August 2015 Newsletter

Our July meeting saw Richard Findley with us for the day.
He started off by telling us a little about himself, starting off in his fatherís cabinet making business and going on to break away from it to concentrate on turning which he has done professionally now for five years.
Unlike Tony last month Richard kept up a running commentary as he went along throwing in a few jokes on the way.
He got a smattering of verbal bounced back at him as well. So whatís new?
His method of demonstrating is quite tutorial, some members not so keen on it but most of us found it very good.
Richards first item was a table lamp made from redwood (better than pine) and he started off with the base. Basically bowl turning but because the hollow in the base to take the cable was only shallow he used spindle gouges to turn this although he did describe the differences between bowl and spindle gouges.
The next thing was to turn the upright. This was an exercise in spindle turning forming beads and coves and shoulders and any thing else that turns you on.
Before starting anything like this Richard always makes a template first on a piece of ply or MDF. Itís not a cutout of the shape to be achieved but a full size drawing from which the high and low points can be transferred on to the spindle.
Richards second piece was a finial that is part of a restoration commission he is working on. It has to go on an old clock and the important things to consider when doing this kind of work are
1ó choice of timber
2ó shape
3ó colour
4ó sheen ie. shiny, matt or satin.
For this piece he was using sapele instead of mahogany.
As with his lamp he first made a template to work to. Another tip when doing restorations. Make what you see, not what think it was like when new.
Small imperfections should be reproduced as will be found on hand made items rather than machine made.
When he had achieved the right shape he then had to consider the colour. He has a lot of different colour Chestnut stains for this type of work and said you should always start with a light colour and work towards the colour you are out to achieve.
Once you have it you donít want it to change so apply a light coat of Chestnut thinners and then either an acrylic or melamine lacquer
Richard still had a bit of time left so his final exercise was to turn a ball. For this his template is a cut out slightly less than half the diameter to check the shape as he goes along. Turned between centres he turned his blank to round and almost twice the length required to give him room to almost complete the shape to the point of parting off.
Next he used a couple of pieces of scrap and turned a pair of cups. One to fit into the chuck and one to fit on to the revolving centre in the tailstock. With the ball trapped between them he was able to finish the ball watching the shadow of the surface until all his cuts blended in. A final sanding and there you have it.
Just to show off, well thatís why he is here anyway init, he measured the diameter in two directions and there was only 1mm in it.

Our next meeting is a club day with all that that entails. We will be having a speed turning competition but I doubt if a ball will be the object of our flying skews, who knows?
Come along and enjoy a day of talking to your hearts content with no one to tell you to belt up. There will be a few lathes on the go with a couple of members giving short demos and no doubt Paul will be making something from half a tree.
All that for a fiver.

See you all on Saturday 8th August