April 2009 Newsletter

Stuart King was our demonstrator for March. He likes to turn thin pieces and prefers to work with wet wood. He brought with him a couple of interest pieces to show us comprising several moving parts all controlled from a single hand wheel as seen on the photo in the gallery.
He interspersed his demonstration today with short videos he had taken of various turners around the world.
His first turning of the day was to make a goblet similar to one he showed us that is probably 250 years old. He chose a log of wet silver birch for this and shaped it mostly using a round skew chisel for the outside and a small spindle gouge for turning the inside. You will have to take my word for it that it was a thing of beauty because I somehow forgot to get a photo of it!!
Next came a video of a turner in Marrakech using a bow lathe. He used his right hand to operate the bow while using his left hand and foot to handle a large skew chisel to turn a chess piece. He used it to carve the shaping on the top as well.
Stuart followed this by turning one himself using our modern equipment and a small skew chisel and reckoned it took him longer to produce it, without the carving!!
Another couple of videos were of a rake maker in Smeeth in a factory still using old Victorian machinery and another of a Japanese turner doing everything arse about face!! Another video was of a metal spinner at a gold mine in Australia. I have seen this guy in Ballarat near Melbourne. He spins up metal ashtrays which are then gold plated and sold to the likes of me. (I also offered a smelter a fiver for an ingot but he wouldn’t go along with it . Can’t think why!!).
More turning from Stuart produced a couple of bud vases, a small bell that would be used to decorate a Christmas tree and some flowers to go with the bud vases. He calls them weed pots.
The flowers were made from wet hazel using his “favourite” round skew chisel, except for the one he made using a garden trowel!! .
He made one using dry wood to show us the difference. The wet ones are open and feathery where the dry wood produces very tight curling.
A clever touch was to mount them on the thorns of a slender branch of berberis.


Not a lot to say for myself this time because a lot of what we saw was fairly basic stuff although producing the flowers with a garden trowel was a first!! The video clips added in though made it an interesting day.

Now for an important reminder.

Don’t forget that there will not be a meeting in April because it falls on the Easter weekend. The trip to Yandles on the 4th April takes its place.

The next meeting will be on May 9th and Dave Reeks will be with us for the day.

Because there is no April meeting the next newsletter after this will be the one for June following the May meeting.

That’s it. See you all on the 9th May.