Category Archives: News

Shannon Turuwhenua – Fluid Pouring

Club Meeting 11 August 2021
Report by Bob Yandell

Shannon is from the Franklin Woodturner’s Club and was well supported by members from his Club, not that he needed them, as he gave us an entertaining and informative presentation without using the lathe.

Using a process, similar to marbling, Shannon took us through the steps to decorate the wide rim or underside of bowls. He then demonstrated the process on a flat piece of MDF that produced a placemat. The bowls were finished on the surface not to be treated and the bowl with the underside surface to be treated was still in the chuck with the inside not turned.

The items decorated had been preturned with no sanding sealer, sanded to 240grit, paint will not adhere to a smoother surface, and painted with matt black primer.

The process is based on Acrylic paint and two other ingredients. You can use the cheaper Floetrol(Flood) Acrylic and Stain Conditioner from Mitre 10 or Bunnings or the more expensive option Gordon Harris Golden GAC800 Low Crazing Extender for pouring Acrylics. The former gives a painted appearance whereas the latter gives a resin appearance.

The surface to be painted is masked with masking tape to minimise paint going on the wrong surface. The tape also forms a dam on the down side of the curved surface.  

Shannon believes a better result is achieved by working in a monochrome colour scheme, that is similar colours. He used Black, Grey and white. The paint is prepared by pouring the base, Floetral or Golden GAC800, into disposable cups, approximately 250ml but unused paint can be stored in air tight containers, and he wore gloves. Next the colour is added and the amount is dependent on what acrylic paint is used, poster paint requires more as it’s thicker. The paint mix is stirred using ice block sticks and when even blend is achieved a drop, or two, of CRC Onedrop, a clear synthetic oil, was added and again stirred into the mix.

The mixed paint was gently poured on to the surface starting from the highest point starting with the darker colour. The item being painted was carefully turned and another pour made, not unlike droplets of water running down a window, until the desired area is covered. The process is repeated with the next colour and repeated with the third. The colours where then blended together, where desired, using a flat blade knife such a a butter knife, as Mum first.

The finished product is left to dry, this can be a few days, and the masking tape is removed and the bowl is returned to the lathe for finishing.

The piece of MDF was painted in a similar manner but if brave enough you can place the wood on the surface of the disposable cup and invert allowing the paint to flow over the surface. Repeated with the following colour. Instead of or additional to using the knife to spread the colours you can use the edge of a torn paper towel or touch the paint with flame from a blow torch. Hot air from a hot air gun or hair dryer blows the paint and the results are messy.

A great demonstration and the outcomes were great. Another tool for the decoration/enchantment box.

John Young – Wig Stand

Club Meeting: 28th July 2021
Report by: Graeme Mackay

A simple and straight forward demonstration, keeping to the process, checking, and planning and producing a positive functional piece. John Young provided an excellent example of following the process and using the planning put forward in the SAWG project sheet.

The functional wig stand provides a good platform for the new Woodturner to work on the planning and process. A number of Woodturning actions have to be put together in order: faceplates, screw chucks, bowls forms, spindle, drilling with the lathe, texturing, embellishing and always measuring of things.

John was following the SAWG project sheet started with the Wig head. Getting the correct order of faces and rebates is important to start the process.

Remember, this is an item to be used on a daily basis. There is a clear need not to have any sharp edges on any part of the head or stand and this comment includes texturing, embellishment or coving. Washed or wet wigs particularly can catch on edges or odd rough sections.

Base: again remember the steps involved and think about the way in which the base is drilled and held on the chuck. If using a recess for standard chuck, check that the rebate is the correct diameter.
While shaping the base, think about the end result and how it will balance.

Spindle trunk: a key part of this process is to ensure that the tenons are the correct measurement and as a Demonstrator voiced: “actually fit”. Again, noting a key point that while the shape and embellishments are a personal choice, remember the end use the need for lack of sharp bits.

John pressed the need for planning, thinking things through and the strengths of the SAWG project sheets. There are many ways of doing this project, many options, a good start for new turners.

John Balsille – Lemon Squeezer

Club Meeting: Wednesday 7th July
Report by: Emma James-Ries

The last night of term is always an enjoyable affair, with the Life Members Award and prize for the term project. We had a member from the Child Cancer Foundation come and judge the best butterfly box, which went to Bruce Wood. A great effort from all the members who turned a box for a great cause. After the prize giving we moved on to a demo by John Balsille. 

John started by going over his early days of turning and how he focused on repetition spindle work. He quickly found that the things that sold at the market and Xmas sales, were things that were quick to turn out.

Useful/functional items, such as paper towel holders, ring holders, spinning tops, door wedges, sock darning mushrooms etc. So for this demo he decided to show his process of making a lemon squeezer. 

He started with a 150-200mm long cylinder of London Plane, held in a 50mm chuck. He then marked out the the sizes of the shoulder, handle and centre using a premade template. After he shaped the point and shoulder of the squeezer and a rough shaping of the handle, making sure to retain the thickness in the handle so to keep the strength.

Then the fun began as John set up his router on a home made gig attached to the tailstock. The gig allowed for rotation around the squeezer, keeping an even distance. Then using the indexing on the lathe, he routed out even groves along the length of the squeezer. Here he also pointed out that this was an easy way of turning out clock inserts, as opposed to turning on the lathe.

Nice to see a new tool/technique here, albeit slightly noisy. Once the grooves were complete, he removed the tail stock and finished shaping the handle. After a quick sand he parted it off with the skew and Voila one delightful lemon squeezer. A great little demo, thanks John. 

Bruce Wood -Butterfly Box with “Greenstone” Insert

Club Night: 29 June 2021
Report by Kieran FitzGerald

The demo this week is a butterfly box with a domed “greenstone” lid. The greenstone is actually a resin mix of two secret colours with pohutukawa shavings embedded. Bruce relented and advised the colours were yellow and blue but did not give away the shades of colour. The greenstone is an insert in the top of the lid.

Bruce explained that the design of his box had evolved from a taller straight sided box to a shorter, curved edge butterfly box. He showed us previous examples, including one made entirely from “greenstone”, one with a beautiful burl insert, and one with an interesting clear resin magnifying top.

To prepare the resin, Bruce had cut a block of wood with a foot for the chuck, and put pvc tubing around it, in to which he poured the mixed resin and shavings. To make sure there were no bubbles Bruce pressure tanked it, but this step could be eliminated if you do not have a pressure pot.

The box starts with a piece of wood 95 x 95 x 50. Bruce used tawa. After cutting the corners off, it was mounted between centres and turned at 2500 rpm down to 93mm. Bruce cut a spigot, remounted it in the chuck and made a finishing cut.

With the top of the box at this stage being at the tailstock end, Bruce shaped the lid part down to 82mm round and 10mm deep. It was not parted off yet. Using a 50mm forstner bit, and showcasing his fancy digital tailstock depth gadget, Bruce drilled a hole 32 mm deep through the top. Next he opened up the hole to 52mm wide, because it needs to fit the jaws at a later stage in the process. The cut in the lid end needs to be a finishing cut because it can’t be reached later. A quick sand and take the whole piece off the lathe while still on the chuck.

Now take the resin insert piece. This was mounted on a chuck, and Bruce had already polished one side of it to save time. Bruce turned it down to 63mm with a scraper.

Next Bruce put the box piece back on the lathe to turn a recess in the lid to fit the resin insert. He cut the recess 3mm deep. When it was a good fit after test fitting, he gave it a very light sand, sealed the surface and applied CA glue on a paper towel. He polished the parts that would be inaccessible later with EEE.

Put the resin insert, in it’s chuck, in the tailstock. Give the surfaces of the lid where it is to be fitted a final clean, apply medium CA glue to the insert, and bring the tailstock forward until the resin is seated in the lid recess. Give it a squirt of activator, and a tidy up where the insert meets the lid to get rid of any superglue which may be there.

Next step is to part off the lid. Bruce used a thin parting tool, but made the break through cut with a saw. Take the chuck holding the lid out of the tailstock.

Face off the top of the box base piece. The inside of the box needs to be 65mm, so mark it with a caliper. To allow a 3mm upstand, and 20 mm to hold the butterfly, hollow to 65mm wide and 23mm deep. Bruce used a parting tool and finished with a square edge carbide tool. It has felt put in later, so doesn’t need to be a perfect finish. Even so, Bruce gave it a good sand. Then, with a parting tool cutting from the side, he cut a 3mm upstand to take the lid. After putting on sanding sealer, Bruce marked the point where it would be cut off at the bottom. Allowing 5mm for the thickness of the base, the cut off point is 3mm for the upstand, 20 mm depth for the butterfly, and 5mm for the bottom, a total of 28mm from the top. Bruce cut back from the bottom mark, down to just shy of the chuck, then marked the centre of the side and shaped the side round with a spindle gouge, leaving the centre pencil line to be sanded off. He cut it just deep enough to leave a flat next to the upstand for the lid to seat on. Then a quick sand through the grits, and superglue to harden the surface ready for a polish. Apply EEE and Aussie oil, then remove from chuck.

Bruce did not remove the foot from the base as part of the demo, but he explained that he would do this by fitting a piece of pvc pipe inside the box and expanding the jaws of his 50mm chuck in to it.

Put the chuck with the lid in the headstock. Make the lid fit the box. Face off the front, then make a recess, just deep enough to take the upstand. Butterfly boxes do not want a tight fit for the lid. Bruce felt the flat inside the lid looked too big, so he cut a further recess stepping down towards the centre. Remember it still needs to be strong enough to be held in the chuck. Clean any superglue, and give it a sand. As done previously, harden with CA then polish with EEE and finish with Aussie Oil. On the circumference of the lid, mark the centre and round it off as per the base piece. Sand and put on sanding sealer to the outside.

Turn it round in the chuck with a compression hold against the resin. Bring up the tailstock. Next job is to shape the top. Start by removing most of the waste wood at the tailstock, leaving enough to keep it secure. Start to shape the dome. Using a gouge can chip the resin, so when it is near final shape finish with a scraper (skew) to get a smooth finish. When the shape is mostly formed, carefully start to nibble away the rest of the waste wood. The last cut through the top is with a thin parting tool. Withdraw the tailstock, and smooth off the top of the dome, taking care to get a good curve and not a flat. Now with a power sander starting at 150 grit Bruce worked through the grits to 500 and polished with EEE. At this stage the beauty of the greenstone is revealed. Bruce removed the lid from the chuck and fitted the beall wheels to the lathe, charged them, and buffed both the top and bottom of the box. The shine of the greenstone was amazing.

Bruce capped off his excellent demo by producing a larger version of his butterfly box and opening the lid. With a jack in the box surprise a bevy of butterflies flew from the box, a truly fun way to end a superb demo. Woohoo!

David Jones – Butterfly Box with Finial

Club Meeting: 23rd June 2021
Report by: Nicole Morley

On Wednesday 23/06/21 at the Papatoetoe clubrooms, David taught us how he makes his beautiful butterfly boxes with finials. These are a treasure that I’m sure the receiver would love.

Firstly, David roughed out an Ash blank that was slightly larger on half with a step down in the center and then put tenons on both ends. This was then mounted in a double-chuck fashion which allows the work to be aligned exactly right from the start.

Whilst set up on the lathe, he then cut the two parts in half with a parting tool and a Japanese saw. It was noted to release the pressure on the tail stock to allow for easier sawing.

Shape the base as per the standard methods and take out the center of the box. David has a small block that has been made up to the correct dimensions to check as he goes which would be handy if doing multiples.

Now, sand any imperfections out.

Remove from the lathe and put the chuck with the lid section on in its place. Face off the piece and then make your rim. This should be a loose fit, but not sloppy. Don’t be too scared to stop the lathe multiple times to check. David then did a rebate on this so that he could turn the lid around on the chuck in expansion mode.

Shape the lid as per profile that is pleasing. Keep in mind when getting close to where the finial will sit that it is possibly better to go slightly larger (around 15mm max), then this can be blended in with the finial attached later.

Face off the post for the finial and drill a 7mm hole approx. 7mm deep.

Sand your work.

Now, with a chuck with smaller jaws, mount a piece of Pacific Ebony and turn into a finial. It was said that if you are unhappy with your finial shape, throw it away. It is only a small amount of time spent on it, so is better to redo than have regrets later.

The attachment of the finial is done whilst the lid is on the lathe. David has made a small jam chuck that will take the point of the finial, which means that your finial should be pretty close to perfectly straight. It was whispered around that a few people had glued theirs in crooked. 😊

Although a very sharp point on a finial looks lovely, if you are worried about safety of children, it was proposed that you could put a small sphere at the highest point.

Thankyou David for your presentation. I am sure we will be seeing a few renditions of this box on the final meeting this term.

Andrew Corston’s Slotted Butterfly Box

Club Meeting: 16 June 2021
Report by: John Young

Andrew had kindly come down from the North Shore club. His plan was to demonstrate a Butterfly box with a unique twist. A slot, cut right through the middle. After showing some examples of previous work, he got straight into it.

He started with a laminated block of Maple and Wenge, which had already been rounded. The dark strip of Wenge was wedged between two pieces of pale Maple, providing a nice contrast.

The block was fitted between centers. A spigot was cut on one end with the skew chisel.

The block was then mounted in a 50mm scroll chuck and trued up with the spindle roughing gouge.

A spigot was cut on the other end, again with the skew.

The lid was parted off with a thin parting tooland set aside to complete later.

Andrew proceeded to cut three small beads in the bottom of the box, with his 6mm skew.

Above the beads he cut a small rebate with the roughing gouge, so the beads would pop out.

A thin rebate (2mm) was also cut for the lid.

Cutting the slot
To start the slot, Andrew used a 3mm wide grain tooth. (A custom tool, ground from an old woodworking chisel).

He plunged the tooth in a few mm, to cut a shallow groove around the entire circumference.

Two guide holes were then drilled5mm oneither side of the Wenge strip, using it as a guide.

The drill holes were to mark where the slot would start and finish (on each side). A third hole was drilled to help clear out space for the jigsaw blade.

Before cutting the two slots with the jigsaw, the inside was hollowed out with a cup tool hollower. The interior sides were tidied up with a parting tool and a bowl gouge.

The box was hollowed to a depth of 25mm, to leave enough room for the glass butterfly.

Using the drill holes as a guide, a power carver was used to cut two openings for the jigsaw, on either side of the Wenge.

As the power carver can be very aggressive, Andrew recommends inserting the carver into the drill holes before turning it on. Then switching it off before you withdraw from the cut.

Now that two small openings have been created, the jigsaw blade can be inserted to cut the two slots out fully.

The jigsaw was rested on the tool rest, and kept stationary as the box was slowly rotated by hand to fully cut out the two slots.

A folded piece of sandpaper was then used to tidy the grooves.

With the bottom nowmostly completed, the lid was mounted in a scroll chuck to complete.
Three beads were cut into the lid with the skew chisel.

Again, a small rebate was cut to make the beads appear more pronounced.

The inside of the lid was hollowed with the cup tool hollower, with a parting chisel used to cut a clean inside edge.

After the fit of the lid was checked, the inside was lightly sanded.

The lid was then flipped around and mounted in the chuck in expansion mode. The top was shaped and the spigot removed. A small knob was left on the top to make for easy removal of the lid.

Finishing the bottom.
The bottom of the box was carefully mounted in deep bowl jaws in expansion mode.

The bottom was trued up, then shaped to removed the spigot.

The bottom was shaped with a slight concave so it would sit flat.

Overall an excellent and highly skilled demo from Andrew, with many great tips for the South Auckland club.

Thanks Andrew.

Cam Cosford – Butterfly Box with Three-way Symmetrical Facets

Cam turned a cylindrical box and lid from a single 90mm sided cube. The box retains three of the cube’s faces, which become almond shaped facets on the completed box.

Start by mounting opposing corners of the cube in jam chucks that fit the ‘pyramid corners’ of the cube. (The jam chucks can be made by cutting a 60 degree angle from the long edge of a slat, then triangulate equilaterally from this beveled edge and cut. Glue three pieces together, then round and spigot, to create a three sided recess jam chuck that fits any cube’s corners.)

Use a bowl gouge to round the mounted cube blank down to 100mm diameter.

Create a 45mm or 60mm diameter spigot on the headstock side. From the point where the three cube faces meet the already turned 100mm diameter, to towards the headstock, turn down to 80mm. This portion will become the lid.

From the headstock side of the 100mm diameter, measure 25mm towards the tailstock and part off. Remount using the 45mm or 60mm spigot into chuck jaws. Using callipers measure a 65mm diameter circle in the tailstock side face, which will become the box cavity. Square the rim and hollow the box cavity 24mm straight in. Create a 90 degree corner to a flat base. 

For the outer sides of the box, create a gentle curve from the box rim to the 80mm portion. At this point, using a 2mm parting tool, cut the box base off the blank leaving the lid portion still mounted to the lathe.

Square this face, then concave the inside of the lid 5mm deep and 65mm in diameter. The lid has a protruding lip that fits into the box recess. Use a skew to incrementally remove the lid’s rim outer edge, and test by bringing the box up to it, until there is a precise fit. 

Mount the box base on the lid and fix with masking tape for a secure but temporary attachment, and bring the tailstock up for additional support. 

Use a bowl gouge to shape the lid’s top surface up towards the mounted spigot. Then shape the box base outer. The three flat facets should remain in an almond shape. 

Remove the masking tape and reverse the lid into a jam chuck in order to turn off the previously mounted spigot, and shape the top of the lid. Bring the tail stock up. Use a bowl gouge to shape the lid into a curve, using the remaining cube pyramid to make the lids knob.

The result is an elegant box to fit the butterfly taonga. Retaining portions of the cubes outer faces through the turning results in the unique three-way symmetry of this box’s design.

Terry Scott – Hinged Lid Butterfly Box

In keeping with the term theme of butterfly boxes, Terry’s challenge was how to make a lidded box which was different from previous demonstrators. His response was to add bling. “If you’ve got grandkids, they’ll love it”. The bling in question was a hinged collar separating the top and bottom sections of the box, which allowed the top to swing up without detaching. The bright gold and decorative sculpted and inlaid finish provided the bling.

Terry passed around several beautiful boxes that he had prepared earlier. Not all were hinged, one had a paua bangle from the $2 shop, others had various ornaments on the lid, also from the $2 shop, and another incorporated a tea light candle in the top. Terry sounded a caution about keeping protection between the wood and the candle.

The demo got off to an ominous start, when one of the boxes spilled on the floor and the lid was broken. Whether this unsettled Terry remains a mystery, because like any professional demonstrator he was quick to cover up any whoopsies in his demo with a quick dollop of humour.

Terry started his demo by taking a piece of kauri approx 100mm x 100mm. He mounted this cross grain in the lathe using steb centres. Terry explained that the idea of mounting it cross grain as opposed to the more traditional end grain was that it better displayed the chatoyance and grain pattern in the wood.

Tip: Clean the top of your toolrest with your sander and finish with a bit of wax to give a smooth surface for your chisels.

The first step in the process is to round off the piece. Terry chose a fingernail grind bowl gouge, not a spindle roughing gouge, because it is cross grain. After cutting a spigot at the tail stock end, Terry turned the piece and mounted it in the chuck. Then he cut a spigot at the other end. Remember to leave a centre mark on your spigot for when you need to line up your tail stock later. As he was cutting the spigots, Terry demonstrated some rights and wrongs, and showed the effects of a spigot that is too long for the chuck, or a shoulder that is off round.

Next Terry parted off the piece which would become the lid.

Tip: If using steb centres, do not part all the way through because the pressure of the spring mounting can cause an accidental dismount.

Working on the bottom part of the box, Terry trued up the face. He used calipers to measure the hinged bracelet and transferred the mark to the wood, in this case 75mm. He cut the rebate which would hold the bracelet from the face, not from the side, so as not to rip out the grain. Match the fit of the bracelet to the cut. There was discussion about whether the butterfly on the bracelet goes up or down – Terry thought it was optional and he preferred the butterfly to sit on the bottom of the box. Janet’s preference was that the butterfly goes on the top of the box to give a fingerhold for lifting the lid. Either way, a small v cut is needed to ensure a good fit.

Before hollowing out the bottom of the box, Terry drilled the centre as a guide to the depth. Then he demonstrated hollowing using both a bowl gouge and a cup tool. The bottom can be finished with a negative rake scraper, but, as always, remember that a better finish can be achieved if rubbing the bevel. To finish the bottom, Terry power sanded starting with 240 grit, and going through to 400. Before sanding he applied U-Beaut Aussie Oil, and finished with U-Beaut Shellawax over the oil.

Tip: Texturing can be useful to hide any torn grain.

Terry removed the bottom from the chuck and mounted the lid piece. As with the bottom, he trued the face and marked the correct diameter to accommodate the bracelet. He then cut a spigot to hold the bracelet, with a slight undercut. Holding the bracelet on the piece, Terry pencilled another mark for the inside diameter. He then hollowed to this mark, and sanded and finished as per the base piece. Terry’s advice is to add texturing inside the lid and to frame the textured pattern – this adds an element of surprise when the lid is opened. Paua dots inside and out are an alternative decoration to the lid.

Next step is to remove the tenon from the bottom. Terry used a jam chuck and paper towels to firm up the fit, but advised that hot melt glue should be used if necessary. Bring up the tail stock. Shape the bottom to your desired shape. To remove the nub, Terry bound the wood to the jam chuck with copious quantities of masking tape before withdrawing the tail stock.

Tip: A $19.95 glue gun from Bunnings or Mitre10 is better than a glue gun from a craft shop. Glue sticks vary considerably in quality also, Bosch 714 glue sticks are best.

Tip: If it is cold heat up the work with a hot air gun, or use a heated up metal face plate.

Repeat the process for the lid, again shaping the top as desired. Terry created a dome and applied a small bead near the bottom of the lid, then a variety of framed textures, and several concentric circles around a small finial at the top. This was followed by a quick sand, then gilders paste applied with the finger to the lid while still spinning on the lathe. Terry used Aussie Oil to fade out the colour of the paste.

The hinged bracelet should be glued with dots of 5 minute Araldite applied at “o’clocks” around the circumference.

Tip: Do not ring the entire piece with glue in case of movement in the wood.

Tip: Do not use superglue because it may run down the side of the box. It also gets brittle over time.

Terry’s dialogue was excellent; each part of the process was described in detail with plenty of tips and much humour. The main message Terry imparted was to rub the bevel and maintain tool control.