Skip to content

Mike Haseldon – 6th November

16 November, 2017

62 members attended the November meeting, with 1 visitor giving a total of 63.

Chairman Dave Gibbard got the evening off to a great start with a poetic rendition of the fire drill, which probably got more attention than the usual version, perhaps he will sing it next month?

Following the latest notices Dave introduced our inhouse demonstrator for the evening Mike Haselden, Mike always keeps his subject matter close to his chest until the evening hence the “Mike’s Mystery II”, and even then, he only released the detail as he progressed. 1st reveal was it’s going to be a bowl. Mike is a very interesting demonstrator who interlaces his demonstrations with lots of useful tips and some very clever homemade solutions to the challenges of his project.


Mike started with a piece of holly about 12” long and 6” wide, this was set-up using Mike’s homemade centre finder, basically a circular sheet of Perspex with several circles marked on it and a small centre hole. Centres, marked the Holly was set between centres, with a Mike manufactured steb centre in the chuck, he makes his own from a cap bolt (round headed hexagonal socketed bolt, which is driven/turned with an Allen key). He also used a ring centre in the tail stock.

Starting with a roughing gouge he rounded off the blank at the tail end and cut a chucking point on the end, using callipers to match the size of chuck jaw opening. Mike then used a spindle gouge to form the basic outside of the bowl, before reversing it in the chuck, and reverting to a revolving centre in the tail stock. Then using a parting tools cut four deep equally spaced rings into the blank above the rim of the bowl, he then moved to the end of the blank and used the parting tool to “Hollow” through the end on the Holly to produce four “Doughnut” rings. At this point revealing that the bowl was to have a long central handle. The remaining core/handle was then cleaned up with the roughing gouge.

Mike then hollowed out the rest of the bowl using a Rolly Munro hollowing tool, this really is a very effective tool for hollowing. He then used a variety of tools mainly gouges to create a very attractive central handle, somewhat reminiscent of a chess piece.


Bob Hope kicked off the second half with a critique of the gallery, finding time to discuss every exhibit in some small detail, we are certainly seeing a great variety of very good turning on the table every month, averaging twenty items per month since the launch of the Len Osborne trophy

We then returned to Mike’s demonstration, where he briefly showed us how to finish off the bowl without any damage to the central handle, using a large jam chuck with a centrally bored hole to accommodate the handle these were held together with masking tape at the joint to enable Mike to finish off the base of the bowl.

Mike then moved onto turning a goblet from sycamore, Mike had pre-prepared the blank by removing the corners on his bandsaw. He secured this between centres to cut a chucking point, and then used this to secure it into the chuck jaws, He then prepared the base of the goblet, cutting a small circular recess into which he secured one of his own “Brand” disks. These he makes from 3mm thick white holly and then uses his branding iron to produce the disks, Mike then used a decorating Elf to put two embellishing rings around the brand, the outer one done with the lathe in reverse.


The next step was to place an oak dolly into the chuck, in which he cut a recess to accept the base of the goblet, these were then secured together using a hot melt glue gun. Turning with the tail stock in place Mike used a roughing gouge to round off the outside, and then a spindle gouge to hollow out.


With time running out Mike decided that he would not be able to finish the goblet, but took the time to remove the glue from the base and tidy that up.


Andi Saunders


6th November – Gallery

7 November, 2017

Les Thorne 2nd October

14 October, 2017

69 people turned up to see Les Thorne and brought along 22 quality items for the gallery table.

They patiently sat through the opening announcements before our popular megastar opened the show.


The main demo involved turning a platter from a maple blank, which had a nice ripple, and colouring the rim.

Mounted on a screw chuck the underside was turned using a pull cut with a bowl gouge with a long grind. The trick here is to get the tool angle right. With the flute too closed to the wood, the lower wing is just scraping and is unsupported. Rotating it clockwise gets the bevel rubbing but is unstable and prone to a massive dig-in (done that!). At an angle in between the bottom wing is supported by the bevel though still scraping and is stable. A finer finish is usually achieved with a push cut with the bevel fully rubbing and having turned the underside to an ogee shape with the pull cut Les went over the bed to finish with a push cut from centre to rim. 

The ogee curve is ancient and is defined as a curve consisting of 2 arcs in opposite senses. There are names for various versions of it like sigmoid and cyma which seem to depend on which sense comes first and the relative radius of each but basically it is an S shape and very pleasing to the eye.

(A little known legend has it that the name was first coined by Archimedes in another eureka moment. He had just seen a piece of stone carved with an S shape profile and was so overcome that he exclaimed “Oh Gee!” )


Les turned a spigot on the base, proud of the ogee, for chucking. He prefers a spigot to a recess. As he says, “why would you want a hole in the bottom of your bowl?” Removing a chucking recess to finish the bowl is difficult whilst a spigot can be used as a foot or simply removed. The only time a recess has merit is in the case of a pedestal bowl when it can be used to accept the top of the pedestal.


Reversing onto the spigot he trued up the top face with pull cuts and power sanded. Don’t be afraid to start sanding at 60 or 80 grit. And if painting or texturing, don’t bother to go finer than 240. He sprayed meths onto the surface prior to staining. This raises the grain to aid stain penetration.

When staining, some open grain wood like ash is prone to colour bleeding. It is a good idea to put a stopping feature (Les calls it a punctuation mark) like a groove. The groove can be filled with contrasting paint or sealer. Another way is to burn it with a pyrography tool to seal the grain. However, this was sycamore which has quite a close grain and not punctuation mark was used.

Spirit stains were applied in sequence, starting with the darkest and lightly sanded by hand in the direction of the ripple between coats. Les used blue, light blue, yellow then blue again and finally applying food safe oil and wiping off with the lathe rotating.

He then hollowed the centre to leave the rim alone stained. There was some discussion about the rule of thirds. The general consensus seemed to be the hollow size should be what looks right, which often does obey the rule.

You don’t want the gouge skidding back across the stained rim. The gouge should be presented to the surface with the bevel tangential to the edge of the hollow but of course there’s nothing for it to rub on at first. If worried about skidding back, put a stopping groove at this position. When hollowing, the gouge should swing round so that the bevel remains tangential to the surface otherwise the bottom of the bowl will be scraped by the tip of the gouge and give a poorer finish. Rubbing the bevel may not be possible in a deep hollow unless a gouge with a steep grind is used at the bottom. No such problem here as Les’s bowl had a fairly shallow hollow. Les used his “Tool Angle Indicator” (a pencil fixed to the end of the gouge with Blu Tac) to illustrate this argument.


Normally Les would reverse the bowl onto soft jaws to finish the foot but with time pressing he moved on to a quick demo of skew techniques. Les likes a rolled edge skew as it retains stiffness compared with an oval one but slides over the tool rest more easily than a rectangular one. There are 3 cutting positions – long point, short point and the centre in between. The centre gives the finest finish but is very sensitive to position and the slightest deviation can cause a sickening dig-in. The short point is safer and the finish is almost as good. The long point is safest and slightly the worst finish. He demonstrated cutting beads with the chisel in each position and recommended that you practice dig-ins to understand how they happen. Les in fact generally uses the long point as it is safe and the finish degradation is hardly discernible.


So, he asked, what is the point of the short point? You should buy the Les Thorne multi-purpose tool which is a round skew except the end is straight. That means you have 2 points to use and can go twice as long before re-sharpening. It is similar to the Gary Rance version but a bit smaller. In a scientifically controlled test (??) Les proceeded to demonstrate a dig-in every time with Gary’s but never with his! Proving, as he said, that the size of your tool doesn’t matter, it’s how you use it that counts.  




Les gave a critique of all the items on the very impressive gallery table just after tea break which was much appreciated. He showed that it can be done rather than just selecting a few items for comment. Some of us will have to get a bit slicker at critique technique. The entire gallery can be seen on the website.

Dave Gibbard




2nd October – Gallery

4 October, 2017

4th September 2017 – Adrian Smith

27 September, 2017

“Some Turning, Some Colouring and a few other bits”.

54 members and 2 guests attended the September meeting which has become a club favourite on the calendar with a demonstration from our very own Adrian Smith, an experienced woodturner who brings to his demonstrations a light hearted approach that is filled with great humour and lots of very useful hints and tips.

Some Turning:

His first tip of the evening as he started to round of the piece of branchwood in the chuck, was a reminder that the roughing gouge he was using not only cuts wood but also metal, a reference to the dangers of working too close to the chuck.
Adrian roughly measured the width of the wood in the chuck as one and a half inches, he then marked of the same along the length from the end with a parting tool and proceeded to round this off into a sphere. At this point he asked the audience “What do you think it is” this was met with a unanimous correct reply of a scoop. He then rounded down then tidied up the sphere with a scraper and then sanded it to a finish. Returning to the shaft, this was then reduced down to create a handle and cut off at a suitable length of a couple of inches.
The next step was to reset the sphere in the chuck at 90 degrees with the handle between two of the jaws, and then hollow out the bowl of the scoop with “ring” scraper, this was then passed around the room for closer inspection.

Moving swiftly on to another piece of Branchwood, in which he had pre-drilled the centre to a depth of around four inches. Adrian then rounded off the outer edge to a similar length and then into a goblet shape, he then hollowed out again using the ring tool. At this point Adrian was also discussing hearing aids and the fact that he turns his off whilst working at home because “Nobody talks to you, and you don’t need to hear all that screaming”. Returning to the job in hand Adrian then finished off the outside with a bowl gouge and a scraper.
In true Blue Peter fashion, he then produced “One he’d made earlier” and using a coping saw removed the top of the piece to leave another variation of a scoop. He then reduced the other end with his favourite gouge to produce the handle.
We were then introduced to a bit of Adrian’s ingenuity turning his lathe into a very effective “make do” belt sander, by running a loop of abrasive around the chuck and the tool rest, At home he is able to set his tool rest a lot further away from the chuck and also place a length of tube over the round tool rest to help it spin. This system also gives the user two rounded ends to sand over and shape their items, in this case he was able to work the scoop over the chuck and achieve a nice curved finish.

Some Sharpening

Having used a ring tool in his demonstration, something that is quite rare despite the fact that most turners will have at least one in their workshop, we were then shown how  Adrian sharpens his. He very simply places a small conical stone (that you would usually use in a multi-tool, and can buy in sets for a few pounds) into the lathe chuck, and gently placed the ring tool over it.
He then showed us how to sharpen a bandsaw blade this time using an angle grinder wheel again in the chuck. Another useful tip that solved a mystery for many of us was how to twist a bandsaw blade into a more manageable and safer size, by simply placing your foot inside the blade and securing it to the floor and then twisting the blade around twice whilst gently pushing the top downwards forming a triple ring, which you can then secure with a cable tie or similar.

Some Colouring

Adrian then touched on colouring, but due to time restraints was unable to go into any depth, he passed around two examples of his colouring technique using Zinsser BIN Paint. I think it is a safe bet that the 2018 programme will see this subject covered in more detail by Mr Smith.
(Zinsser Bin Primer Sealer is a Shellac based paint and formulated to seal, prime and block out stains on previously painted or new work. Any oil or latex paint can be applied over it.)

With time running out fast Dave Gibbard then provided us with a critique of a selection from the gallery table where 10 turners exhibited 17 items on the gallery table towards the L.O. trophy.

Editors Note:-

Zinsser Bin is a Shellac-based primer, sealer and stain killer. Suitable for use on interior surfaces and spot priming of exterior surfaces. Offers excellent adhesion to glossy surfaces, including glass. Blocks stubborn and persistent stains including water stains, marker pens and more. Seals porous surfaces with excellent enamel holdout, even sealing bleeding knots and sap streaks. Permanently blocks every kind of odour. Touch-dry in 20 minutes. Recoatable in 45 minutes. Hard-dry in 1-3 days. Covers approx. 12.5m²/Ltr.
· Excellent Adhesion to Glossy Surfaces
· Blocks Stubborn & Persistent Stains
· Seals Porous Surfaces
· Permanently Blocks Odour


Andi Saunders

4th September – Gallery

6 September, 2017

Monday 7th August -Club Challenge night

22 August, 2017

54 members attended Augusts meeting which the latest club challenge night.

14 of those present entered “two of something” this being the theme of the challenge.

The first half of the evening was dedicated “Sharpening” we had three grinders set up in front of the stage with a variety of jigs and additional sharpening tools. The tables were manned by stalwarts Bob Hope, Alan Sturgess and Mike Haselden. Who shared their experience with an audience consisting of novices to experienced turners, several of whom had brought along their own turning tools for sharpening. Naturally there were varying opinions of the best methods and angles for grinding, but all agreed that you eventually settle for “What suits you and your own turning style”.

During the tea break members viewed the fifteen “pairs” on display on the gallery table and selected their personal 1st, 2nd & 3rd on their voting slips, John Holden then collected and collated the results.

We had an outright winner in Mike Haselden with a pair on twisted candlesticks with contrasting centres you will note from the picture that the twists are in opposite directions, just another little touch of perfectionism from Mike.

2nd prize went to Ian Woodford for his candlesticks

And 3rd were Chris Davey’s pair of lace bobbins, and just one point behind Harry Woollhead’s jug shaped vases.

The evening ended with the usual raffle.

Andi Saunders