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.

Slimbridge Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Egg Lockdown Project

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A section of the reply…

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

Thank you so much! 

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

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

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

CLUB CLOSURE

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

PLEASE CHECK HERE FOR UPDATES.

MEL ADAMS

SECRETARY

07533 219152

AWGB – NEC Stand Creative Craft Show

Thursday 1st Nov –Sunday 4th November

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

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

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

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

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

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

Les Thorne All Day Event

Saturday 19th October 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mary Stevens Hospice -Summer Fayre.

Saturday 31st August 2019

The Summer fayre is the second of three events this year that Blackcountry Woodturners will be attending raising funds to help support the children’s hospice, this has been Blackcountry Woodturners selected charity for some years now.

We turned up on site at the Hospice grounds at 09:00 and were allocated our spot on the main field, it then took just over an hour and several cups of tea, to get things all set up ready for the grand opening at 11am, we were just one of many stalls supporting this great cause.

The event opened at 11am and things got underway, the crowds soon built up and were entertained by not only the stall holders but also the great entertainers and events that were staged throughout the day. The weather held until around lunchtime but then the heavens opened for a short while but quickly blew over and thing soon got back into swing.

From the clubs prospective again the stall looked great, with plenty of members work on sale, plus many items on the charity table. The public gave many complementary remarks and the lathe demonstrations were as always a great success, enjoyed by both adults and children alike.

Many thanks go to Steve & Rob Hacket, Roger Cheshire, Roger Sherwood Howells, Arthur Mills, Mell Adams, Ron Lunn and Ian Brown for turning out giving their time and talents to support the social event.

Special thanks go to Roger Cheshire who organised and oversaw the raffle of the skittles game made by him earlier in the year; lots of tickets were sold with the eventual lucky winner being a family from the Stourbridge area.

At the end of the day we managed to raise the sum of £157.80p which Mell handed over to the event organisers who were very supportive and grateful for the clubs attendance.

Thanks again to those that turned out and/or donated items for the charity table, a great day was had with a good pot of money going to Mary Stevens fund.

Our next Mary Stevens event will be the Christmas Fayre on Saturday 7th December 10am to 3pm please visit us and help in supporting a great cause.

Max Carey Woodturning Institute.

Thursday 12th September 2019

The Max Carey woodturning institute is a very well established and respected woodturning teaching venue based in Portishead, Bristol and is a fully equipped, multi lathed, and tooled workshop, delivering a selection of woodturning courses from beginner through to advanced woodturners.

This venue is also used by the AWGB for hosting training days and weekends.

Blackcountry Woodturners were very fortunate to be offered the opportunity to hold a professional Tuition day at the venue, hosted by Stuart Bradfield, institute manager and renowned Professional Woodturner Jay Heryet.

The aim of the day was the preparation, making, and individual decoration /texturing of a 250mm x 50mm Sycamore platter.

At 07:15hrs the crew of 11 Blackcountry members all met for breakfast at a local hotel in Portishead, some having travelled the night before and the remainder travelling that morning, after a good chat, several bacon butties and cups of tea we made for the Max Carey Centre arriving at 08:30am.

We were al welcomed by Stuart and Jay, when having had the day’s induction and safety briefing we were all ready to go, chosen sycamore blanks in hand and lathe stations chosen.

Jay started the day with an introduction of the days aims, emphasising that enjoyment and learning were the key elements, she then gave a demonstration on ways to mount the blanks, design features, general shaping and tooling processes, implanting ideas and suggestions for us all to try as the day progressed.

We all then retired to our chosen lathes and set to work making our own individual platters, using and practising techniques illustrated by Jay.

As we all worked on our individual projects, both Jay and Stuart moved around the workshop, talking to each of us and putting us right by demonstration on identified areas in need of individual attention, plus encouraging us to look at form, shape and consideration and development of the finer detail touches to enhance the piece.

Everyone was so engrossed time just flew by and before we knew it, it was lunchtime, more tea, sandwiches and banter in the rest room, what could be better.

The afternoon started with Jay again demonstrating how to improve a number of tooling areas she had recognised as she had visited and chatted to us all during the morning session.

Jay then moved on to decoration techniques and ideas, showing a number of nice pieces made and adorned by herself, highlighting numerous ways where shape, colour and texture work together to bring the piece to its final conclusion, her point simply being do not be afraid to give anything a go, if you do not try you will not learn and explore the endless possibilities.

With this in our heads we all set off back to our lathes to develop and try our own ideas on decorating the platter, watched over and encouraged by both Jay and Stuart. At the end of the session it was amazing to see the differing texturing and colouring ideas we had all chosen.

At around 4:30pm Stuart and Jay brought the day to a close with a final chat and Q&A session. I am sure both Jay and Stuart enjoyed the day as much as we did.

As a group we showed our appreciation of being invited to the venue and being privileged to have had such good company and instruction, a most memorable and satisfying day.

Some pictures of our Day…..

Evening Demonstration – John Aitken.

Thursday 15th August 2019

This month Blackcountry Woodturners were graced with the return of professional wood turner John Aitken, otherwise known as “The bowler hatted turner”, who last visited us in June 2018.

John is renowned for wearing a bowler hat when woodturning at craft shows, his theory being that “people cannot remember names but they never forget a hat!”

The first part of John’s evening consisted of detailing and demonstrating how he designed a three tier cake stand for his daughter’s wedding, and the production method he used as 50 were necessary to make for the day.

Having educated us on the whys and wherefores necessary, he went on to demonstrate the making of each of the items required to complete the project, this required both platter (Cross Grain) and spindle turning techniques. John as always detailed, demonstrated and discussed tool control, and finishing methods for each piece.

For the second part of his demonstration John educated us in the arts of colouring and paint texturing for use on platters or any other surface for that matter.

Showing various methodologies, he used and demonstrated several iridescent paint colours over the top of a black background, he detailed an interesting method stating that he had developed and used to good effect over a number of years, which consisted of a length of string approx. 18 inches long completely immersed into a tub of gold iridescent paint, when removed the laden string was laid in a random pattern across a section of the platter rim face.

 John then laid a sheet of magazine paper(shiny smooth paper) over the top of the string, placing his hand gently on top compressing the string slightly, John proceeded to pull  one end of the string and kept pulling until it came free, the resulting pattern was impressive, the process if required could then be repeated over additional areas of the rim.

John’s character, humour and sheer enjoyment of demonstrating his skills was again evident to all in attendance making a truly enjoyable evening for all. We hope we can persuade him to return next year to educate us more in the arts and joys of woodturning.

Raffle Prizes

If any member wishes they can bring in a raffle prize at any time and donate it to the club, also if you see a tool which may be useful for turning which you can buy for around £5 or so (a receipt will be needed) then Ian can reimburse you on the night, our aim is to make the raffle as interesting and varied as possible.

Thanks

Mel

Secretary