August 2011 Newsletter

Simon Hope was back with us for the day with a few new ideas to show since his last visit four years ago, one being that he has got a proper smelting pot for his pewter now instead of a saucepan over a camping stove!!

Today his first project was to turn a double bowl that looks heavy but isnít. For this he chose a nice elm burr log to make the outer and a New Zealand black wood blank for the inner bowl. The outside of the outer bowl was turned first, leaving a spigot to hold on to when turning the inside. Then the inside was hollowed out and the rim undercut using a Kelton tool sold by Tool Post. The under cut ensures that the inner bowl does not bind against the side, stopping it from seating properly. Simon also turned a recess in the face to give a positive location for the inner bowl to fit in to.
Turning the inner bowl needs to be very accurate. The idea is to leave a 10mm or so gap between the two but you canít see it so measuring is very important. Sounds easy enough. You measure the depth of the outer and turn the inner to suit with a rim to fit snugly into the recess in the outer. This done you glue the inner and outer together. Simples!! But now you have to hold the outer bowl by the spigot and hollow the inner bowl. If you forgot to measure the overall thickness of your inner you will have a problem because you could well take that last cut across the bottom to go for that perfect finish we always get? and whoops, you can see the inside of the outer. To be really clever you drop a coin in before you glue the two together so that it rattles when it is picked up. The finished bowl looks a lot heavier than it really is and the coin rattling round inside makes it interesting.
Simon was too tight to do this but he did give the bowl to the club to be raffled off for charity.
The pictures are in the July gallery including one showing the bowl being sanded using a rotary sander, this one being sold by,... wait for itÖÖ yep, Simon Hope!! It created so much dust that Paul had to hold the big vac up to it.

Project number two was to make a box from spalted beech with a leather insert in the lid. Simon makes a lot of bag pipes so he is left with a lot of off cuts of leather some of which he uses for this. He turned the bowl first and then the lid which he made in two parts, a centre core and an outer ring. He turned the core and domed the end. Then he cut a piece of leather and stretched it over the dome and glued it on. When the glue was dry he trimmed it with a craft knife. Next he turned the ring that it would fit in with a slight taper to give the two parts a firm joint. These in turn were glued together to complete the lid which was a nice loose but not too loose fit in the box.

Simonís final piece was a small walnut hollow form with a pewter top. He turned the vase and hollowed it using various small hollowing tools leaving a step at the neck for the pewter to be glued in to. Next he turned a mould for the pewter to be pored in to taking care that the core would be a tight fit into the neck of the vase. The ingot was smelted in a kettle that he bought on line.

His first attempt to order one was to a firm in America. His email was still hot when the police came knocking and wanted to know why he wanted bullet making equipment!!
He cancelled his order PDQ and found a firm in England who accepted his order. No questions asked.
What does that say for security in this country?

Once the pewter was poured and set hard Simon mounted the mould in the lathe and turned the metal to fit the base of the vase and curved it in slightly. He cleared the mould from the edge of the metal to allow the vase to be offered up to test the fit. When he was happy with this he knocked the metal out of the mould and glued it in to the vase, mounted the vase back in the lathe and shaped the outside of the pewter and finished it with a texturing tool. This can be to whatever design you choose or left smooth if you prefer.


Notice board

Message from Paul re fish and chip lunch.

Saturday 17th Sept @ 11:30 (Food at 12)

Sausage & Chips - £4.50
Chicken & Chips - £6.00
Cod & Chips - £6.50
Rock & Chips - £6.50

Money required by the September meeting at the latest please.