Sunshine, hail, snow, wind, we had it all on our visit to Stiles and Bates for our April meeting. They laid on tea, coffee and biscuits (in a wooden bowl of course) in the barn before we went outside for them to show us how they take a tree trunk and cut it into planks ready for drying and eventually for some of it to be cut into bowl blanks for us to turn into posh fire wood !!
They first cut a large lump of yew which came up with a beautiful grain in parts and watching this took us up to almost lunch time when the weather decided for us that it was time to retreat in to the barn with a big old log burner giving out much needed warmth.
In the afternoon the weather had cheered up although still cold in the wind and the lads put an ash log on the band saw that they were to donate to the club. They cut this in to planks and told us how it should be stored to dry out over the next 12 months or so, depending on how warm the weather was.
Dawn volunteered to come back on another day to collect the planks and store them under cover at her house.
I took a few photos and Fred also took some which you will find on the web site.
During the time in the barn we also saw a plank cut into squares and then put on a band saw set up with various jigs and safety features and cut into a bowl blank, the jig leaving an exact centre for you to pick up on when mounting it on the lathe.
As I have got room in this newsletter I can also add a few photos about our scout taster session we held on the 6th April where we had a group of young scouts from Cox Heath with us for the day.They are in the gallery.
The room was set up by Dawn with an area for teaching screened off from the rest of the room to avoid those handling tools being distracted by other things going on around them.
Bert and Fred were demonstrating turning pens and bowls in the side room while in the hall Patricia was teaching a group the art of pyrography.
She had cut some hearts from thin sheets of birch ply wood and the kids could produce mothers day cards using any design and wording they liked.
In another corner some of Fredís puzzles were laid out for those waiting their turn to have a go at turning to solve.
Meanwhile, behind the screens, Keith, Paul, Steve and Geoff were teaching the kids, both boys and girls the basics of turning and helping them to make a dibber and I think a couple also managed a small bowl.
A few photos of the day are in the gallery.
Everyone seemed to really enjoy the experience and some wanted to do it again some time.
We have two more sessions coming up.
Next one is on the 4th May and then on 6th July.
Too late to ask for volunteers for the 4th but if anyone would like to get involved on the 6th July please let Dawn know.
Our next meeting is on Saturday 11th May and Richard Findley will be with us for the day. Richardís work is quite varied showing spindle work, bowl turning, decorating and a lot more so come along and see what he will do for us.