28 May 2024 – Online Demo by Kirk Deheer

 In Online Demos


With the holiday weekend and half term upon us, Tuesday 28th May 2024, we still had a good take up for our interactive demo with Kirk DeHeer from Utah in the USA, fresh back from AAW International Woodturning Symposium where he had been with his son and grand sons who work closely with him and play a big part in Kirk’s business https://www.acutabovebowlco.com/learn

Kirk is well known as a bowl specialist and for providing part turned blanks for other professionals together with help from his son who is an expert in identifying and selecting the materials.

Kirk started with a short description on how he likes to set up his gouges, the grinds and angles he uses before he went on to explain that he would turn a bowl and a platter, showing the differences in mounting blanks and tool presentation to achieve best results.

Starting with an ornamental pear blank on a screw centre that fits directly into the chuck, he also demonstrated how to mount the blank safely onto a revolving screw, which most turners do not encourage, unless you follow the correct procedure. We were shown a graphic of outside bowl speed, multiplied by the diameter of a blank, this demonstrated how fast the outer edge is actually moving in relation to the lathe speed. This was to be a theme of the evening, what to do, plus why we do it and how we get the best results. Kirk was meticulous in his presentation which made even the simple things interesting.

The bottom of the bowl was shaped, forming a tenon with which to remount into the chuck, a pleasing shape was created with a lifting foot to enhance the aesthetic look of the bowl. Kirk demonstrated, for our benefit, several different cuts to shape the bottom of the bowl, this is something he would not do normally as he would check for wobble when reversing the blank. The reason for checking if the blank was true was to ensure wall thickness to the final piece.

On to hollowing and again we were again shown best tool presentation and also alternatives that could produce similar results, always ensuring safe practice. Sanding and finishing were left for another time, we had a short break before moving onto turning a large platter.

A 12 by 2 inch tulip poplar blank again mounted on a screw drive, first job to define the top edge of the platter and clean off any saw marks, then true the outer edge before shaping the bottom, Kirk decided on internal chucking to mount this piece and also a 7 inch foot, to decide on the final shape of the bottom he marked out with a Golden Mean or Golden Ratio tool to give the one to two thirds ogee, which most people find a pleasing shape. The chucking point was only 2mm deep, however, he did check with his chuck that this was safe to hold the work.

The process of reversing and shaping was similar to the bowl, Kirk shared all of his years of experience with us and referred back to turners he had trained with and still admired and offered if anyone from the club wanted to reach out to him, he would be more than happy to help.

We had a few questions, but everything had been really well explained, one question was how long it took him normally to turn a bowl or platter, this was only a matter of minutes, but then again, he does make a living turning bowls. We thank Kirk for sharing is skills with us and entertaining and informing us for the evening.

Edit: Kirk has now sent two pdfs on the making of the bowl and platter to share with you. If you would like a copy, please contact Martin.

Thanks Zak for a great write up and for providing the screen shots of which more can be seen in the Gallery HERE.

And lastly,

Dates for the Diary:

4 Jun 2024 – Committee Meeting on Zoom – Any Agenda items please send into Stephen Malcolm asap.

11 Jun 2024 – Hands on Night in the Village Hall at West Ashby.  Hope to see you all there, well those that can anyway.

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Showing 6 comments
  • Arne Bergo

    A very nice presentation by Kirk, and a nice summary by Zak here. Just a small comment on the plate chucking. Kirk started with 3,5 mm depth and chamfered the edge off 1,5 mm to make a nice shape. So the 2 mm recess was itself “recessed” 1,5 mm. I belive this makes it a lot stronger/safer than only a clean 2 mm depth.

  • Zak

    Good spot Arne, always difficult to write everything that is done in a summary, We now have the PDF files that Kirk promised so you can get a copy of those, Martin will have your contact details I’ll make sure he knows. Appreciate any feedback, had some good response today. Zak

  • Paul Tunmore

    Another good club night with Kirk giving a very detailed and informative demo. Newbies with no experience could learn a lot from this. His manner was that of a very good teacher and the lack of questions highlighted that he had done a very good job. As a hobbyist I find it amazing that there are professional turners who churn out unfinished bowls and platters for others to finish, it must be like working in a factory especially with his son and grandsons cracking the whip. Thank you Kirk for a great demo I learned a lot. It was also good to hear how liked and respected one of our own members , Raleigh, is in the elevated circles of American woodturning. He is a great ambassador for the club and makes me realise what a wonderful club we are

  • Rob Collin

    A very instructive and well delivered demonstration by Kirk.
    Thanks for the write up Zak. Look forward to reading the PDF files from Kirk.

  • Lincs Wolds Woodturning

    We now have two pdfs from Kirk on the making of the bowl and platter so if you would like a copy please contact Martin.

  • Rob Smyth

    Kirk did an excellent demo of fairly straightforward items. His teaching technique and turning skills made it an enjoyable evening just goes to show sometimes less is more. It’s great the club has a diversified set of members from far and wide. Well done Zac good find and good write up.

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