November 2006 Newsletter

What a good day we had with Dave Reeks. He started the day with an ash bowl blank from which he was going to make two bowls. He clamped the bowl between the face of the chuck and a running centre and hollowed it out to form a spigot at least 1/2” long x about 2.5” dia. to fit his chuck jaws. No attempt was made at this Stage to true the blank up. With the spigot formed, he reversed the blank and trued it up and started to shape the back. He used a bowl gouge and a tool rest with several holes in it in which to fit a peg that gave him a lot of leverage, enabling him to take some seriously heavy cuts and shape the bowl in next to no time. To take the core out and create another smaller blank he used a McNaughton tool. This needs a bit of “hanging on to” and the thickness of the remaining bowl depends on how skilled you are with the tool. Dave got it just right and cleaned the bowl up a bit then took if from the lathe to turn it into a salad bowl at a later date. The smaller blank was also rough turned. The blank he used was wet and to speed up the drying out he told us that he will boil it for a couple of hours. This removes the sap. The blank turns black due to the tannin but returns to its original colour when it is turned.
Next he set up a large chunk of burr elm between a drive centre and a running centre. The burr was out of shape, as they are, so once Dave had it set where he would get the most from if he turned the spigot on which to hold it, with no attempt to true if up. Once mounted on the spigot though he roughed out the back as before. He wanted two or three bowls from this and this time he used a tool supplied by One Way. These are more accurate and a lot more expensive. Dave had three cutters and the support fixture and the cost for that little lot was £400!! Once set up Dave made if look so easy, using only one hand to control the cut.

Mid morning came and Dave was asked to judge the entries for the turning of the month. “This is difficult” he said as he looked at each piece. Finally he chose Mick Adam’s cake stand “because of the amount of turning in it” and second choice went to Tony Handford for his ripple ash bowl.

Back to his demo and his next piece was a sycamore platter that was to be textured and coloured. He turned the platter bringing the face up to a good finish, sanding down through all the grits to 1200, explaining that texturing will not cover up a bad finish. He first textured it using a Sorby tool resulting in a fairly light pattern. He then cleaned this off and used an Arbotec rotary cutter to give a deeper texture which he finished with a light shearing cut over the face. Once happy with this he turned a shallow dish in the centre and trimmed the edge to a nice bead and also around the outer edge. At this point Dave took this piece off the lathe and mounted one he had done a few days before. This he had prepared for colouring by first coating the centre and outer edge with a latex skin because he wanted to keep these areas free from stain. He used Chestnut Spirit Stain and applied if with an airbrush, without the lathe running. Dave discovered that if the lathe is running, the centrifugal force drives the stain through the grain and leaves spots on the reverse of the piece. He chose orange to colour this one, with a black outline to the inner and outer edges. Then came the need to clean up the centre and outer edge and this is where the latex skin comes in. With a skew, Dave carefully went round the edge and cut through the skin then peeled it off leaving a crisp edge to the unstained parts.
His final piece for the day was to show us a walnut bowl he had part turned and then boiled to remove the sap and then kiln dried. The bowl was totally black but the boiling had stopped it from distorting as much as usual and as it was turned the black was removed to show that it had not gone very deep, and a light cut left a bowl ready for sanding.

Thanks Dave for a brilliant day. How do you follow that?

Well, Saturday 11th November we will have Stuart Mortimer with us. Dave is sorry he won’t be able to come to this one because he reckons that Stuart is “as mad as a hatter !! and you can tell him I said that”. Something about lumps of wood flying off the lathe and exiting through the roof!!

Our events team have done a great job (See the programme for details of 2007 demonstrators) so when you all get your membership renewal forms with next month’s newsletter I hope you will all rush to fill them in and get them back to me.

One request.
If you have anything to donate as a raffle prize at the Christmas dinner could you bring it to the next meeting please. All money raised will be donated to Demelza house. There is still room for more people to come to the dinner. Some of you have said it is just a bit too early because you don’t get home from work till around then so Bert has arranged that we arrive at 7 pm for a 7.30 pm start. I hope this makes things easier for those of you it affects.

That’s yer lot. See you all on the 11th.


Ps I must apologise to Geoff hunt and Paul Maddock who both brought in bowls to show but for some reason the photo’s didn’t come out. Sorry.


For Sale
A friend of Kevyn Brooks has died and his family have asked him to sell the following. Coronet lathe No 1 36” between centres and comes with manufacturer’s stand, 2 chucks and a Jacobs chuck. £190 o.n.o
For further details please contact Kevyn on 01622 682454