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3rd July – Gallery

19 July, 2017

5th June – John Plater

8 June, 2017

Welcome to the summer. The evening of our June meeting was rather wet and with problems on the local roads as well as major hold ups on the M3 around Winchester it was fantastic to see 61 members attending along with two visitors and a returning member in Harry Butler, who was straight into the groove of active member with an entry on the members gallery. The gallery certainly has stepped up a gear in the past month or two, possibly with the introduction of the Len Osborne trophy. There has been an increase in the number and quality of the entries from the novice corner as well as from the more established members. (Photos of which are available on the website)


The meeting was kicked off by Chairman Dave Gibbard with a review of the usual notices, one very sad one regarding the ongoing monthly pilfering from the club shop, which has now led to Derek having to protect the stock with a re-arranged display.


Notices done Dave introduced our guest demonstrator for the evening whom he had identified as a guest a couple of years ago at “Art in Action”. John Plater, who was going to turn a side grain natural edge branchwood bowl, started his talk from the front of the lathe giving us a bit of his background. Woodturning dovetailed very nicely with John’s work in full time education as a senior teacher, lecturer, author and “A” level examiner of Design and Technology. It is now developing as a second career after John retired from teaching. John has demonstrated to a number of woodturning clubs across the South East of England, focussing on natural edged work in the main.


Hollowed form makes up the bulk of John’s work. Many of the more decorative pieces are left with the natural edge of the timber and will feature small defects, sapwood and bark. John quoted a professional woodturner’s description of this as being “repurposed firewood”.


John is a regular exhibitor with the Society of Designer Craftsmen (formerly the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society founded by Willliam Morris and Walter Crane in 1887) and is an active member of the Sussex Guild. Much of his work is produced to commission and often from the customer’s own timber.

Moving to the more traditional position of behind the lathe, he showed us a piece of branchwood of unknown species, probably fruit and possibly Cherry which drew a few disagreeing facial responses from some of our senior members. That said nobody offered an alternative. John had already prepared the blank on his bandsaw earlier in the day. He had drilled the hole for the steb centre using a Forstner bit. This was then secured between the steb centre in the headstock and a standard centre in the tailstock. Starting with a 3/8th bowl gouge with a swept back edge he proceeded to turn the outer shape of the bowl, regularly checking that it was sitting true simply using his thumb across the tool rest to measure clearances, this paid off quickly as it needed a small adjustment between the centres and then the outer shape re-turned, before cutting a spigot into the base and finishing off the surface with a large scraper and a shear scraper. At this point John remarked that not every turner would agree with his choice of tools but these are the ones best suited to him, a point that few of us would disagree with. The piece was then removed from the centres and turned around for the spigot to be mounted in the newly fitted Axminster chuck fitted with O’Donnell jaws. He recommended winding the tailstock centre into the piece with the lathe running as this gives a truer centre. John then performed a shear scrape to the outside of the bowl before concentrating on the inside. Another snippet of advice is to place something white on the lathe bed to help to see the outside shape of the bowl.

Rather than just hollowing out he was going to “Core” out the centre in the hope of producing a smaller bowl from the same piece using a straight cutter from the medium set of the McNaughton centre saver system. Sadly before completing this process the core snapped at the base and the external spigot also broke in the chuck.


Not to be deterred John reversed the bowl over the chuck and quickly repaired the spigot. Now back on track he set the tool rest at an angle that allowed him to work at 90 degrees to the rest and achieve maximum control of the cut and also retain a clearer view of tip of his gouge as he hollowed out the remainder of the core.

The inside shape was turned with the bevel of the gouge parallel to the outside shape. The cut was started slowly with the gouge closed. Once the cut was established it was continued by opening the gouge and then rolling the wrist as the curve swept across the bottom of the bowl. This was then finished off with a scraper. With the demonstration coming to a close John then discussed his finishing methods covering PPE (personal protective equipment – particularly dust control), sanding and finishing with Osmo polyx oil, which produces a nice smooth finish but not shiny, as is his preference.

John fielded questions from the floor including one from John Davis about the use of the long grind gouge. This could have turned into a debate too long for the time available. We hope to return to this subject in the columns of Your Turn.


Following a hearty round of applause he then gave a brief critique of a small selection from the very healthy members’ gallery.

5th June – Gallery

8 June, 2017

3rd May – Gallery

4 May, 2017

3rd April – HWA 2017 AGM Report

24 April, 2017

62 attended the April AGM meeting including two new members, Roger Charlesworth from West End and Lee Terry from Fareham plus one visitor.

After signing in many of the members formed an orderly queue to renew their membership with Keith and Bill doing the honours.

Lynda called the meeting to order, and kicked off the proceedings with her farewell chairman’s report, in which she very generously sang the praises of the committee members and other club volunteers. This was followed by the Treasurers report presented by John Holden in the absence of Treasurer Alan Sturgess who was recovering from a recent hip replacement surgery. With no new nominees for the Committee, the existing team were then voted back in enblock with Dave Gibbard replacing Lynda as Chairman for the next three years

The Clubman of the Year award went to former Chairman John Holden, who is always ready to step in and give a club demonstration when needed, and also at turn-ins. He has recently returned to committee duty as our outreach and demonstrations organiser.

Keith Barnes took to the floor to announce the launch of a new award, The Len Osbourne Trophy, which will be awarded to the winner of the Gallery Table participants prize. Any member placing an item on the table will receive one point (up to two per month) points will also be awarded for “challenge” entries. The member with the most points at the end of the following March will be the winner.

Bottles of wine were then awarded to all of our regular monthly volunteers.

The main issue of Any Other Business, was a request from the Tea Team for the committee to seek an alternative venue for the monthly meetings as due to parking issues making it difficult for loading and unloading their equipment.

Following the statutory tea break, we had the results of the Club Challenge, the subject being a turned item that has been decorated, all those present voted for their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices. With the eventual winner being Harry Woolhead and runner up Mike Haselden


Chris Davey then treated us to a talk on the making of and the history of Lace Bobbins, and has promised a demonstration at the next “Turn in” evening on Wednesday May 3rd.

The meeting then ended with the usual raffle.

Andi Saunders

3rd April – Gallery

5 April, 2017

6th March – Mark Baker

16 March, 2017

This month we were pleased to welcome Mark Baker, who we last saw in September 2013. As well as being editor of woodturning he also does demonstrations throughout the world so we were very lucky when he agreed to come to demonstrate at the club. Well done to Bob Hope for securing his services again.


We had 68 members attend including 1 new plus 4 visitors. A total for the evening of 72.


Look in many museums and you will see metal and pottery vessels with shapes used prolifically by the Greeks and Romans, but were also in use if Africa and Asia centuries before, and are still in use today. These shapes also give themselves to woodturning. Taking his cue from these classics, Mark’s demonstration was to be a lidded pot.


Mark explained lidded vessels are fascinating because they can be created in various sizes and can be functional or decorative or ceremonial. The opportunities for design and enhancement are endless.


Once the club lathe was set up, Mark was putting edges on his tools. This was done using a 150mm diamond wheel which was the precursor to the now superior CBN wheels that are now available. Mark had a mandrel made to fit the wheel so he could hold it in a chuck – with tailstock support and run it at low speed to sharpen his tools. During the demo, he used a diamond hone to keep the edges sharp


Mark started the evening by asking how many members turn at least 25 projects year? A show of hands showed that many of us don’t. He then explained that the average is only 15 projects per year, the point of this question was to point out that if we do not turn regularly we are not practicing our techniques enough.


He started with an ash blank, this was mounted between centres to shape the outside and form a spigot for later reversing to hollow the inside. Mark likes to support his work using the tailstock even when mounted in a chuck. This is more secure and minimises vibration.

He discussed the use of scrapers. And passed three different examples around the audience. Mark started by using pull cuts to clean up the face of the blank, he then used a parting tool to form a spigot for reversing the bowl later on. He then proceeded to form the outside of the bowl using a selection of gouges and scrapers, practicing his techniques as he removed the “waste”, something he recommends for building or retaining skills.

With the outside shape of the bowl complete it was now ready for. the decoration. Here Mark used a beading tool to cut beads on the bottom half of the bowl from the transition point to the base, he then used a parting tool to replace alternate beads with a flat area, a very pleasing yet simple method of decoration.


At this point, Mark explained that he does not sand during demonstrations due to an allergy to all wood dust, when in his own workshop, he always uses a full-face respirator and the workshop is equipped with extraction and filtration.

He gave a useful tip for cleaning up features like beads where sanding is time consuming and likely to remove sharp detail. He uses radial bristle brushes by 3M available in different grades of coarseness. These are quite expensive but a more affordable version is available from B&Q (other DIY outlets are available – Ed.)

The decoration complete Mark remounted the bowl on the previously made spigot and began using a straight coring tool to remove a section which could later become the lid of the bowl, or in this instance another shallow bowl later in the evening. These tools are an excellent investment to save wood and reduce shaving waste. The inside was hollowed with gouges, the bottom of the hollow needing a steep square grind to enable the bevel to rub. A ledge was left in the inside wall for the loose-fitting lid to rest on.


Following a tea break in which Mark answered questions to the surrounding members, he proceeded to give a brief critique of a very large members gallery, picking out the exhibits which caught his eye, he paid particular praise to the entries of two of our newer members who had exhibited pieces that were only their 2nd and 3rd/4th efforts all of which he highly commended for their quality Mark also commented that many of the clubs he visits no longer have a gallery at their club nights.

Mark returned to the lathe and proceeded to turn the lid for the pot, again explaining the culture of shapes. He reduced the edge of the lid to approximately match the recess of the bowl and created a graduated knob and again formed beads from the transition point. The lid was then reversed in the chuck and the rim reduced to fit nicely in the bowl. He then back cut the inside of the lid. The bowl and lid were left plain inside as any decoration would create a food trap.


Mark completed his demonstration by turning a shallow bowl from the cone he had previously removed from the centre of the bowl. He continued to explain that clay pots were finished with a variety of bases. On this occasion he cut away the rim to leave 3 feet on which the pot stands, which also allows light to travel through the spaces. This was achieved using his mini angle grinder to form three feet from the bowl base.


The unit he used was a Proxxon long-neck angle grinder fitted with a medium grade toothed disc from Foredom. Discs of various kinds can also be obtained from Saburr, King Arthur Tools and Kutzall and Arbortech.


Mark finished his session with a quick Q&A, following a hearty round of applause for a first class evening’s entertainment and we finished with the usual raffle


Next month’s meeting is the AGM and a challenge to make a bowl incorporating some form of decoration. Entries will be displayed for members to select their favourites. This will replace the usual gallery. Also a quick reminder that membership renewal fees are due.

Andi Saunders