May 2005 Newsletter

As expected we had a good turnout to see David Springett show us a little wizardry on the lathe. I have to confess that although I made a few notes I soon lost pace with David so I will give a run down of the day with a few details and a few photos, Needless to say he kept us alert, I didn't see one drooping eyelid all day.

His first piece was to fit an arrow through a glass apple (prepared by a glass blower). The arrow is turned from a length of square timber one end was routed to form the flights. With the spindle turned down to 9mm the square for the arrow head is cut on the bandsaw on two sides to match the dia. of the spindle. Then shaped to look like an arrow head. Boil it for ten minutes and immediately carefully crush it in a vice down to the spindle size. Leave it for two or three days until perfectly dry. Carefully push it through your bottle or wooden goblet and soak the head in hot water and heh presto, before your very eyes it will take up its original shape.

David then went on to lattice turning using special tools he had made from "cheap Chinese chisels". With a disc fitted to a face plate a series of concentric circles are cut. The chisels are marked to show when the correct depth, half the thickness, is reached. The piece is then reversed and offset and another set of rings are cut until they just break through and ?. Tell you what, buy the video. It's available from Axminster Power Tools for 20.63, and it will save me giving you a load of bum information! I just happen to have a copy myself so if anyone wants to borrow it ask me nicely and !!! (Mine's a pint).

David then went on to turn a sphere using a pivoting fixture fixed to the lathe bed. The cutting tool is moved fractionally after each cut until the sphere is complete except for a small spigot at either end. The spigots are cut off and the sphere mounted in another special chuck. The hemispherical chuck. A wood chuck bored out to fit the sphere and having a collar that screws on to retain the sphere while the finishing cuts are made. The sphere was then hollowed out and the special tools came into use to create a lattice lid.

We were then shown another special chuck, this time used to hold a cube while a spiked star was created inside using tools ground specifically to suit this project. As each spike is formed it is held in place with a disc that is a snug fit in the recess and a central hole fits the tip of the spike. A second hole is drilled in the disc to aid removal when the piece is finished.

Then came a showing of laminated slips of wood glued together and turned to give a multi-coloured spindle. Bore a hole through this and then cut it into discs. Glue the discs on to a dowel rotating each one to give the effect of a spiral. Useful for handles, pens, bobbins etc.

Finally, I think, came an illustration of using split turning. Two lengths of wood glued together with a paper and glue joint and turned to one of a variety of shapes. David had a box full of different pieces that were sent round for us all to admire. Once turned, the two pieces are separated by warming in a microwave oven for twenty seconds and then carefully split with a thin blade. Provided that the dimensions are precise the two halves can be turned through 90 degrees to give an interesting talking piece. "How did you turn that"? Well, I just I! You make your own story up. See gallery for photographs Our next meeting is on May 14th when we have Bert Marsh with us for the day. Bert has been turning for many years and I'm sure will give us yet another entertaining day.

Well, that's it for this one.