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 Justgiving.com/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!!
A much more pleasant Monday evening than in recent months weather wise, saw a good turnout of 59 members and 2 new signed up members Carl and Arthur, also two visitors who we hope that will join us very soon.
Our demonstrator for the evening was club stalwart Mike Haselden a very experienced woodworker who has been turning for ten years. The last time Mike demonstrated he kept us waiting until the very last moment to work out what he was turning for us, this time, he told us from the outset that it was to be some off-centre turning and those who had seen his very impressive gallery entry on the night had a very good idea of what it was to be.
Mike started with a large Ash blank which he secured to the lathe between a sanding disk/faceplate and a revolving centre on the tailstock. He then cleaned the edge with a gouge and continued to do the same to the face.
He turned a shallow dovetail recess for the chuck and reversed the blank onto this. Mike Doesn’t like to rely on the narrow area at the top of the dovetail jaws for seating which would have been the case with such a shallow recess so he mounted the blank via a plywood spacing ring to provide a flat facing surface outside the dovetail.
With the added security of support from the tailstock and centre, Mike then cut a bevel of around a quarter of an inch into the outer edge.
The next step was to remove the blank from the chuck and replace it with a specially made 12” plywood jig, which will be used to hold the blank in three different off-centre positions. The jig is very cleverly designed to hold the blank in place by clamping it along the bevel that was cut on the outer edge of the bowl with 4 plywood blocks. The jig also included an additional device to counterbalance the effect of the blank spinning off centre. This was a movable plywood cup that contains removable lead weights that enable Mike to adjust the weight.
So with the mystery now out, we are going to get a three centred bowl. Mike proceeded to mark out three new equally spaced centres, using basic geometry and a pair of compasses. With this done he secured the blank into the jig and proceeded to hollow out the three equally spaced bowl inserts.
Due to the predicted length of the demonstration two hours ten minutes, there was a shorter than normal tea break, while Mike hollowed out the last two bowls. Bob Hope then did a quick critique of the gallery which as usual exhibited what a talented bunch Hampshire Woodturners are, or at least some of us. And then back to the main event.
Mike ensured that the three bowls were as equal as possible by using a 42mm circular template to gauge depth and shape
Due to the fact that the three bowl indents will overlap, the second and third become increasingly more difficult to turn as you are cutting from wood to thin air in the overlapping areas, this said he achieved this with consummate ease.
The bowl was then reversed onto the recess in the base and the outside shape was turned from the headstock side, something not recommended for a novice turner. The final finishing of the base including removal of the chucking recess would be done by a further reversing process which could not be covered in the time available.
Mike finished off his main demo by explaining how he does the contrasting inlays around the edges of the bowl. He introduced us to his homemade manual hand router that is made with an Allen key ground to a point as the cutting bit. He first makes the three (in this case) inlays from a contrasting timber, then the bowl is prepared by painting the surface with “Typex” this forms a good surface for marking out the shape of the inlay to cut out by hand with the “Allen Key” router to a depth of approximately 3mm. once this is done the inlays are secured in place before returning the bowl to the lathe to finish off the top surface to a perfectly smooth finish.
With time fast running out Mike turned his attention to turning spheres on a lathe, ideal for displaying in the three off-centre bowls of his main piece of the evening, something that would equally look good with pieces of turned apples or pears.
Again we were shown another homemade jig that was made with an adjustable plywood stand and a semi-circular metal template. Briefly Mike turned a short piece of wood down to a few mm thicker than the required diameter of the sphere, he then reduced the ends that would be wasted to under 20mm, then using the template as a guide gradually turned down the sides of the sphere, fine tuning by moving the template closer as the cuts allowed, a process similar to using “fingers” when production turning. The bulk of the ball is then sanded on the lathe before removing the ends and the sphere finished by hand.
Following an appreciative round of applause for Mike, we moved very quickly onto the raffle as we had overstepped our 10pm curfew, before all setting off for our usual Ovaltine and bed
Another good attendance with 70 members and 1 new member attending
Welcome to John Carter, from North Baddesley. This turned out to be an evening of substitutions Chairman Lynda was unavailable so Bob Hope stood in as MC for the evening.
Bob also had to organise a replacement demonstrator for the evening with John Plater being unwell, we were treated to an evening with Gary Rance and his sidekick Les Thorne.
Gary is well known to most of us, having most recently visited us for our 25th anniversary meeting in 2014.
Gary Rance kicked off with a quick review of spindle turning, starting with turning a square into a round and then demonstrating cutting beads and coves all done with apparent ease by the turner with 41 years of experience.
Gary then moved onto his main demonstration of a humming spinning top, an item that he not only makes but also repairs some very expensive antique examples of.
Made in two parts, Gary started with a rectangular block turning the top part similar to a round box lid with an upright spindle to accommodate the handle finished off with a nicely turned ball on top.
This was then finished off by cutting three circular grooves which were then accentuated with a pencil line, and very effective too. This was then sanded using 180, 400 and 500 grit and always keep the abrasive moving to avoid scoring the wood. Gary explained how he always sands from the rear of the lathe as it saves time by not having to move the tool rest, time being very important for a busy production turner. The finished item was then removed from the block with a parting tool.
The rest of the block would then be used for the main body of the piece, again similar to turning a round box, but with a pointed base to allow it to spin. This was hollowed out with very accurately turned thin side walls, taking several attempts to match it to the previously turned lid, much to the amusement of the audience and Mr Thorne in particular. Again embellished with pencilled in grooves and sanded through the three previous grits. The two parts were then grain aligned into place and glued together using Titebond II, which he now prefers to super glue.
At this point we took our tea break, while our demonstrator was surrounded by members who either had question or wanted a closer look at the night’s progress or to view Gary’s range of examples, tools, accessories and DVDs. Following a short break Bob invited Gary to critique the member’s gallery. To which he proceeded to give a very firm but constructive review of the work on view.
The final third part is the handle approximately four inches long, a standard spindle design with hole near the end to accommodate the ball topped spindle of the main body, at this point Gary explained how he uses a “Scratcher” to mark the cuts to his spindle to achieve a consistent design, again important for a busy production turner. A scratcher is simply a piece of wood with nails driven though at the bead positions. Holding this against the revolving spindle marks the bead positions the same each time. He also uses a jig with adjustable “fingers” when producing large quantities of matching spindles. The fingers fall when the diameter at that position reaches the set size. No need for callipers. Again decorated and sanded in similar fashion to the rest of the top.
With this done it was back to cut the “humming hole” into the side of the main body, the hole is square cut with an approximate 45-degree angle through the wall to enable the sound to be achieved. When demonstrating the top in action no hum was evident Gary jokingly advised us that it was probably too high a frequency for us to hear, after several spins and occasional “Hums” and “Whistles” from the audience the main demonstration ended to a warm round of applause.
Always good value Gary then proceeded to demonstrate a new pendant that he has designed, one with a revolving centre turned from one disc of wood. Gary started out by turning a thin disc shape on the end of a round profile blank, he then parted it of off the blank, it was then placed into a circular jig that holds the disc in an internal recess, which is then secured in the jaws of a chuck so that the reverse side can be shaped to match the front, a matching circle is then marked on both sides,
Then comes the clever bit: the jig containing the pendant is returned to the chuck where an upward angled cut is made from the marked circle to a depth of half way into the disc. The whole thing is then reversed and the process repeated until the centre becomes detached from the outer ring without falling out due to the angle of the cut, another generous round of applause followed.
Checking the time with Bob, Gary then gave a very brief lesson of how to sharpen tools on a grinding wheel attached to the lathe, without switching the lathe on Gary explained what angles and movements are required to sharpen each of the various turning tools without the need of a sharpening jig.
The meeting ended with the usual raffle.
There was a very good attendance for the May Turn-In and the three turners were kept busy the whole evening, all three lathes attracted large audiences throughout the evening including the tea break
Was demonstrating hollowing and giving much practical advice on this very difficult skill that many of us try to avoid, perhaps many of his audience will now have a renewed desire to try out
Started with a nice little puzzle turning a small domed base with a six inch nail standing proud in the centre, there were then six equally placed, but removable nails around the perimeter. He then challenged his audience to remove the six loose nails and balance then on top of the central nail, if you weren’t there you may never know the solution.
Ian then dedicated the rest of his time to turn some beautiful finials that were to become the centre piece of a turned needle case.
Brought his novice corner to the lathe and took his “Hands on” audience through a wide range of turning techniques and skills, which encouraged several members to have a go in front of their peers
As ever the secretary is always looking for members who are willing to have a go and share their skills with others so why not volunteer?