Skip to content

6th August – Gallery

13 August, 2018

2nd July – Jim Overton Inlaying with Milliput

19 July, 2018

51 members attended including 3 new members, from Durley, Woodlands and Chandlers Ford.

6 Visitors, this included 3 young lads under the age of 16, 57 in total for the evening.

Our demonstrator for July was Jim Overton, or Dr. James Overton BDS (Lond.), LDSRCS (Eng.) to give him his full title.

Jim is a working dental surgeon who lives on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire in the UK. Who in his spare time makes and creates things, mainly out of wood. a lot of Woodturning but also wood carving, cold casting, knife making and leatherwork. Jim has also built up a large international following online with his own You-Tube Channel on which he shows us a lot of experimental woodturning and other crafts.

He is now regarded by many as the King of Milliput. Although Jim has demonstrated his craft at many trade shows across the country, this was to be his first ever club demonstration.

Jim started his demonstration with a sycamore bowl blank in his “Easy Wood Tools” chuck, he quickly turned the outside of the blank to its finished shape, before moving onto cutting the required channel for the Milliput inlay with a scraper, approximately an inch wide along the centre line of the outside edge. Jim recommends inlaying the outside before hollowing out.


In preparing the inlay, he uses a slow set epoxy resin prior to applying the Milliput this improves grip, stability and quality.

He then prepared the Milliput, for this demonstration Jim used two colours black and white, Jim mixed equal parts of the two-part pack, at first just folding and pinching in his hands until the colour was consistent throughout, keeping both colours separate, each was rolled out very thin using a rolling pin and baking parchment. He then trimmed the pieces into thin one-inch strips using a Stanley blade with a Milliput handle to chop the edges rather than slide the blade through. Jim wears gloves for the mixing process mainly to avoid contamination between the colours but also due to skin sensitivity, the colours do wash off the hands quite easily with soap and water. He enveloped four layers of the two colours before twisting, Zig-Zagging and “Squidging” it into a long sausage shaped piece, which he then broke into smaller lengths to inlay into the bowl.


This brought us to the tea break, during which Jim was kept very busy talking to members who had lots of question for him.

Following the interval, we had a Blue Peter moment, Jim had replaced the original piece with another similar one that he had prepared earlier (some six months earlier) so the Milliput had had plenty of time to cure, it is normally ready to work in 24 hours. You can use pretty much any tool to cut the Milliput back, Jim tends to use either his Record Power heavy duty square scraper or his carbide tool from Easy Wood Tools.


Initially the cured Milliput was quite white and dull but the more it was turned the more the pattern emerged the black still looking a little grey but darkens as it is polished. Using a Simon Hope sander Jim used 180 and 380 grits before using cellulose sanding sealer (in his own workshop he prefers to use the aerosol version) Mike Hasleden asked if he dilutes the sanding sealer, which he confirmed he does, which met with a favourable response from the audience, although not recommended by Terry from Chestnut products. He then finished with a couple of applications of Yorkshire Grit, which he feels removes the need to use a wider range of abrasive grits.



Following a thank you from Dave Gibbard on behalf of those present, Jim then somewhat reluctantly agreed to give his first ever gallery critique, only due to the fact that he felt what was on display was of a standard too high for him to critique, so he just picked out several of the items and gave his admiration to the work.


About the Milliput Company

  • In 1968 Jack and Lena Rickman founded The Milliput Company to manufacture a two-part epoxy putty for Industry and DIY markets.
  • It was during 1970 that modellers worldwide soon began adopting Standard Milliput to fill gaps in metal models, converting stock figurines, making buildings and scenic base work and for the production of master models for commercial purposes.
  • In 1979 Milliput moved to larger premises in Dolgellau, Mid Wales which enabled the product to be developed further.
  • In 1991 The Milliput Company received official recognition of their efforts with a prestigious ‘Rural Enterprise Award’ from the Development Board for Rural Wales.
  • Jack and Lena retired from the business and handed over the running of the company to their son Eddie and his wife Jane, successfully maintaining the ‘family’ stamp on the Company for the future. Their son Stephen joined the business in 2006.
  • Milliput is located in Dolgellau, a small town in the beautiful Snowdonia National Park

More information on how to use Milliput can be found on their website.

Andi Saunders

2nd July – Gallery

4 July, 2018

4th June 2018 – Andy Fortune Laced Bowls

20 June, 2018

This month’s demonstrator was Andy Fortune from the Isle of Wight,

Formally a Self-employed Plumber, Andy started turning in 1997 and has been a full-time turner since 2013. Trading as The Mulberry Tree Woodturnery. He makes handmade bowls, platters and hollow forms from locally sourced green timber on the Isle of Wight at his workshop and gallery in Newtown. He also provides bowl turning courses for individuals and groups and supply timber, tools and equipment.

He has been a member of the Register of Professional Turners since 2014.

As Andy turns most of his items from ‘green’ timber there is a chance that a piece may split as the timber releases its moisture. Often the drying process will just change the shape of a piece but when this change happens too rapidly splitting can happen. After spending time making a piece and especially when the item has turned out better than expected, it can be difficult to discard it. So he has developed his method of leather thong or copper wire stitching, and this is to be the theme of the evening.

Andy is also an active member of the Wight Woodturners, his latest project has been making replica bowls in the style of Tudor artefacts found on the wreck of the Mary Rose, Henry the VIII’s flagship which sank in the Solent in 1545.

In the absence of chairman Dave it was left for Bob to get the meeting started with the usual notices prior to introducing our demonstrator for the evening. 56 members attended along with 9 visitors including 3 young boys and a member’s son visiting from Sydney, Australia.

1 new member Jason Wilkins from Ringwood, who chose us over Dorset turners as we are a friendlier group, giving a total of 66 on the night

Andy started his demonstration explaining that he almost exclusively uses Record Power tools in his turning. He placed a spalted Beech bowl blank into the chuck, pointing out the split already in the side. and proceeded to use a roughing gouge to at first skim the face before starting to roughly shape outside of the bowl. Taking the role of a tutor Andy explained his techniques as he worked pushing the handle away for concave shape and then back towards him for the opposite curve, performing both in one smooth operation.

Moving onto a scraper that he has ground to a gradual curve. He then tidied up the outside and base before cutting in a 50mm recess ready for reversing in the chuck. At this point Andy mentioned the “3 ups” Tool Rest, Handle Height and Speed needed for this part. He then sanded through several grades of abrasive and then applied Tung Oil which due to the nature of his work he uses almost exclusively keeping his need for finishing products to a minimum, something a lot of us could adopt. Asked if Tung Oil is “Food Friendly” Andy’s answer was that “it’s not on the tin but seems ok and appears pretty stable when dry”.

With the wood reversed in the chuck Andy started to scoop out the inside with his trusty scraper using a lot of arm movement, He likes to hollow out in two stages, i.e. half way in and then to the final depth of cut. He then returned to the gouge to shape the top edge before sanding and oiling. So, a very quickly turned bowl ready to have the split emphasised with some lacing after the interval.

Following the tea break we were treated to a very thorough gallery critique by club veteran Brian Hannam, who took time to talk about every item on the table, he was even complimentary about a very well decorated Oak bowl which amused many of the older members who were aware of his particular dislike of this wood for turning purposes.

We then returned to Andy for a rather brief second half, where he drilled several lacing holes on either side of the split in the side of the bowl, pointing out the importance of following the line of the split to avoid getting two holes on the same side of the split. He then showed us a large selection of leather thongs which are offcuts which he gets from his son who is a leather worker. He then selected a thong that was a good contrast to beech and proceeded to lace through the holes, cutting off the ends and gluing them into the last holes at each end.

Andy regularly uses copper and framing wire as alternatives to leather. He also showed us some other alternatives such a something that looked like brake cable. All in all, an interesting demonstration of an alternative way of bowl finishing, which was well received by the assembled audience.

The meeting then came to a slightly earlier than usual ending with the drawing of the raffle, which had some particularly nice prizes on offer.

Andi Saunders

4th June – Gallery

7 June, 2018

2nd May – An introduction to gilding

18 May, 2018

The forty members and visitors to this months club night could be forgiven if they thought that they had returned to school for the evening, instead of the usual theatre style layout of seating they were greeted by a layout of eight blocks of tables with six seats at each. The theme of the evening was an introduction to gilding. And their teacher for the evening was our very own Mrs Barkaway, Lynda to most of us.

As with anything that Lynda does, there had been a great deal of preparation and planning done before the event, she had prepared kits for all to participate in the evening, and each table had a selection of small jars containing various adhesives for attaching either gold leaf or “Fake” gold foil to be attached to turned items that we had been encouraged to bring along and there were also sheets of paper with a variety of letters to “gild” for those of us who had attended unprepared. This activity was very well received by its participants although many found the process somewhat difficult and frustrating, not a skill many can master in a couple of hours, that said many were still gilding away into the night, only to be interrupted by the gallery critique by Dave Gibbard and finally the raffle.

Lynda had also prepared a very interesting short presentation of the history of gold, some of the stand out points are listed below.

40,000 years ago gold was in use and specks have been found in Palaeolithic caves.

5,000 BC gold and silver alloy were used by the Egyptians in their jewellery.

3,000 BC Mesopotamia used gold in their jewellery

2500 BC The Egyptians invent a technique of filigree in the manufacture of gold objects.

The art of gold beating began around this time as has been found by excavators in recent years. Gold was the most important substance used in decoration by the ancient crafts.

46 BC Julius Caesar minted the largest quantity of gold coins ever seen in Rome. This was done to pay his vast army.

From now on Gold leaf was used extensively for decoration, especially in places of worship. Wooden carvings were made to look very lavish by covering them generously with gold leaf and highly burnished. As buildings gradually became more grand and complex so the decorations inside became more beautiful and striking.

Picture frames were commonly gilded to draw attention to the painting. They were frequently elaborately carved and became quite dominant. Mirrors were also highly gilded and very ornate and became very large and elaborate.

How to make gold leaf

The toll on human life to beat gold into thin sheets would have been enormous. Men were then the slaves of rulers and princes and would be driven on foot to the mines where they faced almost certain death. Water and food were scarce and the men worked in the bowels of the earth to get the quartz rock which was brought to the surface by boys. It was then pounded with iron pestles in stone mortars and carried by the masters into the cities to sell.

The gold is firstly melted and mixed with silver alloy and copper. Depending on how much is added depends on how pure the gold is.

To make gold leaf the lumps of gold are put between sheepskin parchment and beaten with hammers weighing up to 20 lbs by at least 12 men. The metal is melted and poured into a mould. After cooling the 5inch long bar and an inch wide and 1/8 inch thick is rolled into strips 120 feet long and as thin as a sheet of paper. The beater is given a strip weighing 60 pennyweight and he starts making the leaf. For 3 days the beater has this precious bit of metal in his care. He is required to make 3,000 sheets of gold leaf from it. If the weather was not kind it would take more than 3 days work.  The gold is cut into little squares about 1” square. 200 of them are laid between sheets of cutch paper. This paper is made in France by a secret process and no substitute has been found for it.

Finishing and cutting the little squares he puts the pack into the parchment cover and starts beating again. Using a 20 pound hammer he beats with one hand while the other keeps turning the cutch After about half an hour, when the gold begins to show on the edges of the paper it will have thinned out to 4 times the original size.

These leaves are again cut into 4 with a skewing knife. The little squares are picked up with boxwood pincers and each is placed between ox intestinal skins. These are all cured in England. This pack is now known as a shodder and is again placed in the parchment cover and beating begins again. After 2 hours of beating the 800 squares are flattened out until the appear on the edges of the skins now being about a 4” square, These are now cut into 3,200 squares with a wagon made of lacquered cane in Japan. They go through the beating process one final time. This is now called the mold and takes about 12 hours., even longer depending on the weather. The gold leaves are now so thin that you can see through them. It would take 300,000 of them to make a pack of gold leaf 1 inch thick. Beating gold is known to have existed from 1700 BC.

Little bits of gold would fly off during these processes and the earth would be swept and sifted and the tiny scraps of gold would be saved and reused.

One ounce of gold can be beaten into 1600 leaves which would cover about 105 square feet.

Transfer gold is made by sticking the gold leaf to paper under pressure. It was only patented about 40 years ago and is used outside a lot to save the loose leaf from blowing away.

What makes gold great?

ALL the gold mined since the dawn of civilization will fit into an area 20 feet cube. It would weigh 171,300 tonnes.

1 ounce piece of gold can be hammered into a sheet of gold leaf 9 meters square.


Andi Saunders

2nd May – Gallery

3 May, 2018