19 Sept 2023 – Workshop Night
On a rather blustery evening, 20 members attended this month’s Workshop Night, watching from the comfort of their homes without the need to travel anywhere. This month, we had just the two turners, Chris Fisher and Ian ‘Zak’ Flack manning the lathes in their workshops. After the usual notices, we heard what our turners were planning to make so everyone could choose which turner to go and watch and then it was off into the breakout rooms to start to make some shavings.
Chris had a piece of Elm that he planned to hollow out from the bottom and fit a bung to finish it off hiding the joint. He also had piece of spalted Beech which looked a bit black, so we would have to wait and see what might be hidden underneath. Zak also had planned a hollow form, but as Chris was doing one, he changed his plan. He had practiced a natural edge lidded box earlier so that would be his first project of the night. His second project would be a wait and see!
Chris mounted the piece of Elm between centres and put a chucking point on each end. Then parted off the piece which would later form the bung. Shaping the outside to the desired shape. He then moved on to drilling it out and using a home made shaped scraper, it was swiftly hollowed it out. The hole to take the bung was defined, but as the wood might move, the final fit of the bung would not be fitted until the next day after truing it back up again.
As in true Blue Peter manner, he produced one he did earlier. This was remounted, reshaped and drilled to form the hole in the top which was flared out and shaped. Using a piece of wood with some Velcro attached, a piece of abrasive could be attached to safely sand down inside the opening in the neck of the hollow form. After sanding, a coat of Acrylic lacquer was applied and allowed to dry.
Meanwhile, over in Zak’s breakout room, he mounted a small piece of Cherry with the bark still on, but slightly off centre so that when it was turned, it would leave a piece of the bark on one side. Again, forming a chucking point on each end, he parted off the lid with a thin parting tool and as the wood was held been centres, stopped the lathe and safely cut the last little bit off with a saw.
Zak took the time to explain the ‘Kiss Test’ to his audience, of which several new turners had not heard of. This is the process of bringing the likes of a Steb centre or anything with a point on, held in the headstock and a rotating centre or similar in the tail together to check that the two points perfectly align with each other. This is important if you have moved or have just sited your lathe in your workshop as the surface its mounted on may cause some misalignment if not level and flat. Also, if the headstock is able to be rotated/moved, the quick check will ensure everything is aligned perfectly which will make turning much better. Back to the turning, he took the piece down to a cylinder where it left some bark on one side. The bottom half was drilled out and using a square carbide cutter took it down to the size he wanted. To make it easy to get items out of the box once in use, he made sure the bottom was curved rather than flat. Next it was time to mount the top on its spigot, mark where the recess needed to be and cut to fit the bottom. Once the perfect fit was achieved, the box was held together with the tailstock and the outside final shaping carried out.
After the break, we saw this month’s Show and Tell presentation, copy of which can be seen below on our YouTube channel. If you are not aware or have missed seeing previous month’s Show and Tell or would like to see what other videos we have done, please check out our YouTube channel HERE where we have 88 videos to choose from. You can subscribe to our channel so you get to hear about anything new we add in future. This month, we had six members providing photos of their excellent work for all to see what they had been up to. If you would like to send us some photos of your recent work, please leave them uncropped and ideally taken in landscape and not portrait. You can send them to us via the link provided in the meeting link email or use the contact form on this website.
In the second half, Chris denibbed the the lacquered item and was not happy with the result, so applied some Yorkshire Grit followed by some Chestnut Microcrystalline Wax applied with White Nyweb (which is non abrasive) and polished up the hollow form. On to his 2nd piece for the night, which was suggested by John to make it into a Chinese Teacup. The piece of Spalted Beech was mounted onto a screw chuck and turned down to a cylinder. Although not as spalted or patterned as hoped, it still had a rather interesting feature/defect that we were all surprised it stayed in one piece throughout the turning process. After shaping, hollowing and sanding, it was reverse chucked onto a foam pad with some router mat covered in some paper towel to prevent marking. The chucking point was carefully removed and finished off on a sanding disc attached to the lathe.
Over in Zak’s room, to finish off his first project of the night, the lid of the box was reverse chucked to shape the top. Then the bottom half was remounted and the base was cleaned off finishing the project. Onto his second item, which was going to be goblet made out of a piece of Laburnum, which proved to be rather hard! Mounted between centres, a chucking point was formed. It was then turned it down to cylinder and shaped to form the goblet, which the next time I looked, he had created a captive ring as well. As time was getting on, he planned to finish it off the next day. The finished item can be seen in the Gallery HERE along with the other screen shots taken during the night.
A big thank you to Chris and Zak for their hard work and taking the time to put on these evenings which without them doing it, we would simply not have a meeting. If anyone else fancies having ago with some cameras in their workshop, please get in touch as we have some that you can borrow to possibly record you making something that we can show during these evenings.
Don’t forget we have on the 26 Sept 2023, Darren Breeze, doing another online demonstration for us. We were so impressed with him last time, we have invited him back, 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.