Category Archives: Reports

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.

Bob Yandell – Tear drop butterfly box

Club Meeting: 26th May 2021
Report by: Graeme Mackay

Bob’s demonstration provided another way of making a butterfly box. A whole new direction for lidded box. The original idea was an oval box shape. However it was deemed to be too long for a demo. An interesting alternative put forward, a teardrop box based on Steven Kennard’s work; a teardrop shaped lidded box. New Woodturners should note that the process for teardrop boxes can be found in the SAWG online project sheets. They are well laid out and easy to find. (

Bob’s initial comment is important: preparation planning and there is clear direction to reviewing the intended product; in this case teardrop shaped lidded box. View of the intended target allows a process to check measurements, and look at the proportions of proposed teardrop ensure the correct amount of wood. As many will know, there is a need to ensure that the process is followed in order to make the required teardrop shape.

The box project provides a good target for checking skills and working on your approach to ordered processes. This project provides lots of avenues and once trialed allow the lots of options.

Bob provided quite useful tips for start-ups and beginner Woodturners:
Take time to check out the process required-use the project sheets.
Sharp tools-there is no exception.
Check your safety gear and dust systems-again is no exception.
Measure and check, check the chuck bite requirements and ensure there is wood for the final shape.

The project requires understanding client requirements. Part of this decision requires deciding on whether to have a pop fit or straight lift off that. This box will be one that is for regular looking and/or quick opening. Bob suggested using the template. A guideline provided will allow for well proportioned curves – in this case visually simple with project complexity on both base and lid.

“Remember, you cannot put the wood back on.”.

Use of templates implies that you are going to need to follow the processes outlined for this type of box. A part of this special lidded box project is that you are continually checking for measurements that ensure the correct fit and shape. An excellent turning exercise.

Final tip from Bob:
“start a series, there are many shape options that can be derived from the original project sheet.”

Warwick Day – Small Lidded Butterfly Box

Club Meeting: 19 May 2021
Report by: John Young

As a prelude, Warwick started by displaying some small, elegant boxes he had picked up on his travels, as well as some of his own creation. Elements of good design and embellishment were pointed out.

A dry piece of Plum was to be turned into a Butterfly box. The blank (already roughed shaped) was mounted it in a 35mm chuck.

After making it round with the roughing gouge, the bottom of the box and the lid were marked out with pencil.

A beading tool was used to make a bead on the bottom of the box.
As a tip, material on either side of the bead can be removed with a spindle gouge to aid the beading tool and prevent tear out.

Bruce Wood suggested marking the bead with a pencil, to prevent digging the beading tool in too far.

Another bead was made at the base of the lid.
This was made with the parting tool (to mark the bottom of the lid), and the spindle gouge (to create the bead itself).

The top of the lid was then shaped, leaving a small elegant knob on the top. Terry’s $10 texturing tool was used to texture the top of the lid.

The lid was parted off with a thin parting tool, rubbing the bevel.

The outside of the box was then turned to its final shape, textured and guilders paste applied for effect. The paste would be left to dry before sanding most of it off later.

The inside of the box would now be hollowed.

A parting tool was used to mark the inside edge of the box and to create a shoulder. The bowl gouge was then used to removed the bulk of the inside.

To square out the bottom, a square edged scraper was used to gently remove the inside curve.

If you’re getting tear out, sanding sealer and repeated thin layers of superglue are recommended to harden the wood fibres.

Following this, Warwick would normally sand the inside, use EEE, followed by Shellawax.

To remove the spigot, the bottom is turned around and mounted in Cole jaws.

Masking tape is first wrapped around the box, to create a flat surface for the jaws to firmly grasp.

For extra security, a hot glue gun was used to glue the piece straight onto the Cole jaws. Some club members were highly skeptical at this extra step, but Warwick was steadfast in his defense!

With the box securely mounted, the bottom was tidied up with a light touch of his spindle gouge (at a speed of no more than 600 revs.)

As an added bonus, Warwick gave us a quick flocking demo using a flocking kit.

To apply the flocking, first a thin layer of PVA was spread on the bottom and sides of the box.

A flocking pump was then used to puff the flocking into place.

That capped off another excellent and insightful demo from Warwick.

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:

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.


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.