Category Archives: Reports

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.

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