Report by: Holm Miehlbradt
Club Night: 25 September 2019
Tonight’s Demo by Janet is called “Barking up the wrong tree”, it could be renamed “Wrong bark up the tree”.
As bark does not always stay on the wood or it is in the wrong place or it does not look as desired, Janet came up with an interesting way of making her own bark. Some of her inspiration comes from painting effects on pottery (www.jackiemasters.com).
The process starts with applying hot melt glue, a few lines at a time. Then using a small fingernail file she a bark-like texture. Care needs to be taken as the glue will flatten out as it cools.
Janet recommends to apply a layer of Gesso as undercoat before painting using a stencil brush.
The first coat of paint has to cover all of the undercoat. A dark brown color paint was used.
The next coats are smudged on with a finger. Each coat has a lighter color than the previous and is applied so that it does not cover the entire previous coat. The last coat is applied by tapping with a paint brush.
The obtained effect looks very similar to real bark, but one does not have to be limited by natural bark colors. Janet showed some projects with pink, orange or blue paint, very far from natural bark…..
Thanks Janet for the entertaining demo and the inspiration to enhance our turning projects.
Wednesday 18th September
Report by Emma James-Ries
Today we had the great Dick Veitch doing a demonstration on the diversity of spindle turning. As our term project is to turn at least one wig stand, Dick decided to show us the great variety in shaft shapes for the wig stand. To start Dick had premade the base and head and just needed to finish it off.
He mounted the base with the spigot in the 50mm chuck and centred it with the Steb centre mounted in the tailstock. He then proceeded to drill a hole in the base, using a 26mm Forstner bit mounted in a Jacobs chuck in the tailstock, to approximately 20ml depth.
Dick then repeated this step with the wig head. After that was completed, using pin jaws in expansion mode he held the head in the 26mm hole, remounted the head and brought up the tailstock to re-centre. The next step was to remove the spigot from the top of the wig head. He did this by nibbling back the edge of the spigot from the top of the spigot towards the head. This put less pressure on the chuck and once the spigot was down to a small size he then cut towards the centre. At this point he removed the tailstock and gently removed the remaining nub of the spigot. He then did a finishing cut on the head, to get the final shape. As the timber was Kahikatea, he did struggle with some end grain tear out at this point, but mentioned that soaking it in cellulose sanding sealer before doing a finishing cut would greatly reduce that issue. Once the head was finished he repeated this process of spigot removal for the base.
Now that the base and head were complete we could move on to the fun part of spindle turning. Mounting some end grain between Steb centres, Dick rounded it with the spindle roughing gouge, slowing down the cut at the end to get a smooth finish. He then proceeded to mark out the ends that would be inserted and glued in the stand and also marked where his beads would be using the rule of thirds. Taking the ends down to size with a parting tool (PT), he then also used the PT to make a cut to mark out the depth of the beads. Taking the spindle gouge he rounded the beads to the depth, a step that can also be done with the Skew. At this point Dick noted how important it is to work backwards from the tailstock when thinning spindle work. He finished up the pretty spindle by tidying up the beads with a tiny parting tool.
With the next spindle blank, Dick marked the centres and then measured 10mm out from centre on the diagonals and made four equal marks. He numbered them 1-4 clockwise. He repeated this step on the other end of the spindle, but off set the numbers by ¼. He then mounted this between Stebs and rounded it leaving a fair amount of width to the spindle. He took about 20mm at each end down to a 40mm width and made a bead at the end of each section.
The next step was when the fun happened. He remounted the spindle using the numbered off centre points he’d marked earlier. So each centre was positioned in the point numbered 1. Before turning the lathe on he marked out the spindle shaft into quarter sections of 40mm each and marked the measurements on the tool rest too. Once the lathe was on, the spindle, turning on its multi-axis, made a fascinating ‘shadow’. Dick cut down the first section so as only the middle part of the section was perfectly round and we could no longer see the shadow at that point. He then repeated this step, moving the axis points onto each sequential number and cut the remaining sections of the spindle. He worked at a speed of 1250 and used the spindle gouge for all of this stage.
Upon finished the last section he stopped the lathe and inspected the result to see if there were any remaining flat spots or areas that needed tidying up. Once satisfied, the spindle was complete. It really was an incredible ‘drunken twist’ formation that really made the viewer question how it was made. Great demo thank you Dick, it was my first time seeing off centre turning and it has given me a lot of inspiration to give it a go.
Meeting: 11 September 2019
Report by: Murray Wilton
The first problem to resolve is “what exactly is a bonbonnière”?. Well, if you know what a bonbon is you are halfway there. Of course, it’s French for candy, so a bonbonnière is a container for bonbons. But Warwick’s subject was “How to make the world smell sweet”, and it was fragrance, rather than a carbo-hydrate fix, that was to be demonstrated. Warwick gave a short dissertation with samples of various small containers, from an incense burner dating from the 4th century A.D. to various types of fragrance containers for joss sticks, potpourri and coloured scented wood shavings. The Day home must be redolent of wonderful aromas! The word “pomander” was used throughout the demo, another lexical item of French origin meaning a globe made of scented materials, or the container for them. Thus, Warwick’s presentation was to be the turning of a pomander, with resin lid, texturing, colouring and vents.
Reacting with his usual aplomb to the audience banter, Warwick selected from a dazzling array of carefully honed tools and gadgets (he’s a self-confessed tool junkie) a spindle roughing gouge to turn square to round, the block mounted between chuck and steb centre. Rounding included marking the spot where the lid would be separated from the body, if a wooden lid rather than a resin one is chosen. After parting off the lid he used a bedan tool to form a spigot. (What a learning experience! This reporter, at least, has never heard of a bedan. Warwick explained that it’s the one tool with which you don’t rub the bevel.) [Day Hint No. 1: when you buy new tools pay cash, get cash out when you are at the supermarket, tell wife inflation is rife in the food bills.]
Warwick then rounded off the bottom half of the pomander, finishing with 400-grit sandpaper in preparation for texturing. The piece was then turned around and installed in cole jaws in order to turn off the first spigot and form the top half of the “bowl”. [Day Hint No. 2 (serious one this time): to avoid tearing when sanding end and difficult cross grains, apply sanding sealer to the work, then sand as usual.] Next he marked and drilled the vent holes using a brad-point drill, yet another item to add to your wish-list of must-have tools and equipment.
After texturing the upper half of the “bowl”, Warwick applied colour using gilders’ paste softened with sanding sealer (loves his sanding sealer, this turner), using his wife’s kitchen scouring pad to finish off. Then the hollowing can begin, first marking where the lid will sit. Warwick used a 10 mm bowl gouge to start the hollowing and, when a depth of about 25 mm was reached, changed to a spindle gouge. From his vast collection of tools he chose a cup tool, a hook tool and the now famous bedan to achieve final hollowing. [Day Hint No. 3: use slower speeds for hollowing.]
The resin lid can be made by pouring resin into a mould with a wooden peg for fitting into the chuck, once again holding the other end with a steb centre. Warwick set the speed at 1500 rpm working from slightly above centre on the tool rest (normally the tool is below centre for timber turning). Out came an Easy Wood Tool (carbide cutter for scraping), because as Warwick says normal bowl gouges tend to chip the resin. For finishing work, wet the sandpaper to stop it grabbing the grains and finish with wet sanding pads.
Another great demo from a master turner with a flair for clear and informative instruction. Many thanks Warwick, both for the demo and for adding some useful words to our vocabulary.
Club Meeting: 28 August 2019
Report by: Graeme Mackay
Richard’s night out
A night out with a big bowl, actually a really big green blank. So big that it went to an outrigger set up with the benefit that it provided a good view for the participating audience. A good windup for the crowd as Richard indicated that the shavings will go as far as the third row-or even further.
The location of the lathe was quite important for getting the targets in the audience. The set up with the outrigger provides the audience with a view that they can see what’s happening-or going to happen to them. And, possibly a clear indication that the shavings were coming their way. The bowl was mounted on a large faceplate with a solid array of screws. The blank was about 450 mm in diameter and well deserving been set on outside outrigger with the head angled.
There were many timely reminders of safety and checking throughout this very fun filled demo. Richard reminded everyone that turning the head allowed for a bigger diameter even without the outrigger. That is, he said with a smile, when everything is fixed down. The reminder came on the length of screws for the faceplate. These will loosen in Greenwood as activity progresses. Regular use of long tech screws with hex heads and a faceplate to start with is probably best when starting up. Noting : please don’t use roofing screws. This type of screw acts as a drill and rips the wood out, thus loosening an item fixed to the faceplate.
Step one was simple shaping and tidying up the blank. Initial shape was lathed out and preparations were made for making a spigot. A reminder that newly harvested timbers such as the Elm hold a significant amount of water. As the blank spins , a good spray is given off. However, as the water leaves the timber that slightly loosens on the holdings.
Richard reminder: to check, Check again and tighten all the time. it was noted at this stage that members of the audience had donned helmets and raincoats-particularly those in the front rows.
Spigot: as Richard was using wet wood, there to be a tight even hold. Also, that the spigot depth is not more than 10 mills. Too long and the spigot will bottom out on the chuck and produce a lot of additional chatter and wobble. Several persons mentioned the need to check the type of the wood. Elm has a tendency to warp or move. Hence slightly larger diameter so that the chuck can fit tidily into the spigot.
Faceplate off, the centre dimple made, the 130 mm chuck fixed on, and now the volunteers. A large amount of bowl hollowing was required. The volunteers were offered targets for shavings into the a number of rows.
The volunteers: First up was Dave Gillard hollowing with a tidy swing style. Shifting shavings at a good rate and making third row targets. Terry Scott followed. Noting that Terry’s concern was that the wood smelt like an old armpit. Although from this writer’s view, I thought it was a rather nice description of what the green elm really smelt like. Terry was able to get shavings well up into the third row just about the force. The next was Dick Veitch reminding people on nice sharp tools, a slightly higher speed, and shavings well into the third row. Also, Dick pointed out that the outside edge of a 400 mm diameter bowl was spinning higher speed than the given overall speed of 890 rpm. A good reminder.
Richard came in with finishing and getting the bowl down to a workable and storable thickness of around 45 mm. Noting that to thin and the bowl moves to thick and the bowl cracks. The even thickness gives a better result in regards to warping-particularly if this is a type of wood is inclined to do that. Storing is about 1 to 1 ½ years with standard sealer. Usually Richard puts the date on and sometimes the location of the collection.
Many thanks to Richard and his volunteers for a fun evening and good reminders on wet turning.
Club Meeting: 21 August 2019
Report by: Judith Langley
Bruce opened the evening by acknowledging French turner Jean Francois Escoulen who introduced fellow French turner Eli Avisera to the Trembleur. Eli had been the inspiration behind Bruce’s demonstration this evening, Eli was a guest demonstrator at the 2018 New Zealand Symposium. Bruce also acknowledged visitors from the Hamilton club, who had been out shopping all day (woodturning goodies of course). SAWG also enjoyed a full house of members for the evening.
A Trembleur is a long spindle with beads separated by very thin sections. The thin sections must be consistent along the whole length. When done properly, a trembleur is a marvel to observe and play with as it will shake and tremble with the slightest touch.
The lathe was set up with a Oneway Steady and standard chuck. Bruce was using a 400mm length of Kauri 40mmx40mm square. The head fitted in the jaws in it’s square format and the tail stock was brought up. Bruce mounted the steady ready for the next stage – explaining briefly the different designs of steady available and his reasons for choosing the One-way. Quality product with a proven background. Of course a price was bandied around for the Steady with courier postage being the main excuse for the high cost of this investment. Members scrambled for their phones to calculate Canadian dollars to $NZ. The feeling of those attending was that a few more Oneway jigs may be coming this way.
The blank was roughed down at a great speed to 38mm – the square spigot end was marked at the no 1 jaw position so that remounting could be made more accurately. The steady was reset near the tail stock end (not too tight) leaving enough wood (50mm) to form an ‘onion’. Once the onion was finished it was held and packed into the tail stock. Turning at 2000rpm Bruce highlighted his preference to secure a finger under the tool rest which gave much more control when turning intricate pieces. (referred to as Oogeehoogees). The steady is moved along as you go so that the wood is secured as near as possible to the turning area.
The next major step was to turn the thin sections down to 4.2mm, although other completed Trembleurs on show were around 3mm. The larger diameter preferred for demonstration purposes because of the concentration needed for the finer option. The lathe was now running between 1700 and 1800 rpm. With the 4.2mm spindle formed this was followed by a set of captive rings. This got the audience excited as Bruce had completed rings jumping around as he made the next ring. Stressful for everyone present, but Bruce carried on with his very vicious looking homemade hook tool, looking as if it was going to destroy the work at any moment.
Eventually the rings were taped down and the audience relaxed as more baubles, balls and spindle areas were added to the artwork.
Time ticking on, Bruce reverted to an almost completed Trembleur so that he could show the use of his String Steadies. Magical little gadgets that required Sewing Awl waxed nylon string to be wound around the spindle areas in a figure eight configuration. At this point the spindle was remounted matching the no 1 jaw mark at the foot end of the spindle and the onion was held in a shed made large French knitting spool held in the tail stock. This was packed with foam/rubber to hold the onion carefully in place while the stand end was completed. The knitting spool also acted as a String Steady.
Again the stress levels rose within the audience as Bruce started up the lathe with 3 string steadies in action, a few squeaks and groans, but all was well as the Trembleur was added to, moulded, a small wheel formed, another couple of baubles completed and a shaft turned to fit in a pre-turned stand.
Demo completed, spindle intact, and a great evening enjoyed by all. Bruce wound up the evening by selecting a random number on his phone app. which was matched with door entries – yes! number 31 in the door was Cam Cosford who won the turned Trembleur.
Thank you Bruce for a wonderful demonstration – you kept us all sitting on the edge of our seats all night. Your enthusiasm, energy, professionalism and humour made for a great demonstration.
Club Meeting: 14th August 2019
Report by: Ross Johnson
Bruce commenced his demonstration by showing three finished Pepper Grinders all approximately 300mm high. One of these was a unit he made many, many years ago for family use and it is still in service. He then discussed the pepper grinder mill and the various options available – the best general purpose one is a ceramic model –available from your local supplier – as this will do salt as well as pepper. The overall length is 260mm and is suitable for up to 300mm high unit. The shaft can be cut to make shorter units.
Bruce showed and talked to the Project sheets available from SAWG web site on how to produce a Pepper/Salt grinder. I will make use of these pages to provide information on the pre done work by Bruce.
Bruce commenced the fabrication of his grinder with a pre drilled and rounded piece of wood. The base section had a drilled hole of 45mm dia. and 20mm depth; then a hole of 38mm by 35mm depth to accommodate the base of the mill grinder; the hole continued at 25mm dia. (or smaller) to within 30mm. of the top of the grinder. These holes had been sanded and finished. It is recommended by some to cut a groove at the far end of the mill hole – 6mm.long and 3mm. deep for fitting and locating the grinder mechanism. Bruce like many others dispensed with this step. Bruce had used Forstner bits and an Auger to drill the holes.
The body of the work was 320mm long and 81mm diameter. The timber being used was N.Z. Rimu.
Part the grinder body from the capstan. Set the capstan aside.
Remount the body in a chuck (100mm) and drill a 35mm hole in the top to meet the previously drilled hole. Sand and finish end faces and set aside.
Time to remount the capstan and cut the spigot on the underside of the capstan to be a nice fit in the drilled hole in the base. Not loose at this stage.
The base was now married to the capstan and held in place by the tail stock. Bruce used a jamb chuck but a cone centre or equivalent could be used. As demonstrated a good selection of pre made jamb chucks is beneficial.
The two pieces were now turned to shape using a roughing gouge for initial shaping and then a Skew chisel to finish. The shaping is your individual choice as is whether any grooves and additional decoration is done. Two grooves blackened using a wire were shown on one of the samples. Sand all parts. The capstan was turned and finished as far as could be at this stage. Remove the main body and place aside. (Refer photos for details)
The capstan now had a 22mm.dia. hole drilled 34mm. deep into the spigot. Again a groove 1.5mm into the sides of the hole 15 to 20mm from the base of the capstan to locate the top drive unit of the pepper grinder. Measure the depth carefully for each hole using masking tape as a depth indicator. Either continue this 22mm diameter hole or drill a smaller one 7mm or so to accommodate the shaft. Length will depend on actual capstan shape. Shape the spigot to a comfortable fit in the main body. Allow for easy turning but not too loose.
Remount the capstan by the spigot in a chuck or jamb chuck to finish the top side. Sand and finish to suit.
To fit the grinder into the bottom of the base part use a press. Bruce had made up a plug to do this and uses the drill press or tailstock to apply pressure.
The parts should be a firm fit so that the ribs around the parts seat into the wood and prevent rotation. If grooves have been cut the clips go into the cut recess and hold the parts up into the drilled holes.
Some makers consider pressure may split the wood and prefer to cut the clips off and glue in place. Bruce just pushed them in to a non-grooved hole and this appears to work. His 6 year old grinder has not had any problems.
Well done Bruce a well-executed demonstration that showed us how making a pepper/salt grinder does not need to be a daunting experience or one to be avoided. Even if Skew use is needed. Good to see that even after a non-turning period of some 3 years the old skills have not been forgotten or lost.
Mention was made that Terry Scott has had a run of Econo 260mm Ceramic Salt and Pepper Mills made and is doing a deal.!! 6 units for $80.00 .
With this demo and Terry’s deal I might just have to make my first grinders.
Club Meeting: 7 August 2019
Report by: Bob Yandell
It is always a pleasure to see the master at work as his demonstrations and a great combination of skill and humour. Each step is given with reassuring instruction on technique. Key messages through out were the need for accuracy; sharp tools and slow,steady and cuts without pressure.
The block of Matai was cut perfectly square and opposing sides were marked, using the corner to corner method and a bradawl was used to make a clear and clean location point. The block was mounted cross grain between steb centres to cut a 48mm tenon on one side. There were learnings in cutting the tenon – square to the face, depth such that it is clear of the base if the jaws and a notch where the tenon meets the block. Not the conventional Vee dovetail as these have a tendency to break off.
The block was then mounted in the 50mm chuck and the external dimension , 80mm, was scribed on the face and a sphere/bowl was turned to a depth of 40mm with the surfaces from the edge of the outside of the bowl flat and at right angles to the edge. the profile is checked with a prepared template. Sand and finish.
Remove from the chuck and cut the sphere in half along the grain direction. You now have 2 suspended spheres.
Mount on to a wood face plate centring the “bowl” using the tailstock and hotmelt glue in place. Mark the internal and external walls of your bowl. Cut the external wall to a minimal depth to extenuate the suspended bowl and cut out the internal bowl. Sand and finish.
To make the suspension more intriguing. either colour or texture the bowl or the “wall”.
Terry suggested that you check out
Hans Weissflog woodturner for more ideas of enhancements to this project
Club meeting 31 July 2019
Report by Earl Culham
O’Dell introduced himself in Maori and then English with his whakapapa, and very interesting it is. A mixture of Irish and other European nationalities and Ngapuhi and other tribes plus Portuguese! Quite a mixture of European and Maori,
O’Dell was initially in the Army with one of the club members, hence his attendance at the club meeting. His introduction to carving commenced after being given a piece of swamp kauri by his father in law. This experience prompted him to take up carving when he was 45. He decided that he needed to learn Te Reo and the meaning behind Maori carvings. Subsequently, he is now a full time carver and has completed more than 600 carvings. He completed a Batchelors degree at Te Whanana o Aotearoa last year. His philosophy is to pass on what he has learnt to others; “ what I has been taught is mine to share”, he teaches Te Reo and carving
Carving like wood turning takes practice, good chisels and good material to work with. His favourite wood is totara particularly when it is still wet. It cuts beautifully, not so easy when it is dry. You will find that a lot of the old carvings split because they were carved in the same manner.
O’Dell sharpens his chisels with the bottom of the V cut back from the wings (shaped like a waka) and hones them on a piece of 1200grit paper glued to a board; a few strokes on the paper and they are really sharp. His favourite mallet is made of black maire.
In O’Dell’s opinion, the main thing with carving is research. There is a lot of sacredness in Maori carving, all patterns will have a story. In carving there are three key components i.e. simplicity, dominance and contrast. If you take the koru which is a very common design, it is made up of three parts:-
- The Titau. The tightly curled part which recognises new journeys, new beginnings
- The Unahi. The fish scales
- The Te Aho Tapu. The sacred thread that links us to our God or those of non-faith to light.
Another example of design is the pattern on the ribbon attached to the QSM medal. It is designed from Maori mythology and refers to climbing great heights to succeed and bringing knowledge back to others.
O’Dell demonstrated carving the titau, unahi and te aho tapu.
A wonderful introduction to Maori carving, delivered with wit, energy and deep knowledge. Many thanks go to O’Dell for a very interesting and enjoyable evening.
Club Meeting: Wednesday 24th July
Report by : Emma James-Ries
The Terms Project for every member, is to make a wig stand for the Look Good Feel Better foundation. To demonstrate this for us, we had Colin Wise making the wig stand that matches the project sheet that can be found on the SAWG website.
To start off Colin showed us a wig stand he’d made earlier… at 1/12th scale! Setting the miniature aside, he pulled out two respectable wig stands with slight differentiators in shape.
Colin then started out by making the base section first, using a square 160 X 50mm block of spalted Taire timber. He’d already drilled a 25mm hole, in which the stand will fit, and made a spigot on the other side. Turning at a speed of 800 he proceeded to round it off and then shape the base, noting that it is personal preference what shape/decoration you make.
Then take the base spigot off he used a wooden plug that fit into the 25mm hole and then held the plug in the chuck and turned it off. Colin noted here that its best to make a slight concave so contact points of the base are the perimeter only. This will prevent wobbling and give stability when there’s a heavy wet wig on top.
With the base finished, Colin moved on to the head. This piece was a 160 x 110mm square, noting to use a light weight wood for the top. Colin used a steb centre to hold the piece while shaping. He mentioned here that it is important to make sure the edges of the top are either parallel, or slightly curved under so as not to have a protruding edge that would damage a wig.
Finally the last piece to make was the shaft. Colin had an already round piece of wood roughly 240mm long by 40mm in diameter. After mounting the shaft he then used a parting tool to make two 25mm diameter by 14mm long spigots on either end, which will fit into the base and head. Colin said that a slight taper to these spigots helps the glue when assembling. Colin’s personal preference when shaping the stand, was to put a slight bump/bead about 1/3 from the top, this was so you could grip the wig stand when picking it up. But ultimately shaping is up to the makers personal choice.
Colin demonstrated that this was also an excellent time to practice using the skew chisel when shaping the shaft.
Finally Colin assembled the wig stand noting that it’s beneficial to rough up the spigots when gluing, so as to give the best hold. PVA is fine to use for assembling.
On a final note finishes were discussed and emphasised that any wax finishes were a no go. All finishes need to be able to come in contact with a wet wig that will not damage either the wig or the stand. Polyurethane would be a good option.
Thanks for the demo Colin, I look forward to making one shortly! For any extra details for this demo, please see the wig stand project sheet on the SAWG website.