June 2005 Newsletter

Last month Bert Marsh was with us and we had a day with lots of banter going back and forward. Dave Reeks was giving Bert a lot of stick about sanding, especially when Bert was talking about using 30 grit! (Who needs turning tools?)

Bert started the day off turning a bowl from a piece of Imbuya. It is an easy wood to turn and gives a nice finish. I was interested to note that he used sanding sealer before he started sanding and again after, before applying a wax finish.
He stopped several times during the day to talk about the growth of the tree and in what way it should be cut to our benefit. Also he explained the right and wrong way to use a scraper. i.e. below center when scraping the outside and on center or above when working on the inside. This took up most of the morning

In the afternoon he turned a natural edge bowl from a lump of laburnum.
This gave Bert the opportunity to start to relate the tale of some strange character who hated trees except for laburnum which he loved to a point that the police decided that they should intervene!! He was boring holes some three feet from the ground (at this point Norman walked across the room saying that if they were three feet off the ground that lets him out!). For the full story Bert said that it is available on line from Amazon.com and is titled Melon for Ecstasy. Sounds like weird reading to me.
Back to the natural edge bowl. He turned the outside first and then reversed it and started on the inside. He said he always takes the edge straight down the thickness he wants to finish and then checks it for running true before chewing out the rest of the inside. This is so that he can true it up if it is running slightly out. If it runs out you will get one side of the wall thinner than the other.

There was still a bit of time left in the afternoon so Bert finished off making a small box from a piece of mulberry. All in all an interesting day although not as many members turned up to this one for various reasons.

Bert was asked to judge the entries for this month's certificate and it was won by Howard Overton with a beautiful pair of salt and pepper mills. Once again the table was full of good pieces to show.

This month we have Dennis Hill with us. Some of you may know him as he is a member of one of the other clubs in the area. Although not a professional turner I am told he is very interesting to watch and for us he will be turning natural edge bowls. Because he is not a professional (and therefore not so expensive) the cost on the door will be 3 for members and 5 for visitors.

We had the pleasure of meeting our first junior member at the last meeting. Michael Fryer was 12 years old on the 19th June and he had asked for money from everyone which he took down to Axminster Power Tools and it seems had a field day. When he showed an interest in joining we discussed it at committee and then checked with our insurers that it was acceptable to them. They positively encouraged it, something I know will please some members after what was said at the AGM in January.