12 Jan 2021 – Workshop Activity Night

 In Workshop Nights

Welcome to our Workshop Activity Night

Despite there being no let up in the seriousness of the pandemic, the advent of 2021 has brought one glimmer of joy, the Club had its first meeting of the year bringing to the members some fine woodturning and enjoyable banter.

We were pleased to see 37 attendees of which 3 were guests from the Staffordshire & South Cheshire Woodturners Association who joined us to see how we are managing our online meetings. As their club is about to submit a grant application to the AWGB, they were particularly interested in what equipment we bought with our grant and how it is being put to use.  Since the meeting, we have had some great feedback from them, saying they enjoyed it more than some professional demos they have had and the atmosphere was excellent and they liked the interaction during the turning as well.  Also, they have just heard they have been awarded the AWGB grant.

Queue Alan Buckle showing us a short video he had prepared about the equipment and how it can be used. Hopefully when we are able to travel, members will be able to use the equipment to produce their own videos for everyone to see and when we are holding demonstrations in the hall, we will be able to stream those images to members who are unable to attend a meeting in person.

And so to the regular feature of the three turners, this month not carrying out a Chairman’s challenge but selecting their own project. Zak chose a piece of cherry to make a winged bowl, which of course requires a high level of skill when trying to pick up cuts at the extremities, where there is more air than wood.

Chris, who was apparently freezing in his workshop (we wouldn’t have guessed despite the numerous layers of clothing he was obviously wearing) had a piece of spalted beech on his lathe and started to turn a vase, or perhaps a bowl on a stand, or even a goblet. Time would tell as the maestro let his design skills guide him.

Alan who was also cold but obviously made much less of a fuss, started off by showing some of his failures and the audience was not slow to ask him how he managed to have so many. He made the serious point however that we all have failures, or design opportunities as they are more commonly known, and that we shouldn’t be afraid to show them and perhaps gain some knowledge from members about how to avoid them in the future. He then set about turning a vase.

Martin tried to use a Zoom feature called Breakout Rooms which allows members to go into the “room” of any of the three turners just as you can stand at an individual lathe in the hall. Unfortunately, this was only partially successful, but we will persevere as it looked like a really good feature.

We then came to a new variation on the “Meet the Turner” feature. Instead of members being chosen at random to tell us about themselves we will now see pre-recorded interviews with willing volunteers. The first of these was Zak interviewing Chris which, with that combination, was both informative and vey entertaining. At the end of the interview, Martin appealed for any members interested in being in interviewed to shout out and several members put their names forward and we thank you for that.

The turning continued and by the end of the evening, Zak had completed his bowl but was not entirely happy with the base. Members made suggestions as to how to alter the design, which Zak took on board and we look forward to seeing the completed item.

Alan’s vase mysteriously had become a bowl while we were not watching but an eagle eyed member had seen him change the piece of wood. Alan had cut two grooves in the outside of the bowl which he filled with black Milliput whilst explaining the technique. As the Milliput needs time to dry (at least overnight) it was not possible to see it finished so that is something to look forward to.

Chris stayed warm enough to produce a goblet, showing how he shaped it and giving his thoughts on the relationship between the shape of the stem, the bowl and the base.

The evening concluded with 11 members showing items that they had made and the photos are on our website and Instagram. As we have come to expect there was a great variety of items together with excellent quality.

Many thanks to all who attended and for making the evening a great success.  Meeting report kindly provided by Alan Selden.

Any buddy journalists out there that fancy writing a post meeting report, as it would be good to get other peoples view.


And finally,

For Sale – 1 Ton Bag of firewood (hard and soft woods) – collect from Horncastle only £50.  contact Mick Close, his number is on the contact page.

Due to covid restrictions, the Club shop is closed until further notice.  However, if you need anything, please contact Mick Close.

Don’t forget we have our Club’s AGM on the 26 Jan 2021, at which we will be drawing the membership draw.  The AGM starts a bit earlier than normal at 6:30pm, so please be on time.  You will be sent the minutes of the last year’s AGM and the various reports for this AGM to speed up the process.  This is due to the fact we have a treat for you in the form of a live demonstration by Colwin Way from Axminsters Tools starting at around 7pm.  This is a paid event.  In other words, if you are on our Pay as you Go option and have paid your anuual membership fee of £18, you will need to go and purchase your ticket at £8, to enable you to be sent the meeting link.  In the big scheme of things, this is no different to what we used to do by paying on the door, however, with this new system you need to have purchased your ticket by the day before.  Please have a look at this pdf document which will give you some instructions on how to buy your ticket.  Any problems contact Martin via the contacts page selecting the Website Enquiry option.

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Showing 2 comments
  • Chris Fisher

    Taking all things into consideration it was a brilliant night.
    Zak did a fantastic job on natural edged bowl. Alan was very honest showing his passed failures, he stores them in very very big cardboard box.🤣🤣 I admit I do feel the cold and was wearing many layers, they did not inpead my tool control but It was impossible to get close to the lathe.
    Lots of members were quite verbal which is always welcome, well at least some were.🤪🤪

  • Mick Close

    Another excellent workshop night. Plenty of chatter and banter -getting more like it used to be in the hall.
    Thanks to Alan, Chris and Zac for some good turning and to Martin for being the host.
    Really enjoyed the Chris/Zac interview. Let’s hope future ones are as good.

    Well done everyone. Keep safe.


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