March 2006 Newsletter

Well, another good day was had by all in the company of Mark Baker who gave us an interesting and entertaining day. I think we entertained him as well with a constant flow of banter!
He started the day talking about different ways of grinding tools and how versatile one tool can be if it has a fingernail profile with ground back wings and long grind on one side etc.
His first turned piece was a vase shape but not hollowed out. Instead he cut a series of grooves to a depth leaving a solid core that tapered in from the top and then out towards the base. You only get one chance at these cuts because when you withdraw your parting tool, Mark used one made from a machine hacksaw blade, the discs close in on each other.
He likes to use colour and finished it black using “Chestnut” ebonising lacquer after careful sanding. The centre on the top he painted with a pearlescent paint, which he blistered with a blow torch. (I bet he watches ready steady cook)

His next piece was a thin walled bowl turned from a core taken from a much larger log of rippled ash (he thinks, or it might have been maple). He used a heavy-duty gouge to form the inside and finished with a scraper that had a micro bevel on the top of the cutting edge. Several of his tools were sent round the room for a closer look and he got them all back!! The foot was turned to approximately 1/3 of the diameter of the top rim and he formed a small bead at the point where the sidewall meets it. The finish was Organoil and Mark sanded the piece after the first application, the oil acting with the sand paper to form a slurry to help give a really fine finish. Next, Mark had a spalted beech blank that he was keen to turn because it had particularly pronounced markings. After rough turning the outside he formed a spigot to hold in the chuck but it split away from the base and even a heavy dose of super glue wouldn’t hold it so he abandoned this for a sycamore blank. From this he turned a heart shaped (well, Valentines day was only a couple of days away) hollow form, turning the outside with a bowl gouge and the inside using a swan neck tool to get under the rim. All through the day he was giving tips and advice on tool shapes and their uses and ended the day with a quick demonstration on the use of a ring tool. We had a good day with a good attendance with nearly everyone coming back for the afternoon session.

The demonstration pieces are shown in the February 2006 gallery.

Our next meeting is on March 11th and Greg Moreton will be with us and the next hands on evening is on Thursday 9th March. Later in the year we have a couple of changes to our programme. In April, instead of John Johnson we will have John Berkley with us and John Johnson will visit us in September.