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6th February Members “Turn In”

17 February, 2017

Despite some evening wet weather some 63 members still attended this months meeting with 4 visitors and 4 New Members.

 We welcome Steven Warren, Alan Biddulph, Martin Coles & Stephen Howell.

 Lynda did the usual introductions which this time included a call for several additional volunteers to help at the monthly meetings. There are vacancies for helping on Audio/visual, club shop and the raffle. There is also an opportunity for all members to help out the Minstead project with the manufacture of 300 Yew Candle Holders for Wimborne Minster, more details later in this issue.

The theme for the evening was a member’s Turn-in with three of our senior members on the lathes. All three demonstrators were surrounded by a revolving audience throughout the evening.

We had Alan Baker demonstrating the use of the Skew, turning between centres on the new club Charnwood lathe,

The skew chisel can be a very versatile tool used for planing a smooth surface on the outside of spindles as well as cutting vee-grooves and beads. It can also be used to facing off the end of cylindrical workpieces and properly handled, the skew can even be used for shaping gentle concave curves in spindle work.


A selection of skew chisels: from the left,1/2″; 3/4″ and 1″ plain skews and a 1″ oval skew


We were treated to serious debate between the experienced turners about how the skew should be sharpened, how long a bevel and how many cutting edges there should be, all of course a matter of choice, different strokes for different folks as they say. There was however plenty of opportunity for those brave enough to turn a few beads in front of their peers.

On the second lathe we had John Holden holding court on how to turn a box and lid from some Yew Branchwood, despite a few problems with his chuck and a particularly dry bit of branch, John managed to educate his audience with a skilful narrative even when he managed to break through the side when hollowing out his box, he carried on with a smile and a joke “that’s how not to do it” and proceeded to make a matching lid which he achieved with just a few adjustments achieving such a good tight fit that he broke the box in half trying to remove the lid. Undeterred by this small mishap, and one that has happened to most of us John continued to retain is audience’s attention and moved on to making a light pull in the shape of an acorn

On the third lathe we had Harry Woolhead who promised us a few Branchwood pots, similar to those he had entered on the evenings Gallery table. Another entertaining demonstrator Harry also picked on a very hard piece of Yew Branch wood which proved hard work to hollow out, Harry showed us a similar pot that he had previously turned from a much greener piece, and pointed out the difference in ease of working with this and how you can gauge the thickness of the walls you are hollowing using his finger and thumb “nature’s callipers” also when turning green wood you can shine a torch into the hollow and this will shine through the wood as you reduce the thickness

The evening came to its close with the usual gallery critique this time given to us by Alan Sturgess, a special mention must go to Mike Haselden for his wonderful napkin rings and twisted stand with its very clever inlay effect, a major talking point around the table all evening. And the final action was the raffle draw.

Andi Saunders

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