9 Mar 2021 – Workshop Activity Night
Welcome to our Workshop Activity Night
The weather may still be wintry and Covid still dominates our lives but that did not stop thirty-six intrepid members from making the arduous journey to their computers (other devices are available) in order to participate in the March Workshop meeting. Six members of the Doncaster Woodturning Club also braved the elements to be with us.
Mick opened the meeting by announcing that Stuart Lowe and Peter Hallam had decided to step down from the committee. Mick thanked them for all the work they had done for the club and hoped they may return to the committee at some stage on the future. Mick also welcomed back Vic Atkinson who has not been able to be with us for the last few months.
The first item of business was one of our regular features, meet the turner. As is now the norm this was a pre-recorded interview with Chairman Mick in the hot seat being interviewed by Zak.
We learnt that Mick was born in Lincoln in 1947, his mother being conveyed to hospital on horseback. Mick left school at 16 and joined the police as a cadet. This was the start of a long career in the force much of it as a police motorcyclist, a role he acquired when he turned up for work one day and the normal motorcyclist was not fit for work. Being the only policeman present with a full motorcycle licence he instantly made the leap from riding a 125cc machine to a 650cc Triumph and the rest is history. Things were simpler then, today he would still have been doing the paperwork, risk assessments and courses months after the urgent need to fill the job was identified! The obvious question though, is, given his early experience with horses would the mounted police not have been the natural career option?
On leaving the police Mick and his wife then worked for the Caravan Club looking after various sites in different parts of the country and during a spell in Buxton visited the Millers Dale Craft Shop which at that time specialised in woodturning. That ignited the interest in woodturning and he acquired his lathe and tools in 2002. He attended a club in Louth in the winter months until he discovered the LWWA which he described as first and foremost, a friendly club. Even in these difficult times Mick praised the “friendly feel” of the online meetings and is confident of our ongoing success.
Next came the three turners. Regular attendees will recall that last month Chris, having frozen in his garage (sorry, workshop) in January, opted to demonstrate the art of pyrography from the warmth of his house. Alan, you will recall, was freezing in his workshop and made sure we all knew. This month Chris was back outside suitably wrapped up in order to demonstrate deep hollowing; Zak, as last month, was also in his workshop and, as expected, not complaining about the cold. He was going to turn a piece of Yew. In the meantime we saw images of Alan in his workshop clearly having problems with the technology, as nobody could hear him. The clue as to what happened next came when Alan had to declare that he wouldn’t be able to demonstrate as Zoom had frozen, an apt turn of phrase given the circumstances. Alan therefore had to spend the evening in the warmth of his office, his sacrifice knows no bounds.
Chris mounted his piece of Beech on the lathe and started to shape the outside of his vase or goblet, time would tell what the finished article would be. Having achieved a basic shape it was time to start the hollowing and the point of this demonstration was to show the different tools that can be used for this. He started the hollowing using a ¼” spindle gouge but as the evening progressed used various types of cutters and scrapers. There was a round carbide cutter, two home made tools that Chris referred to as toothpicks and an assortment of scrapers. Chris demonstrated how his toothpicks removed wood quickly and easily leaving the scrapers and carbide cutters to achieve a smooth finish. Chris made the point that his tools could be made for only a few pounds and it wasn’t always necessary to spend a lot of money when with a little bit of time an effort the end result could be achieved for minimal expenditure. The piece was completed by Chris forming the final shape of the outside with the help and guidance of members, advice which, surprisingly, he followed!
Zak in the meantime was having a troubled time. The piece of Yew proved to be a problem and was discarded. Second up was a part turned Walnut bowl. Zak formed a pleasing rounded edge to the rim and continued with the hollowing process. All was going well until the “just one more cut” moment and there was no longer a bottom to the bowl. Undeterred, Zak reached to his stock of part turned pieces and selected a small vase and success was within his grasp.
During both demonstrations there were many questions and observations that are the essential part of the evening. There is no doubt that we all learned something or gained some knowledge by observing Chris and Zak and listening to the comments made by members. The level of interaction at these meetings is growing and it all leads to a very enjoyable evening.
The show and tell section gave us a superb set of photographs (shown below) from ten members plus some from the Doncaster guests and one colourful piece from Alan Clift shown below. The variation in type of pieces shown and the quality of the work is testament to the breadth of talent of our members.
The evening ended with a particularly important request from Martin, please update your version of Zoom to the latest release if you haven’t already done so. This will enable everyone to enjoy all the latest features Zoom offer. If you are having any problems with updating Alan Buckle is more than happy to give help and advice.
After Tuesday’s Workshop Activity Night it is apparent that some of our members may still have older versions of Zoom installed on their desktop PC, laptops, or tablet devices (i.e. Android or Apple) that are being used to join our meetings. This is causing problems and more unnecessary work for the meeting hosts and may spoil your and our enjoyment of the meeting. We therefore need you to update ZOOM to the latest version now, and then keep it updated. As of 10 Mar 2021, the latest version is 5.5.4. Updating regularly fixes any software issues and takes advantage of any new features that are added to ZOOM. The ability for you to move around the different breakout rooms without the need for the meeting host to move you, was added at version 5.3.0, so if you have anything older than that, it will explain why you are having problems. To help you with this, we have created a document which is HERE that outlines the process of updating the software. Alternatively, please go to the Zoom website HERE and they show you how to do it.
Please ensure you have updated your software before the next online meeting. If you do have any problems contact us and we will try to help you.
Digital Club Night
A new idea for our members to take part in is on Tuesday 16th March 7PM start. This is an online digital night with interviews and videos from our members, friendly chat and advice if you need any. Hopefully, you will find time to tune in and it will inspire others to get into their workshops with their phones, camcorders etc and show us how they work. You don’t need all the software you have heard us talking about, OBS, Touch Portal etc. Sharing experiences has been a great help to many during the lockdown with lots more showing pieces created. It’s also a free night, you just need to be a paid up member whether that is on the Annual/Quarterly payment scheme or the Pay As You Go option. Please support this night, we are doing this for you, our Members.
We have another new Turner to our Club on the 23rd Mar 2021, John Boyne-Aitken aka ‘The Bowler Hat Turner’ so hope to see you all there. PAYG Members need to be purchasing their ticket as soon as possible if you want to watch this demo. Any problems with doing this contact us.
Sorry, the Club Shop is still closed due to Covid restrictions, but we have our fingers crossed to be able to open up again in April. We will let you know in due course. If you are desperate for something, contact Mick Close who might be able to help you.
Please watch this space, as we will shortly have a large amount of workshop equipment, tools etc for sale which will be posted on the website once it has all been catalogued.