January Zoom Demo

Our thanks go out to both Steve Hackett and Robert Hackett who were able to come together and put on the turning demo for those of us who are in lockdown and unable to move around.

Robert Hackett – Gesso Texturing Technique

Robert started by applying black gesso on to a pre-turned bowl shape, whilst this was still wet sawdust was added which adhered to the surface of the wet gesso.  

A second layer of gesso was then added all over to remove the color of the sawdust showing.  This technique when applied does not need to be perfectly smooth as it is covered and will allow for a better key for the gesso.

When this piece had dried a mixture of Hampshire Sheen Embellishing Waxes was applied by dabbing this onto the top of the gesso and then rubbed into the bowl surface by way of a cheap toothbrush. Robert was also explaining the process as he progressed through the complete process.

Steve Hackett – Twisted Three-sided Weed Pot – (Multi-Axis Turning)

Steve started with a blank that needed to be turned round.  When this had been accomplished the marking up process was detailed onto the blank.

This marking up process was shown both live and through the use of a slide show.

Steve started by dividing the blank into three equal parts by means of the indexing set up included in the lathe headstock.  Two pencil rings were added to each end of the blank, the first one 10mm in and then the second one, in a further 5mm.  The equal lines were then extended down each end so that we have three areas marked on the inner ring.  These were then numbered 1, 2, and 3 on each end so that they matched up, these are 1200 apart.

To get the twist the following number combinations were used;

1 – 2, 2 – 3, 3 – 1    these give a twisted shape

If you only require a three-sided item, match up the following numbers;

1 – 1, 2 – 2, 3 – 3

Additional multisided items can be developed by using the same method.

The blank was mounted between centers with a two-prong drive in the headstock and a pointed live centre in the tailstock.

At this point Steve started the process of turning the twist, this was done by looking at the ghost image at the top of the turning blank, following the curve to get an equal displacement along each side.  

Steve stated that the turning should be cut from the centre out towards the ends, this prevents an aggressive cut from being applied to the ends.  The speed of the lathe went up as high as was safe to do so due to cutting a lot of free air. If you only cut straight across, you will end up with a project that bulges in the middle.

This was then sanded and sealed, a tenon was cut onto the one end and remounted into a scroll chuck.

A hole was then drilled down the weed pot by using a starting point with the aid of an engineering centre drill.  The top of the jar was then trimmed by scalloping the top into the bored hole.

At this point, a jam chuck was mounted and the weed pot was inverted and mounted on the jam chuck, the base was then scalloped out and finished, this process allowed it to stand correctly on a surface.

The weed pot was finished by buffing with a series 3 of buffing wheels on the lathe, Steve explained and demonstrated how to use this system.

The buffing wheels used are available from  The Polishing Shop. 

https://www.thepolishingshop.co.uk/polishing-kits/horn-wood-polishing-kits/menzerna-horn-and-wood-kit-for-a-bench-grinder-750160

Steve commented on the process as he worked through it, during the demo, a Blue Peter moment was required when the blank voluntarily removed itself from the lathe.

With the way that the lockdown is developing at present, the next demo will also be put on by Steve and Robert Hackett.

Last but not least we must also thank Robert for operating all of the equipment that allows these demos to take place.

Report by Barrie Fisher & Steve Hackett

John Aitken Demo

The Black Country Wood Turners had a zoom demonstration put together by John Boyne-Aitkin better known as the Bowler Hatted Turner who is primarily a jobbing turner.

I would like to say a big thank you to The Shropshire turners who turned up for the event in collaboration with ourselves. This made the event a lot better with respect to the cost of the demonstration.

6.45 opening for a 7.00 start time, the complete demonstration went on till 9.30 with a refreshment break in the middle, even through this John was answering questions.

Project 1 for this evening is a Sea Urchin Ornament for hanging.

The project is made out of Maple for the top and bottom areas of the project.

Bottom part was 1.5” sq x 8” long – Top part was 1.25” sq x 6” long

The Sea Urchin shells can be found from amazon or ebay but a good link would be www.onlineshells.co.uk

John has a good method of explaining everything as he goes along and uses close up camera work for this also, we did have a problem with one camera at the start when it stopped working, but John was able to sort it out with the help of his technology expert.

John did keep mentioning about the use of H & S throughout the demonstration.

  1. First start by making the hole at the top of the shell round by using a Dremel with a 10mm grinding cone.
  2. To make the shells stronger when using them, paint the insides with a PVA glue and let it set.
  3. Turn the bottom section down to round with the speed set at 1330rpm.
  4. On the end of the spindle turn a 12mm tenon about 19mm long, this needs to be the full depth of the sea urchin and the shoulder needs to be undercut to take into the account of the shape.
  5. At this point drill a 8mm hole down the centre of the tenon to a depth of 20mm
  6. Turn the spindle around in the chuck and start to shape, this can be any shape that you require, as John said it is your work and your idea as to the finished shape. John used his Skew chisel for this.
  7. At this point John sanded the project and then used Friction Polish, Carnauba Wax to give it a shine, the overall finished length for this being just over 6 inches.
  8. Second part or Top of the project.
  9. Turn to round again and take the tenon down to 8mm, John showed a couple of methods of carrying this out.
  10. The shoulder again needs to be undercut for the shape, and then the top shaped as required.
  11. At this point John sanded the project and then used Friction Polish, Carnauba Wax to give it a shine, the overall finished length for this being just over 6 inches.
  12. The two parts now need to be put together carefully wit the shell being able to rotate freely, this is required due to the possible movement in the wood as it may still be drying.
  13. At the very top end a hole must be drilled through so that a ribbon can pass through and the ornament can then be hung up.

Project 2 for this evening was a mirror/picture frame.

Wood was 8.5“ diameter, Mirror was 4” diameter.

  1. Turn a hole larger than the 4” diameter mirror due to the possibility of the wood moving, which could put pressure on the glass.
  2. Turned project around to cut the hole so that the mirror would not fall out of the front.
  3. To cut a hanging point on the back of the frame, drill a hole large enough for the screw head to go through then a smaller hole above for the shaft of the screw, this is then run into the largerhole.
  4. Take a screw and grind the head down so that you have a cutting edge, at this point insert this into the drill and you will be able to cut the slot at the back of the wood so that it will remain on the wall.
  5. A piece of hardboard was used to protect the glass at the back and keep it in place,
  6. Glazing sprigs were used at this point to secure the mirror into the frame.

John answered the various question throughout the demonstration whilst carrying out the demonstration, ho showed some very useful techniques of how to achieve different effects for patterning also.

At the end John showed us around his workshop area with all of the various machines in place.

At this point I would like to thank John for the demonstration.

This may be the first of additional collaboration’s when we get a demonstrator in.

Sorry that I have not got any pictures to add to this information.

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.

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/

Axminster – Martin Sabin-Smith Demo

1st Feb 2020

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.

The second 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 turning

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.