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January 4th – Demonstration – Mike Haselden Decorative Inlays

5 January, 2010


Those of you who have followed the gallery recently will have noticed Mike’s lovely bowls with rims inlaid with contrasting wood patterns. There had been so many questions about how it was done that Mike agreed to show us by way of an evening demonstration.

Mike had already prepared an inlay with alternating contrasting wood segments glued with PVA onto an MDF disc about the same diameter as the bowl. The disc had been marked out into 24 equal segments using the indexing facility on the lathe. Wooden segments about 8 mm thick were cut on a bandsaw, and the edges of each sanded precisely to fit the adjacent segments without gaps.


Mike prepared the bowl by mounting on a chuck via spigots. We wondered why Mike went to the trouble of turning a cylinder rather than shaping the outside of the bowl straight away. He proceeded to part off a ring from what would have been waste shavings for use as a future inlay. Aah! Apart from this removal he left the outside of the bowl to be finished later so that it would be as rigid as possible for fitting the inlay.

He had made a useful jig to fit the tailstock with 2 adjustable needles for marking the bowl rim for a groove to take the inlay and also for marking the inlay itself.

First the inlay was cut in the form of a ring, the MDF being retained to support the segments. Mike incorporates a very small taper to fit the groove snugly.


With the bowl mounted with the base in the chuck, the centre hollow was started, leaving a spigot for re-mounting, and the rim marked for grooving using the tool without changing the inlay set up. The groove was cut carefully to a depth of about 3 mm and after a few trial fittings, PVA glue was spread on both faces and the ring pressed into position and clamped.


(Whilst waiting for the glue for a few minutes, Mike gave the gallery critique.)

Finally the bowl was remounted and the MDF ring and surplus inlay was turned away and the rim sanded.


Mike left the remaining bowl turning to be done in the usual way for later but had brought several very nice examples of finished bowls.

The gallery contained a good variety of work which can be seen on the website. Mike said he felt some embarrassment at having to comment on the work of other turners being a relative newcomer to the craft. But I think his work belies his inexperience and well qualifies him to perform the critique.
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