Category Archives: Meetings

Dick Veitch – Butterfly Box

Club Meeting: 5 May 2021
Report by: Janet McDonald

Dick gave a talk about how our club over the years has supported the Child Cancer Foundation by making wooden boxes to place glass butterflies in. The glass butterflies are given to those parents that have lost a child to cancer.  It was lovely to hear not so many boxes are needed these days with improvements to cancer treatment.

He then showed us the specification of making a box on the lathe with step by step clear instructions.

You can find the instructions for making the boxes here: 

https://sawg.org.nz/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Butterfly-Box-1.pdf

https://sawg.org.nz/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Butterfly-Box-2.pdf

Dave Gillard – Small Lidded Box

Club Meeting: 14 April 2021
Report by: John Young

Dave shows us all his inside tips and tricks to make an elegant lidded box.

He starts by mounting a small block of Pohutakawa between centers and turning it round.
Spigots are made on both ends to fit a 50mm chuck.

After remounting in a chuck, a parting tool is used cut the base (30mm wide).
A bowl or spindle gouge can now be used to shape a nice outside curve of the box.
A parting chisel is used to cut the sleeve, which will later fit inside the lid.

A 50mm chuck is then fitted into the tail stock (via an adapter). This chuck is used to hold the lid while it is parted from the base. This will help keep the lid perfectly alighted.

The lid is set aside, while the bottom is hollowed out. First with a forstner bit, then a hollowing tool to achieve a nice interior curve. The interior is sanded, coated with superglue and burnished with beeswax. The superglue will provide a tough, durable finish inside.

The lid is now mounted and hollowed inside with various bowl gouges. Check the fit of the lid to the bottom.

If the fit is good, the interior of the lid can then be sanded, textured and finished in the same way as the bottom. The lid is set aside.

The bottom is then remounted in the headstock, with the lid mounted in the tail stock chuck. Both pieces are pushed together. While spinning, a point tool is used to mark both sides of the join to help hide it. Lines are burnt into the grooves with a piece of thin wire.

Lid is removed from its chuck and jammed onto bottom so it can be tidied up.

Lid exterior can now be textured, sanded and finished.

Bottom is removed from chuck, mounted in a jam chuck and tidied up.

After sanding, a spray polyurethane is used to achieve a pleasing finish.

Thanks Dave for another excellent demo, which was well received.

Richard Johnstone – Pestle and Mortar

Club Night: 7 April 2021
Report by: Grant Miles

Richard began the demo with an engaging walk down memory lane and telling us a story involving his school days gun powder and the consequences that go with being caught.

Begin with a 125mm cube. On his occasion Richard used a piece of Jacaranda he was given by Dick a number of years ago. Mount between centres (steb) and turn the outside round. Turn the outside by working the chisel both right and left handed.

Turn a chuck bite on the tailstock end, in this case 58mm, to match the chuck used.

Take the block out of the lathe and turn it around. Remount in the chuck using the centre mark made by the steb centre to align with the tailstock.

Turn outside of the Mortar, make the base as wide as possible for stability – shape the outside slightly. Sand and a finish the outside. Use texturing tool etc for personal preference.

Hollow centre out using a bowl gouge. Hollow the top using 35 degree and finish curve at the bottom using a 55 degree gouge – speed around 1260 rpm.

Round inside and outside lip. To remove the bottom use a face plate with foam on it using the tailstock and centre to remount the work.

Nibble the foot off the bottom of the mortar turn down until you have only the centre left. Before removing the last of the foot sand to an acceptable finish and add any embellishment. Cut as much of the remaining foot off then use the sander to take the last part off and then go through the different grades of sandpaper. Remember to slightly undercut the face where the chuck bite was to help with finishing the bottom.

Pestle

Mount a 40mm square blank approx. 220mm long turn round using a spindle gouge. Turn the pestle to the desired shape. Turn the ends down and shape then to the final design part off one end and sand then remove the other end and hand sand this to an acceptable finish.

Thank you Richard. Well done on an entertaining and most enjoyable demo.

O’dell Toi – Carving & Colour

Club Meeting: 31st March 2021
Report by: Garry Jones

O’dell gave us an explanation of how he got into carving and woodturning.

He mentioned how he found himself through applying his carving techniques and trying new methods of embellishing his works with gilders paste.

He told us how he progresses his work to the finished product in his carvings and that each carving comes with a Korero (story) describing how it came about and what the patterns represent.

He mentioned simplicity, dominance and contrast is how he looks at his carvings and woodturning and said that they should be (less not more) in other words don’t make things too busy.

The 3 tools that O’dell likes to use the most are his Burnmaster, Gilders paste and Interference paint and he stressed that we should all be pushing the barriers and trying new ideas, thinking outside the box so that we are always learning.

O’dell told us that in Maori carving the patterns are a language in that they tell a story to those who understand them.

He talked about the chisels he uses and explained the method and reasons why he sharpens them they way he does and how it suits the way he carves.

O’dell then demonstrated how to do the Unahi pattern (fish scales) and that this pattern represents the coming and going of fish in the tides, but it can also be used in the carving to represent the travels and journeys of a persons life.

After finishing the carving of the pattern he applied a coat of black paint which he brushed on as this was just a small piece, if it was a larger piece he would have used the spray can of paint (Dura Max Semi Gloss), when this had dried he applied the interference paint, also with a brush, different colours (blue, green, purple) into the deeper parts of the carving, the next step was applying the Gilders Paste which he applied with a rolled up rubber glove and just dabbed it onto the surface so that it didn’t go into the deeper parts of the pattern. He said that he would then leave it to dry for approx 2.5 hrs and then finish it off with a few coats of Dura Max Semi Gloss Clear Coat

Thank you O’dell we have all learnt something special tonight    

Terry Scott – Acorn with a Spin

Write up: Holm Miehlbradt,
Club Meeting: 24 March 2021

The evening was very well attended with almost no empty seat left.

Terry started out by recalling a compulsory shopping trip with Bruce (those in attendance will remember the details…). This lead them to some wooden acorns which in addition to being small boxes also were spinning tops.

The subject of the demo, matching our term project, was set: making such an acorn and then more…

The wooden acorn can probably be turned by a turner of any level of experience, however, Terry’s skills made it look deceptively easy!

The process is quite straight forward: Turn the blank (about 130x40x40 mm) round and create a spigot on each end. Part in half to make 2 acorns.
Mount one half in a chuck and start turning the bottom part with the recess for the lid towards the tailstock. To hollow out, drill a hole to the required depth. Once outside, inside and recess for the lid are completed, part off. Create a jam chuck with the remaining blank and remount the acorn to finish the bottom, including sanding, sealing and application of finish of choice.


The jam chuck becomes the bottom of the lid. It is turned similarly to the bottom part of the acorn. Attention needs to be paid to finish the wider part of the lid before turning the stem thin. Terry’s texturing tool is used to create an acorn like texture on the lid.

Terry went on to show how to make a similar acorn out of deer antler with a pewter top. This makes a very attractive pendant. An alternative version is to use ebony again with a pewter lid.

Finally, Terry showed how to use his texturing tool to produce different texturing effects.

Thanks Terry for a demo full of ideas and advice.

Dick Veitch – Pencil Pot

Club Meeting: 17 March 2021
Report by: Grant Miles

Start with a block approx. 100mm by 125mm long the timber used was wet kauri .

Mount between centres

A 70mm chuck bite on one end is preferred over a 50mm bite.

Use the parting tool to make the chuck bite turn down for a 70mm bite. Made easier as Dicks parting chisel has an angle on its cutting edge.

Mount in the chuck using the bite.

Hollow using the largest forstner bit

Set lathe to 160rpm as per the forstner cutting speeds table. Found on the website or in the clubs forstner bit box. Make sure the bit is sharp

Set the drill so the centre point stops 12mm from the bottom. Tape the shaft of the drill at this depth.

Feed the drill in to the work using constant even pressure and keep it cutting

Using a spindle roughing gouge turn the outside of the pencil block round and parallel along its length.

Using a Soren Berger hollowing tool set it to centre height adjusting the tool rest. Make sure the cutting edge is flat and working from the middle towards the outside more the tool across the bottom to remove the centre mark left from the forstner bit.

Sand finish the inside using flapper wheels and sand paper on wood with foam around it it until the inside is cleaned up.

Remount in 100mm chuck using a piece of 100mm drain pipe with a cut in it. So it clamps tight on the outside of the work.

Marbling Prep.

Using the skew chisel cut two lines around the circumference to frame the area to be marbled.

Paint the pencil pot with alum. After alum has dried buff off with 0000 steel wool to remove raised grain.

Run masking tape around the edge of the two lines which have been cut.

Cover the end of the pencil pot using a blanking plate taped in place. Run a finger nail around the edge of the tape to make sure it has sealed.

The framing lines will not be removed or covered by the colour.

Then in a mixture of methyl cellulose (available from Takapuna Art supplies) mixed as you would size. Mix the methyl cellulose with distilled water (available at the supermarket). Poor this into a bowl deep enough to cover the area to be marbled.

Remove bubbles

Drop colours onto the solution. Drop black into the bowl it will float on the surface do this first. Add additional colours. (Dick used Jacouard Marbling colours available form Warehouse Staionary) Can use poster paint, resene test pots e.t.c. (thinned down) More than 4 colours plus the black, can make the marbling appear to busy. Drop the colours in randomly. On this occasion Dick added black first ,then randomly dropped in red, green, yellow and blue until he had built up enough colour and as further drops were added they no-longer spread across the surface.

Using a toothpick drag the tooth pick through the colours to make a pattern. Using a rack or toothpick continue to move through the surface until a pattern is produced on the surface.

Dip the turning into the mixture until the area to be marbled is covered. Withdraw from the solution and wash off under water.

The tape can be removed straight away and when dry a spray laquer applied to finish the project. Stylewood 30 was used to finish the items Dick had on display.

Thank you for a most interesting and informative demo.

Michael Bernard – Bits & Pieces

Club Meeting: 10th March 2021
Report by Janet McDonald

We had an interesting and varied demo from Michael Bernard on the 10th March. Firstly Michael had brought along his knife sharpening equipment and we all had a chance to have our knifes sharpened. It looked easy enough but you soon saw there is a skill to it.

During the demo time Michael showed us some of the things he had been turning lately. The traditional Maori flute was beautiful. Its length of wood approximately 15cm long which had been turned so it could be drilled out with a 18mm drill piece to leave a wall thickness of approximately 3mm. Holes were then drilled with 6mm drill bits.

Spurtles was the next object he showed and I learnt they are the shape they are so porridge can run off them easily compared to a spoon while cooking. Also he showed how a dowel shaped stirrer was better for mixing sour dough then a spoon shaped utensil.

Michael has made a couple of chess sets in his time and showed his latest King and Queen. He then went on to turn the queen for us.

The big surprise was to learn how thick a piece of gorse can grow! I having grown up on a farm, with gorse eradication a continual thing. The tractor was quickly deployed with the slasher when gorse showed. I acquired a piece and will turn a bud vase for my retired farmer father; but I don’t think I should tell him the pest I made it from. 

Adding Value to Pen Making – Colin Wise

Club Meeting: 24th Feb 2021
Report by: Bill Alden

Colin started off by suggesting ways to select wood in order to add value to the usual along the grain orientation. He showed some prepared blanks with barrels inserted of cross grain and long grain, it was also suggested that the grain could be orientated at 45 degrees.

He showed us his jig setup for sanding the ends of the blanks square prior to turning. A file was used to de burr the inside of the brass tube, he then demonstrated the turning of the two blanks he had one long grain and one cross grain. Although he did not finish the surface he showed us the use of a block of P.P.P. (perfect pen polish).

He then passed around different pens that were made of different woods and grain orientation.

He then went on to talk about the use of Aluminium for pens and demonstrated drilling techniques He used a 6.2 mm drill and then finished the hole with a 6.3 mm one. An Aluminium pen does not require the brass inserts so the 6.3 diameter is equivalent to the inside of a brass tube. He then showed the turning of the Aluminium blank on another mandrel. He suggested the use of a squirt of Ondina oil, which we normally use for sanding, would assist in this process. He demonstrated the use of the Timberley Textura to embellish the aluminium. There is a specialised aluminium polish that can be used for finishing.

Jim Jackson – Jim’s mystery platter or was it platters.

Club Meeting: 10 Feb 2021
Report by: Graeme Mackay

Jim Jackson started out on a mystery tour with recycled wood. The wood was prepared in advance, initially an unnamed mystery piece that was directed towards a formal, traditional shape.

Jim started shaping up the first part of the mystery; a platter the with a central hole. Commenting on sharp tools, and the need for regular sharpening preparing the spigot for a large Titan 3 Chuck initially set up on the tailstock. The end product was still, a remaining mystery. However, Jim did allude to the fact that can be made with same or separate types of wood. The overall focus was as an exercise in making plates, possibly platters, which would, later, with measured centre hole added, be teacake platters.

There was an emphasis of the a need to make the platters light in both look and lifting. He did however allude to the fact that the shapes need to be similar, uniform and equal thickness.

The unveiling of the mystery: a three tier, central pillar, teacake holder. There was a question as to whether this three tier holder would handle club sandwiches, high-calorie assemblages and cream cakes. The holding ability was effectively illustrated later in the demonstration.

An important feature was the frequent measurement of the central holes on the upper tiers and the rebate for the central pillar. Overall, there was a regular requirement for measurements of all parts of this teacake holder. Jim put this forward as a spindle turning exercise and in the same vein as the central pillar for the wig stand (see SAWG project).

There was a recommendation to check the actual fit of the items and to remember the order in which assembly was undertaken. Jim noted with a chuckle, make sure that you have the order of construction in the correct manner:

  • sort the feet out on the base platter
  • ensure that the rebate on the central pillar fits into the base platter
  • ensure that the step to hold the first tier is correct
  • check that the hole in the first tier is correct
  • ensure that the step to hold a second or top tier is correct
  • check the hole for the top tier plate

Form of the object and how it looks: the connecting mechanisms and holding parts measurements aside, the Three Tier Teacake Holder is dependent on looks. The ratio between the three layers needs consideration and planning. The height between the platters is similarly important.

Jim’s mystery project is utilitarian however the final product sits up front.

A good exercise spindle turning, measurement and planning.

Holm Miehlbradt – Ebonising

Club Meeting 3 Feb 2021
Report by Janet McDonald

Holm gave a great demo on ebonising. The practice of turning wood black/darker without paint or pyrography. He showed how the tannic acid in wood reacts to different types of formulas/solutions. One of the main benefits of using ebonising is that it darkens the wood but allows the grain of the wood to show through. 

The most common formula is a mixture of white vinegar and steel wool left to soak for a few days or weeks. Recipe: 1 cup of vinegar and a hand full of steel wool. The longer left the darker with solution will be on the wood. Because of the gasses/pressure formed while fermenting, it is best to place in a glass jar with a loose lid to allow build up of pressure to release itself. 

Once the formula is ready it can be applied to your wood object with a brush or a sponge. The more layers of solution the darker the look. Some wood has more tannic acid than others, so the depth of colour from one formula may vary on different types of wood.

Tea leaves soaked in water can be applied to the wood to add tannic acid to the wood so that it reacts with the vinegar solution.

The solution can raise the grain of the wood surface, so it was suggested to sponge on a layer and allow to dry. Then sand any raised grain and then apply another layer of solution. Do not use sanding sealer or similar on wood first or it will impede the soaking of the solution.

Holm also showed us how indian ink and leather dye can be used on wood to colour it. 

Holm showed many examples on pieces of wood during the demo which was appreciated.