Category Archives: Reports

Top Gears Unmasked – Fred Irvine

Top Gears Unmasked by Fred Irvine, Hamilton Woodturners Guild
Club Meeting: 2 March 2016
Report by Earl Culham

While waiting for the meeting to commence, I watched a couple of SAWG helpers bringing to the demonstration area, a number of strange pieces of equipment. As more and more bits and pieces were delivered my disquiet grew, how the hell was I going to report on this and make sense of it to fellow attendees who would later want to review the meeting, and those who had been unable to attend and who wanted to catch up. Whew, Bruce had handed me the hot potato tonight!

Fred commenced his demonstration with some reminiscing about attending the club close to its foundation in 1988; Mac was able to fill him in with the appropriate information. He then commented that each person who is a woodturner has their own favourite projects, whether it is making bowls or other objects which please the creator. His favourite has been in combining timbers and making objects such as gear wheels.

Fred displayed a large wooden clock that he had made some 30 years ago, as his first effort in making gears. The clock was a work of art, including a carved Chatham Island fantail and finials, which incidentally were added as embellishment and not part of the original plan. He cut the gears out using a scroll saw from a plan which he showed to the meeting.


The instructions with the plan were to cut out the diagrams of the gears and paste them on  to the wood to be used. There is a snag in this method and Fred proceeded to demonstrate what that was.

Fred showed that a sheet of newspaper can be torn in a straight line if it is done down the page, but try to tear a straight line across the page and it won’t work. This of course, is due to the grain in the paper. He then produced two strips of paper the same width, one of which was placed in water to soak for a few minutes the other laid out flat. When the soaked piece was laid beside the control sample, the soaked piece was longer, indicating that paper expands with moisture by about 2.1%. Therefore, the suggestion in the instructions to paste the paper to a piece of timber would result in the gear being oversized and inaccurate.

When making his clock, Fred drew out the escapement wheel onto a piece of plastic, plotted 30 points for the cogs, then used this as a template to ensure that the gear was cut accurately.


Selection of material to use is important, to make this clock, Fred chose rata. He said that if he was to make another clock, he would make the rata into a ply wood for stability.

The clock usually hangs on the wall by a bracket which he showed to the meeting. The movement is powered by a large weight which has been encased in rata and has a pulley wheel on the top so that the weight can move on the cable or chain (not sure which Fred uses on his clock). The weight is rewound using a wooden key. A pendulum which is quite long has a sliding weight which can be used to adjust the time. The clock when it is working has a lovely sound.

Fred said he has no idea how many hours it took to make the clock using a scroll saw to cut out all of the gears, but it was an enjoyable experience and he learnt an awful lot during its construction.

As an introduction to the next item in the demonstration, Fred showed a photograph of a traction engine with two large trailers loaded with wool bales. This traction engine towed the trailers on wooden wheels for 100 miles.  A beautifully made model traction engine was then produced.


The engine was made by a fellow member of the Waikato guild with Fred assisting with the making of gears and wheels. The engine is a scale model made in different coloured wood with a moving piston, wheels and steering worm. It is a work of art.

Rather than using a scroll saw to make the gears as had been done for the clock, Fred now uses an ornamental cutter. This is attached to the headstock, and a complicated jig mounted on the lathe bed is used to hold the material which will be made into the gear. Unfortunately, the jig could not be fitted to the club lathe so a demonstration of its use was not possible. It would be very confusing if I tried to paint a word picture of this complicated apparatus so I won’t, but it certainly looked like a piece of equipment that was fit for purpose and that had taken a lot of thought and skill to make.


Fred uses a book titled “Gears and Gear Cutting” by Ivan Lowe as a reference book, in his words, it is a very good book and easy to read.

The next piece of equipment produced for our edification assisted Fred in making the correct shape and size of the cutter used in the ornamental cutter. The cutter is quite small and difficult to shape without a method of making an enlargement of it. To do this, Fred made his own epidioscope. If like me, you had never heard of this piece of equipment, here is the Google definition:- The opaque projector, epidioscope, epidiascope or episcope is a device which displays opaque materials by shining a bright lamp onto the object from above. A system of mirrors, prisms and/or imaging lenses is used to focus an image of the material onto a viewing screen. By using the epidioscope, Fred is able to see where the shape is not quite right, mark the cutter with blue, and then reshape as needed.

Last but not least, another piece of machinery was produced which is used for cutting threads on objects such as screw topped lidded boxes, and was used to make the worm which operates the steering on the model traction engine. The tool has the capacity to make different threads as well as left hand threads. Examples of threaded wooden tools were shown including threaded clamps, wooden gauges and old lidded boxes which held threaded candle holders.

Thanks Fred for an interesting and informative  demonstration.

Square is Good – Warwick Day

Club Meeting: 24/02/2016
Report by: Mike Ainsworth

Warwick set out to demonstrate how a bland piece of Macrocarpa can be transformed into an interesting thing of beauty by showcasing the variety and effects that can be achieved by creating square edged bowls with laminated inserts.

Macrocarpa was used with narrow strips of hardboard laminated in an offset cross providing an interesting contrast of colour and texture.


Accurate cutting is required for the laminating and one cut was made and glued and then left and then the cross cut and second lamination was made 24 hours later.

When turning, the 13mm gouge was used initially for more stability to minimise bouncing across the woods of varying hardness, and the tailstock was pulled up when possible using a fine bolt to allow for more access. The bowl was turned as normal and the outside edges were turned from outside to in, to avoid tearing out. (Harder wood than Mac would be more forgiving.)


The finishing was done with the 10 mm gouge with care being taken to avoid catching the square corners and then a sharp scraper was used to smooth across the join between hard wood and soft.

Sanding started with the lathe at about 400 rpm and only the inner part was sanded with the more delicate outer part being done with the lathe stopped.

IMG_0395 IMG_0390Initially held on a 40mm chuck, the piece was reversed using the new vacuum chuck which provided a very quiet solid and stable platform to work on at about 700 rpm. They aren’t cheap but they are available from Terry.

All in all a highly entertaining and instructional demo. Thanks Warwick.

Footing It – John Whitmore

Club Meeting: 17 February 2016
Report by: Bill Alden

John opened his talk with a bit of history going back to a 1999 symposium where he won a prize for mixed media much to the annoyance of some  of the more experienced  turners.
He then brought some samples and asked which we felt was the most attractive. The ones adding lift to the bowl were more attractive than those with heavy bottoms.. There also needs to be a crispness and a seamless transition from one wood to the next and the overall shape needs to be followed.

The following are reasons for adding a foot or an extra piece of wood on the bottom of a bowl

  1. Extending a shallow piece of wood
  2. Strengthening weak bases mainly on burrs
  3. Extending the bottom of a bowl which has been cut too thin.
  4. Facilitates concurrent inside/outside enabling concentricity using the same amount
  5. Truing up a warped bowl.
  6. When bowl saving the inner core is easier to use when a foot is glued on.

IMG_0033Design considerations

It was also decided that a darker foot on a lighter bowl look better than a lighter foot on a darker bowl. It was decided that the reason for this being that we expect light to come from above.

Grain alignment is important. In addition to placing a foot on a bowl a second wood type can be used on the rims of bowls. These wooden rims can be cut from the outside of a bowl blank when the base is being turned.

John first lined up the headstock and tailstock using an Acculine, this is important to be able to get an accurate finish he then used a piece of teak decking offcut in the jaws using a packer for the depth of the jaws he faced it off and turned it round to the size of the bowl he was going to put it on.

John then used the Granville Harworth method of sanding which consisted of stick on sandpaper pieces onto a square section aluminium section he used two grades on separate pieces of aluminium Square section. The tool rest was used as a guide to lightly sand the bottom with the two grades of sandpaper, not much pressure was applied in this process.


This was left on the chuck and the bowl (which was a core from a bowl saving exercise) was mounted on a faceplate and the bottom trued up to the size of the pre-prepared foot leaving the bottom slightly concave which helps to stabilise the sanding process. The base of the bowl was then sanded using the same process. Grooves were then applied to aid keying of the glue. Brush or air blast both surfaces before applying the glue, he used ordinary white aliphatic PVA.

The foot which was on the other chuck was reversed into the tailstock with a Morse taper onto which was screwed the chuck. The end grain of both pieces should now be marked with a felt pen to enable lining up of the foot and the bowl. The glue was now applied fairly liberally protecting the bed with a paper towel from any glue drips. The foot is now brought up to the bowl and rotated as the glue starts to grab finally adding a small amount of pressure once the grain was lined up. The glue should be dry in about 20 minutes but John advises to leave this set up on the lathe overnight to ensure that the bond is fully cured.


The following week John brought in the bowl which was only left on the lathe until the guild closed and when turning it found that it was adequately glued and the joint was nice and crisp and accurate.

This is the method that John uses now after experimenting with lots of different methods with a recesses both 2 mm and 10 mm are using a pin off the lathe as a locator pin. He finds that this method is simple and has never had a failure.

Bits & Pieces – Cam Cosford

Club Meeting: 10 February 2016
Report by: David Jones

Cam is well known for gluing things together so you can’t see the join, as well as using different coloured woods to provide both contrast and symmetry for his segmented turning. For most of us this is a particularly difficult operation, which generally ends in frustrated disappointment and often a decision that we cannot get the accuracy required so it is not worth it. Also we don’t have the equipment to do it properly and can’t afford to buy it. Cam stressed that it doesn’t require really expensive machinery, but complete accuracy to within a millimeter is needed. To achieve this he has modified his old bench and drop saws to insure very accurate cutting.

With his old bench saw he had made a new bench top from meltica, which fitted over the old top and was clamped to it, with the sawblade lowered below the original bench top. He had then turned on the saw and raised the blade up through the new top so the new hole that the blade ran in was only minimally wider than the blade itself. Cam also stressed the need to have a good quality , sharp combination blade that would cut well for a good length of time. He recommended getting it from a good saw doctor.


He would then get a piece of wood with a perfectly straight edge to act as a guide. This needed to be as long as practicable to ensure the wood being cut always ran parallel to the blade. This guide would be clamped to the bench top parallel to the saw blade exactly the width of the required cut. The blade would be lowered to just a few millimeters above the height of the wood to be cut, as this would give the cleanest cut. The wood being cut needed to be pushed through the saw at a steady rate without stopping. Using this method Cam was able to cut pieces on his old bench saw which were consistently the same width along their length and could be as thin as 3-4mm allowing him to cut the narrow bit of dark wood which he glued between the other pieces of wood to hide the joins. The cut was so clean that the pieces could be glued together without the need to further sanding. If sanding was required to make the gluing surface perfectly flat then it was done on a perfectly flat piece of corian bench top that had sandpaper glued to it.

Cam uses an aliphatic pva glue (tightbond) to do his gluing and when gluing, clamps the wood both horizontally, and vertically to ensure a tight bond and no warping.


To cut angles in the wood to make wedges (say for a clock) Cam uses a drop saw. Once again, unless the saw is very expensive it is necessary to modify it, by removing the fence at the back and clamping a flat meltica bench top over it. The saw is then brought down and a cut made along the saw travel length. Once this has been done a straight edged backing board can be secured to the new table top exactly at right angles to the saw cut using as big a triangle as possible. Other angles for cutting can then be marked with a sawcut to ensure maximum accuracy.

When cutting the wood into wedges the wood can either be clamped or Cam uses the back-board and a nail in the bench to accurately place the piece of wood to be cut. In either case before cutting the saw is pulled out so the cut is made from the side nearest the operator back towards the backing board on the bench, and the saw is not lifted out until the blade has stopped turning. When cutting wedges from a large length of joined woods it is important to label each piece to ensure that when gluing them together that one piece is joined to the correct next piece so the grain flows evenly around the finished article.

The process of joining segments for a round clock with 12 segments is to firstly join the 2 appropriate segments to each other with a third narrow dark piece of wood in between. Cam had a gig for this that enabled him to glue several sets of 2 at the same time. Once the glue had set the double sets were glued together with a dark strip between to form sets of 4. Then 3 of these sets were glued together with strips to form the completed clock circle.


Apart from making wooden objects more colorful and striking, the real advantage of this system of accurate cutting and gluing was the ability to build and turn much larger pieces than would normally be possible because of the difficulty and cost of getting really large single pieces of wood without significant imperfections.

The demonstration was very interesting and useful and showed what can be done with good preparation and how easy it can be to modify equipment to ensure that its operation will be accurate and consistent. Cam made it look very easy, but I’m sure that his 55 years as a cabinet maker helped.

Thanks very much Cam.

Multi Woods, “I’ll dream up something” – Terry Scott

Club Meeting: 3 Feb 2016
Author of Article: Wim Nijmeijer

Terry woke up in the middle of the night, thinking about this demonstration!

The following morning he started the preparation and found that the blades on his thicknesser were blunt. He sharpened the blades and then proceeded to fit the blades in the setting blocks and managed to strip the threads in the process! Not a good start, but as luck would have it, Cam Cosford happened to be on hand at the right time and “offered” to prepare the blanks for the demo. Terry supplied the wood, however it was not clear what happened to the (supplied?) ebony, as it was never used in the blanks!

The blanks were made up using Teak, Bubinga and Wenge, cut with a drop saw and bonded together using Titebond PVA glue.


The first blank (outside of bowl and spigot already roughed out) was mounted on the lathe, using a screw chuck. Terry then proceeded by finishing the outside of the bowl, using a 10mm fingernail grind chisel. Turning speed approx. 1800rpm and slow travel of the chisel in order to get a smooth surface. Finally a skew chisel was used as a scraper to finish the outside. The use of a glue stick was explained for checking the outside curve of the bowl for any irregularities.
Adding 2 beads finished the foot of the bowl, and a recess was added for the insertion of a coin. (As an example.)

Power sanding (not fully demonstrated) followed using a 3″ dia mandrel.

Terry then progressed by turning a series of beads using a bead forming tool, followed by light sanding and then applied sanding sealer to the outside of the bowl. The bowl was then removed from the lathe.


The inside of the bowl will be hollowed out at a later stage, however 2 small holes (approx. 3mm) were drilled and copper nails inserted, and also some holes for a Paua insert, just to demonstrate various means of embellishments.

The second blank (similar to the first) was then attached to the lathe, using a screw chuck. A spigot was turned (48mm dia) plus a larger “bead” for forming 3 small feet at a later stage. The final outside shape was then completed. As this was going to be a lidded box, a section for the lid was parted off using a 3mm parting tool and a hand saw for the final part. (Note that the screw chuck was still in place for later remounting of the lid)

The bottom of the box was then reverse mounted. Next the edge of the box was shaped, and a “lip” turned to locate the lid at a later stage.

The inside of the box was then completed by using a 55degree bowl gouge, followed by using a negative rake scraper presented flat on the tool rest and rotated to follow the inner contour. The box was then reverse mounted in the tailstock.

The lid was then remounted in the headstock, and a rebate was turned to match the lip of the box. Next the box was butted up against the lid so that the circumference of the box and the lid could be turned and finished as an assembly.

It was noted that the laminations lined up nicely since only a 3mm parting tool was used.

A further bead was then applied to the box, and the inside of the lid was then finished and embellished using Terry’s ten-dollar tool.
Next the box was remounted in the headstock, and the lid was “jam chucked” onto it. With the tailstock in place the outside of the lid could now be completed.


More beads and knurling added further embellishment to the lid.

Terry mounted some African Blackwood and proceeded to turn a knob and a small spigot to locate the knob to the lid.
The size of the small spigot was marked on the lid by holding the center of the lid (screw chuck hole) against the rotating spigot of the knob. This left a visible mark on the lid, identifying the size of the spigot!) A good trick to quickly establish the required size of the hole for the spigot)

Finally the box was remounted again and the lid was taped to the box for security. The hole was opened up to accept the spigot of the knob. The knob was then offered up to the lid and its final shape completed.

All in all a very interesting demo with plenty of little tricks to remember, including the expert tool control and execution.
Thank you Terry for the demo.
Also a thank you to Cam, for the preparation of the segmented blanks.

A Journey to 3D Printing – Ian Connelly

Club Meeting: 21 October 2015
Report by: Graeme Mackay

Great Scott, it’s back to the future day, Ian is leading us on a long technical path from the home origins of 3D printing through to the current future. Ian feels he is in the midpoint of a long journey started in the mid-1990s. 3D printing is an exciting IT and technical movement.  Although much is held under various patents, there is still a future going forward for this medium as many of the patents are expiring.


There are many small 3D printing units available on the general retail market.  Companies such as Noel Leeming offering a $2000 unit in recent times. Ian looked at the course and said “I am going to do this myself”. He went to the net, that is the Internet, and started getting the bits to put together to make a 3-D printer. Ian used his CNC software skills to get going and joined it up with his vast knowledge of 3D CAD. A skill that started developing back in the mid-1990s and has been able to be kept on through due diligence, full application and perseverance of Woodturner.

The printing technologies have been here for a while and in various forms; extrusion printing, sintering printing and liquid polymer at the high end. So Ian headed out into the ionosphere of the blog set, open source joydem and special blogs (  Ian provided views of the earlier iterations of this printer. The one on display (see photo) fits into space 400mm x 400 mm x 250 mm. He made the observation that the smaller size printers are related to the size of the domestic doorway i.e. that is the amount that you can sneak through quickly before anyone sees aborted under the home.


The next but it is a demonstration walk the audience through the requirements and choices;

  • deciding on the plastic type (in his case ABS)
  • the need for the printer to have its own computer operation and drive
  • the ability to drive from high end ST cards
  • the drive for the vertical axis
  • the drive is required for the X and Y axis
  • the choices stepper motor
  • the heated pad system for the base
  • the software choices (and they were many)

Many the parts for operation were sourced from China and Taiwan with a nuts and bolts and framing coming from New Zealand the software choices were many and varied. Ian stated that it was to do was ones background skills ability and the whatever. This later to whatever covered CAD, slicing software, computer interface software is or printer firmware.

There were many trials and tribulations (although he did not mention many of the letter and detail). One of the challenges is getting to learn how to bond the layers and developed support structures to assist the printing. Examples of the printing support structures were available for view in all their complexity and provided an excellent example of the physical technical requirements to be worked out for this type of “simple” printing operation.

Ian’s explanation of the printing process and calculations were interesting to the point of mind-boggling. Solid old-fashioned direct calculation of the steps and direction is required to make a layer by layer printing workout.

A quick and simple list of some of the physical requirements to be completed provides excellent idea of the complexity of this very simple 3-D printing project:

  • the direction of the steps
  • printing and stop locations
  • steps per millimetre vertical
  • multiple steps or multiple steps (I’m not sure which)
  • steps to accommodate the type plastic  being used
  • steps and temperature to ensure bonding

The machinery moving the plastics extruder has to perform the correct steps and movement along the way and within the correct axis. The little example provided required 4800 steps per millimetre of height for the Z axis. The belt driven machinery for the horizontal X and Y axis required 100 moves per horizontal millimetre.


And then there’s a plastic extruder itself: an extensive technical subject with an item that has a hot in the cold end. Fan cooled to maintain the required temperature of the extrusion material. As always, in lead us up to further discussions of importance such as a grain of printed material, control of temperature in the printing zone, and a host of other things.

And the use the 3-D printed object; a replacement part to hold his daughter’s bicycle reflector.

Graeme Mackay

Mini Demos – Bruce Wiseman, Colin Wise

Club Meeting : 14 October 2015
Report by: Terry Scott

The evening started with informative information on projects the club supports –

  • Wig stands for Look Good Feel Better
  • Butterfly boxes for butterfly given to parents who have lost a child through cancer
  • Kidz First bowls

For those new to the club we had a run through of how the Papakura sale of woodturning works.

The evening was to be a montage of demos of items suitable for the  Sale but because of the interest about the above was cut a little short.

A Plain Pen – demo by Bruce Wiseman

  1. Start with a blank that is at least 190 long and 20 x 20mm. It is best to hold this in a 25mm chuck  but bring up a live centre for security . Or You  can hold it in the centre of a larger chuck, for this make the blank longer. Round it off.  Wind the speed up as this wood has a small diameter.
    Bruce showed an alternative of turning a dummy Mt2 on the blank; He said this made the repetition speed up as He didn’t have to take the chuck of between stages
  2. With the wood round, take the tailstock away. Use the dent made by the tailstock to start drilling a 3.5mm hole 130mm into the wood. Do this gently, withdrawing the drill after each 2 or 3 mm. Then drill a 4mm hole into the first 10mm of the wood. In soft wood the 3.5mm drill may have already made the start of the hole this large. Bruce held his drill bit in an old egg beater drill but said you can also make a wooden handle.
  3. Remove the  pin from a  4mm  rivet insert in the drilled hole and bring the tail up again.
    This prevents the timber splitting when the timber is turned to the small size need to mate up with the refill
    Now shape the pen barrel. Knobs, beads, coves, burn lines, endless possibilities.
    Bruce used the Piano wire trick to add 3 black lines
    Bruce said he enjoys making different shapes but prefers a bulge about a third of the way up
    Continue shaping and sanding until almost ready to part off at the headstock end. Apply the finish of your choice.
  4. Part off. Remove but don’t lose the pop rivet. Finish the parted off area. Insert a bic refill.
    A pen like this sells for $8 to $9 depending on the character of the wood and quality of finishThanks Bruce well done

A small bowl suitable for Kidz First – demo  by Colin Wise

As they say there are many ways to Skin a Cat
Because of the time frame Colin had come prepared with a blank with a spigot already turned on a 150mm cylinder blank
He said he normally finishes the foot which is turned to 47mm so that the 50mm jaws grip all the way around the spigot not leaving a mark,
He then proceeded to turn the back of the bowl from the headstock side ,a difficult task for many as this was turned up hill which would normally leave torn grain to die for .He had obviously perfected this  method as a smooth finished that would have need little if any sanding at all
Next He cut a grove at the rim with  a parting tool  3mm deep .This was so that the bevel had a shoulder to rest against and if he did have a dig in the side of the cutting tip  would be pushed clear.
He used a 35 degree 13mm bowl gouge on the bevel to shape the inside of the bowl
A Teeth biting moment was then had by many in the audience as he proceeded to cut from centre out, tool upside down.
Yep you guessed it another very clean curve and finish, Sorry for doubting you Colin you sure had me sitting on the edge of my seat but be assured Ill be trying your technique on my next small bowl.
Thanks to both demonstrators that had put a lot of thought and planning into staging their respective demonstrations.
Terry Scott

Offset Candle Holder – Richard Johnstone

Club Meeting: 23 September 2015
Report by Colin Wise

A set of plans is available here

Richard set the piece of wood in the lathe between steb centres, setting speed to around 2000 rpm. Turn to a rough round with a roughing gouge then explained that Warwick did it this way, Dick action went something like this, Phred will use a skew like this, while Terry winds up the speed and with the roughing gouge fires chips everywhere, Terry to a T.


Richard went on to make quite a respectable shape with the 2 centre piece. Then went on to one he had started at home, which has 3 centres, giving a twist effect. Showing 1 to 2, 2 to 3 and 3 to 1 then said it was easier to colour the centers, red, green and black and do it red to red, black to black…


He turned it using a roughing gouge and the the skew, with a slight whoopsy. Finishing it off with a bowl gouge, making it a very interesting evening.


Well done Richard.

Off the Edge – Gary McDonald

Club Meeting: 16 September 2015
Report by : Alan Day

Gary shows us half a dozen trial pieces of work he had to do to get it right !  The inspiration of this piece came from Barbara Dill.

While starting his project at home, he had a loose fitting garment, and unconsciously slid it over the tool rest, while he was concentrating on the job in hand of trying not to let the off centre work strike him in any way ! now his left arm is entangled with the tool rest, he was trying to turn the lathe off, but couldn’t reach it with his right hand ! but eventually managed it ! phew, now he has a remote off switch, – once bitten !


For our Demo he has a block of timber 110 x 110 x 130 mm, makes lines both ends from corner to corner, makes a centre mark, then another centre mark 35 mm along one of the lines, and at the other end a similar mark but in the on the other side of the centre mark, so it will look like a diamond when it is spinning !
Using a hand drill with a Forstner bit in, he drills shallow holes at a slight angle so when he has the block off centre, the two steb centres, one as a driver, and the other live,  will have a flat surface to push into. Gary offers the block up to the headstock steb centre, he brings the tailstock up and locks it with the Handle on the downward side, as recommended by Champion Wheel Maker – Brydon,

The work is marked around with black lines to help guide the gouge while it’s spinning, and blue lines to show where the sphere will be, a 100 mm tool rest is brought up,and the block spun by hand to make sure it is all clear, Gary has a long Carbatec Universal Gouge handle, and fits a Bowl/Spindle Gouge with a 30 deg grind to it, gently offering it up to the spinning block rotating at 500 rpm, and we can hear the hit and miss, tic tic tic as the wood spins, and Gary is watching not the gouge, but the shadow on the top, working one side, then the other gradually deepens a groove, while pressing down the gouge firmly on the tool rest, to get a clean cut.

Gary stops the lathe to measure the width of the gap, and now he can change the 100 mm rest for a 30 mm to fit inside the groove, scary turning eh !
Gary recommends reading the article on Off Centre Turning by Barbara in the AAW magazine, now making deeper cuts while the wood wizzes past at an alarming rate, not a time to lose your concentration !   Now turning a ball at the bottom of the tapered groove, and widening the sides, Gary says be careful not to hit the right side while widening the left  or vice versa, now cutting the base next to the headstock end, he says Nick Agar uses an under hand grip, not possible with this rest,


He has made a `Bow Sander’ to sand the ball, so instead of a bowstring, a long strip of sandpaper is stung between the ends, so he is able to sand the little ball while keeping his digits away from the spinning work, he stops the lathe and uses a Hot Melt Glue Gun to glue wedges in to support the unsupported nascent sphere, he says Barbara turns at a higher speed, and gets a better finish off the gouge,  check out the Web Site on Multi Axis Turning, doing lights cuts outside the tailstock end, and quickly gets the required shape. He recommends a book by David Ellsworth which suggests keeping the right hand further back on the gouge handle for greater control/leverage, left for left handers, he says one time he was at home and had to re-tighten the tailstock out several times, only to find the headstock was moving backwards !!

Speeds of 800 rpm now, holding his gouge handle close to/touching his body, he didn’t complete the Off The Edge Sphere, but says at home it takes about 1 & 3/4 hours.

Questions are asked for, and answered, this was a really good demo, – of something we might not have thought of trying at home,
Thanks Gary for showing us how to, and not be afraid of the spinning lump of timber !
Cheers Mate,
Alan Day

Dust Protection and Extraction – Warwick Day, John Whitmore

Club Meeting: 9th September 2015
Report by: Kevin Reeve

A synopsis of the general theme of the two main topics covered by the presenters, Warwick Day focused on dust protection for the “turner” whilst John Whitmore would later follow on illustrating how to eliminate dust totally from the environment by wet sanding.

The presentation was started off by Warwick, who identified specific areas to minimise dust, affecting the person.

Dust potential starts well before you even turn the lathe on, so deciding what you are turning has an impact of the volume of dust created.  As an example, thought should be given to whether you are turning end grain, which creates a lot more dust, or cross grain, which in general has less dust.

Wood Type
With any wood turned, shavings and dust are the resultant effect.
Those that are more sensitive to dust should consider using a harder wood to turn, such as walnut or Black Marie.
Some of the softer woods do create more dust, so this needs to be another consideration for minimising the effect of dust on the person, and your work area.
An example, demolition rimu, where the fibres in the wood exhibited some rotting, created a lot more dust.
In general, the lighter the wood, the more dust there will be Warwick says.
A question was asked from the floor about spalting, and the risks.
Spalting is any discolouration of wood caused by fungi.  Research has identified that it can be found in a living tree, a tree under stress or a dead tree.
The area for concern for the turner are the fungi pores can have a detrimental effect on the lungs, as well as your skin. Coupled with this there needs to be a consideration about the types of wood you are using which may escalate the risks.
This lead to a discussion about toxic wood.
The beginner guide does cover toxic woods, and will not be expanded on this in article, as it is a very specific field, and a topic which can be covered on its’ own merits.

How sharp are your tools?
The question was put to the audience to get turners thinking about the tool they are using, and their condition.
The turner should not become lax in their tool maintenance, and at every opportunity where there is some trepidation about the quality of their tool sharpness, it should be remedied.
The sharper the tool, the less dust.

Levels of Dust Protection
There are a variety of dusk masks of the market, both in quality and specific use. Careful consideration must be given to both how they fit the user, and the level of dust protection they provide.
Dust masks have various ratings for example P1 P2 and P3. If the reader requires an in-depth description of the mask ratings, they can go to:
There is a good amount of information on this site to assist the turner.

Full face dust protection
Warwick demonstrated the AC400 full face enclosed dust and face mask system. The advantage of this system is the battery is enclosed in the head unit and can provide up to 8 hours plus service.
The unit describes as providing full air filtration.
The face shield is rated at 90 kilo Newton’s.  As a comparison, the clubs shields are rated at 70 KN

Vacuums cleaners, Air hose blowers, and Fans
Warwick completed the first part of his presentation of 3 other devices. His number one tool in the shed was a vacuum cleaner to clear and reduce dust.
Secondly, he pointed out the disadvantage of using an air hose to blow dust everywhere, the more dust you blow around the more dust you are working in.
Warwick touched on the use of free standing fans, and the benefits and blowing dust away from the area you working in.
These can be beneficial combined with a good extraction system, and perhaps fresh air.
This lead on to a discussion from the floor that dust in the workshop can present an inherent risk of being highly combustible if not attended to.

Hand and power sanding tools
Warwick exhibited the different types of power sand tools.
His preference is the inertia type sander with the lathe running at a low speed.
The advantage he suggested was there was less heat created through rotation from two seperate electrical power sources.

The next part of the presentation was from John Whitmore


John’s suggested there should be no dust at all.
Speaking from experience, John turns inside his own home, and albeit a few wood shavings in the house, he has attempted to eliminate all dust in the environment.
John commences his presentation by offering free dusk masks to everyone.
John introduced his presentation by saying humans have lived with dust for “millennia” and because of our ability to get rid of dust through lungs and their biological efficiency.
He went on to say that because of the industrial revolution, our natural ability to do this has been nullified due to exposure to external chemical variants that we would not have been exposed to.
There was some brief discussion around asbestosis, its’ origin’s and use.
He presented a wet sanding solution using 100 grit sand paper and Ondina oil which is produced by shell petroleum. (Research can be done by looking up the product)
There was discussion about the limitations with finishing whilst using this product.
The merits using this way of sanding were presented were twofold:
Eliminating dust by creating a slurry effect on the Astra paper
It cools the wood
A comment from the floor suggested any type of small brush will remove the slurry and one can perhaps use WD40.

The next part of the presentation was again from Warwick about machinery and dust extraction using various machines from manufacturers, but due to the extended time taken with the meeting it is an area that should be looked at again.
A big thanks to Warwick and John. An extremely informative presentation about dust and how it can affect turners, and something we should all consider.