November 2010 Newsletter

Dave Reeks was our demonstrator for the day and we had a good attendance for the day. As expected it was a good day although Dave had to put up with a lot of stick from his audience!!

His theme for the day was making money out of wood turning and he said that craft fairs are not the best place to try and sell your work. He sells all of his work to the National Trust (NT) who basically double his price when his work goes on their display shelves.

The first piece he made was a laburnum vase that he would sell for £10, N T sell it for £20, and would take him 15 minutes to make. When he calculates his prices he only charges for the time it takes to make the item. With the quantity of wood he buys, the small piece to make a vase for instance comes down to a couple of pence. The tools Dave used were a spindle and bowl gouge and a seriously Hi-Tech sanding tool for finishing the inside!!

Next Dave made a £20 (NT £40) vase using a piece of acacia. The principle was the same as the first vase but he used a Sorby hollowing tool to dig out the middle. And of course the hi tech sanding tool. “Put a lump of 30 grit paper on it and you have a fine texturing tool to make the inside more interesting” Yea!!?

For his next item Dave had a large log from which he would get two, at home he would probably get three, bowls. He mounted the log on the lathe between the face of the chuck and the tailstock centre and turned a spigot on one end to fit his chuck jaws. He then mounted it on the chuck and rough turned the outside taking quite hefty cuts as it was now held securely in the chuck. Next he took the centre out using a curved tool, with a tungsten carbide tip that was ground slightly tapered to prevent jamming. He ended up with both bowls being roughly turned. Normally he would have to store these for a year or more to dry out before finishing them off but he now boils them in an old oil drum for approximately one hour which removes most of the sap and now they can be turned within a couple of months. Another advantage of doing this is that there is very little distortion in the bowl, vase or whatever which minimalises the amount of turning required to finish the job.

Dave’s final two pieces to show us was to decorate a couple of pieces that had been boiled and were now ready to finish off.
The first was a yew vase and he made a pewter top to fit. Pewter can be bought in 1 Kg ingots and can be smelted down quite readily in a saucepan over a camping gas stove.

First you need to turn a mould to pour the liquid pewter in to. The mould in this case was made from a piece of MDF and was turned precisely to match the lip of the vase. When this was done Dave poured the pewter in to it and left it for a while to cool and solidify. Before fitting it to the vase he turned it on the outside and textured the surface with a Sorby texturing tool. Then came the time to fit it to the vase. As you would expect from Dave it fitted a treat.

The second piece was a burr oak bowl and this he mounted in the lathe and turned a groove around the neck to accept the pewter. This has to be wider at the bottom of the groove than at the top so that the pewter stays in place if the bowl is turned upside down. Next he removed the bowl from the lathe and poured the pewter in to the groove. When this had solidified Dave remounted it on lathe and faced it off to a fine finish. Being soft it can be turned using normal wood turning tools.

Many thanks Dave for a really enjoyable day.

Our next meeting is on Saturday 13th November and it was to have been a club day but instead we are going to have Mark Baker with us for the day.

Mark was to have spent a day with us last year but due to a family crisis he had to cancel at the last minute. When everything settled down for him he offered to come and see us this year so Pat fixed it up for next month. Mark is a very popular demonstrator and is well known by most of us, having visited us on several occasions in the past.
AND there is an added bonus.
Because Mark felt he had let us down he has offered to come to us free of charge. This means that we need only charge the normal club day fee of £3.50 at the door.

Also, while talking changes, December is different to the norm. There will not be a meeting on our usual second Saturday. We were to have had Jenny Starbuck with us but she cancelled at just about the time we were told that world renowned Nicos Sirigas from Crete had a spare date in his schedule before returning home for Christmas.
Pat grabbed the opportunity with both hands and booked him for Sunday 19th December.
I will remind you again in the December newsletter but mentioning it now fore warns you of the change. We are advertising this to some of the local clubs as well so hopefully we will have a full house. We will be paying our usual £8 at the door but non members will be charged £12.


Notice board


I got it wrong on a couple of points last month.

First, my apologies to Pat Hughes. Pat received the certificate for turning of the month and NOT the highly commended certificate. That was won by Howard Overton. Second it seems that I confused a few people by spelling Mytchett incorrectly. I used an i instead of a y. Sorry about that.


The subscription renewal forms for 2011 are enclosed with your newsletter. Please fill these in with your cheques made out to Orchard Woodturners attached and return to me ASAP Many thanks Graham