We were to have been entertained by Paul Jones making long stemmed goblets. It was late morning on the day that Bob got the call to say that Paul couldn’t make it!
Apparently he had put petrol in his diesel car or the other way round and it wasn’t going anywhere. I’d have been scathing about what sort of person would do such a thing had I not done it myself. I can only say that the pain of embarrassment soon fades. It is overcome by the pain in the wallet. This is the first time in Bob’s stewardship of the programme that we’ve had a cancellation on the day.
John Holden nobly stepped into the breach and offered to do a talk and demo about off centre turning. Bob would probably bitten his hand off but that would have impaired his turning.
John clearly has an interest in the subject and you may remember his female figures from the gallery some while back. With no time to prepare John found some useful references via Google including a lot of interesting stuff from Barbara Dill of Virginia. She has done all the basic marking out calculations and has posted a number of videos on YouTube. Just Google Barbara Dill.
John’s demo was about what can be done by offsetting the axis on spindles. (There is, of course, another whole subject involving offset faceplate work. Maybe another time?)
Generally the starting point is to turn a cylinder between centres in the usual way.
You then have a choice of how to offset the axis. For example it can be done equally at both ends in the same direction so that it remains parallel to the original axis. An example of this is where a curved triangular section is produced by using 3 centres offset by an equal amount at 120 degrees to each other. (An example of this is the editor’s article about triangular napkin rings in the April 2000 issue 86 of Woodturning.)
A useful tip from John is to mark up the ends with diagonal lines on the original square blank before starting. This gives the same reference lines at each end. It is more difficult to ensure the marking is parallel if done after the blank is turned to a cylinder.
More interesting effects can be obtained by offsetting the driven end and the tailstock end in different directions and by different amounts. You need to ensure that the drive centre is well hammered in when re-positioning it. Slipping may not be too serious when turning a cylinder but can ruin the intended effect when offset.
Whether it was the decision to throw the challenge wide open or the desire to impress the visitors from Minstead Training Trust, the entry for the Challenge was very good in terms of quality, variety and numbers. Re-assurance if it were needed that woodturning is alive and well in Hampshire.
There were 27 entries from 21 members who were simply invited to make anything they liked. Votes were recorded from 46 members who were balloted for their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice. Denis’s attendance figures showed 48 so I’d like to know the reason why 2 of you didn’t vote!
John Holden held the fort with his critique aided by the turners themselves whilst the votes were being counted and Lynda was writing the certificates but there could surely have been no doubt about the winner. John R Davis’s lovely spinning wheel is a complex piece of work, beautifully made with lovely inlaid details. It got a bit closer after that with Dave Gibbard’s natural edge Japanese Red Cedar bowl taking second and Harry Woollhead’s bowl of fruit third. Harry’s piece prompted much discussion about how to turn a banana.
When I’ve made them I used a bandsaw, sanding disc and blowtorch. A lathe didn’t figure at all. But it just goes to show there are as many ways of doing something as there are turners. The late Syd Jenman however insisted there were only 2 ways – his way and the wrong way.
Our guests were also invited to record their choice. Minstead votes were widely spread with Denis Hilditch just edging it with his nicely finished tall vase.
Before the excitement of the awards, Mandy Ross took the floor to talk about Minstead Training Trust and our association with it. She had brought about 10 students with her and some of their turning work was on display. She coped well with having had to stand in for Madeleine at the last minute and was hampered by lack of projection system. The cavalry eventually arrived in the shape of Steve Page with projector and she was able to re-run her talk with pictures. Sorry Mandy, please accept our award for coping and thinking on your feet.
MTT is a charitable trust providing a wide variety of training for adults with learning difficulties, taking students from the age of 18 from anywhere in the country. They mostly live in the community but some live in at Minstead Lodge and a house in the grounds where they look after themselves with minimal supervision. The Trust has recently bought another house in Totton. Funding comes from social services which support students and also on donations and fund raising like selling produce. Mandy runs the woodwork shop making garden furniture, bird boxes etc. The woodturning started when they were given a couple of lathes. (We learned from the floor that one was from the estate of HWA member Dudley Backhurst.) Mandy asked administrator, Claire Feltham if she could find a volunteer to help and Claire made contact with HWA. 8 members came forward and sessions started 1 day a week just over a year ago. Things have moved on since then and Alan Sturgess brokered a deal with Axminster Tools for 2 new lathes at cost and 2 new Evolution chucks for free. Plus the funding for the shortfall. We can now get the students to set up their work on the lathes and adust speed and tool rest positions more easily.
HWA members are welcome to visit on a Thursday when woodturning sessions take place and if any would like to volunteer to help that would be even better.
For further information, visit http://www.minsteadtt.org
Paul, from Surrey Woodturners, is a regular demonstrator at Hampshire. Tonight his topic was a table lamp made without the need of a long hole borer. This he achieved by making the stem in two pieces which plugged together.
First he warned that legislation now requires the power cable to be fitted with a moulded-on plug and to be attached to the bulb socket by an electrician. I haven’t checked up on this but I suggest that if you are planning to make lamps for sale you ought to be careful. Maybe some qualified member could advise us about this?
Each piece of the stem was made from square section and the first was gripped in a chuck and drilled with an 8 mm hole on the lathe as far as the drill length allowed. A spigot was turned on the end and the piece reversed and drilled again from the other end. If you are lucky the holes will meet in the middle. As long as the alignment allows the power cable to pass, that’s OK. Whilst in the chuck a rebate was turned at the end to take the spigot of the other section. Each piece was then turned and shaped. The top end of the upper section was faced off for the bulb holder and the top of the lower one finished with a bead using an Ashley Isles bead forming tool.
The base was made from a blank pre-cut into a rough octagon and drilled with a central hole. Normally this is used to mount on the lathe via a screw chuck but Paul had forgotten to bring one so had to improvise by holding between centres and cutting a chucking recess, tooling over the tailstock. Before turning the base, Paul drilled a radial hole for the cable exit using a battery hand drill with a guide mounted in the tool rest banjo. This could have been done after turning the base but there is a good chance that the drill will cause the grain to break out at the start of the hole. This is removed by the turning if the hole is drilled first.
So there you are. If you want a taller lamp you can add another section to the stem. I remember a standard lamp made by the late George Gale which was made this way from about 6 sections.
Paul finished up by giving a critique of the gallery. There were some interesting items which can be seen on the website but only 7 of them. I suppose you were all far too busy enjoying the seasonal festivities to venture into the workshop or maybe it was awash with all this awful rain? Let’s hope for a few more items next time.