseeable future we will be having more of the remote demonstrations as we go along. We are collecting the payment by bank transfer or cheque/cash handed to a committee member.

All club members Should have had a email regarding this. If anyone is having a issue with payment or setup of Zoom please contact a committee member or use the below email, One of the committee will help you out.

blackcountrywoodturners@gmail.com

Second Zoom Club Demo

On Thursday 17th September 2020 the club will be doing its Second live club online demo… Starting at 7:15pm and will finish when it does

This Demo is free to all members.

Demo to be arranged

All Club member will having a email Regarding this meeting In the next few weeks, if there are any issue please contact a member of the committee and we will sort out getting the details to you.

Zoom Demonstration 1 by BCWT Club Members – August 20th 2020

PPE requirements

Gloves – Mask – Glasses or goggles – enclosed shoes

Also have a fire extinguisher on hand just in case you did not clean the area sufficiently first.

Tools

Scraping chisel – Parting tool – could also use carbide tools – patterning tools.

The Demo

This is the first demonstration carried out by a club member whilst on zoom, this is a bit nerve racking as there is no audience in front of you whilst you are explaining what is happening throughout the process and also a different type of how to ask questions, therefore this will be a steep learning curve for all of us in the use of the cameras and sound and recording of the process.

The Black Country Wood Turners club will be having one of their own Roger Cheshire to demonstrate how to use pewter within a wood turned project for this evening. The pewter can be turned into cabochons, finials and rings, all of which can be decorated.

Roger started by explaining how to obtain pewter from various sources and demonstrated how to cut the pewter down and melt. The melting pot was a standard milk pan to contain the pewter and then a camping gas single hob canister heater which is more that sufficient to melt the pewter, Roger has found over the years to melt the pewter and let is cool for a while and then reheat to melted prior to pouring. There is also the possibility of getting slag on top of the pewter which can be remover with a fork or spoon, at this point don’t tell the wife you have just used the best pan and utensils for this work. You will also need a level surface before you pour the pewter to get it level within the former.

Whilst waiting for the pewter to melt Roger mounted some wood on to the lathe to form a former for the pewter to be poured into, a steady hand is required whilst pouring, you need to take it steady but not too slowly for when the two ends of the molten pewter in the former a tenon was also turned into the former so that the solid pewter could be inserted into a chuck with gripper jaws ready for shaping. This was then turned to the required size ready to be inserted into the turned wooden item.

Prior to pouring the melted pewter the former itself was warmed up to remove any moisture that might be present as this could cause the pewter to bubble and splash out of the former. Roger also warned against using an oily wood as this would also react against the melted pewter.

During the session, there were various aspects of turning the pewter and inlaying a pattern which was explained along with the type of tools used for shaping the project.

The turned pewter is then polished down to 2000 grit with some wet and dry and then with the addition of T-cut to finish the polishing process. It was also stated that the use of Yorkshire Grit could be used the White container type.

Our thanks go to Roger for being the first turner to be captured digitally by the new set up.

I for one thought that the event went very well for a first-time event and was also a steep learning curve for both Rob and Ian to get to grips with the audio and video side of things, there is room for improvement to give a better viewing aspect and enjoyment experience. It is hoped that we will have learned a little more about the computer system for the future demonstrations and be able to record them and use them on the club website for everyone to see again. At the same time, now we have the full complement of the zoom facilities we are still getting to grips with the added aspect of what can be used.

Hopefully for next month we will have enticed another club member who is willing to undergo the inspection of the lens and get used to talking through a mike and camera.

We will also be maintaining our chin wag sessions on a regular basis, so we can still discuss things as to what may be accomplished with the zoom demonstrations.

Additional Information for Pewter.

Pewter can be beautifully crafted, and is relatively easy to work with

Warning

Melt pewter in a well-ventilated area with access to incoming fresh air. Some pewter contains a high concentration of lead, which when melted can be toxic to inhale.
Never allow water to splash into your melting pewter.

A splash of water can cause a burst of steam to fly up onto your face or hands, potentially causing serious injury.

Step 1

Place your pewter pieces into a stove-safe pot or pan.

Step 2

Turn the heat onto your stove up to its highest setting. Temperatures allowed by stoves vary depending on make and source of heat; your goal is to reach pewter’s melting point, Depending on the exact mix of metals, pewter has a melting point of 225 to 240 C (437 to 464 degrees F).

Step 3

Allow the metal to melt slowly. Remember that unlike ice, pewter does not melt gradually. The pewter will not begin to liquefy until the full piece has reached its melting point. Be patient during the melting process. Melting times will vary depending on how much pewter you melt and the temperature of your stove.

Step 4

Gently stir the melting pewter with a wooden utensil. This will help the heat to distribute more evenly.

The cuttlefish bone can also be used to form a mould.

Tip

Pewter can also easily be melted over a fire, or by using a blow torch.

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.

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

Steve Heeley Demonstration Evening.

Thursday 17th October 2019

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.

Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust

Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th June 2019

“Made in the Blackcountry” 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Below some more photos from the event :- 

Evening Demonstration by Robert Till – 20/6/2019

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

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

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

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

Blank after spliting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evening Demonstration by Keith Fenton – 18/4/2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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