April 2008 Newsletter

Howard Overton received the certificate for turning of the month from Les Thorne and Pat Hughes got the highly commended certificate. Mike Windsor and Graham Holcroft received certificates of commendation for their entries pictured on the gallery for March 2008

We started the meeting this month with congratulations for Tony Handford who has been admitted to the Register of Professional Turners. Dave Reeks gave us some idea of what a great achievement this is. As a professional he will not be able to enter in to the monthly competition. Sorry Tony. Maybe he will do the judging at some time!!

Les Thorne was our demonstrator for our March meeting and today’s theme was to turn a piece to a beautiful finish, trash it with an arbotec, set fire to it, paint over the burnt bits with black, hide that with red then hide that with more black, brush it off with a rotary non– abrasive brush, polish what’s left and end up with something magnificent. Got It??

Texturing and colouring was the name of the game.

Les’s first piece was a simple box made from a nice piece of olive ash, that he turned to cylinder and then carved the surface with an arbotec. (The cries that went up about ruining a beautifully grained piece of wood!!!!) The arbotec can be bought from Axminster but the cutter supplied with it is tin and not man enough for most texturing jobs. Les recommends that their mini TCT cutter should replace it. Once he had textured the cylinder he used a gas blow torch to burn the whiskers off and then brushed off the excess carbon with the rotary brush before spraying it first with ebonising lacquer, then red lacquer followed by another coat of black.
He then brushed it again before applying a coat of polish. After all this was done he turned a spigot at each end of the cylinder for chucking and then mounted it in the chuck and parted it into two parts, the lid section shorter than the box but “you don’t have to stick to the 2/3 to 1/3 ratio” said Les. Just so long as the end product looks balanced. The lid and box were then hollowed in the usual way.

Next item on the agenda was a Scratch and Burn bowl. The same principle was applied to this as with the box. Another piece of olive ash (and more groans from the lovers of fine grain in wood) was used to turn a bowl with the outside textured with a beading tool used in a way which would appear to be upside down. We saw this when Jenny Starbuck used one. When all the beads were formed the whiskers were burnt off and the excess carbon brushed away. The surface was then sprayed with ebonising lacquer and allowed to dry before applying liming wax and a coat of soft wax polish with a shoe brush.
The inside of the bowl was turned to a fine finish and then “scratched” with the tip of a skew chisel, lightly sanded and finished with a clear lacquer.

The final piece of the day was to turn a flying saucer bowl. I’m not sure what wood was used for this but it didn’t raise any groans from the grainies! The blank was mounted on a screw chuck and the outside was turned and then textured with the arbotec right out to the edge of the rim. This then was burnt to remove the whiskers, cleaned of excess carbon and then sprayed with the black and red lacquers. It was brushed again with the rotary brush to a fine satin type finish and finished with a soft wax polish. The front face followed the same shape as the back with only a small hollow in the centre that is designed to take an insert. Les has a commission to make one with a solid silver engraved insert. (cost £450). I think our sights would be aimed a little lower!!

That was a day with Les Thorne and I think everyone really enjoyed it.

Our next meeting is on Saturday 12th April and we will have Mick Hanbury with us for the day. I had a look at his web site to get some idea of what he does. His work is extremely varied and very artistic. He seems to be very popular and demonstrates a lot in Europe and in America so it sounds as though we are in for another really interesting day.

I will be there and, I hope, so will all of you.



Trip to Ostende

The Garden of England club are organising a coach trip to Ostende on the 15th May and have invited members of our club to join them. The tickets are £25 per person and the coach will leave from the Apple Craft Centre at 8.00 am.
If you want to go along please contact Chris Grimes on 01634 376995