March 2005 Newsletter

Well, how was that for a meeting. Over 60 members turned up for the demo by Mark Baker and we had six visitors, all of whom have joined the club. Mark gave us a very good day starting with tool sharpening, in a very expensive way!. 6" diameter diamond discs, ceramic sharpeners and the like. His tools were along the same lines too. Some he passed round were 40 plus without the handles, another 25 if you want the heavy steel jobs. Serious stuff for the serious turner.

His first bowl was turned from ash and he mounted it on a screw chuck to turn the outside, which was then textured heavily using a mini arbatec (rotary cutter) assembly mounted on a small angle grinder body. I saw one of these on a recent visit to Axminster priced at 53 pounds complete with cutter. Mark warned that it is about as lethal as a chainsaw if not used correctly. Before reversing the bowl to turn the inside he cleaned it up using a wire brush in a pistol drill and then painted it with a black water based paint. The inside was turned to a very fine finish, sprayed with an adhesive and then lined with gold foil. The bowl was reversed once more to finish the foot by mounting a large MDF disc in the chuck covered with a piece of router mat. The face of the bowl was offered up to this and the bowl held in place with the tailstock. The foot was finished leaving a small pip that was cleaned off with a carving gouge and then sanded with a small Dremel tool. The final finish would be to spray the whole thing with clear acrylic. A very artistic piece.

A bit of time was then spent discussing sanding and the hazards this creates, emphasising the need for protective masks and respirators and the advantage of wet sanding. Remember too that sweeping up stirs up the dust and it is wise to wear a mask at least when doing this.

For the remainder of the afternoon Mark turned a simple beech bowl and used sanding discs held in a pistol drill to get a fine finish. He emphasised the advantages of using different diameter discs to suit various diameter bowls. The discs were held on soft pads that were very flexible and followed the sides of the bowl beautifully. We asked where we could buy these and he said with a big smile that they would soon be available from his firm!

He has just taken over the directorship of VS Hegner.