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October 3rd Meeting – Adrian’s Balls

13 October, 2016

What a great evening’s entertainment! We at HWA are spoilt by having great guest turners at many of our meetings, but we also have a wealth of talent in our own ranks, one of those being Adrian Smith, one of our longest serving members.


This month attracted a very healthy 70 members including new member Keith House from Romsey.


The title of Adrian’s talk had already lead to much joviality, but then he took to the front of house and we were treated to a couple of hours of first class entertainment, a blend of an experienced turner showing how to produce spheres of a consistent size, lots of very useful tips laced with a regular dose of fantastic wit and anecdotes that had the audience eating out of his hand.

01-adrian-ready  02-adrian-with-gouges

The demonstration started with comedy from the beginning when the microphone didn’t work, Adrian gave us a quick overview of his previous work in producing many spheres commercially. He then proceeded to show us first hand, starting with a rectangular blank in the chuck, he quickly reduced it to a cylinder close to the required diameter with a gouge, then divided it into two halves with a parting tool.

05-adrian-large-ball-cup  06-adrian-ball-cup

The next step was to create a “Cup Chuck” or shaping template, this was achieved by hollowing out the half of the blank that was left in the chuck, using a narrow gouge and then a ring tool. The inside of the template doesn’t need to be a perfect concave, just deep enough to accept approximately a third of the proposed sphere, the cup can then be rotated around the sphere as it is turned to size. This template can then be used to create numerous matching spheres.


The other half of the blank is then returned to the chuck to be turned into one of Adrian’s Balls. Again reduced to near the required diameter cylinder measured with callipers. Adrian then marked the centre line of the piece and also the end nearest to the chuck with pencil marks, he then reduced the second line down with a parting tool leaving enough wood to hold the piece in place. Next Adrian applied further pencil lines in equal amounts to the face of the cylinder and the half furthest from the chuck in equal numbers, he then made cuts with a small gouge from one set to the other i.e. 1-1 2-2 etc. forming one half of the sphere. This was then repeated on the second half of the sphere

07-adrian-shaping-ball  08-adrian-finished-ball-in-cup

He reduced this to a cylinder of about the required diameter as measured with callipers. Adrian then marked the centre line of the cylinder (at a length of half the diameter) and also the end nearest to the chuck with pencil marks. He reduced the latter with a parting tool leaving just enough wood to hold the cylinder in place and relieved the scrap part in the chuck to allow access to both ends of the cylinder. Next Adrian applied further pencil lines at equal spacing to the face of the cylinder and the half furthest from the chuck. He then made cuts with a small gouge from one set to the other i.e. 1-1 2-2 etc. to form one half of the sphere. This was then repeated on the second half of the sphere.


The chuck cup was then offered up to the sphere and pressed gently until friction marks appear to highlight the raised areas to be removed thus creating a near perfect shape.

The sphere was then parted off, taking care to leave the pencil line in the centre and two pimples on the axis. This would be useful as the process continued.

The cup chuck was then inserted into the lathe chuck and the sphere gently tapped into it and using a spray of water to aid its grip.

The sphere was then smoothed using 60 grit abrasive with frequent reseating in the cup chuck until it spun inside the cup independently, a small hole that appeared was repaired using super glue and sawdust from the lathe bed and sanded to a nice finish.

We then had tea followed by a very short gallery critique by Bob Hope of just seven items from only four members this month including Mike Haselden’s Wenge bowl containing a delightful variety of balls made from a wide selection of woods intended for a solitaire board.


Ironically Adrian started the second half with his own solitaire board and quick demonstration of how to solve the puzzle.

Amongst several useful tips he then showed us how he sets the banjo on his lathe by turning the chuck in reverse by hand, the wood then pushes the loose banjo into the correct position clear of the wood to secure in place, and ready to turn.

09-adrian-small-ball  10-adrian-shaping-ball-with-tube

Adrian then turned his attention to making much smaller balls, these he produced a lot faster by using an open ended spanner of the required size, which he had ground a sharp edge on it doubled as a calliper and cutting tool he reduced the piece of wood into a cylinder of the required diameter, he then used a short length of stainless steel pipe to shape the ball in the same fashion as he had done previously with the cup chuck, but cutting at the same time. This was then sanded and sealed using a small bit of rag in preference to paper towel, he justified this as safe as the rag is only just long enough to wrap around the work and not the hand. With time running out fast we were then treated to a quick demonstration of how to turn a Christmas tree with a skew chisel in the style of a tree he had placed on the gallery table.

11-adrian-making-tree  12-adrian-tree-done


The meeting ended with the usual raffle draw.

3rd October – Gallery

6 October, 2016

5th September – Paul Hannaby – Threaded Needle Box

19 September, 2016

 A very good turn out with many still away on holidays, we had 67 members attend with two new members, Michelle and Amelia plus one visitor. Giving a total of 70 on the night


Lynda kicked off the proceedings with the regular notices, including lots of wood on the stage for sale, free magazines at the rear of the room and Dave Simpson was clearing lots of wood and tools on behalf of a deceased turner, with more to come next month.

She also updated us with the current total for Denis Hilditch’s abseil fundraiser so far a total of £1200, it’s not too late to donate. Details are in the Autumn “Your Turn”


Our guest turner this month was Paul Hannaby who was demonstrating how to make a needle box with a threaded lid. Paul has been turning wood for around 17 years and is based in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire. He is a member of the Cotswold Craftsmen and he exhibits at a number of their events in and around the Cotswolds. When Paul started woodturning, there was nowhere near as much information available on the web so a lot of the learning process was through trial and error. Being the sort of person that liked to experiment and push the boundaries of what he was capable of, this didn’t deter him at all.


Paul started with a quick review of thread chasing tools of which he had a wide selection on show, he advised how to prepare these tools before use for example rounding the edges of the square profile on a grinder so that the tool moves more easily on the tool rest. He then started the main demonstration placing a piece of boxwood between centres on the lathe working at approximately 1800 -2000 RPM used a roughing gouge to dress the lid.


He then squared the ends with a parting tool, before dividing the piece into two parts. Paul then fitted the chuck to the lathe and inserted the half that would become the lid with an internal thread. He reduced the lathe speed and using a spindle gouge to hollow cut the interior, then used a square edged scraper made from a round bar to finish off the bore.


Then using a recessing tool, he cut an internal groove in a position where the thread would end for the thread chaser to run off into. Paul then sharpened his thread chasing tool with a diamond “credit card” sharpener, then prior to cutting the thread he used a scrap piece of boxwood to demonstrate a more visible thread cutting. Slowing the lathe down to 350 – 400 RPM he started at a 30-degree angle and allowed the thread to draw the tool, rather than force it along the thread, applying more downforce whilst gradually squaring the tool to the wood and quickly pulling the tool out at the end of each pass so as to avoid running the thread further than required.

Paul’s advice at this point is to “Match your speed to that of the lathe”. As Paul cut the thread he used a toothbrush to apply renaissance wax to the thread, although any finishing medium of your choice would equally work. This not only helps to sharpen the threads point but also improves visibility as you cut. If the thread is too soft Paul recommended to soft drizzle super glue over it and then re-cut the thread. He also suggested for internal thread cutting placing the tool rest further away from the wood than usual.


Following a shortened coffee break, Paul then did the usual critique of the member’s gallery, again there was a great show of very good turning for him to go through. The draw was won by John Holden for his beautifully turned necklace stand, also worth a mention was Mike Haselden’s Monkey Puzzle bowl.


The second half of the demonstration concentrated on the interior of the box. Starting with a spindle gouge Paul hollowed out the centre recess, which would hold the needles. He then reduced the outside diameter to match the inside diameter of the external piece to accommodate the thread, using a parting tool and callipers marked so that the two parts will fit each other. The external thread was then cut onto the raised part of the cylinder, and then tidied up with a thin scraper.

Paul advised “cutting the thread oversize and then reducing down with the scraper and thread chaser until a clean fit is achieved, and also to retain full depth of the teeth.”


Next thing to achieve is grain alignment. The length of the thread can be reduced to 3-4 pitches to achieve this. It is worth remembering at this point that the two parts were originally some 3” apart where they now meet so perfect alignment is not likely.


Paul then finished the box by cutting square coves on the remaining length of the cylinder, these recesses can be used as bobbins to hold threads. He then returned the whole box and lid to the chuck to apply some finishing touches by cutting a “V” cut on the join and one on either side and three circles on the top of the lid. We were then given a quick overview demonstration of the various pitch threads on another piece of scrap boxwood. Following a generous round of applause, the meeting closed with the usual raffle draw. And many left with arms full of wood purchased on the night.


Andi Saunders

5th September – Gallery

15 September, 2016

Completed Charity Event

4 September, 2016

Congratulations to Denis for completing his Abseil down the Spinnaker Tower’ in Portsmouth UK.



You can still make donations to Prostate Cancer UK being a subject close to my heart (well about 13 inches away) via

Best Regards

Denis Hilditch.

PS, 10,000 men a year in the UK die from Prostate Cancer, so men get yourself checked out a bit earlier than I did!!

1st August – HWA Challenge and Keith Barnes on Electrical Safety

4 September, 2016

 46 members attended this month’s meeting, We also had 4 visitors giving us a total of 50 on the night.

It was the second visit for 2 of the visitors so hopefully they will join us next month.


This year’s HWA Challenge was to make something from Yew


We had 15 entries from 13 turners, as usual with entries they were all of a high standard. You can see all the entries on the website, but here are the first 3 choices of the 48 members who voted


1st Choice, Harry Woollhead’s Tea Set and Tray

Challenge winner Harry Woollhead with entry   Challenge 1st Harry

A clear and deserved 1st choice from one of our most experienced turners.

Harry had started out with just a Teapot, but was then was persuaded by Mrs W to make a complete set of Cup, saucer, milk jug and sugar bowl, then he needed a tray to put them on. This outstanding entry was a firm favourite from the start of the evening, and topped the voting by a wide margin, although there was a call for disqualification as the sugar cubes were made of Pine not Yew.


2nd choice, Chris Molyneux

 Challenge 2nd Chris Molyneux

Chris produced a beautifully turned round bowl and lid to a highly polished finish. A lovely piece that you just had to pick up and admire.

It was a close run competition for second place, with Chris and Dave both receiving an equal amount of points with Chris coming out on top by virtue of just one more first place vote.


3rd choice Dave Simpson, for a second consecutive year.

Challenge 3rd Dave Simpson   Challenge 3rd

This time Dave produced a delicate pierced hollow form housing a tea light, the flame from which could be see through the piercings. A nicely made imaginative item.


Close behind Second and Third place was Mike Haselden with two entries which came in Fourth and Fifth.


Whilst the votes were counted and certificates being done by Lynda, our calligrapher for the evening, Membership Secretary Keith Barnes took to the front of house to deliver a 30 minutes “Electrical Safety” presentation

Keith on safety

Keith gave us a potted history of electrical standards since 1947 including the Ring Main Power Circuit, Amp ratings and cable colourings. Circuit breakers and fuses etc. and also warned of the dangers of using the old two and three way adapter plugs, it is far safer to use the trailing gangs with three or more sockets.

This was followed by a Q&A session where Keith dealt with various subjects including PAT testing of turned items for selling such as table lamps

Andi Saunders

1st August – Club Challenge

8 August, 2016