17 Jan 2023 – Workshop Night

 In Workshop Nights

Welcome to our Workshop Activity Night

On this cold Tuesday evening thirty members gathered to watch this month’s offerings from Chris and Mick, Zak being temporarily unfit and not allowed to be in his workshop.

Mick, responding to members’ requests, opted this month to concentrate on all matters finishing, it being a fact of life that no matter how good your turning skills are the finished object can be ruined by bad finishing techniques.

Having made your last cut the normal starting point for the finishing process is sanding and Mick emphasised that the last cut should always be made with a sharp tool which minimises tool marks which in turn leads to less sanding. Before sanding however, PPE is an important consideration; wear a mask and use dust extraction. Persistent inhalation of dust is not good for the lungs. Having taken his own advice Mick demonstrated the correct sanding methods, speed about 600 RPM, sand the wood inn the bottom quadrant nearest to you and keep the sand paper moving. Start with whatever grit you think necessary and move up through the gits until the desired smoothness is achieved. Between the grits always remove the dust left on the wood from the previous grit using a tack cloth, safety cloth or paper towel. Never use a cloth that can potentially wrap around the wood, it won’t tear and injury is the result. Having completed the sanding, what next? Using a piece of Sapele marked into three sections Mick showed the effect of different oils, Teak oil, Danish oil and Food Safe oil. Coats of oil can be built up to give the finish required by the turner just be careful to leave the correct drying time between coats.

If not using oil then after sanding apply a coat of sanding sealer diluted (with cellulose thinners) or not, your choice. Mick uses a solution that has been thinned by 30%. For smaller items or hard to get at areas a spray on acrylic sanding sealer can be used. After that apply the finish of your choice and at this point Mick used a selection of waxes showing how easy they are to apply and the different finishes they give. Finally he sanded a piece of wood, applied acrylic sanding sealer and then finished it with gloss lacquer resulting in a high gloss smooth finish.

A good source of information about different finishing products, Finishing School videos and leaflets, what is compatible with what, how they can be used and what finish they should produce can be found on our website HERE. All kindly provided to the Club from Terry at Chestnut and actually we have more of their leaflets than what they are currently showing on their website.

An extremely interesting demonstration during which Mick fielded many questions and showed how the finishing, if done properly, really brings the wood to life.

Chris this month opted to turn a shallow stemmed bowl after which, again at the request of members, he demonstrated the art of airbrushing.

Having mounted a piece of Ash on the lathe using a screw chuck a spigot was formed at the tailstock end, the piece reversed and held by the spigot. He then decided roughly how deep the bowl would be and set about the job of hollowing it out. That achieved a jam chuck was attached to the tail stock and moved into the bowl in order to give support as the outside shaping took place. The support was necessary as the walls of the bowl would end up quite thin, this is Chris after all. The idea was to form a V shaped bowl which would effectively then be standing on an inverted V shaped base. As usual when Chris is turning much care was taken about getting the shape an proportions of the item correct and opinions were sought from the audience, as they usually are. Doubters suggested that all such advice and opinions would be ignored but perhaps just to prove them wrong, some alterations were made in line with the suggestions made. The finished article looked very modern and very elegant.

Next, airbrushing. Chris explained how an airbrush works and what effects can be achieved by using one. In order to work an airbrush has to be connected to a compressor and Chris talked about using different pressures but he normally uses a pressure of 30psi and only occasionally varies it as this seems to work well with his preferred brand of paints, Golden Paints, an American brand, but widely available here. Chris advocates using light coats and building them up until the desired effect is achieved. He also stated that it is not really necessary to have a huge number of different colours, just stick to the basic primary colours and mix them. His final example was to airbrush a textured plate using the brush at a low angle to the plate such that the paint hit one side of the texturing and after several coats a stunning finish resulted. Again many questions were answered and much advice given.

This month’s Show and Tell gave us another excellent insight into what some of our members have been up to and thanks to the eight whose handiwork was on show.

Thanks to Chris and Mick for another excellent evening of woodturning.

Thanks also to Alan Selden for dashing between meeting rooms to capture the action to enable the above write up to be compiled.  For more screen shots of the evening please have a look in the Gallery.

And Finally….

24 Jan 2023 – 7pm, Zoom meeting to discuss and make arrangements for the Midlands Woodworking Show.  Meeting invites have been sent out.

31 Jan 2023 – Don’t forget we have a new Turner to our screens on the 31 Jan 2023, Kade Bolger from Canada, so 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.

A reminder for anyone who has received their membership renewal in January and has not yet paid either the full £85 or the first quarterly payment or the £18 PAYG fee.  After the 31st Jan, you will be unable to join any meetings and use the Club shop facility until payment has been made.  If you have any problems in making a payment, please get in contact.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Chris Fisher

    It was one of those nights that Hell had frozen over.🤣🤣

  • Paul Tunmore

    Seem to have missed this earlier. Another great evening switching between rooms very information Mick in his warm workshop showing finishing and Chris in his Workshop decorating finished work with the added attraction of watching his fingers turn different colours but not due to paint!! I know I appreciate his dedication but others don’t comment for some reason . I learned from both of them but not sure I have the patience or skills to do what Chris does. Maybe next time we could extend the time and watch his fingers fall off one at a time due to frostbite!!! My thanks to Mick and Chris for being so dedicated

  • Rob Smyth

    Sorry for the late input just wanted to thank Chris and Mick for their input. Chris did really well working in a freezer all night commendable, you really need some heat for comfort. Thanks again to Martin also the thread that holds it all together.

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