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.
Scraping chisel – Parting tool – could also use carbide tools – patterning tools.
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
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.
Place your pewter pieces into a stove-safe pot or pan.
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).
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.
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.
Pewter can also easily be melted over a fire, or by using a blow torch.
Took a visit out to see Martin Sabin-Smith carrying out a full day demonstration where he undertook three projects. I must say sorry but I did forget to take my camera with me but thanks to club members this has been overcome. There were seven club members present, but thanks go to Steve for pictures.
The first was a goblet made from two woods (Bubinga and Ash), the head of the goblet was produced first by hollowing out the main body and then shaping the external part, this was then sanded down using the following grits 120, 180, 240 and 400, these are the ones that Martin uses and he stated that he does not go higher than 400. He started with his own sanding sealer, then used the Hampshire Sheen Bronze product to enhance the grain on the bubinga, after which he used Microcrystaline wax to give the project it’s shine. The second part was making the base out of ash, where the pattern kept changing from it’s original concept. Again the finishing was exactly the same as for the top and then glued together to form the complete goblet.
project was small Olive bowl, where as he was turning the outside he
came across some checking which showed up more after sanding this was
then covered with thin CA glue to give the wood it’s strength back
again. A small bead was put around the top of the bowl at a distance
that the bead was wide. The project was then edged with Frog tape
ready for colour to be applied to the beading only, this was an earth
dye which was air-sprayed on. At this stage the sanding sealer was
applied, Martin stated that he uses as much as the project will
take. This was then finished off using the Hampshire Sheen High
Gloss Wax. Martin then started on the inner part of the bowl but
came upon a problem where a internal crack just kept getting larger,
therefore this project was abandoned for reasons of safety.
The third project
was adding colour to a large bowl which was pre-shaped for the
outside. He started by making sure that the bowl had been sanded to
the required level prior to adding the dye. This dye was added in
two parts for the base colour where both Black and Ruby was added to
cover the outer shape. This was then sanded back to remove an amount
of the dye which would be ready for the final dying. The sanding was
started in reverse with 400 grit and then using lower grits if
required. The additional colours were then added using Ruby, Red and
Orange. This was then sanded back in certain areas to identify
differing aspects of the wood. At this stage a Honey colour was
added over these areas to give it’s overall effect. When dry
Martin applied the sanding sealer to the required level prior to
adding the High Gloss Wax. It was at this stage where he showed
another way of finishing the project. First apply the wax over the
complete dyed area, this was then melted with a hot air gun without
causing the wax to bubble, if this happens the process will need to
be started again.
At the second
stage of adding the wax and heat to melt the project was buffed up by
a paper pad to give it’s shine. This process was again repeated a
further three times to give a very deep shine. Martin stated that
this was a more advanced way of applying a finish and getting a
better result but needed additional care carrying out the process.
The hot air gun that Martin used was where he could get a value of
650 degrees from it. Martin then started on the inner area and
showed the technique that he applies when removing the waste wood.
The show itself
was well worth the day out and gave a better insight to completing
projects by spending more time on the finishing aspect of wood
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
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.
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.
For many years Blackcountry Woodturners have supported and raised funds for the Mary Stevens Hospice foundation.
For the past few months, in the background Melvin, club secretary, has been working hard with the hospice event organisers to secure the clubs attendance in support of several forthcoming charity events, the first being the “Easter Egg Hunt” This was the first time that the club had displayed and demonstrated within the grounds of the hospice in support of one of their own events.
On a really sunny Saturday morning we arrived at the Hospice in Stourbridge at around 8:45am to be met by Louise, event organiser, who showed us to our allotted area on the main events field.
Within a few minutes Melvin, Roger C and Ian were joined by Rob, Steve, Roger S and Arthur, our set up was to include a charity table, lathe demonstration area and member’s sales table.
We all got to work and by just after 10am we had everything set up and ready to go…having consumed several cups of tea along the way.
The event opened at 10:30 with a mass influx of very excited children and adults, the Easter egg hunt began in earnest and we all enjoyed the fun watching the children and adults making their way around the field seeking out all the clues for those elusive Easter eggs
Throughout the morning and early afternoon we had a steady stream of visitors to the stall with many visitors interested in what the club did, where we were located and how products on display were made.
Visitors enjoyed watching Rob and Roger C giving demonstrations on the lathe.
Steve, Roger S and Arthur did a sterling job on the charity table selling many items made and donated by club members for the event, a number of sales were also made from the members display table, combined sales all helping to raise much needed funds for the Hospice.
The Easter event came to an end just after 1:30pm, a good time having been had by all.
Having eventually packed everything away, we were all proud to have raised £50.40 for the Hospice which was handed over to the event organiser Louise on leaving.
Blackcountry Woodturners look forward to raising more funds for the Hospice at the summer and winter events later in the year.
On Thursday 1st February 2018, Black Country Woodturners, in conjunction with 3rd Blackheath St Pauls Brownie & Guide leaders put on a “Woggle” making evening for the girls aged between 7 – 16yrs.
Several weeks of planning and preparation went into event working with the Brownie & Guide leaders in advance to provide a creative evening for the girls to enjoy.
The idea being for each member of the Brownie & Guide pack, including leaders to choose a woggle from a number of pre made styles then decorate and finish the item, leaving the event with their creative work.
The evening entailed a quick introductory talk to the Brownie’s and Guide’s about woodturning, followed by a live demonstration of a woggle being turned.
All the girls chose their woggle styles then went off to colour and decorate; having finished the decoration, the woggles were then finished off with sanding sealer and wax top coat.
All the Girls had a great time throughout the evening with many unique designs being achieved by all age groups…..heres just a few of the colourful designs below…
Feedback from leaders and the parents of the girls has been very positive with everyone enjoying the evening.
As usual for the club, we had a stall at the open day of the Ashwood Nursery just down the road from Wall Heath. This event usually attracts a good crowd, and this year was no exception. There were a few differences to previous years, though: After some initial heavy rain we had a dry day (hooray) and there were no midgets (hooray) and the club had a much bigger stall, consisting of two conjoined tents.
About half a dozen club members enjoyed a day out, with demonstrations to the public, who in turn showed good interest. The club managed to take about £140, and as usual half of that goes back to the charity chosen by Ashwood, and the other half gets donated to the charity chosen by the club. Here are a few pictures from the day:
Club members Paul and Ron watching the public taking keen interest.
Sometimes there was almost a queue to get to the front!
One of our club members with his display.
And this is the display of another club member.
Two club members manning the charity table.
And here the chairman himself demonstrates woodturning.
John is the owner of Ashwood Nurseries, and has his private, landscaped garden right next to it. He holds open days 3 or 4 times a year, and usually with a good attendance from the general public. The Black Country Woodturners generally participate with a stall on the summer open day, and so we did again this year.
A large open tent was erected, with various stalls inside, including a small lathe for demonstrations, and a charity table right next to it. We had about 10 club members in attendance, so there was plenty of variety.
The weather threatened with rain all day long, but it never did actually rain, so were quite lucky in this regard. However, the garden is right on the banks of the river Stour, and in consequence there were plenty of tiny little midges around, not enough to drive people away, but certainly enough to be a nuisance for us at the stalls.
John’s garden has a huge variety of plant species that you would otherwise only find in a botanical garden, but let me tell you, we could almost match it with the variety of work on show!
Unfortunately, sales were quite low, only the charity table produced some good results. The author of this article didn’t sell anything, and it was very similar for most other club members.
On the other hand, our demonstrations on the little lathe gathered quite a bit of interest, and we may even see some new club members coming from this event.
Here you can see Melvin putting the finishing touches on a 8″ cherry bowl, and yours truly proceeded to make a yo-yo and a bud vase, which promptly sold from the charity table for £5.
All in all, a nice day out for the club, and well received by the attending public.