Category Archives: Reports

Off-Centre Burl – Terry Scott

Demonstration Date: 23 July 2015
Demonstrator: Terry Scott
Author of Article: Wim Nijmeijer

Terry started by first giving us some general information about the wood, being Coolabah Burl (Eucalyptus Coolabah, found throughout Australia)
The burl is water blasted under high pressure to remove the bark and further processed in order to satisfy NZ customs. Typically there is a 24% moisture loss due to processing prior to importation into NZ.
Next Terry showed us a typical “flywheel” (can be made from custom wood or preferably from plywood)
The flywheel is used to attach the burl and also to balance the off centered burl.
A few examples of off centered turnings were shown.
Next the center of the burl was determined.

Terry then demonstrated how to attach the wood onto the flywheel. This was achieved by using a packer board, spacers/wedges and a glue gun and plenty of glue!
The packer board is then positioned and fastened with screws to the flywheel. Terry then removed all this and replaced it with a pre-mounted burl already fitted to a flywheel. (Center of burl at center of rotation, tailstock in place)

It was noted that this assembly was already sufficiently balanced.
The assembly was first rotated by hand before switching on the lathe at a slow speed, and then gradually increasing the speed to approximately 650 RPM.
The face of the burl was now turned. (Light cuts and rubbing the bevel)
Terry then showed us various pieces of lead used for balancing. Balancing is achieved on the lathe by attaching sufficient lead weights on the flywheel to offset the out of balance of the off centered burl. In this instance only 1 screw was used to balance the assembly.
With the tailstock removed the face of the burl was now completed using light cuts, followed by scraping.

With the flywheel still on the lathe, the burl was removed. (Including packer board, spacers/wedges)
Next a number of overlapping off centered circles were drawn on the finished face of the burl.
Then the burl was fastened again to the flywheel, with the first bowl centered on the tailstock. The burl was then balanced as required using 3 lead weights secured with 2 screws per weight to the flywheel. Webbing can also be used to provide additional security.
The assembly was first rotated by hand again before switching on the lathe at a slow speed. (Beware of the off centered rotating burl)
With the tailstock removed the first off centered bowl was turned using a 35-degree bowl gouge. Terry then finished the bowl using a ring tool (tungsten carbide ring) starting at the bottom of the bowl at approx. 80% and then rotated slightly as the cut progressed to finish the inside of the bowl. The bowl was then finally finished with the use of a negative rake scraper.

Next the burl and packer board were repositioned on the flywheel, by lining up the second bowl centered on the tailstock, and again fastened to the flywheel. This was then followed again by balancing.
The second bowl was then turned. First a 35-degree bowl gouge was used (light cuts, as cutting into the first bowl) followed by a 55-degree bowl gouge to finish the bottom of the bowl. Final finishing was done with the negative rake scraper. (Very light cuts)
The third off centered bowl, sanding and finishing with Danish Oil were not carried out due to lack of time.
All in all a very interesting demo with lots of additional information provided and as usual very well executed.
Thank you Terry.

Top Hat Egg Cups – Graeme Mackay

Club Evening;     24th June 2015
Report by:  John Smart

Graeme showed some of his work on these Egg Cups with hats on.
He started with some of his thoughts & work on this subject as there are many options; Pointed versions ex Richard Raffan, Round & full bodied ex Grey Lynn.  Stories regarding Runny Eggs with lips to hold the juices.  Ice Cream look-a-likes all made from different timbers. He makes all of his from all forms of wood like Tasmanian Blackwood which after use ends up with a good gloss plus all other types of supplies coming from the firewood bin and ever looked at wood locker.

His next subject was PENCILS 3 years ago he purchased 3 dozen Pink carpenters pencils and since then has never found one where he stores them he of course blames the Nombessssss.


We then got to the nitty gritty what size egg do we use and that required more discussion.  It ended up as a size 7 egg you will find all the dimensions in our projects file EGG CUP.


Graeme created a entertaining evening and showed the skills he has plus a lot of technical advise that he uses which we can all adapt where necessary ourselves

Projects File; Egg Cup

Thanks Graeme

John Smart

First Aid – St John Youth

Club Meeting: 17/6/2015
Author: Alistair Hancox

The St John volunteers delivered a very informative presentation on Wednesday night to those in attendance. We were given some sound advice on what to do should we or someone close by get into a spot of trouble. An interesting point made was that 30% of all calls to 111 aren’t for urgent emergencies. A key message from the evening was how to identify when to call the emergency line, and alternatively when to get yourself to A&E. If you’re even in doubt on whether to dial 111 for an ambulance, phone Healthline on 0800 611 116. A registered nurse will be able to provide you with advice. It’s important to note that in some cases, it may be quicker to drive the person in need to the hospital or A&E, rather than phoning for an ambulance.
Their main points of the presentation can be broken down into a number of key topics, outlined below.

The first question to ask is what’s the severity? Is if from a main vein or artery? If so, call for an ambulance. Some wounds can be associated with injuries beneath the skin. The first priority with bleeding, is to try and stop it. Apply pressure and wrap with a pad and bandage. If blood is leaking through the bandage, add another pad and wrap again. Do not remove the previous bandage.

Triangular Bandage
It’s important to elevate any bleeding and bandaged part of the body. We were given a demonstration on how to fold a triangular bandage to rest a wounded arm in a sling. During the audience participation, the room began to resemble a scene from the television show M.A.S.H. It was just as entertaining too.
Foreign Objects Embedded in a Limb
Do not remove! Leaving it in until you are being seen by health professionals will avoid additional internal damage. If you can move and you can manage the bleeding, get to A&E. If not, phone an ambulance.

Apply pressure to the severed end. Take the detached appendage with you in a sealed plastic bag. Do not put it on ice. This will damage it and make reattachment and recovery harder. If you can get yourself to A&E, do so. If not, phone an ambulance.

Heart Attack
It’s important to recognise the early warning signs: Chest pain, pain down the left side of the body, rapid or irregular pulse, blue colouring of the skin, or a feeling of impending doom. If someone is having a heart attack, call 111 and put them in the W-position. This is lying/sitting on the ground with your knees brought up. This will take some pressure off the heart.

Eye Injury
Don’t rub the eye. Try and flush out anything that gets in there. Look straight. If you can’t get out something which has got in your eye, go to A&E.

A stroke is caused by a blocked blood vessel in the brain. Recognising the signs of a stroke are important (Facial droop, loss of mobility in ones arms or legs, slurred speech, etc.). It is very important to get the victim to the hospital as quick as you can. At the hospital, an injection is given which can break down the clot. This must be administered within 2 hours of the stroke for the best chance of recovery.

CPR should be done on someone who has become unconscious, isn’t breathing, and/or doesn’t have a pulse. The first instance in this situation is to call 111 for an ambulance, then begin giving CPR. CPR should be given in a sequence of 30 chest compressions to two breaths. You should be aiming to compress the chest by about 1/3. The patient should be on a firm surface, like the floor, not a bed. Chest compressions should ironically be to the beat and timing of Another One Bites the Dust by Queen. Keep CPR going until an ambulance arrives. CPR will unlikely bring someone back by itself, though it should keep the patient alive long enough to get a defibrillator to them. Defibrillators are becoming common in places like supermarkets or other community centres. They are very easy to use and increase the chances of survival dramatically.

Recovery Position
The recovery position should be used when the patient is breathing and in a stable condition. Lay the person onto their side with their lower arm pointing straight up. Their head should rest on this arm. The lower leg should point straight down. Bring the knee up of the other leg.

If someone is chocking, grab them from behind and give them 5 strong compressions to the chest (Not the diaphragm!). Compressions to the diaphragm can cause damage to a victims internal organs. Follow  up the 5 compressions with 5 hard smacks on the back. Repeat as necessary.

Rolling Pins – Colin Wise

Club Meeting: 4 June 2015
Report by: Bill Alden
Photos: Ross Johnson

Rolling Pins can be traced back to the 9th Century. Commercial production of them started in the 18th Century and were made from Pine, probably a harder wood than we are used to. They were also used for crushing Oats. In the late 18th Century JW Reid patented a rolling pin with a central rod handles on each end which could be held firm in use. In the USA 650 to 700,000 are sold pa. They are made out of a wide range of materials. Some are patterned to leave an impression in the dough.

SAWG 3 June 037

They can have handles or be just a straight cylinder with many different diameters and lengths. Smaller ones are used for icing sugar. A French rolling pin has a taper from the centre to each end.

Colin demonstrated some beading with a bead cutter on a small pin in order to pattern the dough. Black Maire is a good wood as it is heavy and turns well.
SAWG 3 June 045

We discussed ways of keeping the cylinder equal along its length. Sight the tool rest with the bed and follow that, another method is to Part down to a given size using callipers slightly larger than the required finished diameter.

Thank you Colin for an informative evening.

Ladles & Caddy Spoons – Terry Scott

Club Meeting: 27 May 2015
Report by : Ian Connelly
Photos: Ross Johnson

In typical Terry fashion the demo started with a story about the history of the caddy spoon and how valuable tea was etc. etc.  then he finished by saying what he read on the net was very interesting and we should all go and read it because he had forgotten and just made up everything.  Terry had many different spoons to show, which ranged from functional to purely decorative.

Caddy Spoon

Mount a 47 x 47 block,  in a 50mm chuck with a steb centre in the tailstock

Round with the roughing gouge

Smooth with the skew

Mark out a ‘ball’ at the spoon end, using a parting tool to defined the sides and round roughly


Shape the handle

Terry used a sharpened pipe to tidy up the rounded ball (ideally the pipe diameter is less than the ball diameter ehh Terry)


Remove the tailstock, and clean up the end


Take out of chuck and use bandsaw to split down the middle (the square end makes this easier)

Make a jam chuck to hollow the spoon, some people may find the hot melt is also required to help hold it.


Sand the spoon and handle.


Cooking Spoon

Mount flat piece of wood between steb centres. (Terry used wood about 12 x 80mm)

Turn the handle



Part off at end of handle

Shape spoon with bandsaw,  grinder, sander, dremel ……  (hand tools probably work too, but Terry avoids these)


Tartle – Dave Armstrong

Club Evening; 20 May 2015
Report By: John Smart
Photos: Ross Johnson

Dave spoke about the word Tartle.

‘Tartle’ is a word derived from the Scottish Language which means “The act of hesitating while introducing someone because you’ve forgotten their name.” Todays item refers to an item used by Cooks & Bakers it assists in pushing pastry into pie trays.
Supplies; Start with a block 130mm long & 65mm square. Straight grained wood which will withstand frequent washing is recommended.

In Projects on our web page you will find a full article under Tartle it has the various measurements which if you make one of these to get “Brownie Points” you need to check which baking trays  are stored in the cupboard as there is a bit of confusion regarding the diameter at the base & top of the tray plus ensure the depth is taken into account.

As this effort was as a fill in along with our AGM Dave did a job that got our members all looking. Plus his talks about the lathe he has at home and his system he uses for sharpening his tools I expect we will see quite a few of our members trying it out.

Serviette Ring – Bob Yandell

Club Meeting : 13/5/15
Report by:  Colin Wise
Photos: Ian Connelly

Bob gave us an interesting insight into the origin of the table napkin/ serviette, when in the 1800’s they needed to identify their own napkin as the same napkin was used for the whole week, because the washing of clothes etc. was only carried out once a week.

The Romans used small cloths, similar to a handkerchief, which they took to their host’s table and left overs were placed in them for their return journey home. i.e. the first doggie bag.

Like all wood turning, draw a diagram of what you wish to make, size shape and measurements with which you can make up a profile.


Select your wood, (it can be a small branch with bark still on it or any off cuts that are suitable). It needs to be bigger that the serviette ring, which is approx. 60mm with a 35mm hole. The serviette ring will finish up by being 35mm long x 50 to 60mm dia.

Making a 50mm chuck bite on one end of the wood and place in chuck, size it and drill a 35mm hole in the end to a depth just past 40mm.


With the parting tool cut part way into wood to define ring length, now turn from center down each way to create an oval or the shape you want, at this point decorate or texture and sand to a good finish and part off.

You can make a jam chuck to finish the parted end.

Texturing can be paint, crackle paint, dremel tool or poker work of your choice.


View the Project sheet for more information

Goblet – Bruce Wiseman

Club Meeting: 6 May 2015.
by John Whitmore

There was the suggestion at the start of this demonstration that the outcome would be a ‘natural edge goblet’ – which attracted the attention of the most cynical present, but proved not to be the case. Confusion was probably caused by the starting point being a section of plum branch, au naturel, complete with bark. Another diversion involved debate about the difference between a goblet and a chalice; the latter being for religious booze whereas the former isn’t.

The plum timber had been in storage for several years so was decently dry. A section some 100mm diameter was already held in 100mm Power Grip Jaws with about 150mm protruding. The PG jaws are a good choice for aggressive spindle turning without use of the tailstock since the spigot can be up to 30mm long and is therefore very strong. At 1200rpm, this was turned to round with a spindle roughing gouge to enable examination of the timber for any defects that would influence the final shape.


A 50mm spigot was turned at the tailstock end for reversing. This would be the base end. It is Bruce’s preference to use a cup tool for hollowing the inside moving from centre to rim in order to cut with the grain. He gave a good demonstration of how the cup tool is presented with the business end pointing towards 9 o’clock and, with the bevel rubbing, is rotated clockwise until the cut starts and the cutter could be drawn towards the rim of the goblet. With the headstock parallel to the bed, this process takes the handle well across to the other side of the lathe.


The demo continued with a pre-shaped block of end grain Kahikatea being mounted, again in 50mm jaws. Bruce prefers to hollow the inside of a goblet first before shaping the outside. This time he bored a centre hole using a spindle gouge (carefully!). Drilling out the centre to guide depth would also be valid. Moving to the outside, there is a choice of shaping tools. Bruce demonstrated both cup tool and bowl gouge, but spindle roughing gouge, spindle gouge, skew and various other derivatives could also have been used. Design points are that the rim should turn slightly inwards for preference, the base should not be too heavy prior to parting off and grooves with burned lines or texturing infill are easy to add decoration.


A totally free form is liberating. This one was clearly designed for the serious drinker. The author has a preference for doing this sort of spindle work using a single, strong spigot at the base end and held in the PG jaws or, with smaller diameter spigots, held in equivalent 35mm or 45mm spigot jaws (also 30mm long), without any reversing. All of these jaws give much better support for aggressive hollowing and external shaping than 50mm jaws – which are limited in spigot length to only 12mm.


If there is intention to use, rather than just admire, a wooden goblet – there is need for careful consideration of finish.  Something foodsafe and waterproof like sanding sealer would be a good choice.

Spoons – Dave Gillard

Club Meeting: 22 April 2015
Report by Tom Pearson

Dave started by showing several types of spoons, and a spurtle which he sells at markets. These are all made from 20 x 50mm blanks, held onto the lathe with Steb centres.


Dave turns the handle first, using approx 2/3rd of length.  Almost exclusively uses a roughing gouge with swept back wings. To turn the business end of the spurtle he re-centres this approx 10 mm off the true centre.  This results in a unique shape which stirs the jam or porridge more effectively than the traditional round model. He power sands at each step to 240 grit, then finishes each end with a spindle gouge and parts off the item.
All his utensils are coated with rice bran oil, soaked in a bin, then dried out before giving a final coat of ‘Bee Kind’ wax.

IMG_9352Other items made are a saucing spoon for stirring – basically a flat stirrer with handle and edge turned, then held on the belt sander for final shaping.  Dave also makes a stirrer using bandsaw and belt sander, entitled the ‘Martha Stewart’ spoon, basically a flat, thin stirrer shaped into a long ‘S’ shape.  No turning needed with this one.
Dave’s ‘carved’ stirring spoons are made in left or right handed choices.  Shaped on the lathe, similar to the spurtle, then hollowed using a Pantorouter (see Matthias Wandel’s site)  with the spoon held firmly on the bench with clamps.



A new innovation for Dave is a measuring spoon made from two pieces of 50 x 50 x 200 mm blanks, held together using double sided tape, clamped together to ensure a good bond, then held between Steb centres to shape the handle. When handle is completed, the two pieces of timber are split apart.

Next step is to hot melt glue and screw the partially completed blank onto an MDF backing board which is held to the lathe with a face plate. At this stage, the ‘spoon’ section is square to enable a place for screws to attach from the back, through the MDF.

IMG_9359Then shape the outside of the spoon section as far as possible, without damaging the handle. Any difficult to turn spots at the joint will be corrected later using a dremel.

Then remove the partially finished spoon from the MDF, take to the bandsaw and cut off the square remnants from the edge of the spoon. Hold in a chuck which has been fitted with a custom made plastic insert. Dave makes these up from Warehouse chopping boards – they look like a plastic bracelet – very cunning.


Drill a pilot hole in the centre of the spoon to the required depth, then hollow with your favourite hollowing tool. Dave uses a Soren Berger box tool, but any hollowing tool or scraper could do this task. Sand and finish.


The items produced look most attractive and sell readily. Any of these, adapted to our own preferences could prove useful items for our next December sale. Try some out for entry into our end of term judging for ‘Domestic Items.’

Baby Rattle – Bruce Wood

Report of Club Meeting: 1 April 2015
Written by Murray Wilton

Bruce certainly does more than his fair share in keeping our club up and running smoothly. It may have been April Fool’s Day, and only 25 members present (while most opted for the Easter Show), but that didn’t prevent Bruce from demonstrating his unique turning skills. When the topic is a baby’s rattle, most of us would be thinking in terms of making it for grandchildren and even great grandchildren. Others might see it as an eminently saleable item. But if you thought it was an easy project you would be very much in error. Bruce waved the finished article to show us where he would be heading. A simple piece, shaped like a dumbell with bulbs at each end, contains little bells that rattle when shaken. The mystery, to be revealed, is how do those bells get inside the bulbs when there is barely a mark showing any join or secret entry point.

Bruce emphasized that in order to achieve a fine result the setting up and accurate marking out are crucial. Pen makers and those who work with small items will readily understand this. Refer to the attached plan for dimensional details. Start with a block of wood 40 mm square by 150 mm long. These dimensions allow for 3 mm wall thickness of the bulbs when hollowed out, and 5 mm waste each end. Rimu is a good medium. The block is split lengthwise down the middle, using a fine blade band saw or other fine saw. Pass the two halves through a thicknesser set to a fine cut, or plane carefully to make a perfect join. Mark the two halves carefully so that when they are re-joined the timber grains will line up accurately and produce a near invisible join.

File 12-04-15 14 51 13

Next remove two opposite jaws from your standard chuck and insert two slats of timber, each about 75 X 20 X 5 mm, which are used to hold each half of the rattle (one at a time) to avoid marking the surface. Mount the first rattle half in the chuck so that one end is lined up with the outside of the chuck. This will enable one bulb end to be hollowed out. You will be repeating this procedure four times.

Mark the position of the bulb at one end (about 40 mm lengthwise …. see attached plan) approximately 3 mm from the end of the piece and line up the tailstock steb centre with the central point of the bulb to be hollowed, making adjustments by moving the piece in the chuck. When you are satisfied that you have the bulb end centred in the chuck, move the tailstock away and carefully start hollowing the bulb using a 35 mm bowl gouge. Finish with a scraper. Take care to remain within the rattle boundaries and ensure the wall thickness is 3 mm. (Less thickness will be difficult to achieve and more will not allow the bells to rattle freely.) Bruce uses a cardboard template to check shape and dimensions of the hollow.

Repeat this process by moving the rattle to the other end of the chuck, then remove and do the same for the other half piece. You will now be left with two halves hollowed to a bulb shape internally at each end. Now check that the two halves fit together nicely, according to your initial markings. Miniature bells for the rattle can be purchased at most $2 shops and at Spotlight. Insert two little bells in each end bulb and smear a thin layer of glue on each half, taking care to ensure no glue runs inside and glues the bells together! Join and clamp lightly to dry.

When the re-connected block is dry, mark the centre point at each end and mount between centres, using a steb live centre at tailstock end and tooth grip at headstock end. Using the plan detail, mark the position where the bulb piece will be at each end and start turning. Turn to round first, then shape to slightly elliptical as in the plan. The use of an exterior template matching the interior one used in hollowing is advised. Remember that you are turning the outside of a hollow bulb which will finish at only 3 mm thick, so don’t get carried away and finish up punching through the bulb, or you may end up with a fistful of little bells and a seriously munted rattle! Turn the central part of the rattle (the handle) to a diameter of 10 mm so that a small baby can grip it comfortably.

Carry out the final sanding and finishing before removing the rattle from the lathe. Use a parting tool to finish the rattle off at 140 mm, cutting through as far as the outer circumference of the steb centres at each end. Then finish off with a knife and sand off by hand. Remembering that the rattle will inevitably end up in baby’s mouth, final finishing should be done with an innocuous preparation such as canola or rice oil.

Another fine demonstration from the master turner. Many thanks, Bruce, for giving us another idea for gifts and sale items.