February meeting and we had Phil Irons with us for the day. 6’ 7” of Ausie and with a whistle to call everyone to order that cleared the wax from you ears from half a mile away!!
He spent quite a while just talking to us before getting down to any turning.
As well as being the UK agent for Vicmarc (and he didn’t try to flog any!!) he has just taken on the agency for a German make of pen.
A starter kit of all the necessary drills, glue and three kits costs £113 so you have to be a serious pen maker to go in for one of these. He was undecided (or unprepared?) what to make first so surprise surprise he decided on a pen!
Apart from the clip everything on the exterior is wood. It has a separate nose cone that has a threaded brass insert so that it can be removed to fit the refill. The body is one piece with a brass tube inside and looks good if made from a contrasting wood to the nose cone. It is quite a complicated pen to make and it took Phil the rest of the morning to demonstrate and it still wasn’t finished.
He did spend a lot of time sanding and putting a finish on it. He called it “Black Art” and it involves layering coats of super glue and oil which he applied separately.
Paul uses this method but puts his oil on the pad first and then a squirt of super glue on top of the oil and applies it in one sweep. Phil was dubious but tried it and found it worked just as well.
It does seem a complicated pen to make and a few people thought it was enough to put you off pen making.
In the afternoon Phil decided to leave the pen and turn a hollow form that he would colour.
He turned the blank between centres until he had reached the desired shape and scribed a circle on the base before taking it off the lathe.
He glued a disc to the base within the circle he had marked and gripped this disc in the chuck in order to hollow the vase out.
Doing this meant that the vase ran almost dead true when put back on the lathe. He used two tools for this. The Woodcut hollowing tool, easy to use and will NOT dig in and a tool that is rather like a heavy duty scraper and is a lot harder to control. “Not one for beginners” we were told.
The final finish to the outside was achieved with a shear scraper and sanding cloth.
He used reverse rotation a lot when sanding to catch the fibres in the wood that would stand up when a wet stain was applied.
Then Phil started the colouring.
He had decided on three colours for this project.
He used Chestnut Spirit Stain and first applied a dark blue, brushing it well in until he had a uniform coating all over. To hasten the drying he took a cigarette lighter to it and burnt off the excess fumes. He sanded this back until it was almost all removed and then applied the next colour, in this case red and carried out the same procedure and then again with a final coat of light blue.
At this stage the colouring still didn’t look up to much but when he applied a couple of coats of polyurethane the whole thing came alive. The polyurethane is another product Phil has just started selling. It is called Woodoc and is imported from South Africa and is available in gloss, satin or matt finish.
By the time he had done this we had run on until nearly 4.30 so we ended there.
Later he will spray the inside black and part the vase off the waste leaving a slightly concave base.
Our next meeting is on Saturday 12th March and Mark Sanger will be our demonstrator for the day. I’ve had a look at his website and he shows a variety of styles of work that all look very artistic, and, not a pen in sight, nope, not one!!
Hollow forms, bowls and boxes but no pens.
It looks as though we will have a really good day, one to look forward to.
See you all on the 12th.
The trip to Yandles is now fixed for Saturday 9th April.
If you are going would you please pay for your tickets by the next meeting. The costs are £13 for members and their wives and £22 for non-members.
Cheques should be made out to The Orchard Woodturners
There are two pick up points for the coach.
First pick up will be at
The Apple Craft Centre,
The coach will leave there sharp at 6.00 am.
The second pick up is at
The Mid Kent Shopping Centre.
The coach will leave there sharp at 6.30 am.
These departures will not be delayed so if you are late you will miss the bus. Would you please give a contact number when you book your seat so that if you are not there when the coach is ready to leave we can at least find out where you are.
Your contacts for this adventure are Bert Lanham and Paul Hunt.
This also is a good time to remind you that as usual there will NOT be a club meeting in April.
Yours truly has managed one error (so far) and that is Bert Lanham’s Phone code in the committee members list. It should read 01622.
We also have a new member join us.
1 Hillyfield Close
Kent ME2 3RT
Please add her to your directory.