Mark Hancock joined us for our May meeting. He had very thoughtfully checked our website to see what other demonstrators had done for us so that he didn’t go over the same ground again. He decided to make a small vase on legs first, followed by a couple of hollow vases with different styles of texture.
The vase was turned between centres from a piece of green oak which will enable him to turn the walls very thin. Mark first turned the log until he was past the sap wood because later treatment called for hard wood only. The outside was shaped including a spigot to hold in the chuck when hollowing and then something we hadn’t seen before. To get a fine finish he used a cabinet makers scraper as a shear scraper. He had ground it to an oval shape so it could be used all over on the outside but only on the walls on the inside. To remove any pip at the bottom it is only safe to do it with the lathe stopped and wipe the scraper over it.
Held on the spigot he hollowed it with a Rolly Munro hollowing tool until he had the wall down to about 3 mm. He would later line this with gold transfers, not leaf. They are easier to handle and are available from tiranti.co uk. Based in Thatcham their phone number is 0845 123 2100. To turn the foot to create the legs he reversed it again and held it over the chuck, expanding the jaws very carefully to just grip and also brought up the tailstock centre for support. As well as this he taped the vase to the chuck. This operation had to be done with care, you are basically turning another bowl which will have its sides cut away to leave three legs. Once happy with the result Mark gave it a final sanding and then, and this is where the need to cut away the sap wood comes in, he coated it with a vinegar solution that caused it to blacken. Sap wood would not react in the same way.He then scorched it with a blow torch followed by sanding with Abranet abrasive. Then came a little decoration by turning a groove on one side only. To off set the vase Mark removed one of the chuck jaws and refitted it one turn out of sinc with the others then remounted it. Again great care is needed when tightening the jaws. With the vase removed from the lathe the feet were cut out using a small pull saw and finished by hand. Finally he painted it with red acrylic, wiping off the excess as he applied it leaving just hints of the colour on the surface and lined it with gold transfers.
Mark’s next item was to be a “Rocking Vase”. In other words it has no flat base to stand on. The design is a basic vase and the outside was textured using a mini Arbotec with a King Arthur “Merlin” cutter. This is like a miniature chain saw. First the surface was roughened and then charred and lightly sanded before he cut grooves along the length and around the diameter. The base could be weighted on one side to make it tilt in one direction. Some thought the finished article looked a bit like a hand grenade!!
The last piece of the day was another vase, this time with a foot. The decoration was cut using a reciprocating carving tool. It takes more time to do but the highly polished cutter created a very fine finish. Mark cut the grooves in a uniform pattern right to the rim of the vase and then cut them away to give a flower effect to the top.
We stopped in the morning for Mark to judge the entries for turning of the month but with only four entries to look at it didn’t take long!
A disappointing turnout again this month. Hopefully it will pick up over the next few meetings or we might have to rethink our programme for the future.
The next meeting will be on Saturday 14th June and Stephen Cooper is our demonstrator for the day. Stephen is a professional demonstrator and looking at his website he is brilliant at all aspects of woodturning. Hopefully we will see more of you on the day.
There are a couple of important things to be reported here.
Bill Burden has announced that he will be resigning as Chairman at the end of the year so please think seriously about this and let us know if you would like to take his place. Also Bert Lanham is finding it difficult to give his role as Events Organiser his full attention due to family commitments and after five years he feels he has had enough and wants to step down.
This is an essential part of our organisation, in fact we couldn’t function without it and ideally the person doing it needs to be retired so that calls to prospective demonstrators and other events, venues, etc. can be made during their working day. Having the use of a computer is also a big advantage.
Where possible, Bert will help whoever takes over to settle in. Personally I think that after seven years it’s time we had a new secretary but I guess that’s out of the question!! Graham
Hi Graham, Letter as discussed.
"After years of trading from our Kent shop, we have made a commercial decision to close our retail shop. I can already hear the rumours, “Have you heard that Poolewood have gone bust?” Let me quash that invalid rumour in its tracks immediately. Poolewood has definitely NOT ‘gone bust’. In fact, Poolewood is stronger now than it has ever been. The reasons for having made the decision to close the local shop are on a basis of sound commercial strategy consequent upon a readily identified very big swing away from high street shopping to the internet. This has led to our regular sales boundary having extended not only beyond our immediate surroundings but both national and international.
For over ten years Mail Order and the World Wide Web aspects of the Poolewood business has built up to over 90% of total sales and is a great success. On the other hand, faced with local shop competition from one of our main suppliers, the Axminster Power Tool Company whose local outlet is only three miles away (this was not intentional and we continue to have a very good relationship with Axminster Power Tools) and an unreliable supply from another main supplier, it is proving increasingly difficult to justify the maintenance of a shop outlet. Consequently, it is a logical step for us to close the shop and concentrate on a 100% commitment to Mail Order and Internet sales.
Hence, the Poolewood shop will close at the end of July 2008. Customers are asked to note that between now and the end of July, there will be lots of discounts on purchases made in the shop, (not over the phone) ranging from 10% to 50%. Also, 'Goodie Packs' will be put on ebay, so check out http://search.ebay.co.uk/_W0QQfcoZ1QQfrppZ25QQsassZtezzadavis on a regular basis. A 15% discount is available on a whole range of Craft Supplies items from our website, click this link to see them. http://www.poolewood.co.uk/acatalog/CRAFT_SUPPLIES_SALE.html
We apologise to our shop customers, some of whom have loyally supported us since we first started trading under the Poolewood name many years ago. The decision has not been taken lightly, but with a slight course correction to our business function we will be better placed to offer great prices to the customer and even better deals from our www.poolewood.co.uk and www.foxmachinery.co.uk web sites, and of course ebay.
We will be there again this year on 23rd to 25th August where we will have a sales table for any one who wants to take advantage of it. A percentage of takings will be donated to Demelza House.