Category Archives: Reports

Off the Wall – Warwick Day

Club Meeting: 7 June 2017
Report by Earl Culham

Once again Warwick presented club members with a provocative, interesting and educational demonstration. The demonstration concentrated on “Texture and Colour” using wall plaques as the medium, hence the title Off the Wall.

Warwick had obviously spent a considerable amount of time, imagination and creativity in preparation for the demonstration.

Colour

For inspiration in choosing colours, Warwick explained that he would draw on experience, the natural environment such as autumn tones, snorkelling around Pacific islands, Navajo Indian pottery, and poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge.

To high light what he meant by using the colours inspired by the examples noted above, Warwick displayed several wall plaques he had made. For instance Wordsworth suggested to him streams, daffodils, poppies, and cherry blossoms. From those colours he would pick a theme and colour the plaque to best express what he envisioned.

Coleridge on the other hand suggested to him the sun, moon and shimmering; an example of turning inspiration into colour was demonstrated on a wall plaque which was passed around the members.

Texturing

In making his wall plaques, Warwick uses a router for fluting, and various texturing tools e.g. a chatter tool, Terry Scott’s textura, and Robert Sorby texturing tools. He also used a Dremel for texture in the flutes or where ever the texturing tools were not the best option. Pyrography added another dimension with many different textures available.

At the conclusion of the demonstration on texturing, Warwick then added colour to his work. He commented that an artist had told him never to scrimp on the quality of brushes he uses, so he doesn’t; he spends a lavish $2.50 for a packet of brushes from the $2 shop. The last of the big spenders!

Thank you Warwick for a very enjoyable and informative demonstration.

Clean Bottoms – Terry Scott

Club Night 31st May 2017
Report by Murray Wilton

Always expect the unexpected from a Terry Scott presentation, and tonight was no exception. However, if the unusually large audience was expecting a super-thin natural edge bowl, or some exotic texturing or inlay work, they were in for a surprise. Following the term theme of “Brown and Round”, Terry informed us that he was going to take us through the basics of bowl turning. With a large number of new members, many of them beginners, Terry quite correctly estimated that this would be a very acceptable lesson.

The Basics If using a lathe with swivel head, check that it is correctly aligned with the tail stock to ensure accurate turning. Use a steb centre mounted in the tail stock to steady the bowl blank mounted on a face plate in the chuck end. Once you are happy that it is rounded true, the steb centre and tail stock can be removed from the work area.

WEAR A SAFETY MASK!! Terry reminded even the experienced turners not to rely on safety goggles alone. Eyes are precious and can’t be replaced. Remember, too, that your own kitchen provides a variety of wood-turning supplies and accessories: paper towels, small dishes, brushes, the coffee whisk, various cooking oils, the microwave. But check with the kitchen manager first!!

When everything is set up, always rotate the work by hand to ensure it won’t be striking the tool rest. Check again every time you change the tool rest or make any other adjustments.

Terry uses up to 6 chisels for bowl work, starting with a 30 degree fingernail grind bowl gouge to rough turn the bowl. When asked about speed, Terry advised setting the speed you are comfortable with, from 1,000 to 1,800 rpm. Keep moving the tool rest so it remains as close as possible to the work. Stand in a comfortable position, chisel low and close to the body and RUB THE BEVEL!

Don’t “white knuckle” as you proceeed. Let the chisel do its work.
Form a 48 mm spigot to fit snugly in 50mm bowl jaws. Once you have the external shape roughed out, change to a 55 degree bowl gouge to smooth it off and complete the outside of the bowl with a scraper to achieve a smooth surface and avoid too much sanding.

Hold the chisel at a 15 degree angle from the work to achieve a slicing action which avoids tearing the grain. Make slow steady cuts to avoid “chatter” and disastrous dig-ins. The small amount of sanding needed is best done with a right-angle drill (better control) working from 180 to 240 grit sandpaper.

Finish the spigot and cut a small “V” at the top of it to improve the grip when the bowl is reversed and held in a chuck. Also at this time make a small hole in the centre of the spigot to ensure accurate lining up later when the work is reversed and held in the various chuck grips mentioned below.

Now remove the bowl from the face plate and mount the spigot firmly in a 50 mm chuck. True up the face (eventual open side of bowl) using a draw cut with a 10 mm bowl gouge. Finish the outer edge and add any texturing at this stage before you start hollowing. The hollowing process begins from the centre hole (made when mounting the blank on the face plate) working from an outer shoulder towards the centre. Work gently — if the chisel gets hot you are pushing too hard. The centre hole is a rough guide to the depth you need to hollow, but use calipers to make sure the bowl sides are even and not too thin.

Keep moving the tool rest to maintain it as close to the inside work face as possible. When cutting near the centre move the chisel round and downwards (not upwards). Use the round edge scraper to finish the inside of bowl, again working from the centre outwards. Sand with a pistol grip drill, 180 to 240 grit, applying sanding sealer between each grit level. Using Ondina oil also assists sanding and it’s “food safe”. Finish with Beall buffing system or your own favourite polishes.

Terry ended with a summary of various methods to remove or re-form the spigot foot: the jam chuck, the pressure chuck (jam into another bowl), the Longworth chuck (better than Cole jaws), vacuum chucks and hot melt glue. See the SAWG web site for more information on these holding methods.


In spite of the usual banter, jokes, unhelpful comments and rude remarks, Terry kept his cool and delivered a master class from which even the old hands could learn something. Well done Terry!

—-Murray Wilton

Agarian Round – Dave Gillard

David Gillard started the demo with a simple round and brown adapting his tall frame to this lower-level lathe he quickly roughed out around brown object d’art – commonly known as a cylinder, and dispatched to the nearest bin.

The focus of the demo was to illustrate the basics of a Nick Agar style. The exercise is a cleverly disguised piece of offset and multiple axis turning. David had prepared a jig with three blocks glued to the central plate.

The key plate holds the three blocks that will form the final work. The work holding plate is fixed to a primary faceplate was standard tech screws. Be safe with fastening, you can always use more screws.

Slow lathe speeds allow for quick change of plate set up and change of radii. On smaller works allows for running the work without significant balancing requirements. Also, there is always the aspect of safety.

Simple safety comments were always at the forefront:

  • Low lathe speed to start with (200 400 rpm).
  • Ensure you’re aware of the blocks sticking out
  • Spin the object after every change to the equipment settings.

Once a focal point has been started, sanded, painted in primary colour with any additional features, the additional lines can be produced by altering the placement of this plate. The simple jig allows for easy change of focal point and the addition of new features on a variety of radii.

Yes, planning is useful. Dave suggests working from a primary focal point and developing your design away from this point. There are always options. This is something that Dave stressed throughout the demonstration. The basis is found through experiment and practice and as Dave puts it: “having a good play”.

The colour is added by way of airbrush. The application is according to the direction of the design and focus of the particular element. Dave urged people to keep it simple and experiment. There are a lot of options including depth and width of cut, shape of the cut or line, amount of colour and/or colour combinations.

Dave used standard airbrush techniques for colouring and painting. Again, the application of colour highlighted the myriad options are available and the wide range of experiments that can be taken up in a fun and positive learning manner.

The overall package is up to the Turner.

The challenges there to apply. These are all standard techniques: off Centre turning, multi-axis turning, faceplate turning, faceplate cutting techniques, V groove cutting, coving and beading, texturing, and so much more

(Graeme Mackay)

Turn Around – 17 April 2017

Turn Around

I have come across this new thing called Inverse Logic. It is the same deal as alternative facts so I will give you an example and see if you can understand it! Think of cannibalism.

Three men had heart valve transplants:

The first was a bit fed up because they gave him a pigs valve so he couldn’t eat Pork from now on.

The second wasn’t too happy because he got a cows valve and that meant no more steak.

The third was happy as because he got a plastic valve made from vegetable oil and with his wife being a vegetarian he would never have to eat another $%^&* vegetable again.

We had a good meeting this week even though attendance was down a bit with the opening of the Easter Show.

Colin had made a Viking Bowl at the Glen Lucas day and he brought the finished article along for us to see.

Jim brought along a box that was more complex than it looked with some nice inlayed components.

Raed gave us a good demo on making a small lidded box, first we had a slide show about what he has been up to at work. He used Kanuka for his box and he had photos from when he had harvested the fallen tree. He dealt with hollowing, cutting the rim, fitting the lid turning the outside and finishing the lid using a jamb chuck.

Ian took some great pictures so I will let them do the talking.

Fish “a-lure” – Peter Williams

Report: Roger Wilson
Club Meeting: 26 October 2016

Peter provided an interesting and most informative evening on the bigger game fishing lures he creates and then decorates in life like colours to which he attributes his catch success.
From the initial 3 block laminating with paper gluing, regular turning into a truncheon shape followed by off centre turning to create the tail shape Peter showed us some of his tricks that make the difference.

This includes his rattle in the lure and the various options for tempting whatever species you are trying for. His method of creating realistic fish scales was certainly original and did not run to any expense.($2-00 shop)

Peter also passed on the best places to obtain the accessories within the lure.
Start to finish an entertaining demonstration of creating a professional look bigger game fishing lure.

It Wobbles – Phread Thurston

Club Meeting: 19 October 2016
Report by: Dave Armstrong

Once again Phread had a rave about the basics and fundamentals of turning wood and explained tool presentation and tool grind angles appropriate for his projects. He considered his demonstration simple using basic techniques but with a lot of detail. His preparation was well thought out showing us a drawing of all parts and associated measurements including a full parts cutting list.

Phread started the penguin by putting a 160mm piece of 2” x 2” into a chuck and bought up the tailstock to hold it centre. He set the lathe to a comfortable speed then roughed it down to size, not missing the opportunity to demo the roughing gouge and body stance in the process. He then made a finishing cut with his scary tool, yet again using the opportunity to demo the cut by showing his wooden tool mock up with grind angles and presentation to the piece. Next he measured out the elements of the project (body and head) and made marks on the wood accordingly, then turned each part to its finished size.

Without missing a beat, Phread took his Awl (point made) and marked a position on the head section for the nose (oops beak) and drilled a 6mm fixing hole on the mark. Final rounding over of the head shape he then cut it off using his Japanese saw. Phread trimmed up the neck face of the remaining body still in the chuck using his favoured skew and also did a cut showing the use of a bowl gouge in the same place. That face cleaned up, he proceeded to drill out the inside of the body with a forstner bit. He then showed his technique for hollowing out the inside using a spindle gouge and finally he used a special tool to reach the final wall thickness providing the correct internal tapper, then parted off the body from the chuck again with his Japanese saw.

Phread had pre-made the legs, feet, beak and wings and discussed how he made the parts, then fitted them and assembled his Penguin. When completed correctly Phread assures us the Penguin will walk. With a little humour he acknowledged the beak was a little long (about 800mm) but the real thing needed to be shaped and a whole lot smaller.

Thanks Phread for another very entertaining demonstration.

Note – Phread acknowledges that he should have reduced the lathe speed when doing the internal boring of the penguin. It is good practise to do so and he will endeavour to do so in any future demonstrations.

Something – Ian Fish

Club Meeting : 12 October 2016
Report By: Richard Johnstone​​​​

What a great evening with Ian Fish. I thoroughly enjoyed his presentation, beginning with his explanation of the part he played in the history of woodturning in New Zealand and then moving on to the more practical skills of using tools and turning wood.

Ian brought along a number of boxes filled with examples of turnings he had produced over the years. He brought pieces out of the boxes and described the journey he took as his turning developed from turning basic bowls to being a recognised artist in New Zealand.

Most impressive was the thin wall turning. While we take it for granted today, this was something new and innovative in the turning and art world at the time. Ian said that he wanted people to be surprised by the light weight of the bowls when they picked them up. He thought that his pieces were “mostly useless as utensils, but are nice to look at”.

Ian had a little involvement in helping Nova with developing the DVR lathe. I especially enjoyed the story of testing out the gyro in the DVR. Ian took the headstock off the bed and while holding it in his arms, turned the lathe on at 3000 rpm. (Don’t try this at home) The gyro resisted his movement when he tried to walk. Ian said that it felt like walking in slow motion.

Ian completed the evening with a short turning demonstration which was full on verbal maxims and good advice. For example:

“Thou shalt rub the bevel with determination and persistence.”

“Good bowl gouge skills equal less sanding.”
Thanks Ian for a great evening of fun and learning.

Airbrush – Gordon Pembridge

Club Meeting: 21 September 2016
Report by Roger Wilson

Gordon gave an interesting precise of the intricacies involved with the airbrushing art form.

He covered equipment and how it performed.  This included how to maintain the airbrush, the different needle configurations and subsequent results.

Safety in operating the equipment with regards to the various paints and solvents which include a quality mask and good ventilation as some paints could be carcinogenic.

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Colour theory and the art of colour mixing and Gordon demonstrated how with some experimenting there was no limit to the range and depth of colour that may be achieved.  Gordon emphasised that quality paints are important and in the long run much better value.

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Airbrushing opens up a vast range of embellishment however it is not forgiving if the surface to be painted is not finished to a high standard.

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Lots of questions were asked and answered and Gordon certainly generated interest in airbrushing as another way to be creative with woodturning.

Sandblasting – Dick Veitch

Club Meeting 14 September 2016
Report by Strett Nicolson

This week we were treated to a dual demo.

First came the mini safety lecture by Alistair on using hazardous chemical  materials such as resins. Fundamentally he reminded us that personal health responsibility lies with each individual. Read the labels on products you use, be aware of the chemical hazards of each product,  and use safety equipment to protect yourself. Thanks Alistair for the reminder.

Dick followed up with a ‘Sand Blasting and Multi-Colouring for Dummies’   demo.  He outlined clearly the various components of a sandblasting cabinet and their particular function, he explained the basic mechanics of the sand blasting gun, all this amidst a few wise cracks from the floor. He explained the value of understanding which blasting medium to use to obtain the required affect   and demonstrated how to create patterns on a turned piece by making plastic templates and masking the pattern   onto the wood, using tape, before blasting. The results of colouring, masking   and blasting with various mediums were displayed through pre-prepared samples.

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A word of warning from Dick, “Do not sand blast wet wood, it does not work”.
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Finally he demonstrated how one can use colouring and sanding with sand paper or bushing with a wire brush to   enhance or draw out the natural wood patterns and grains.  Again a word of warning from Dick, “ Go slowly, do a little at a time and check the result,  or you may find you sand or blast away too much material and colour and have to start over”

In response to the question,  ”Are there any native woods that lend themselves more than others to sand blasting?”, Dick replied, “Go and experiment.”

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Thanks Dick for an informative demo.

Pen Embellishment – Bruce Wood

Club Meeting: 31 August 2016
Report by: Richard Johnstone

This was a great night of fun and instruction. Bruce’s experience certainly came to the fore as he set out to show us various different ways to embellish pens. He brought with him a display box filled with pens with many different types of texture and colour.

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He began by turning a blank using a skew chisel. 2500 rpm and the shavings flew off the blank in a hurry. Bruce didn’t bother with sanding. He had a good enough finish straight off the skew for what he wanted to show us.

Out next came the “Timberly Texturer”. A few seconds of application on the wood was all that was required to put a knurled pattern on the pen barrel. This was followed up with black guilders paste. (Black is one of Terry’s best sellers)

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The second demonstration was with the Sorby spiralling tool. Bruce used a piece of Swamp Rata for his blank, and turned this down until round with parallel sides. He explained that the ends can be turned down later after the spiral has been cut. Bruce got the lathe running at 800rpm and applied the spiral cutter. This created a very clean cut spiral. When asked, he did think that the tool could be turned the other way and re-cut to create diamonds on the wood. This would only be possible on a hard piece of wood like Swamp Rata. Softer woods would just break out the edges and not give a clean cut.

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Bruce then showed us how to use the Beal Pen Wizard. This is like a little router which he used to carve out four “wiggle wiggle” grooves in a pre-prepared pen blank. These grooves were then filled with coloured resin. When hard, (also pre-prepared) the blank was mounted on a pen mandrel, turned and sanded as usual. Another interesting variation on pen making.

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Pen makers can take a lot from this demonstration. The options seem endless, and Bruce seems to have tried most of them. Not all ideas will appeal to every person, but there is certainly plenty of scope for using or modifying Bruce’s ideas.