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Monday 4th January 2016 – Kevin Hutson – Square Edged Box

17 January, 2016

A very good turnout of 69 members attended the first meeting of 2016

Our guest woodturner this month was Kevin Hutson who hails from Brighton, although his studio is in Haywards Heath.

He specialises in aesthetic shapes in ash and sycamore, often with oriental inspiration and sells his work through over 30 galleries, mostly made to order.

His woods of preference are Sycamore, Ash and Maple. Examples can be found on his website

Kevin, example 1

Kevin served a five year apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery, a career he followed for 16 years before progressing into architecturally designed joinery, where he developed his self-taught creativity. He started woodturning some 25 years ago using a small drill attachment lathe and has since progressed to a Myford lathe using a MultiStar Collet chuck.

Becoming bored with conventional shapes he advanced towards more aesthetic shapes and now blends subtle tones of colour to emphasise the variety of grain found in wood. Each piece is finished by a three day process of spraying with an air brush.

This evening he treated us to a demonstration of turning a square edged box and for this purpose he used a simple square of pine.


Kevin started the first half of his demonstration with the base of the box using a faceplate ring inserted in the collet chuck, very similar to turning a bowl but taking care when shaping the square edges or wings. This was then reversed onto the chuck for hollowing out.

Kevin 2 turning underside  Kevin 4 reversed

During the demonstration we were treated to a number of tips such as flattening the sides of the tool handles to denote orientation and to stop them from rolling when laid down, and also colour coding them for easy recognition. Kevin also explained how he adjusts the angle of the cutting edge of his tools to suit the type of wood he is working with; a skill that only comes with experience. With the base finished tea was taken.

Before returning to the lathe to make the lid, Kevin delivered a critique of members’ work on the gallery able. He was very complementary about all of the work on display paying particular praise to the standard of finishing and taking time to discuss each item with its maker.

Kevin Critique 1

Following some banter with Harry Woolhead including a joke about a £5 bribe. Kevin then proceeded to draw the prize which embarrassingly went to Harry and his twisted stem goblet!

Pictures of all the gallery items can be seen via the website.


Kevin then turned his attention to producing the square edged lid, again securing the piece of pine to the chuck with his faceplate ring. With the basic form produced he then proceeded to match the lid and base, preferring a not too tight fit, but explaining that a tight fit can be useful to hold both parts together for any final adjustments to the shape.

Kevin 7 finished box

Kevin finished his presentation by discussing his sanding and finishing techniques, which he was not able to demonstrate in the time available. He uses a 50/50 dilution of cellulose sanding sealer, applying multiple coats with an air brush rubbing down in between.

The demonstration ended to a very generous round of applause.

Andi Saunders

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