16 Apr 2024 – Workshop Night

 In Workshop Nights

Welcome to our Workshop Activity Night

This month’s workshop started as usual with the Show and Tell feature in which we saw fine examples of turning from six of our members. The photos tell their own story.

For the main event of the evening we were to be entertained by Chris and John. John proposed a couple of projects including one he described as a bathing beauty but despite several questions he refused to say exactly what he would be making, wait and see!

In order to keep his audience in suspense John started by making a tea light holder. With a piece of Ash mounted on the lathe he started the process of shaping the outside and forming a tenon in the base, the processes being no different to making a bowl. Having perfected the outside shaping John then sanded the outside, finished it with Chestnut’s Cut ‘n’ Polish followed by a wax polish, before reversing the piece and holding it in the chuck on the tenon. With the face trued up, the central section, which would accommodate the hole for the tea light, was left flat but outside of that area a gentle convex curve was formed down to the edge. It was now time to drill a 41mm hole using a forstner bit held in a Jacobs chuck. When drilling in this manner it is normal to hold onto the chuck as it is pushed into the wood and John explained that he always wore a glove when holding the chuck in case the bit snagged on the wood at which point the chuck itself would spin and without a glove the hand could be injured.(Chris made exactly the same point when he did some drilling and both turners emphasised that this was the only occasion on which gloves should be worn when turning). With the hole drilled to the correct depth a lip was created to allow the rim of the tea light to sit flush with the wood. The wood was then sanded and finished with Cut ‘n’ Polish and wax. The wood was the reversed and held in expansion using the hole for the tea light in order that the tenon could be removed and the bottom finished. First project complete.

Now for the eagerly anticipated bathing beauty which, perhaps to the disappointment of some, turned out to be a bird standing in apond. The pond was made by cutting a slice of wood from the trunk of a suitably sized log. The growth rings on this particular piece of wood were very pronounced which gave the effect of ripples on the surface of the water. The bird was made from two pieces of Mahogany which john had pre turned to the approximate shape he required. In order to remove the nub of wood from the body of the bird where it had been parted off it required mounting in a jam chuck and John demonstrated how this was done and that the nub should always be removed by using cuts that pushed the wood into the jam chuck. That done John remounted the bird’s head into the chuck in order to decrease its size and refine the shape. Once done this piece also needed to be put into a jam chuck and at this point, at the request of his audience, John showed us how he made a jam chuck and correctly sized it. With both components finished assembly followed. John sanded a flat onto both body and head with a view to sticking them together with superglue. However, despite his best endeavours the wood refused to stick together although the wood was quite happy to stick to his fingers. Putting that problem aside John then demonstrated how he used thin metal rods for the bird’s legs. The legs are then set into holes in the “pond” and we have a bird, not exactly bathing, but certainly cooling its feet.

, as usual, offered his audience a choice of projects ranging from turning a piece of Cherry, a piece of Apple to various colouring and texturing projects. First up however was the piece of cherry which was mounted on the lathe and reduced to a rough cylinder. At this point there was no plan as to what it might end up as but Chris started turning and the shape of a goblet started to emerge. Having shaped the outside it was time to hollow out. Chris drilled a hole down the centre to his required depth and then completed the hollowing. Sanding the inside followed using abrasive attached to a handle ensuring that fingers do not enter the spinning opening. With the outside sanded it was time to shape the stem and base. A lot of thought and discussion went into this process which resulted in a quite intricate stem, full of curves and well defined angles incorporating some design aspects that Chris admitted he normally wouldn’t have thought of doing, so a good collaborative project. There is still time however for Chris to put his own mark on it as it wasn’t finished so will it end up coloured, textured or even incorporating some pyrography; we will wait and see.

The next project, again chosen by the audience, was to turn the piece of Apple. Chris’s idea for this was to turn a piece that had a flared out shallow bowl leading to a thin stem which ended in a bulbous base which would give the structure stability when stood up. Having roughed the wood down to a cylinder Chris formed the outside shape of the shallow bowl and hollowed it out. He then supported the bowl using a piece of wood that had foam attached to it held in place by the tailstock. The stem was turned which led into the base which in turn was formed to ne both aesthetically pleasing but bulky enough to provide the required stability. At this point the stem was about seven to eight millimetres in diameter which Chris thought was a bit too thick so he carefully reduced that to about four millimetres and carefully blended it into the base. Careful sanding followed by a coat of Danish oil saw the piece complete. As this was a piece of very wet wood Chris said that if the stem were laid over the curve of a glass as it dried it would take on a natural bend as if it were blowing in the wind. Hopefully that is something else we shall see in the future.

As usual a big thank you to Chris and John for their efforts, to the members that participated with advice and guidance (some of which was actually accepted and acted upon!) and to those that submitted items for the Show and Tell.

Thank you Alan Selden for the great write up of the nights activities.

To see more photos of the night, please check out the Gallery HERE.

And Finally….

Zak has done us proud again with yet another new turner to your screens, so don’t forget to tune in on the 30 Apr 24 to see Stephen Kearvell, so hopefully we will 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.

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Showing 7 comments
  • Rob Collin

    Thanks to Chris and John for the interesting and informative demonstrations.
    Flipping between the 2 rooms, I managed to track what was going on.
    I have some bits that would make a version of the ‘bathing. beauty’ so will give that a go.
    I have also started to turn a ‘thingy’ from a piece of wet Cherry with a thin shallow top and narrow centre stem including the obligatory crack near the pith that is keeping my focus! We’ll see what occurs….
    Thanks again guys.

  • Paul Tunmore

    As usual I didn’t shoot off to a breakout room and waited to patronise the one with the least members , not surprisingly, despite the average members age, I found very few in Chris’s room, others obviously hoping to catch a glimpse of John’s bathing beauty!!! Another great evening among friends and interesting projects by Chris and John despite John disappointing members with his pretty little bird.

    • Chris Fisher

      Thanks for being there Paul, patronising me and making up the numbers.

      • Paul Tunmore

        Always a pleasure lol

  • Rob Smyth

    Thoroughly enjoyed the evening flipping between the 2 turners. Both of them kept the members interested and involved in the pieces they made. All in all another enjoyable evening, well done to you both and Alan for the usual informative write up and Martin for hosting.

  • Chris Fisher

    Glad you enjoyed it Rob C. Watch out for that obligatory crack.😂

  • Chris Fisher

    Thanks Mr Smyth,and thank you for you input on designing the goblet and podlet.👍👍

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