Category Archives: Reports

Turning a Platter – Terry Scott

Date: 18 March 2015
Article by: Cathy Langley

Terry had been asked to demonstrate embellishment of platters. But true to form, he wondered what else we might like to know, and he demonstrated the turning process as well.

Turning Outside of Platter

A platter, he explained, is a “shallow vessel to hold food” which (according to Easter Show rules) has a height (including feet) no more than 20% of the diameter.

Terry mounted a 300-mm disk onto a screw chuck dedicated to platters, with a wide plate for the blank to rest against, a long screw, and a disk used as a spacer for smaller platters.

Dremel Texturing

He calls this size a “wedding platter”, large enough to make a statement and small enough for tourists to put in their luggage. His tools were a 35-degree fingernail gouge, a 55-degree bowl gouge, a spindle gouge, and a heavy round-nosed scraper for the final finishing cuts on the inside.

Terry advised against turning a platter with a rim that is flat on both top and bottom, as this is too fragile. Instead, his outside shape was a curve extending from the 75mm foot to the edge of the rim.

Turning the Rim

That foot was used to mount the platter for turning the interior, intending to turn the foot off later. After leveling the surface, Terry emphasised that most texturing of the rim should be done before hollowing. (An exception: don’t use a leather punch when the platter is still on the chuck!) From a point 1/3 in from the rim and moving toward the outside, he used a rocking motion with his 35-degree gouge to turn a series of beads. He then used a variety of tools and products to demonstrate a range of embellishment options, including random holes (to link the rim to the interior which was naturally embellished with borer holes), his own texturing tool to create a rope-like effect on the beads; leather-working punches; gilder’s paste which can be partially sanded off and re-applied using different colours; and other techniques.

Timberly Texturer

Tips included:

  • Make sure you remove the sharp edge on the rim
  • Use the skew to shear-scrape the exterior, held at at a 30-degree tilt to the toolrest, with a light touch
  • Slow your tool progress to minimise chatter
  • Use a glue stick to check for flat spots
  • Hollow after rim texturing is complete, beginning at the centre
    Hollow out center after texturing the rim
  • Use a 150mm (not 50 or 75mm) sanding pad on the inside to avoid an uneven surface
  • Use your imagination; texturing can be created with anything and can go under epoxy. Use indian ink stamps, and carving tools or pyrography tools to highlight the design
  • If making radial cuts across the rim (for example with an angle grinder or carving tool) apply sanding sealer first. Use your indexing plate to mark the rim and make cuts one section at a time, to keep the pattern at a consistent angle around the rim
  • Avoid the need for false teeth as a result of jaw-clenching associated with too tight a grip on your tools!

Using Colour to Emphasis Texture

Thanks, Terry, for a comprehensive demo and an easy style that kept us all engaged and offered something to both beginners and experienced turners.

if in Doubt Hit it with a Hammer

Visit Terry’s Website to see some of his platters and other work.

Platter Design – Gordon Pembridge

Gordon Ramsey Pembridge Demonstration

11 March 2015
Report by Richard Johnstone

What can one write about after a talk from Gordon. It was interesting, informative and inspiring.  There were the usual comical interactions between Terry and Gordon, but these all helped to add colour to the evening.

Gordon discussed with us the concepts of Lift, Flow, Form and Function. During the discussion he pointed out that these were all concepts which we struggled to define. Sometimes they are mutually exclusive.

He also discussed with us the “rule of thirds” and the 1 to 1.16 ratio and had photos to illustrate his points.


Elliptical shapes are pleasing to the eye and give good form.

Designing a turning using a series of ellipses will give a good design.

Two elliptical curves intersecting at right angles give the turning good flow.

Form vs function is always a problem. The form can be perfect, but it still needs to have feet in order to be functional. Small feet cause less disruption to the form of the turning. Gordon illustrated his point by discussing “Terry’s udders called feet” and showing more pictures.


I would need to write a book in order to do justice to this talk. (I will leave that to Gordon) It is suffice to say that it was another great evening of entertainment and information.

Thanks Gordon and also to Bruce for “twisting his arm”.

To see Gordon’s work (rather than the poor photo here) check out his web site

Turning Cubes on the Lathe – Colin Wise

Date: 18 Feb 2015
Report by Pat Clay

Start off by turning a cylinder. Ensure that the sides are parallel. For
this exercise the cylinder was turned to 92mm diameter. Using
Pythagoras, the side of the edge of the cube can be calculated, in this
case 65mm.

Make the end of the cube dead square.

Using the parting tool, mark the length of the cube (65mm) from the
flat edge.

Using the index mark 4 lines down the length of the cylinder. Care must be taken to compensate for the backlash in the index. These lines will be the centre of each face. Mark the middle of each line.

Cut off the cylinder and mount between centres on two of the index
lines. The sides nearest the tail-stock and chuck can then be faced,
again ensuring that they remain straight. Mount the work between
centres on the remaining two index lines and face the remaining

More complex is cutting equal holes in each side of the cube. This is
known as a turners cube.

Resin Edged Inlaid Bowls – Joe Hosking

Date:18 Feb 2015
Report by Pat Clay

Joe showed us how to inlay the edge of a bowl with resin, on a
horizontal or vertical edge.

The starting point is a roughed out bowl. The dimensions should be
broadly correct, but the bowl will be turned again to even any
inconsistencies in the resin.

Where a repeating pattern or inlay is to be used, the rim must be
divided into an appropriate number of parts. There are a number of
ways to achieve this, one simple one is to wrap a string around the
edge and cut it into halves until the correct size is arrived at. Draw the design of the cutout on paper, which will allow complex shapes such as waves to be formed.20140218-JHosking-2

The trough where the resin sits is cut with a router, rather than on the lathe, as this allows for curved etc patterns. To do this, make a pattern based on the size of the segments. A few nails on the outside of the pattern will help position the pattern consistently. The router is used with a centre guide to follow the pattern. The depth of cut must be sufficient to allow final shaping and cleaning on the lathe.

Vertical edges need a similar router guide, but curved to sit on the bowl edge, and taped to hold it in place. If your lathe has an index, hold the bowl in the lathe to route the edges.

After routing the trough, apply sanding sealer and prepare the inlays.  Joe used fern tips spray painted gold to very good effect. These are glued in place in the trough, and will probably need to be held in place with tape while the glue sets.20140218-JHosking-3

For a vertical edge on a bowl, after the glue has set, close the trough
with wide (50mm) masking tape or packing tape, leaving a small
opening at the top to pour the resin in. Work carefully to ensure no
holes where the resin will leak out. Running a bead of hot melt glue
around the edge will provide an additional level of safety, but it is
important to make sure the lathe bed is protected from the inevitable leaks.20140218-JHosking-4

Pour the resin from one side only to ensure no air bubbles. Joe
normally uses Epiglass 9000.


Carving the RIm of a Platter – Mike Davies

Report by: Lindsay Amies
Club Night Demo: February 11th 2015

Our first club entertainment evening for 2015, also known as a demo, was presented by Master Carver Mike Davies and we weren’t disappointed.

Assisted by a power point presentation, Mike introduced Record Power, a Sheffield company with over 100 years experience. Lathes, M2 grade high speed chisels, an impressive dust extraction system and a wet stone sharpening system that really worked all got the once over.

We heard a little about Mike’s interesting background before he introduced the Six Techniques, the foundation skills for successful carving.

Mike went through the six techniques, one by one, explaining and demonstrating clearly the essential techniques for holding a chisel and making various cuts. It looked so easy. A sales pitch which wasn’t lost on members present was his one day course ($157) and a set of carving chisels thrown in for good measure, or that might have been vice versa, it didn’t matter, it was still a good deal.

Demo of a cut
Demo of a cut

The theme for term one is decorating platters and Mike came up with three straight forward designs that even the uninitiated could try. A point of interest was his comment that the carving working level needed to be at elbow height, to save your back.

A quick demo on lettering, a series of two cuts, just scratched the surface of the subject, pun intended.

Mike wound up the evening with a quick demonstration of the WG250 and the effectiveness of this sharpening system!

This was a quick moving demo sustained by a high level of interest from the benches. Expect a lot of interest in Mike’s One Day Introductory Course.

Well done Mike and thanks. A really good evening.

An example of what could be achieved after doing a course with Mike
An example of what could be achieved after doing a course with Mike