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4th February – Greg Moreton – Endless Excitement

16 February, 2019

A very good attendance on a damp February evening of 64 members and 3 guests, came along to see our first visiting demonstrator of the year, Gregory Moreton who was going to show us some tube hollowing or as explained was called “Endless Excitement” by Mark Baker. 

Having practiced as a turner since 1991, Gregory was invited to join the Register of Professional Turners, held by the Worshipful Company of Turners, in 1996, and now acts as membership secretary. 

Gregory was featured in the first ‘Diary of a Craft Worker’ series published by the “Craftsman Magazine” in 1997-8 and has been profiled in “Woodturning” magazine.  He has also been invited to act on a consultative committee by Channel 4, for a documentary about woodturning. He specializes in the unique and welcomes a challenge. His more unusual work has included making replacement pieces for antique instruments; willow-workers’ tools; bespoke instruments for reflexology crafted to each individual practitioner; tables made from tree slices and forms for potters and designers.  He has even fulfilled a commission to make a bedroom sink. He has collaborated with an unconventional silversmith to create spectacular silvered forms in petrified wood.  He also turns unique bowls, platters, vases and display pieces. 


Gregory draws inspiration from the individuality of wood, and it is very important to him that each piece grows from the grain and inclusions unique to each piece of timber.  As a result, no two pieces are identical. Furthermore, he holds to a strict ecological policy. No timber where the provenance cannot be guaranteed will be used. Most timbers come from the UK or Australia and are often reclaimed or recycled. 


For his first demonstration piece Gregory promised us what Mark Baker has called “Endless Excitement” or in layman’s terms a piece of tunnel hollowing to create a decorative item. He imparted some advice for those who sell their work “functionality brings down the price” 


He started with an un-named blank between the centre in the tailstock and a 25mm drill bit in the chuck. With the intention of drilling a hole completely through the blank. To achieve this he used a method that should not be tried at home, wrapping a strap around the blank to support it while drilling, on one occasion he lost hold of the strap and it wildly span around with the lathe, as the drill bit gripped, after several attempts he did manage to drill right through the wood. He then shaped and placed a pine “Dolly” into the chuck and secured the item between this and the tail stock centre. Gregory then used a spindle gouge to make both ends flush. He then switched to a bowl gouge and reduced the outer edge into a “diablo” shape taking care to leave the natural edge at both ends, also using his Vernier gauge to make sure he only cut down to around 29mm so as not to hit the internal bore. 


Working left handed he started to hollow out the head stock end working to a thickness of around 4 mm, and working up close to the Dolly. He then changed to the opposite end and repeated the same process right handed, this time cutting a spigot for reversing.


Once reversed he reduced the inside wall again to around 4mm, matched the shape to the outside and then removed the spigot. Gregory then again reversed the piece this time taping it to another dolly with several lengths of gaffer tape. Removing the final bits of the core, to produce the finished item. 



We then took the usual tea break before turning our attention to Gregory’s critique of a few selected items on the gallery table. As is fast becoming the norm at our meetings now the content of the gallery is of a very high standard. Gregory started with a few of the novice items passing on a few of his pearls of wisdom moved along the table picking out a few items from the more experienced turners in the room. 


Now with time moving on he returned to the lathe and started on his second item which was to be a natural edge bowl from Robinia Pseudoacacia often incorrectly called “Acacia”, the blank was of a tapered octagonal shape which he set slightly off centre between the chuck and centre, because of this he carefully started at a very slow speed, increasing as it as the shape rounded.


Gregory uses his little finger at the tip of his gouges and runs this along the tool post, again something not really advised for novice turners, although it works well for him. When turning natural edge, he recommends to always have your sharpest edge for the final cut.


This was just a normal bowl turn, so I won’t bother you with all the actions, there was nothing unusual about this, he turned the outside reversed it and hollowed out.

One thing to mention is Gregory demonstrated how he wraps abrasive around his finger when sanding the inside of the bowl, again this in not a practice that your committee would recommend. 

 Andi Saunders


4th February – Gallery

16 February, 2019

January 7th – Club night members turn in

19 January, 2019

We kicked off our 2019 programme of club evenings with a “Turn-in”


This ever popular event was attended by a total of 60 members, including two new members Graham Hill and Stephen Jones. This was an excellent turnout for a January evening


Chairman Dave got things rolling with the usual welcome and notices, there was another request for volunteers on club nights with particular vacancies on the raffle table and the tea and coffee team, The raffle in particular is in danger of stopping if nobody comes forward to run it. These positions are for just a few hours one evening each month, and you’ll normally get a bottle of wine as a thank you from the committee at the AGM.

Dave also announced an upcoming “Hands on” day at Old Alresford Village Hall on Saturday 23rd March, where you can do what it say’ on the label, get your hands on one of the selection of lathes and receive one to one tuition from one of our many experienced turners, there will also be a sharpening station, where you can learn the basics of sharpening, the use of jigs and get your own tools nice and sharp. The day runs from 10 until 4 tea and coffee is provided just help yourself throughout the day, bring your own lunch and snacks. To cover the cost of the hall there will be a charge of £10, to book your space contact either Bob Hope or Harry Woollhead


On to the “Turn in” on offer we had three lathes and a sharpening station, these were spread around the floor area.

The lathes were manned by Alan Baker who was running a turn and learn mainly for the novices and improvers.

John Holden was demonstrating Off Centre turning producing little ducks, one of them of flying (literally).


At the third lathe was Dave Gibbard turning natural edge bowls.

At the sharpening station we had Alan Sturgess with a comprehensive range of equipment including wet and dry grinders a selection of jigs and numerous accessories.

All four stations were kept very busy throughout the evening with small crowds gathering around them and rotating from one to the other. The usual tea break in the middle of proceedings was then followed by a gallery critique given by Bob Hope, as is becoming the norm the table was full of very well turned items from the full spectrum of members novice to experienced, teen agers to octogenarians.

Andi Saunders

7th January – Gallery

19 January, 2019

3rd December – Gallery

21 December, 2018

Fireworks with Mike Haselden

23 November, 2018

62 members and 3 visitors attended the November meeting, Our Demonstrator this month was our very own Clubman of the Year, Mike Haselden with his continuing annual mystery show.

Placing a spindle blank of sawn pine timber in between centres on the lathe, Mike started the evening by asking if there were any beginners in the audience, he then proceeded to give a quick overview of woodturning health & safety covering the basics of apparel, tools and machine safety. Then starting with a spindle roughing gouge proceeded to round off the edges, quickly stating that this tool wasn’t doing too well, he bent over to his tool bag on the floor said lets try another tool, he then very much tongue in cheek produced a small axe, which he continued to use to remove the edges of the blank, much to the amusement of most of the audience, although this was producing an improved result, he once again returned to the tool bag, this producing a garden spade on which he had ground a sharp edge and proceeded to remove more of the blank. At this point in his very dry humour, he marked the three sections A,G & S with a pen and passed it around the audience for closer examination.


“This part of the demonstration was purely for theatrical effect, Mike is an extremely skilled and experienced woodworker and would never take a risk with these objects, please do not try this at home”.


Moving onto the main demonstration Mike then produced a large section of green Acer I thought it was ash. He explained that this was a log that he had sawn in half with the intention of producing two large bowls. To achieve the best appearance Mike splits the log directly through the central pith, with the aim of getting an even amount distribution of rings on both sides of the bowl.

He mounted the blank between centres with a two prong drive in the tail stock chuck and another centre in the chuck. a revolving ring centre in the tail stock. Though less secure than mounting on a faceplate, Mike favours this method since it allows adjustment of the angle of the blank to optimise symmetry of ring pattern. To aid this adjustment Mike made a pen mark on opposite sides of the log which he then lined up by matching them to a strategically cleverly placed tool post.

To improve security of the drive he prepared the blank by cutting a recess in the centre with an auger bit, to allow the drive centre to sit within the recess.

Moving on he offered tips on safely and efficiently removing stock ? when turning a bowl. (Sorry, I don’t remember this). Another tip was attaching a short ruler to the tailstock for quickly setting callipers.


Mike then roughed the outside removing the bark in the process and then marked a chucking point dovetail recess in the base with callipers which he then cut with his skew. This was to allow the bowl to be shaped mounted in a chuck rather than rather than between centres. The wood was then mounted on the chuck via this recess, a spigot cut into the other end (the top), and then reversed again to shape the outside of the bowl to a shape inspired by a bowl placed on the gallery table by Harry Butler.

We then took the usual tea break, while Mike fielded question around the lathe. After which he was coerced into doing the gallery critique. In which he was complimentary about all of the exhibits with the exception of one piece which of course was his own.


Returning to the lathe Mike started to hollow out the bowl, explain his methods as he went along. Explaining that he like to leave a cone in the centre for as long as he can as this helps to keep the integrity of the wood as he progressed the cone was removed to allow deeper access and another smaller cone built up as the hollowing continued. Mike regularly referred to his double ended callipers to achieve a uniform bowl thickness. As usual he has another great tip. By attaching a small plywood offcut to one of the outer calliper ends he can place a pencil mark to aim the other leg at. The pencil mark is easily removed later as the ply is coated with Typex so can be either erased or repainted very quickly.

Once happy with the overall shape Mike recommends placing the wood in a paper bag with some of its own shavings, storing in a cool dark place and regularly checking for excessive moisture levels which could cause water stains.


In true Blue Peter style Mike then produced a similar piece that had been drying since early 2017, which he started to work on discussing with members of the audience various ways of securing it in the lathe, with a several ideas from the room including a large foam ball attached to a circle of ply or MDF. Another trick of Mikes is to attach a sacrificial piece of plywood to the bowl so that the tail stock centre can be pressed in without damage to the bowl.

With time running out on us, Mike called an early end to the demonstration, and took a couple of questions from the group. If you want more of Mike, check out the Winter issue of “Your Turn” for an article by Mike on how he achieves those wonderful finishes

Andi Saunders

5th November Gallery

10 November, 2018