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5th Feb – Club Night – Turn in

12 February, 2018

A good turnout of 68 members and one visitor attended the popular “Turn-in” evening. We had three lathes in operation Alan Baker was challenging members to show off or improve their Skew techniques on the Charnwood lathe with his selection of Skews. Alan attracted a wide selection of the membership from novices right through to our more experienced members, and as usual even the experts were learning from their peers.


Always popular, Harry Woollhead was probably the busiest, showing us pendant making with offset turned centres, and turning goblets with natural edges from branch wood. As usual we were treated to some rather old jokes mixed with some very good advice as well as some rather unique tricks of the trade, such as “securing” a pendant on the lathe using a screw chuck, several small squares of plywood, kitchen unit melamine and a couple of layers of double sided carpet tape.


The plywood was just a spacer due to the length of the screw, and the white melamine very cleverly showed through once the hole Harry was boring through the pendant reached the required depth. The Carpet tape was very effective in holding the piece, so much so that it had to be removed using a craft knife to break the seal the remaining sticky patch was then cleaned off with cellulose thinners.

Harry then hung the finished pendant on a leather necklace. He purchases his leather strands from Creative Crafts in Winchester for about 12p a metre (other craft retailers are available).


Our final demonstrator of the evening, taking a break from the tea table was Chris Davey our in-house Lace Bobbin supremo. Chris was using his own 35-year-old home-made treadle lathe, based upon an old singer sewing machine treadle frame topped off with a very simple lathe including a self-made wooden chuck using small screws to hold the bobbin blanks in place. When asked if the lathe was variable speed his reply was it depended upon how fast his feet moved. This gives him great control over the turning speed. It’s a great test of a turner’s skill to combine turning fine detail with his hands whilst peddling the treadle at varying speeds with his feet.


Chris kept his audience engaged by producing a wide range of bobbins along with his vast knowledge of the many hundreds of specific bobbins used by the various regional and international lace makers


Following the tea interval Ian Woodford was volunteered to give us a critique of yet another very impressive gallery table. Ian imparted some of his woodturning knowledge with some useful tips such as setting aside some part turned boxes and lids allowing them to move before coming back later to finish them off. This helps with the fit of lids etc.

We then returned to the three lathes for the rest of the evening, stopping briefly for the raffle.

Andi Saunders

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