Category Archives: Reports

Richard Johnstone – Outrigger Turning

Club Meeting: 28 August 2019
Report by: Graeme Mackay

Richard’s night out
A night out with a big bowl, actually a really big green blank. So big that it went to an outrigger set up with the benefit that it provided a good view for the participating audience. A good windup for the crowd as Richard indicated that the shavings will go as far as the third row-or even further.

The location of the lathe was quite important for getting the targets in the audience. The set up with the outrigger provides the audience with a view that they can see what’s happening-or going to happen to them. And, possibly a clear indication that the shavings were coming their way. The bowl was mounted on a large faceplate with a solid array of screws. The blank was about 450 mm in diameter and well deserving been set on outside outrigger with the head angled.

There were many timely reminders of safety and checking throughout this very fun filled demo. Richard reminded everyone that turning the head allowed for a bigger diameter even without the outrigger. That is, he said with a smile, when everything is fixed down. The reminder came on the length of screws for the faceplate. These will loosen in Greenwood as activity progresses. Regular use of long tech screws with hex heads and a faceplate to start with is probably best when starting up. Noting : please don’t use roofing screws. This type of screw acts as a drill and rips the wood out, thus loosening an item fixed to the faceplate.

Step one was simple shaping and tidying up the blank. Initial shape was lathed out and preparations were made for making a spigot. A reminder that newly harvested timbers such as the Elm hold a significant amount of water. As the blank spins , a good spray is given off. However, as the water leaves the timber that slightly loosens on the holdings.

Richard reminder: to check, Check again and tighten all the time. it was noted at this stage that members of the audience had donned helmets and raincoats-particularly those in the front rows.
Spigot: as Richard was using wet wood, there to be a tight even hold. Also, that the spigot depth is not more than 10 mills. Too long and the spigot will bottom out on the chuck and produce a lot of additional chatter and wobble. Several persons mentioned the need to check the type of the wood. Elm has a tendency to warp or move. Hence slightly larger diameter so that the chuck can fit tidily into the spigot.

Faceplate off, the centre dimple made, the 130 mm chuck fixed on, and now the volunteers. A large amount of bowl hollowing was required. The volunteers were offered targets for shavings into the a number of rows.

The volunteers: First up was Dave Gillard hollowing with a tidy swing style. Shifting shavings at a good rate and making third row targets. Terry Scott followed. Noting that Terry’s concern was that the wood smelt like an old armpit. Although from this writer’s view, I thought it was a rather nice description of what the green elm really smelt like. Terry was able to get shavings well up into the third row just about the force. The next was Dick Veitch reminding people on nice sharp tools, a slightly higher speed, and shavings well into the third row. Also, Dick pointed out that the outside edge of a 400 mm diameter bowl was spinning higher speed than the given overall speed of 890 rpm. A good reminder.

Richard came in with finishing and getting the bowl down to a workable and storable thickness of around 45 mm. Noting that to thin and the bowl moves to thick and the bowl cracks. The even thickness gives a better result in regards to warping-particularly if this is a type of wood is inclined to do that. Storing is about 1 to 1 ½ years with standard sealer. Usually Richard puts the date on and sometimes the location of the collection.

Many thanks to Richard and his volunteers for a fun evening and good reminders on wet turning.

Bruce Wood – Turning Trembleurs

Club Meeting: 21 August 2019
Report by: Judith Langley

Bruce opened the evening by acknowledging French turner Jean Francois Escoulen who introduced fellow French turner Eli Avisera to the Trembleur. Eli had been the inspiration behind Bruce’s demonstration this evening, Eli was a guest demonstrator at the 2018 New Zealand Symposium. Bruce also acknowledged visitors from the Hamilton club, who had been out shopping all day (woodturning goodies of course). SAWG also enjoyed a full house of members for the evening.

A Trembleur is a long spindle with beads separated by very thin sections. The thin sections must be consistent along the whole length. When done properly, a trembleur is a marvel to observe and play with as it will shake and tremble with the slightest touch.

The lathe was set up with a Oneway Steady and standard chuck. Bruce was using a 400mm length of Kauri 40mmx40mm square. The head fitted in the jaws in it’s square format and the tail stock was brought up. Bruce mounted the steady ready for the next stage – explaining briefly the different designs of steady available and his reasons for choosing the One-way. Quality product with a proven background. Of course a price was bandied around for the Steady with courier postage being the main excuse for the high cost of this investment. Members scrambled for their phones to calculate Canadian dollars to $NZ. The feeling of those attending was that a few more Oneway jigs may be coming this way.

The blank was roughed down at a great speed to 38mm – the square spigot end was marked at the no 1 jaw position so that remounting could be made more accurately. The steady was reset near the tail stock end (not too tight) leaving enough wood (50mm) to form an ‘onion’. Once the onion was finished it was held and packed into the tail stock. Turning at 2000rpm Bruce highlighted his preference to secure a finger under the tool rest which gave much more control when turning intricate pieces. (referred to as Oogeehoogees). The steady is moved along as you go so that the wood is secured as near as possible to the turning area.

The next major step was to turn the thin sections down to 4.2mm, although other completed Trembleurs on show were around 3mm. The larger diameter preferred for demonstration purposes because of the concentration needed for the finer option. The lathe was now running between 1700 and 1800 rpm. With the 4.2mm spindle formed this was followed by a set of captive rings. This got the audience excited as Bruce had completed rings jumping around as he made the next ring. Stressful for everyone present, but Bruce carried on with his very vicious looking homemade hook tool, looking as if it was going to destroy the work at any moment.

Eventually the rings were taped down and the audience relaxed as more baubles, balls and spindle areas were added to the artwork.
Time ticking on, Bruce reverted to an almost completed Trembleur so that he could show the use of his String Steadies. Magical little gadgets that required Sewing Awl waxed nylon string to be wound around the spindle areas in a figure eight configuration. At this point the spindle was remounted matching the no 1 jaw mark at the foot end of the spindle and the onion was held in a shed made large French knitting spool held in the tail stock. This was packed with foam/rubber to hold the onion carefully in place while the stand end was completed. The knitting spool also acted as a String Steady.

Again the stress levels rose within the audience as Bruce started up the lathe with 3 string steadies in action, a few squeaks and groans, but all was well as the Trembleur was added to, moulded, a small wheel formed, another couple of baubles completed and a shaft turned to fit in a pre-turned stand.

Demo completed, spindle intact, and a great evening enjoyed by all. Bruce wound up the evening by selecting a random number on his phone app. which was matched with door entries – yes! number 31 in the door was Cam Cosford who won the turned Trembleur.

Thank you Bruce for a wonderful demonstration – you kept us all sitting on the edge of our seats all night. Your enthusiasm, energy, professionalism and humour made for a great demonstration.

Bruce Wiseman – Pepper Grinder

Club Meeting: 14th August 2019
Report by: Ross Johnson

Bruce commenced his demonstration by showing three finished Pepper Grinders all approximately 300mm high. One of these was a unit he made many, many years ago for family use and it is still in service. He then discussed the pepper grinder mill and the various options available – the best general purpose one is a ceramic model –available from your local supplier – as this will do salt as well as pepper. The overall length is 260mm and is suitable for up to 300mm high unit. The shaft can be cut to make shorter units.

Bruce showed and talked to the Project sheets available from SAWG web site on how to produce a Pepper/Salt grinder. I will make use of these pages to provide information on the pre done work by Bruce.

Bruce commenced the fabrication of his grinder with a pre drilled and rounded piece of wood. The base section had a drilled hole of 45mm dia. and 20mm depth; then a hole of 38mm by 35mm depth to accommodate the base of the mill grinder; the hole continued at 25mm dia. (or smaller) to within 30mm. of the top of the grinder. These holes had been sanded and finished. It is recommended by some to cut a groove at the far end of the mill hole – 6mm.long and 3mm. deep for fitting and locating the grinder mechanism. Bruce like many others dispensed with this step. Bruce had used Forstner bits and an Auger to drill the holes.

The body of the work was 320mm long and 81mm diameter. The timber being used was N.Z. Rimu.

Part the grinder body from the capstan. Set the capstan aside.
Remount the body in a chuck (100mm) and drill a 35mm hole in the top to meet the previously drilled hole. Sand and finish end faces and set aside.

Time to remount the capstan and cut the spigot on the underside of the capstan to be a nice fit in the drilled hole in the base. Not loose at this stage.

The base was now married to the capstan and held in place by the tail stock. Bruce used a jamb chuck but a cone centre or equivalent could be used. As demonstrated a good selection of pre made jamb chucks is beneficial.

The two pieces were now turned to shape using a roughing gouge for initial shaping and then a Skew chisel to finish. The shaping is your individual choice as is whether any grooves and additional decoration is done. Two grooves blackened using a wire were shown on one of the samples. Sand all parts. The capstan was turned and finished as far as could be at this stage. Remove the main body and place aside. (Refer photos for details)

The capstan now had a 22mm.dia. hole drilled 34mm. deep into the spigot. Again a groove 1.5mm into the sides of the hole 15 to 20mm from the base of the capstan to locate the top drive unit of the pepper grinder. Measure the depth carefully for each hole using masking tape as a depth indicator. Either continue this 22mm diameter hole or drill a smaller one 7mm or so to accommodate the shaft. Length will depend on actual capstan shape. Shape the spigot to a comfortable fit in the main body. Allow for easy turning but not too loose.

Remount the capstan by the spigot in a chuck or jamb chuck to finish the top side. Sand and finish to suit.

To fit the grinder into the bottom of the base part use a press. Bruce had made up a plug to do this and uses the drill press or tailstock to apply pressure.

The parts should be a firm fit so that the ribs around the parts seat into the wood and prevent rotation. If grooves have been cut the clips go into the cut recess and hold the parts up into the drilled holes.

Some makers consider pressure may split the wood and prefer to cut the clips off and glue in place. Bruce just pushed them in to a non-grooved hole and this appears to work. His 6 year old grinder has not had any problems.

Well done Bruce a well-executed demonstration that showed us how making a pepper/salt grinder does not need to be a daunting experience or one to be avoided. Even if Skew use is needed. Good to see that even after a non-turning period of some 3 years the old skills have not been forgotten or lost.

Mention was made that Terry Scott has had a run of Econo 260mm Ceramic Salt and Pepper Mills made and is doing a deal.!! 6 units for $80.00 .

With this demo and Terry’s deal I might just have to make my first grinders.

Project Sheets
Pepper & Salt Grinder, Crushgrind
Pepper & Salt Grinder, Dumpy

Terry Scott – Suspended Bowl

Club Meeting: 7 August 2019
Report by: Bob Yandell

It is always a pleasure to see the master at work as his demonstrations and a great combination of skill and humour. Each step is given with reassuring  instruction on technique. Key messages through out were the need for accuracy; sharp tools and slow,steady and cuts without pressure. 

The block of Matai was cut perfectly square and opposing sides were marked, using the corner to corner method and a bradawl was used to make a clear and clean location point. The block was mounted cross grain between steb centres to cut a 48mm tenon on one side. There were learnings in cutting the tenon – square to the face, depth such that it is clear of the base if the jaws and a notch where the tenon meets the block. Not the conventional Vee dovetail as these have a tendency to break off.

The block was then mounted in the 50mm chuck and the external dimension , 80mm, was scribed on the face and a sphere/bowl was turned to a depth of 40mm with the surfaces from the edge of the outside of the bowl flat and at right angles to the edge. the profile is checked with a prepared template. Sand and finish.

Remove from the chuck and cut the sphere in half along the grain direction. You now have 2 suspended spheres.

Mount on to a wood face plate centring the “bowl” using the tailstock and hotmelt glue in place. Mark the internal and external walls of your bowl. Cut the external wall to a minimal depth to extenuate the suspended bowl and cut out the internal bowl. Sand and finish.

To make the suspension more intriguing. either colour or texture the bowl or the “wall”.

Terry suggested that you check out 
Hans Weissflog woodturner for more ideas of enhancements to this project

O’Dell Toi – Carving

Club meeting 31 July 2019
Report by Earl Culham

O’Dell introduced himself in Maori and then English with his whakapapa, and very interesting it is. A mixture of Irish and other European nationalities and Ngapuhi and other tribes plus Portuguese! Quite a mixture of European and Maori,

O’Dell was initially in the Army with one of the club members, hence his attendance at the club meeting. His introduction to carving commenced after being given a piece of swamp kauri by his father in law. This experience prompted him to take up carving when he was 45. He decided that he needed to learn Te Reo and the meaning behind Maori carvings. Subsequently, he is now a full time carver and has completed more than 600 carvings. He completed a Batchelors degree at Te Whanana o Aotearoa last year. His philosophy is to pass on what he has learnt to others; “ what I has been taught is mine to share”, he teaches Te Reo and carving

Carving like wood turning takes practice, good chisels and good material to work with. His favourite wood is totara particularly when it is still wet. It cuts beautifully, not so easy when it is dry. You will find that a lot of the old carvings split because they were carved in the same manner.

O’Dell sharpens his chisels with the bottom of the V cut back from the wings (shaped like a waka) and hones them on a piece of 1200grit paper glued to a board; a few strokes on the paper and they are really sharp. His favourite mallet is made of black maire.

In O’Dell’s opinion, the main thing with carving is research. There is a lot of sacredness in Maori carving, all patterns will have a story. In carving there are three key components i.e. simplicity, dominance and contrast. If you take the koru which is a very common design, it is made up of three parts:-

  • The Titau. The tightly curled part which recognises new journeys, new beginnings
  • The Unahi. The fish scales
  • The Te Aho Tapu. The sacred thread that links us to our God or those of non-faith to light.

Another example of design is the pattern on the ribbon attached to the QSM medal. It is designed from Maori mythology and refers to climbing great heights to succeed and bringing knowledge back to others.

O’Dell demonstrated carving the titau, unahi and te aho tapu.

A wonderful introduction to Maori carving, delivered with wit, energy and deep knowledge. Many thanks go to O’Dell for a very interesting and enjoyable evening.

Colin Wise – Wig Stand

Club Meeting: Wednesday 24th July
Report by : Emma James-Ries

The Terms Project for every member, is to make a wig stand for the Look Good Feel Better foundation. To demonstrate this for us, we had Colin Wise making the wig stand that matches the project sheet that can be found on the SAWG website.

To start off Colin showed us a wig stand he’d made earlier… at 1/12th scale! Setting the miniature aside, he pulled out two respectable wig stands with slight differentiators in shape.

Colin then started out by making the base section first, using a square 160 X 50mm block of spalted Taire timber. He’d already drilled a 25mm hole, in which the stand will fit, and made a spigot on the other side. Turning at a speed of 800 he proceeded to round it off and then shape the base, noting that it is personal preference what shape/decoration you make.

Then take the base spigot off he used a wooden plug that fit into the 25mm hole and then held the plug in the chuck and turned it off. Colin noted here that its best to make a slight concave so contact points of the base are the perimeter only. This will prevent wobbling and give stability when there’s a heavy wet wig on top.

With the base finished, Colin moved on to the head. This piece was a 160 x 110mm square, noting to use a light weight wood for the top. Colin used a steb centre to hold the piece while shaping. He mentioned here that it is important to make sure the edges of the top are either parallel, or slightly curved under so as not to have a protruding edge that would damage a wig.

Finally the last piece to make was the shaft. Colin had an already round piece of wood roughly 240mm long by 40mm in diameter. After mounting the shaft he then used a parting tool to make two 25mm diameter by 14mm long spigots on either end, which will fit into the base and head. Colin said that a slight taper to these spigots helps the glue when assembling. Colin’s personal preference when shaping the stand, was to put a slight bump/bead about 1/3 from the top, this was so you could grip the wig stand when picking it up. But ultimately shaping is up to the makers personal choice.

Colin demonstrated that this was also an excellent time to practice using the skew chisel when shaping the shaft.

Finally Colin assembled the wig stand noting that it’s beneficial to rough up the spigots when gluing, so as to give the best hold. PVA is fine to use for assembling.

On a final note finishes were discussed and emphasised that any wax finishes were a no go. All finishes need to be able to come in contact with a wet wig that will not damage either the wig or the stand. Polyurethane would be a good option.

Thanks for the demo Colin, I look forward to making one shortly! For any extra details for this demo, please see the wig stand project sheet on the SAWG website.

David Jones – A Box

Club Meeting: 3rd July 2019
Reported by: Murray Wilton

David’s subject was simply and plainly “Just a Box” and he began by showing samples of lidded “boxes” he has made for worthy causes, like families who had lost a child through cancer. In the “Beads for Courage” programme a glass butterfly is placed in the box to commemorate the courage of an ailing child.

Choosing ash for his work, David mounts the block in two 50 mm chucks, one at each end and turns to 100 mm diameter, then re-mounts in a chuck at one end and a steb centre at the other, or two steb centres can be used. He first shapes the body of the box ensuring that the top is straight so the lid will fit snugly.

Once the bottom has been turned to desired shape, David separates it from the lid (top) and removes it from the lathe. He then remounts the lid in the chuck and cleans off the face. He carefully marks the diameter of the bottom on this face and proceeds to hollow the lid. Aiming for a snug fit, slightly on the loose side so it won’t jam. To achieve this it is essential to work slowly and measure constantly.

Once he has the fit correct David continues hollowing the lid and rounding off the outside as far as he can reach around the chuck jaws. Now is the last chance to do any inside lid finishing work and sanding because it won’t be possible when the lid is removed from the chuck.

Next step is to re-mount the lid on a smaller chuck gripping the inside of the lid and using tape or sheet rubber to avoid marking the rim. A jam chuck is another alternative holding system. Now the exterior finishing can be completed. This includes drilling a suitable sized hole (6 mm) for the addition of an ebony knob or finial which will be glued into the hole.

Finally, David re-mounts the base of the box to remove the spigot and complete any necessary finishing.

Thanks to David for giving us a nice end of term project to think about in our club’s quest to do good things for others. (See the SAWG web site under Projects for more information and box plans.)


Ian Connelly – String Holder

Club Meeting: Wednesday 26th June
Report by : Emma James-Ries

This week we had Ian doing a demonstration. As this terms theme is back to basics, Ian showed us some examples of spindle work shafts with cross grain timber bases. Examples included wig stands and paper towel holders. For the demo, Ian chose to make a scissor and string stand for the kitchen bench. Ian highlighted the fact that these projects are not only good practice for new turners, but they are very economical with the wood quantity and you can make them out of old bits of recycled timber that you might have lying around.

For Ian to make the base for the holder, he first found the centre of the square block of Kahikatea. After checking that the lathe was aligned properly, Ian used a friction drive chuck and a steb centre to hold the wood while he turned off the corners. Ian mentioned that he prefers a steb centre, because it has a spring loaded pin which results in a better grip, as there’s constant pressure against the wood. A bowl gouge is ideal for this type of work, a roughing gouge should be used.

Once the base was rounded off, Ian made a 50ml spigot. He then mounted the spigot on the lathe and proceeded to drill a hole in the base for the shaft to sit in. He did this by using a sharp 13ml Forstner bit. Dropping the speed, Ian made the hole, emphasising the importance of keeping the bit moving so as not to polish or overheat your work. Once the hole was drilled, Ian shaped the base, something that looked good and made him happy. Ian reminded us to always think about your end position, where you will end up after a cut, and to make sure that position is comfortable before you start a cut. Once Ian was happy with the shape, he went through the sanding process using all the grits and tidied up any tear out by hand sanding. The next stage was removing the spigot from the base. Several options were mentioned (between a foam faceplate and steb centre etc) but Ian chose to use two steb centres and turn the spigot down to the steb size. He then retracted the tailstock steb and used a Jacobs chuck and sanding mandrel to remove the last of the spigot.

To make the stand shaft, again Ian marked the centres of the block of wood and mounted it between steb centres. Ian demonstrated using both the roughing gouge and the dreaded skew chisel, noting that turning speed is your friend during this process. By rubbing the skew bevel Ian did some nice planing cuts to round off the shaft. Once the shape was made, Ian showed us the block method of sanding, by holding sand paper over a solid flat surface, you can push it against the shaft to make sure it is even in thickness. Something that is great to do when turning rolling pins etc.

Once he was happy with the shaft, he went on to make the small spigot that would fit into the 13ml hole he’d made in the base. He did this with the parting tool on a slight angle so as to undercut the spigot to make a tight fit.

Next in the process was making the hole in the top of the shaft, in which to hold the scissors. Ian said you could either hold the shaft in the centre of a 50ml chuck, using tape to prevent marking, or you could use pin jaws, which is what he demonstrated. He made the hole using a twist drill mounted on the tail stock. Once the hole was drilled, he used a tiny spindle gouge to smooth out the edges of the hole. Finally there was some shaping done to the end of the shaft and then he assembled it to complete the holder. A great project for those who wish to practice their spindle work and make something useful, thank you Ian!

Bruce Wood – Thin Turning

Demo by Bruce Wood (based on an Eli Avisera design)
Report by: Robin de Haan
Meeting: 19 June 2019

Comprises of three pieces: Cup, Stem and Base. The form is like an elongated stem goblet.

Bruce: “First you make a cup then streeetch it out”

Don’t wear sandals. Do wear a face mask. Stop the lathe before moving the tool rest.

Use fine grained wood with a straight grain for the stem, at least 400mm long, greater than 11mm wide.

Block of wood that will form both the cup and base, about 70mm wide, 150mm long.

Round and Prepare Spindle

  • Centre Punch both sides of the block.
  • Mount block between a drive centre in the headstock and a live centre in the tailstock.
  • At 2000rpm, using a spindle roughing gouge, turn round. Start from ends to centre (to prevent splintering ends).
  • Turn to a (70mm) cylinder. Leave headstock end 70mm wide.
  • Turn a large extruding spigot 60mm or larger on the tailstock side (this will become the bottom of the base). Square off the tailstock side. Dimple centre. Move tailstock away for the next stage.

Start the Bottom of the Base.

  • In the same orientation, move the round to 70mm diameter in self centering jaws (Bruce used 70mm ‘Infinity’ jaws).
  • Using a bowl gouge, turn the 60mm diameter end slightly concave (so the base will sit stably), and make a 25.4mm wide recessed spigot (for expanding pin jaws). Add centre dimple.
  • Finish bottom of base with optional pattern and ‘picture frame’ lines.

Start Hollowing the Cup.

  • Put the 60mm (bottom of base end) into the jaws and clamp them closed. Tool rest across end (perpendicular to bed).
  • At 500rpm, using a 5mm drill bit, go in 50mm (to help hollow and locate the ‘bottom of the cup’ depth).
  • At 2000rpm, using a bowl gouge, hollow the cup.
  • After shaping the cup centre hollow, Bruce used the wing of the gouge with a pull cut (‘back cut’) from centre to edge to finish the cup inner surface.
  • At 2500rpm, using the edge of a negative rake scraper (prefer carbide cutter blade), tidy and finish inside. Move tool rest away.
  • At 500 rpm, sand as prefered (Bruce used 120, 240, 320)
  • Bring tailstock up and drill out the cup centre (for the stem socket). Then move the tailstock to the end of the bed to avoid punctured elbows.

Outside of Cup

  • Move tool rest parallel to bed.
  • At 2000rpm, with spindle roughing gouge, roughly shape the cup upper rim to about 65mm in diameter.
  • Mark the cup inner depth (50mm) on the outside with pencil, and where the cup outer curve will reach bead (about 55mm).
  • Starting at rim, cut downhill, with a ‘cyma recta’ ogee curve, to the diameter of the cup bead (i.e leave more than 15mm at centre which will become the cup bead). Aim for about 5mm wall thickness.
  • Finish with a small spindle roughing gouge, measuring wall thickness with calipers as required. Don’t sand yet.

Outside of Base

  • Keep mounted as is on the lathe, at 2000rpm. Mark 30mm from headstock.
  • With a spindle roughing gouge, starting at the headstock side, shape from the jaws a cove (forming the top of the base). Leave centre at 10mm for the base bead.
  • Use a small spindle roughing gouge to finish shaping the surface. Move tool rest away.
  • At 500rpm, sand the surface if the base (Bruce sanded in reverse from 120, 240, etc).

Sand the Cup

  • Using a thumb inside the cup to brace against sandpaper pressure, sand the cup outer.
  • Supporting the outside of the cup, sand the inside.

Shape the Cup Bottom and Part

  • Mark bead and end of cup bottom.Tool rest parallel to bed.
  • At 2000rpm, use a tiny spindle gouge to carefully shape the bead cove down to 7mm.
  • Use a tiny parting tool to cut the cup from the lathe.

Shape the Base Top

  • Take the big jaw chuck off the lathe. Put small expandable pin jaws in. Expand them into the 24.5mm recessed spigot in the base bottom.
  • At 2000rpm, using a spindle roughing gouge, roughly shape the base.
  • Mark the base proportions – including the base bead – with pencil. (Bruce says “I don’t bother to get the dimensions too accurate).
  • Bring the tailstock up. At 500rpm, with the 5mm drill bit, drill out the base centre to 20mm depth (which will become the bottom socket for the stem). Then move the tailstock away.
  • At 2000rpm, with a mini spindle roughing gouge, shape a gentle cove ‘downhill’ from the tailstock side, to the outer diameter of what will be the bead.
  • Use a small spindle gouge to finish shaping the outside.
  • Then use a tiny spindle gouge to shape the bead. Use calipers to measure the bead cove is down to 6-7mm (carefully don’t cut into the socket.)
  • At 500rpm, sand with grit as required to desired finish. “There’s nothing wrong with using sandpaper for some final shaping”, Bruce says.
  • Decorate as desired. Bruce mentions a ‘texture tool’ will give different results depending on pressure, rpm and angle against surface. Quickly sand over again in reverse with finest sandpaper.

The Stem
“It’s good to have fine, straight grain”

  • Take the wood shaft, 400mm long and 11wide. Measure and mark the lower ornamentation first: The 20mm bottom pin, 5mm bead and 30mm taper, and leave at least 5mm for a bottom spigot. Although these are turned last, you will want to know where the bottom taper begins as you finish rounding the stem.
  • Mount the shaft through the drive centre, preferably using a small pin chuck (or can be mounted in the middle of self centering jaws (or pen turning chuck?)) with most of the length right through the drive centre hole, and only 40mm protruding.
    Stem Cup Pin, Bead and Top Reduction Taper
  • Measure the cup pin hole (Bruce’s was about 24mm long and 5mm wide). Mark depth on shaft.
  • At 2000rpm using spindle roughing gouge turn a pin exactly as wide as the cup hole. Measure pin with calipers periodically (don’t take too much off “You can’t put wood back on”). Test using the cup to see if it fits (spin lathe by hand, while placing cup to pin).
  • Mark bead depth. Turn the top the the stem bead with tiny spindle gouge. Finish with skew chisel.
  • Pull shaft another 30mm out of drive centre. Mark the taper depth.
  • Complete bead bottom and cove with spindle gouge.
  • Use spindle roughing gouge to turn the reduction taper from 10mm bead diameter to 5mm stem shaft diameter.
  • Sand bead and taper to finish.
    Stem Shaft
  • Install ‘French steady’ into tail stock. (Detailed guidance better obtained elsewhere!) Put the French steady waxed string into the cove between stem bead and taper. The waxed string should be looped around the French steady mounting pins to provide support in all directions while not impeding spin. Bruce “Not too tight or the string will melt.” Question “Why not use a 5mm bearing in the tail stock?” Answer “That’s not how it’s done”.
  • Pull the shaft another 50mm from drive centre. Turn to 5.1mm diameter. Bruce used digital calipers to check 5mm diameter while the lathe was spinning.
  • Skew to finish to 5mm using hand support on the other side to counter chisel force. Measure often with calipers.
  • Bring another 50mm of shaft out of the drive centre. Gentle use Spindle roughing gouge and then skew to round. Bruce: “Work down 1mm at a time.”
  • Sand the previous 100mm. Remember to use hand support.
  • Pull more of the shaft out to where the start of the bottom taper is marked (see step 39), about 40mm.
  • Spindle roughing gouge to 5.1mm then skew, with hand support. Sand with hand support.

Stem Bottom taper, Bead and Base Pin

  • Pull shaft another 40mm out of drive centre for the stem taper and base bead. (The stem may flex quite a bit across the 250mm mid length.)
  • Spindle roughing gouge to turn taper from 5mm to 10mm, and round 5mm more for bead. Skew to finish.
  • Spindle gouge to turn cove and bead. Sanding.
  • Use a spindle roughing gouge to shape the base pin down to 5.1mm, and a skew to finish. Check with calipers. Test against the goblet base. Last sanding.
  • Part with a parting tool.
  • Put together
  • Now do it again with a 3mm stem!

Cam Cosford – Goblet

Club Meeting: 5 June 2019
Report by: Murray Wilton

Cam’s subject was actually a segmentation goblet with angled lamination, but the process of planning and preparing the materials and tools was well illustrated. Starting with the story of his first introduction to SAWG and woodturning eight years ago, Cam brandished a massive 25 mm bowl gouge he had been persuaded to buy at Carbatec and suggested he might turn a delicate goblet with it. A little like using a chain saw to cut match sticks.

Cam emphasised that goblet-turning is fine work requiring scrupulous accuracy, and that he personally works to tolerances in the 0.00237 range. (How do you measure that?) The point is that for this kind of segmented work even the starting block has to be dead accurate so that the diagonal end measurements are precisely the same. A little outside the tolerance and the resulting patterns will not align correctly.

Contrasting timbers are needed in order to get the best outcome with the final goblet pattern. Cam was using maple inserts in a block of dark wood (not sure what it was).

As with all projects it is important, Cam teaches us, to start with a plan drawn to scale. The first task is to cut four slots in the bowl end of the goblet block using a drop saw. To prevent the cut intruding into the stem of the goblet Cam has devised a jig which keeps the block sufficiently far from the saw backstop to prevent this happening. All meticulously measured of course. The wedge shaped cuts are to take the maple lamination inserts.

CC Hint No. 1 To prevent the saw blade gripping the timber at the end of the cut and damaging it, always turn the saw off before lifting the blade from the work.

The 10 mm maple inserts are then glued into the cuts and allowed to dry before turning begins. They must be tight as or, in Cam’s inimitable words, “they will wobble round like a how’s your father in a shirt sleeve”!

With the bowl end of the goblet already turned and mainly finished with the Beale system, Cam demonstrated how to finish the stem of the goblet. He uses a jam chuck in the goblet bowl end at the tailstock, and mounts the base end of the stem in a chuck. He set the lathe speed at 800-1000 mm (and couldn’t understand why the lathe wouldn’t start until he realised that Terry S had mischievously turned the switch off while his back was turned). During the demo he occasionally leaned on the speed control dial and inadvertently changed the speed, causing more mirth among the spectators. Using a 55 degree bowl gouge (10 mm, not the 25 mm giant tool!) Cam started working carefully on the stem.

CC Hint No. 2 When working on north-to-south grain timber always work from each end towards the middle to avoid going against the grain.

As the stem became slimmer, Cam’s work became increasingly careful, taking off small bites of timber (more like dust than shavings) to avoid a disastrous jam and a ruined masterpiece. Eventually he got it down to his planned 5 mm diameter and finished with sandpaper.

The final task is to part off the goblet at the chuck end and finish with whatever polishing is called for. If the goblet is to be used for actual wine, finish the inner bowl with polyurethane or lacquer.

For an 8-year veteran, Cam works like pro with four times that much experience. In between the usual banter and good humour, the audience were attentive and went away knowing they had been present at another SAWG class. Many thanks Cam, and we hope you will soon put on the promised class in segmented turning!