16 May 2023 – Workshop Night

 In Workshop Nights


This month a slightly smaller than usual audience sat down to see what our three turners, Chris, Mick and Zak would do to entertain us.

Zak had returned to his workshop after n enforced break and decided to turn what he later described as a concept piece. Zak had prepared a rectangular piece of Ash by dividing the wood into two squares and had created a chucking point for each square. The object of the exercise was to create two tea light holders side by side and then to reduce the depth of one side so that one light sat higher than the other. With the wood secure on the lathe Zak set about truing up the face, bearing in mind that this was offset turning so great care was needed to ensure that hands were kept well away from the spinning wood and the cuts were made with precision. That done it was tome to hollow out the wood for the first tea light holder. For this job Zak used a square carbide cutter which meant he could achieve a ninety degree angle between the side and bottom of the hole with comparative ease. The dimensions of the hole were refined until the holder fitted snugly. It was then time to remount the wood using the second chucking point and repeat the hollowing process for the second holder. Zak then shaped on side of the piece in order to produce the higher and lower effect he wanted. The flat surfaces and edges were hand sanded before the piece was reverse chucked, using a jam chuck engaged in the tea light holder holes and the bottom surface was cleaned up in order to remove the original chucking points. Zak was not completely happy with his final design but as he said this was a concept the result was good enough to show that it could be done and with some refinements the desired result would be achievable.

At the request of some members Mick started his evening by making a glue chuck. For this he mounted a piece of wood between centres and roughed it down to a cylinder. He created a tenon on one end, cut the wood to the desired length and drilled a hole all the way through the centre. Before removing it from the lathe Mick marked the number 1 position of his chuck onto the wood so that it could always be remounted in the same position. Off the lathe he then pushed a nail through the hole and used the point to locate the chuck at the centre of the wood he wanted to glue onto the it. A quick tap on the nail and the centre was marked. Super glue and accelerant were applied to the timber and again using the nail as a guide the chuck was located and pressure applied. For good measure a bead of hot glue was applied around the edge of the chuck in order to strengthen the join. To remove a glue chuck all that is required is a quick tap with a mallet.

Mick’s next piece would be a goblet turned from a section of a newel post that had been made from laminated pieces of American Oak. The wood was mounted between centres, reduced to a cylinder and a tenon created. Remounted on the chuck a hole was drilled to the required depth of the goblet’s bowl using a forstner bit. The bowl was hollowed out and the outside shaped. The stem was created and the base formed. Refinement followed until Mick had achieved the final form he required. Sanding and finishing followed before the goblet was parted off and the bottom of the base finished. The result was a goblet showing the different grains and colours of the various pieces of wood that had formed the laminates – something a little different and interesting. The real question of course is, did Mick acquire this piece of wood from a third party or is his staircase missing something?

For his part Chris had a piece of Yew that came complete with some nasty looking inclusions. Despite this Chris was convinced that it could be turned into something worthwhile in the form of a vase. Having decided which end of the wood would be the neck and which the base Chris mounted the wood between centres created a tenon at the base and tidied up the neck end. Remounted on the chuck Chris set about shaping the neck. Having the approximate shape he required the next task was to drill a hole down the centre using a Jacobs chuck held in the tailstock. That done Chris set about creating the final shape he wanted for the neck and the top around the opening as well as blending the neck into the base part of the vase. Nothing was done to the base, this was left as a natural finish complete with large inclusion. The neck was power sanded through the grits and the inside sanded using abrasive attached to a small brush handle (do not put fingers into a narrow opening to sand). The finish of choice was Danish Oil and Chris applied three coats removing the excess between coats with kitchen paper which also helped the oil to dry. All that was left was to part it off and finish the bottom.

For his next offering Chris had a piece of wet Beech from which he would turn a shallow bowl. Mounted on a screw chuck he shaped the outside of the bowl and created a tenon on the bottom. The outside shaped the wood was remounted on the chuck and hollowing followed. This piece being very wet Chris was able to point out two areas where the water was being forced through the wood as he hollowed onto the outside of the bowl. Once hollowed Chris used a negative rake scraper to finish the inside but unfortunately this actually left marks on the wood which required some further cuts with the gouge followed by power sanding in order to complete the piece. Chris then left the bowl as it was in order to let it dry before he completed it. During the turning it soon became obvious that this piece of wood had stunning markings that even Chris would not need to enhance with colour, texture or pyrography but, this being Chris perhaps he will. Until we see the finished article we can only speculate.

As well as the excellent turning that we have come to expect we also saw some first class examples of work done by six of our members in the Show and Tell section so thank you to those members for sending in the photos. We also were shown a video on log splitting, curtesy of Dai. Next month we should see Dai’s second video showing what he did with that split log. So thanks to Dai for taking the time to produce the videos.

Another great write up by Alan Selden, thank you.  It would be great to hear your feedback on the night rather than it always coming from within the Committee, so either please leave a comment below or if you fancy being a reporter for one of our meetings please get in touch.  Thank you.

For more photos taken during the evening, please check out the Gallery HERE.

And Finally….

Don’t forget we have yet another new Turner to our screens on the 30 May 2023, Jason Clark from Illinois in the USA, so we 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.

For more information on Jason, please check out his website HERE.  He will be doing a demonstration for us on the making of his signature Saturn Bowl with rotating rings.  This looks intriguing and not one to miss!

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Showing 4 comments
  • Chris Fisher

    Back to three turners again, it’s good to have Zak back. A little light on attendees but a least I wasn’t talking to myself.

    • Paul Tunmore

      Another good evening not a big turn out so I popped in and out of each room. Interesting to see Mick using super glue and hot glue on a glue chuck. I’ve tried before using just hot glue without the greatest success so I’ll try both next time. Good to see Zak back turning again and enjoyed the evolution of his twin t light will try his double level approach as it looked interesting. Chris was his usual self and his second piece ended up looking like one of his own coloured and pyrographied pieces, definitely as case of nature attempting to emulate the famous Fisher finish

  • Michael Close

    A good night again. I know of 4 regulars who were on holiday – it’s getting to that time of year again.
    A lot of interest in the glue chucking process. Hope everyone who tries it has the success I do with this method.
    No worries about the staircase at home, I live in a bungalow. The timber came from the scrap pile at our local joinery shop. This project turned out better than I thought it would. Up close the grain patterns and shapes look clearer than they do on camera.
    Thanks to everyone who took part. great to see Zac back on the tools.

  • Rob Smyth

    A good evening of varied items produced by the fantastic 3. The fact that you all manage something different each session is a credit to each of you. Allied with some of the usual banter yet again an entertaining night. Also thank you to Alan and Martin the glue that hold it all together 👏👍

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