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January 7th – Club night members turn in

19 January, 2019

We kicked off our 2019 programme of club evenings with a “Turn-in”


This ever popular event was attended by a total of 60 members, including two new members Graham Hill and Stephen Jones. This was an excellent turnout for a January evening


Chairman Dave got things rolling with the usual welcome and notices, there was another request for volunteers on club nights with particular vacancies on the raffle table and the tea and coffee team, The raffle in particular is in danger of stopping if nobody comes forward to run it. These positions are for just a few hours one evening each month, and you’ll normally get a bottle of wine as a thank you from the committee at the AGM.

Dave also announced an upcoming “Hands on” day at Old Alresford Village Hall on Saturday 23rd March, where you can do what it say’ on the label, get your hands on one of the selection of lathes and receive one to one tuition from one of our many experienced turners, there will also be a sharpening station, where you can learn the basics of sharpening, the use of jigs and get your own tools nice and sharp. The day runs from 10 until 4 tea and coffee is provided just help yourself throughout the day, bring your own lunch and snacks. To cover the cost of the hall there will be a charge of £10, to book your space contact either Bob Hope or Harry Woollhead


On to the “Turn in” on offer we had three lathes and a sharpening station, these were spread around the floor area.

The lathes were manned by Alan Baker who was running a turn and learn mainly for the novices and improvers.

John Holden was demonstrating Off Centre turning producing little ducks, one of them of flying (literally).


At the third lathe was Dave Gibbard turning natural edge bowls.

At the sharpening station we had Alan Sturgess with a comprehensive range of equipment including wet and dry grinders a selection of jigs and numerous accessories.

All four stations were kept very busy throughout the evening with small crowds gathering around them and rotating from one to the other. The usual tea break in the middle of proceedings was then followed by a gallery critique given by Bob Hope, as is becoming the norm the table was full of very well turned items from the full spectrum of members novice to experienced, teen agers to octogenarians.

Andi Saunders


7th January – Gallery

19 January, 2019

3rd December – Gallery

21 December, 2018

Fireworks with Mike Haselden

23 November, 2018

62 members and 3 visitors attended the November meeting, Our Demonstrator this month was our very own Clubman of the Year, Mike Haselden with his continuing annual mystery show.

Placing a spindle blank of sawn pine timber in between centres on the lathe, Mike started the evening by asking if there were any beginners in the audience, he then proceeded to give a quick overview of woodturning health & safety covering the basics of apparel, tools and machine safety. Then starting with a spindle roughing gouge proceeded to round off the edges, quickly stating that this tool wasn’t doing too well, he bent over to his tool bag on the floor said lets try another tool, he then very much tongue in cheek produced a small axe, which he continued to use to remove the edges of the blank, much to the amusement of most of the audience, although this was producing an improved result, he once again returned to the tool bag, this producing a garden spade on which he had ground a sharp edge and proceeded to remove more of the blank. At this point in his very dry humour, he marked the three sections A,G & S with a pen and passed it around the audience for closer examination.


“This part of the demonstration was purely for theatrical effect, Mike is an extremely skilled and experienced woodworker and would never take a risk with these objects, please do not try this at home”.


Moving onto the main demonstration Mike then produced a large section of green Acer I thought it was ash. He explained that this was a log that he had sawn in half with the intention of producing two large bowls. To achieve the best appearance Mike splits the log directly through the central pith, with the aim of getting an even amount distribution of rings on both sides of the bowl.

He mounted the blank between centres with a two prong drive in the tail stock chuck and another centre in the chuck. a revolving ring centre in the tail stock. Though less secure than mounting on a faceplate, Mike favours this method since it allows adjustment of the angle of the blank to optimise symmetry of ring pattern. To aid this adjustment Mike made a pen mark on opposite sides of the log which he then lined up by matching them to a strategically cleverly placed tool post.

To improve security of the drive he prepared the blank by cutting a recess in the centre with an auger bit, to allow the drive centre to sit within the recess.

Moving on he offered tips on safely and efficiently removing stock ? when turning a bowl. (Sorry, I don’t remember this). Another tip was attaching a short ruler to the tailstock for quickly setting callipers.


Mike then roughed the outside removing the bark in the process and then marked a chucking point dovetail recess in the base with callipers which he then cut with his skew. This was to allow the bowl to be shaped mounted in a chuck rather than rather than between centres. The wood was then mounted on the chuck via this recess, a spigot cut into the other end (the top), and then reversed again to shape the outside of the bowl to a shape inspired by a bowl placed on the gallery table by Harry Butler.

We then took the usual tea break, while Mike fielded question around the lathe. After which he was coerced into doing the gallery critique. In which he was complimentary about all of the exhibits with the exception of one piece which of course was his own.


Returning to the lathe Mike started to hollow out the bowl, explain his methods as he went along. Explaining that he like to leave a cone in the centre for as long as he can as this helps to keep the integrity of the wood as he progressed the cone was removed to allow deeper access and another smaller cone built up as the hollowing continued. Mike regularly referred to his double ended callipers to achieve a uniform bowl thickness. As usual he has another great tip. By attaching a small plywood offcut to one of the outer calliper ends he can place a pencil mark to aim the other leg at. The pencil mark is easily removed later as the ply is coated with Typex so can be either erased or repainted very quickly.

Once happy with the overall shape Mike recommends placing the wood in a paper bag with some of its own shavings, storing in a cool dark place and regularly checking for excessive moisture levels which could cause water stains.


In true Blue Peter style Mike then produced a similar piece that had been drying since early 2017, which he started to work on discussing with members of the audience various ways of securing it in the lathe, with a several ideas from the room including a large foam ball attached to a circle of ply or MDF. Another trick of Mikes is to attach a sacrificial piece of plywood to the bowl so that the tail stock centre can be pressed in without damage to the bowl.

With time running out on us, Mike called an early end to the demonstration, and took a couple of questions from the group. If you want more of Mike, check out the Winter issue of “Your Turn” for an article by Mike on how he achieves those wonderful finishes

Andi Saunders

5th November Gallery

10 November, 2018

1st October – Les Thorne

19 October, 2018

As one would expect there was a large crowd in attendance for the next episode of our annual event “Showtime with Les Thorne”

Les Thorne has been on the Register for Professional Turners since 2001 after spending most of his life involved with wood in some capacity. From his workshop in Old Alresford in Hampshire, Les is primarily a production turner and works on a huge variety of jobs and with many different clients.

Les offers a range of woodturning courses from his workshop and also has a small range of instructional videos and his own designed turning tools.

Les offered us an Interactive demonstration in preparation for a major event at the weekend, he was going to ask at various points of the demonstration “how would you do this bit?” he would then tell us what he was going to do anyway whilst explaining why.


“Oh my God, It’s another bowl! Or is it? Is how he introduced us to the subject of the evening a lidded box, the top of which was like a side grain bowl. Using a hexagonal kiln dried European Oak blank, left over from a large commission for McDonalds restaurants in London.

He started by attaching the blank to a screw chuck

Tip Les uses a small amount of paste wax to lubricate the threads on his screw chucks, it stops them binding and rusting when using wet wood.


Discussing which tool to use Les opts for the one that gives the best optimum cut.

He removed the corners and rounded the six corners, and then very quickly turned the outer shape initially with a spindle gouge and then a bowl gouge. Then cutting a small spigot for the Nova chuck.

Once fitted to the chuck, Les then a drilled hole through the centre of the “bowl” with a drill bit in the tail stock chuck. This will accommodate the handle/knob. Then using pull cuts he improved the outer shape.

“No way is perfect for every project”


Reversed into the Nova chuck and hollowed out with ¼” bowl gouge

“No way is perfect for every project”

Les then gave us a short masterclass in hollowing out a bowl, explaining the need to change position and possibly tools at various points, and allowing for differing angles and a lower peripheral speed nearer the centre of the bowl

He then created a small step inside top edge of bowl (that will match the base)

Using his multipurpose tool i.e. a round skew he finished of the inside off the bowl with a larger gouge to counter the additional vibration.

Once turned he moved onto adding a decorative finish, using his preferred Lemon Oil which gives a matt finish and doesn’t go off

Placing the bowl in a pine jam chuck to hold in place with tail stock centre, in his workshop (Les favours using a flat jam chuck, with 360 grit abrasive for grip).


He also recommends using paper inside the jam chuck to reduce noise

Then selecting the parting tool from his Sorby small tool set to cut a series of grooves on the outer surface for decoration.

He then went over these with brass brush in a drill, followed by a quick sand and then liming brush to emphasise the beads. Les the applied an acrylic sanding sealer followed with black ebonising lacquer


We then had a brief Q&A before the tea break

Returning to the lathe Liming wax was applied with liming brush. Les then worked it into the grooves with his ‘“Wife’s” toothbrush promising that he always washes it before returning it. He then broke a cardinal turning rule by buffing it up with small piece of rag not paper, warning the novices in the audience of its inherent danger.


Les then turned a thin base from Ash attached to a blank in the chuck by hot glue gun, this was then supported with his “One Way” Ring & Point Live Centre in the tail stock


Les then used signature spindle gouge to cut the smallest spigot possible (as he didn’t want to remove it later) disguised with a small decorative bead. Then used a round skew to produce a smooth surface.

Reversed on lathe, having removed the base from the blank using a standard chisel to prise it apart, cleaned up any glue residue from the surface. He then measured and turned a lip for the upturned bowl to fit onto, it does not require a very tight fit. Les managed this at his second attempt, quickly finished of the surface and then moved onto a simple top hat shaped finial. This was of course met with a loud round of applause.

Les then moved to the gallery table for the critique, taking his time to mention every exhibit, giving the occasional constructive critique but as is becoming the norm at HWA gave a strong vote of appreciation for the quality of exhibits.

With time running past the usual Ten O’clock finish time, the final event of the evening was the ever-popular raffle with its usual range of quality prizes.

We now look forward to the third of our in house demonstrators with the next episode of Mike Hasleden’s mystery turns at our November meeting

Andi Saunders

1st October – gallery

15 October, 2018