Category Archives: News

Richard Johnstone – Wet Turning – Remounting

Club Meeting:13 March 2019
Report: Garry Jones

Richard began by showing us all some of the wet turned bowls he had done over the last 4-5 years. He pointed out how he had left the spigots on them and also showed us the second spigot on the inside and explained that it was there in case the one on the bottom had moved too much.

He pointed out some of the reasons the wet turned bowls had cracked and had heaps of examples to show us along with a very entertaining commentary on each of the bowls

Some good questions came from the audience and Richard gave very knowledgeable answers and explanations that everyone could understand

He explained to us why wet turned bowls should be packed in their own shavings and into a paper bag rather than a plastic one that would make the wood go moldy

He also went through a quick explanation of where and how you should cut up a log to get the best quality wood for your bowl

From here he went to the blank of wet wood (liquid amber) that he had and demonstrated attaching a small face plate ready for turning

He turned the blank to shape and turned a spigot on the bottom to the required size, it was great to watch the shavings flying off the chisel and into the second row, the wood was really wet so the guys in the front row got an unwanted shower

Richard explained that you can turn the blank to the final shape if you want but that this was not necessary, again he had shavings flying off the chisel and into the audience in a well controlled demo of good tool technique, once the piece was shaped on the bottom he took it off the lathe and removed the face plate in preparation for turning the inside

Richard talked about the shape of the inside and the reasons for having a nice smooth sweeping curve, mainly for ease of sanding and finishing

He gave a good explanation of why he turns the 2 spigots, one on the bottom and one on the inside to the audience as an answer to some great questions

He demonstrated using the parting tool to make a grove on the inside so that the tool doesn’t slip when you start to hollow and also explained that the normal wall thickness for wet turning this size bowl would be a round 20-25mm

The internal spigot was then turned with about a 2-3mm recess just enough to give the chuck a hold for remounting, he also mentioned that with an internal spigot you need to have enough room for the chuck and be able to use the chuck key

Some other great options and discussions on remounting were also given from the audience

Richard then coated the outside and a small portion of the inside of the bowl with a wax solution to retard the drying process and ultimately the movement of the wood

Richard then remounted a walnut bowl that had been turned back in 2014 to demonstrate the techniques discussed in the audience. The spigot was returned to the required size using a draw cut and the bowl was ready to be returned to the desired shape

A very entertaining and informative demo by Richard that created lots of questions and discussion from the audience
Thanks Richard

Bruce Wood – Kitchen Things

Club Meeting : 6 March 2019
Report by: Murray Wilton

Bruce’s subject was advertised as “Bits & Pieces”, which was meant to be “From the Kitchen”, so the topic became useful kitchen devices. The first was how to make a kitchen funnel, to be followed by two rolling pins (a Baker’s Rolling Pin and the Italian job). But time only allowed the funnel to be made at the demo and we were treated to another master class punctuated with pearls of turning wisdom. In fact, Bruce began with a discussion of various chuck options, demonstrating the advantages of the Infinity chuck which allows jaws to be replaced with a flick of a special tool. No more fiddling with screws and worn-out allen keys.

Back to the funnel. Bruce loaded a block from a large kauri post on the lathe between steb and live centres and turned it to round in a flash, slicing though the timber like butter. Then he formed a 60mm spigot 30mm deep at one end so that it could be firmly held in shark jaws. Once mounted in the jaws (tube end of funnel) he started forming the outside of the funnel, working at 2000rpm. The exterior wide end of the funnel is 100mm diameter and wall thickness 5mm. Marking these dimensions with a pencil, Bruce commented that he had glued a magnet to the pencil so he could place it on the lathe body where it was always handy. (Helpful Hint Number 2.) The triangular shape is formed to 60 degree angle at the (triangle) base. Bruce uses a 60 degree template to check the angle, forming the outside to a depth of about 80mm. (In other words, an isosceles triangle with base 100 mm wide, base angles 60 degrees and altitude 80 mm.).

Once the funnel exterior shape is achieved, Bruce proceeds to drill an 8mm hole through to the bottom of the triangle. He calculated the depth accurately by working out that each turn of the tailstock would bite 2.5 mm into the block, meaning 30 turns would get him to 80 mm. Now he hollows the funnel using a 35˚ bowl gouge, drawing it across from the centre hole in careful sweeps, rubbing the bevel (Helpful Hint Number 3), checking the angle with the template and marking high spots with his magnetic pencil. Reaching the bottom of the hole, and satisfied that the angle and thickness are correct, Bruce sands the inside using cloth-backed sandpaper which can be folded to a point to get into the interior apex of the funnel. Finally with both inside and outside sanded up to 400 grit, Bruce finishes with sanding sealer.

Now he drills the 8mm hole the rest of the way through the tube end of the funnel, taking care not to have the drill chuck scrape against the finished inside walls. To do this he had to progressively pull the drill out of the chuck until it was almost wobbling in space. A drill extender might be the answer.

The final part of the project is to form the outside of the tube end. Bruce uses a 60 degree rubber cone mounted at the tailstock and brought up firmly to the funnel end. The tube is finished to 16mm so that with the 8mm hole it leaves a 4mm wall. To ensure there are no disasters Bruce uses digital vernier calipers and constantly checks the 16 mm diameter for the whole length of the tube.

For this final phase of the project, Bruce changed to smaller jaws (easily done with the Infinity chuck), and mounted a wooden jam chuck with an 8mm “peg” and a small rubber washer to push into the end of the tube and hold it firmly for final finishing work to be done. He advises working gently at this stage to avoid the work flying off the lathe as it is not actually gripped at any point by chuck jaws. For final finishing use the skew chisel if you are brave enough. Then sand off, finish with sanding sealer and polish with wax by your favourite method. Lastly the tube is cut off at 58mm long. About to slice it off at right angles, Bruce was asked by a member whether it would be better to cut the end on an angle to assist with clean pouring, so he obliged.

In answer to a question whether the funnel could be used for liquids like wine, Bruce suggested that the funnel is better suited to fine grain foods, like salt, sugar, etc. Constant cleaning after using liquids would damage the finish. In the end, items like the wooden funnel make nice decorative additions to a kitchen, especially if exotic timbers are used and a range of sizes made.

Well done Bruce. Another consummate performance. Only wish there had been time for the rolling-pins. Maybe another demo later?