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Kevin De Freitas – Singapore Balls

Club Meeting: 23 Mar 2022
Report by: Strett Nicolson

Kevin De Freitas is a master at de-mystifying the secrets and mysteries of turning a great looking , well turned and perfectly working Singapore -Ball.

Kevin skipped through all the basic mounting, turning, finishing of a sphere and the creation of a sphere mounting jig (sphere chuck) and picked up his demo-lecture at the “How to” of marking out the points on the sphere for drilling the holes to house the spikes.

Again I must applaud Kevin for the clarity with which he purified the murky waters of the mathematics behind the location of the points for a perfect 6, 14, and 32 spiked Singapore Ball. If the challenges of the aforementioned SB ( Singapore Ball) are not challenging enough, he went on to illuminate the marking out process of a 12 and 20 point SB.

He provided various predetermined numerical factors that when multiplied by the diameter of the sphere determine the radius of a circle that would be used to draw circles and determine multiple point SB’s. ie, factor 0.3825 for a 14 point ball from 6 primary points or factor 0.5255 for a 32 point SB using a 12 primary points .

Quite simply a SB is created by using the points of a basic mathematical shape to mark the drilling points on the turned sphere. These drilled points will house the spikes. Kevin started his explanation using the triangle, I’ll explain this later. The various SBs mentioned above are spheres that are marked and drilled at the points of tetrahedron, octahedron, cube, ( although Kevin did not speak of an 8 pointed SB that would be the result of using a cube shape) icosahedron, dodecahedron. And/ or the use of the points of these mathematical shapes and then omitting certain points to create to achieve say a 20 or 15 point SB. The big question of course is how to determine the point on the sphere.

To create a 14 point SB, Kevin used the mathematical shape of the basic triangle. Firstly, the directional poles, north, south, east and west as well as the mid point between east and west on the equatorial circumference of a sphere are marked to create 6 basic points on your SB. To determine these 6 basic points see note below. To add 8 points for a 14 point SB one would simply scribe an ark, using a pair of compasses, from each point of a triangle created between a polar point and two adjacent points on the equator to find the middle of that triangle. Then working ones way around in each triangle of each hemisphere, one creates 4 points on each of the tropical lines of the sphere. so creating another 8 points. These points on the tropical line of each hemisphere together with the 6 original points make up the perfect 14 points to be drilled. Eureka! Mystery solved.

By mounting the sphere in his home made sphere chuck with a point perfectly centered a hole is drilled that is the exact diameter of the spike intended to be housed in the hole. Before moving the sphere to drill the next hole Kevin hollows out( about 1 mm) the hole drilled leaving about 2 mm depth at the mouth of the hole untouched. This will eventually be the stop that prevents the spike from falling out of the hole, once the spike is jammed or forced into the hole. So all 14 holes are drilled and hollowed ensuring that the holes drilled are deep enough to house the whole spike yet shallow enough for the core of the sphere not to become a lose piece of timber. Kevin only drilled and hollowed one hole as time did not permit any more turning than this.

The diameter of the spikes must be a fraction bigger in diameter than the holes drilled. A spike a fraction narrower will tend to fall out and a spike too thick will not be able to be fitted without damage to the sphere or spike and tend to stick. Kevin had a jig into which the point of the spike fitted to approximately half the length of the spike. Then by placing a sphere hole( hollowed out) perpendicularly above and onto the rear of the spike , with a sharp “bash” of the hand onto the top side of the sphere the spike is forced into the hole. ‘’Eureka’’ the mystery of fitting a spike into a hole the same diameter as the spike is demystified.

Some discussion followed regarding non mathematical determination of spike points on a sphere. Kevin believes that the points on basic mathematical shapes must be used to determine accurate and even placement of spikes points on in a sphere to create a well balanced SB. As a result of questions, Brian and others were challenged by Kevin to produce an SB with odd number of points to see if it works as efficiently as the mathematically determined fixed points. We wait to see if anyone rises to the challenge.

Note: The way to determine the first 6 basic points is to measure the diameter of the sphere ( at 3 or 4 different places and average the measurement) . Then multiply the diameter by 0.707 to set your pair of compasses to that length. Mark a starting point for later reference and use. Then along the equator line mark out with the length as determined above mark the 4 points on the equator line. These 4 points must be equidistant. Then using Pythagoras theorem ( the sum of the square on the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the square on the other two sides) ( or simple doubling the measurement used on the equator) one determines the north and south pole points. Any of you marked points on the equator can be use to measure the North and South pole points. “Eureka’’ , you have your 6 basic points.

Mystery solved. Well done and thanks Kevin for a most interesting lecture.

Dave Gillard – Pepper Mill

Club Meeting: 9 March 2022
Report by: Nicole Morley

When designing your pepper mill shape, keep in mind that these are quite commonly dropped or not treated like a prized possession. So, in another words, don’t get too crazy with your overall design and keep it more to the embellishing side if you feel the need. Hardwoods are generally better for making pepper mills as well for the same reason.

If your tool rest has those nicks in it from hitting your tools on it, a hint is to use a belt sander on it to tidy it up. Nothing worse than trying to get a flat surface and hitting those spots.

Now, start the lathe slow to check everything is secure and then ramp it up to warp speed.

From this point I then added two pages of notes on the whole process of making the peppermill, then thought to be honest, when you purchase the mechanism, it will come with instructions in it. So “select all” delete.

So just a few more notes..

  • Use CA Glue around the central hole in the base of your grinder just to strengthen up the wood there in case of knocks etc.
  • Some plastic caps have multiple stripes of raised plastic on them – take off every second one to make it easier to install.
  • Some also have clips, you can quite happily cut these off with a pair of side cutters or a Stanley knife then a light sand. These aren’t really required.
  • Use a 5 minute epoxy to glue your pieces in place.

I also will just take a second to Thank Dave for the mechanisms that were up for grabs in our raffle tonight. Look forward to seeing a few made mills on the show and tell table. 😊

And if you have any other queries, feel free to flick Dave a message. He is always willing to answer any questions you may have.


Project Sheet – Pepper Grinder
Watch David on YouTube

Garry Jones – Tubes

Club Meeting: 2 March 2022
Report by: John Young

With a demonstrator away, Garry kindly jumped in at the last minute to give us a great demo.

Tonight Garry showed us how to make Tubes. A fun project, in which warping, shrinkage and movement are welcomed to create unique pieces. The tubes also lend themselves to well to embellishment, carving, pyrography etc.

Before beginning, Gary spoke about the importance of understanding how the grain will influence movement of the piece as it dries. For example, a tube cut from end grain might warp very little, while a cross grain piece will offer much more movement.

Gary started with a long piece of wet Banksia approx 70mm in cross section. Wet wood is of course necessary to get the movement and warping of the tubes as they dry.

Bark can be left on or removed. If you plan to leave bark on at the top, it is important to cut down and away from the bark rather then towards it, as this lessens the chance of accidentally removing the bark.

Firstly, the blank was mounted between centers and rounded.

A 50mm tenon was cut at the base. A slightly larger tenon is cut than usual as we are dealing with wet wood which compresses more.

The blank was then remounted into a 50mm chuck. The tail stock can be brought up to help center the blank.

After mounting, a Forstner bit with an extension is mounted in the tail stock. Gary used a 44mm forstner bit for this demo, but you can use any size you like, you will just have to create a matching size mandrel for it.

Mark how deep you want to drill, taking care to leave enough (i.e. 10mm approx) on the bottom for parting off later.

Gary then drilled out the center, taking care to remove the shavings frequently to prevent jamming.

Dick suggested not pulling the forstner bit out all the way, when removing shavings. This prevents the entry point getting damaged or chipped every time you re-enter with the forstner bit.

Once the tube was hollowed, Gary removed it from the chuck and mounted a pre-made wooden mandrel. The mandrel is a large dowel cut to roughly the same width as the hole in your tube.

The tube was then be fitted over the mandrel, with the tail stock brought up for support. If the fitting is lose, tape can be wrapped around the mandrel to provide a snug fit.

Be sure to get a nice firm, centered fit. If the tube is off-center, the wall thickness of your tube will become uneven.

Once it was firmly on, Gary reduced the wall thickness to his desired amount.

Important to note the tube should be completed in one go, without removing it from the mandrel. It can warp very quickly and may not recenter again once you have removed it.

Once he was happy with its final thickness, Gary parted off the base, cutting a slight concave in the bottom, to allow the tube to stand flat.

Sanding can be done before parting off, or when the wood has completely dried. Some woods are better to sand once wood is completely dry.

Thanks Gary for stepping in at the last minute and giving a great demo.


David Gillard: Closed Hollow Form

Club Meeting: 16 February 2022
Report by: Kieran FitzGerald

Dave considered two options for his demo tonight – closed hollow form or super thin wall turning. Undecided, he asked members on the club Facebook page what they preferred. Cheeky responders asked for super thin closed hollow form, and pretty much that is what Dave demonstrated (the request for an offset turned super thin hollow form was probably OTT).

As a background to the demo, Dave explained that he had been working with hollow forms for some years and was initially motivated by David Ellsworth’s book “Ellsworth on Woodturning”. Dave was interested in wet and finished hollowing, without twice turning. However his early experiments resulted in warped forms which were he thought were ugly. What he wanted was for the inevitable warping to complement the form of the piece, and to be able to consistently predict its final form before commencing turning.

Understanding how wood moves is pivotal to achieving consistent results. In this diagram, the template of a hollow form is superimposed over a cross section of the log, with the centre line running through the pith. The pith remains in the turning. The foot of the vessel is located where the growth rings are tightest, and the opening at the opposing end where the growth rings are furthest apart.

The second diagram illustrates the location for turning a smaller hollow form where the pith is not included in the turning. As before, the centre line runs through the pith, but the opening of the vessel is oriented towards the pith, which is cut away during turning.

With the blank in a chuck, and the tailstock up, Dave began his practical demonstration by shaping the outside of his hollow form. The shape was teardrop, with a narrow top. He retained a section of wood at the foot near the spigot which he referred to as “the stabilizing part”, to give support while hollowing. He used a gouge sharpened to a 40/40 Irish (or Ellsworth) grind. This versatile tool has swept back wings which can be used for scraping to remove any ridges which may remain after cutting. Turning the speed down, Dave wet sanded with 120 through 320 grit. He used a squeeze bottle to direct water on to the piece, the water contained a little detergent to act as a lubricant. Dave advised that he usually uses a bow sander, which shapes to the contours of the piece. Without the bow sander, his tip was to offset the sandpaper to the rotation of the piece in order to avoid scratching concentric circles.

With the outside shape completed and sanded, Dave began hollowing. For the demo he drilled an 80mm hole with a standard drill bit. He also exhibited two forstner bits, one of which had the point filed off. Dave swivelled the headstock about 40 degrees to facilitate easier access and, through a small opening, began hogging out with a Munro mini (Owen bend), before switching to a Lister bend to get around the tight bend, and finally a Munro mini straight tool to work towards the bottom. The hollowing approach is depicted in the following picture.

Dave started hollowing at about 850rpm, but ramped it up to 1600 after a time. Holding the tool at centre, he maintained control by wedging the handle against his arm up to his elbow, arm against the body, using the whole body for stability. He used mainly push cuts, but with stable wood push or pull cats can be utilised. As he worked down from the rim, hollowing to approx. 2.5mm to 3mm, he checked the wall thickness with calipers. Dave also used a micro light attached to his tool post to see inside the hollow form, and directed the halogen work light on to the side of the piece to give an idea of the transparency of the thin cut area.

Having finished the bulk of the hollowing, the next step is to make the finishing cuts. This requires a soft touch and is done mainly by feel. Again working your way down towards the foot, dress the surface with fine skims, feeling for any lips and buzzing them down. The final wall thickness is about 2.5mm. Although he never sands the inside of his hollow forms, he will sometimes uses an articulated scraper to apply a shear cut to the finish.

Dave finished by demonstrating some handy hints:

If there is a nub at the centre bottom it is tricky, with a closed opening, to feel where the centre of it is. Dave feels with the tool for the bottom of the nub and lowers the handle so the cutter of the tool lifts and literally breaks off the nub. Then just a few side to side cuts to smooth it out.

For turning off the foot, Dave places the top of the vessel into the opening of a suitably sized vacuum chuck and brings up the tailstock against the centre point on the foot (no vacuum applied). Then nibble away the foot with a spindle gouge down to no less than 8mm, preferably 10mm. Remove the nub and finish with a nice concave curve. (Bruce Wood has built a fancy jig with an adjustable threaded rod with a padded foot piece, and a locking nut. It has various stepped neck sizes and is held in a chuck, with the tailstock up.)

A useful tool, home made from no. 8 wire, is this David Ellsworth designed caliper set.

By touching the wire against the inside of the vessel you can gauge any difference in wall thickness.

At any point during a thin wall hollowing there is potential for a disaster – Dave says he has 20 to 30% reject rate, and that is just the nature of the work.

The club is privileged to have such proficient turners as Dave to share their skills and knowledge. Thanks a heap mate.

Strett Nicolson – Humming Top

Club Meeting 9 February 2022
Report by John Young

Strett demo tonight was a unique take on the old classic spinning top – the “Humming Top”. Essentially a large spinning top/box, hollow inside, with a hole cut into the side, which hums when spun.

To get started on the box, Strett took a rectangular block of wood, marked the middle on both ends, and mounted it between centers.

He quickly rounded it off, and had a practice with the skew to give it a smooth finish.

Using a parting tool, 48mm spigots were cut at both ends.

The cylinder was removed and mounted in a 50mm chuck.

In the tail stock, a Jacobs chuck was used to hold a 10mm drill. The speed was lowered and a hole drilled to about 100mm down the cylinder. The hole will later fit a thin spindle, which will travel down the inside of the box, helping it spin.

After drilling, the Jacobs chuck was removed and a live center inserted into the tail stock, which was brought up for support.

A thin lid (5mm or so) was marked at the top of the cylinder. The depth of the drill was also marked, then 10mm or so below that, the bottom of the box was marked. (You don’t want the drill hole to go right through the bottom).

A parting tool was used to create a small recess where the lid would be parted off. The lid was parted off with a thin parting tool, leaving a small inside edge so the lid will fit back on snugly.

Before parting all the way, a saw was used to safely remove the thin lid.

With the lid removed, the inside was hollowed out with a bowl gouge and tidied with a skew chisel. The skew was used to get thin, even side walls and a flat bottom to the box. Leave a small hole however (5-10mm) on the inside bottom. This is where the spindle will fit in.

With the vessel hollowed, the lid was glued back on. A long spindle, 10mm wide was fitted through the lid and glued to the lid and into the hole at the bottom.

Strett removed the box, turned it around and remounted it, using the spigot on top of the lid to remount it. Tail stock brought up for support.

The waste timber was parted off, and the bottom reshaped to a V, upon which it will spin. With more time, Strett suggested drilling a hole into the bottom to mount a harder material upon which the top will spin on, for more durability.

While still mounted, a vertical slot was cut into the side of the box with a dremel. This will let air pass through, giving the humming sound as it spins. 

A quick demo of this ingenious little toy was given. And with that, another excellent demo from Strett was done.

Thanks Strett.

Some Research by Dick Veitch has come up with the following additional information, humming tops is clearly a topic that is generating some discussion and thought.

“A straw can be used to test each hole drilled, like blowing across the top of a bottle.”
He has also included a link which some might find interesting

Helmholtz resonance – Wikipedia Helmholtz resonance or wind throb is the phenomenon of air resonance in a cavity, such as when one blows across the top of an empty bottle. The name comes from a device created in the 1850s by Hermann von Helmholtz, the Helmholtz resonator, which he used to identify the various frequencies or musical pitches present in music and other complex sounds. en.wikipedia.org

Shannon Turuwhenua – Fluid Pouring

Club Meeting 11 August 2021
Report by Bob Yandell

Shannon is from the Franklin Woodturner’s Club and was well supported by members from his Club, not that he needed them, as he gave us an entertaining and informative presentation without using the lathe.

Using a process, similar to marbling, Shannon took us through the steps to decorate the wide rim or underside of bowls. He then demonstrated the process on a flat piece of MDF that produced a placemat. The bowls were finished on the surface not to be treated and the bowl with the underside surface to be treated was still in the chuck with the inside not turned.

The items decorated had been preturned with no sanding sealer, sanded to 240grit, paint will not adhere to a smoother surface, and painted with matt black primer.

The process is based on Acrylic paint and two other ingredients. You can use the cheaper Floetrol(Flood) Acrylic and Stain Conditioner from Mitre 10 or Bunnings or the more expensive option Gordon Harris Golden GAC800 Low Crazing Extender for pouring Acrylics. The former gives a painted appearance whereas the latter gives a resin appearance.

The surface to be painted is masked with masking tape to minimise paint going on the wrong surface. The tape also forms a dam on the down side of the curved surface.  

Shannon believes a better result is achieved by working in a monochrome colour scheme, that is similar colours. He used Black, Grey and white. The paint is prepared by pouring the base, Floetral or Golden GAC800, into disposable cups, approximately 250ml but unused paint can be stored in air tight containers, and he wore gloves. Next the colour is added and the amount is dependent on what acrylic paint is used, poster paint requires more as it’s thicker. The paint mix is stirred using ice block sticks and when even blend is achieved a drop, or two, of CRC Onedrop, a clear synthetic oil, was added and again stirred into the mix.

The mixed paint was gently poured on to the surface starting from the highest point starting with the darker colour. The item being painted was carefully turned and another pour made, not unlike droplets of water running down a window, until the desired area is covered. The process is repeated with the next colour and repeated with the third. The colours where then blended together, where desired, using a flat blade knife such a a butter knife, as Mum first.

The finished product is left to dry, this can be a few days, and the masking tape is removed and the bowl is returned to the lathe for finishing.

The piece of MDF was painted in a similar manner but if brave enough you can place the wood on the surface of the disposable cup and invert allowing the paint to flow over the surface. Repeated with the following colour. Instead of or additional to using the knife to spread the colours you can use the edge of a torn paper towel or touch the paint with flame from a blow torch. Hot air from a hot air gun or hair dryer blows the paint and the results are messy.

A great demonstration and the outcomes were great. Another tool for the decoration/enchantment box.

John Young – Wig Stand

Club Meeting: 28th July 2021
Report by: Graeme Mackay

A simple and straight forward demonstration, keeping to the process, checking, and planning and producing a positive functional piece. John Young provided an excellent example of following the process and using the planning put forward in the SAWG project sheet.

The functional wig stand provides a good platform for the new Woodturner to work on the planning and process. A number of Woodturning actions have to be put together in order: faceplates, screw chucks, bowls forms, spindle, drilling with the lathe, texturing, embellishing and always measuring of things.

John was following the SAWG project sheet started with the Wig head. Getting the correct order of faces and rebates is important to start the process.

Remember, this is an item to be used on a daily basis. There is a clear need not to have any sharp edges on any part of the head or stand and this comment includes texturing, embellishment or coving. Washed or wet wigs particularly can catch on edges or odd rough sections.

Base: again remember the steps involved and think about the way in which the base is drilled and held on the chuck. If using a recess for standard chuck, check that the rebate is the correct diameter.
While shaping the base, think about the end result and how it will balance.

Spindle trunk: a key part of this process is to ensure that the tenons are the correct measurement and as a Demonstrator voiced: “actually fit”. Again, noting a key point that while the shape and embellishments are a personal choice, remember the end use the need for lack of sharp bits.

John pressed the need for planning, thinking things through and the strengths of the SAWG project sheets. There are many ways of doing this project, many options, a good start for new turners.

John Balsille – Lemon Squeezer

Club Meeting: Wednesday 7th July
Report by: Emma James-Ries

The last night of term is always an enjoyable affair, with the Life Members Award and prize for the term project. We had a member from the Child Cancer Foundation come and judge the best butterfly box, which went to Bruce Wood. A great effort from all the members who turned a box for a great cause. After the prize giving we moved on to a demo by John Balsille. 

John started by going over his early days of turning and how he focused on repetition spindle work. He quickly found that the things that sold at the market and Xmas sales, were things that were quick to turn out.

Useful/functional items, such as paper towel holders, ring holders, spinning tops, door wedges, sock darning mushrooms etc. So for this demo he decided to show his process of making a lemon squeezer. 

He started with a 150-200mm long cylinder of London Plane, held in a 50mm chuck. He then marked out the the sizes of the shoulder, handle and centre using a premade template. After he shaped the point and shoulder of the squeezer and a rough shaping of the handle, making sure to retain the thickness in the handle so to keep the strength.

Then the fun began as John set up his router on a home made gig attached to the tailstock. The gig allowed for rotation around the squeezer, keeping an even distance. Then using the indexing on the lathe, he routed out even groves along the length of the squeezer. Here he also pointed out that this was an easy way of turning out clock inserts, as opposed to turning on the lathe.

Nice to see a new tool/technique here, albeit slightly noisy. Once the grooves were complete, he removed the tail stock and finished shaping the handle. After a quick sand he parted it off with the skew and Voila one delightful lemon squeezer. A great little demo, thanks John. 

Bruce Wood -Butterfly Box with “Greenstone” Insert

Club Night: 29 June 2021
Report by Kieran FitzGerald

The demo this week is a butterfly box with a domed “greenstone” lid. The greenstone is actually a resin mix of two secret colours with pohutukawa shavings embedded. Bruce relented and advised the colours were yellow and blue but did not give away the shades of colour. The greenstone is an insert in the top of the lid.

Bruce explained that the design of his box had evolved from a taller straight sided box to a shorter, curved edge butterfly box. He showed us previous examples, including one made entirely from “greenstone”, one with a beautiful burl insert, and one with an interesting clear resin magnifying top.

To prepare the resin, Bruce had cut a block of wood with a foot for the chuck, and put pvc tubing around it, in to which he poured the mixed resin and shavings. To make sure there were no bubbles Bruce pressure tanked it, but this step could be eliminated if you do not have a pressure pot.

The box starts with a piece of wood 95 x 95 x 50. Bruce used tawa. After cutting the corners off, it was mounted between centres and turned at 2500 rpm down to 93mm. Bruce cut a spigot, remounted it in the chuck and made a finishing cut.

With the top of the box at this stage being at the tailstock end, Bruce shaped the lid part down to 82mm round and 10mm deep. It was not parted off yet. Using a 50mm forstner bit, and showcasing his fancy digital tailstock depth gadget, Bruce drilled a hole 32 mm deep through the top. Next he opened up the hole to 52mm wide, because it needs to fit the jaws at a later stage in the process. The cut in the lid end needs to be a finishing cut because it can’t be reached later. A quick sand and take the whole piece off the lathe while still on the chuck.

Now take the resin insert piece. This was mounted on a chuck, and Bruce had already polished one side of it to save time. Bruce turned it down to 63mm with a scraper.

Next Bruce put the box piece back on the lathe to turn a recess in the lid to fit the resin insert. He cut the recess 3mm deep. When it was a good fit after test fitting, he gave it a very light sand, sealed the surface and applied CA glue on a paper towel. He polished the parts that would be inaccessible later with EEE.

Put the resin insert, in it’s chuck, in the tailstock. Give the surfaces of the lid where it is to be fitted a final clean, apply medium CA glue to the insert, and bring the tailstock forward until the resin is seated in the lid recess. Give it a squirt of activator, and a tidy up where the insert meets the lid to get rid of any superglue which may be there.

Next step is to part off the lid. Bruce used a thin parting tool, but made the break through cut with a saw. Take the chuck holding the lid out of the tailstock.

Face off the top of the box base piece. The inside of the box needs to be 65mm, so mark it with a caliper. To allow a 3mm upstand, and 20 mm to hold the butterfly, hollow to 65mm wide and 23mm deep. Bruce used a parting tool and finished with a square edge carbide tool. It has felt put in later, so doesn’t need to be a perfect finish. Even so, Bruce gave it a good sand. Then, with a parting tool cutting from the side, he cut a 3mm upstand to take the lid. After putting on sanding sealer, Bruce marked the point where it would be cut off at the bottom. Allowing 5mm for the thickness of the base, the cut off point is 3mm for the upstand, 20 mm depth for the butterfly, and 5mm for the bottom, a total of 28mm from the top. Bruce cut back from the bottom mark, down to just shy of the chuck, then marked the centre of the side and shaped the side round with a spindle gouge, leaving the centre pencil line to be sanded off. He cut it just deep enough to leave a flat next to the upstand for the lid to seat on. Then a quick sand through the grits, and superglue to harden the surface ready for a polish. Apply EEE and Aussie oil, then remove from chuck.

Bruce did not remove the foot from the base as part of the demo, but he explained that he would do this by fitting a piece of pvc pipe inside the box and expanding the jaws of his 50mm chuck in to it.

Put the chuck with the lid in the headstock. Make the lid fit the box. Face off the front, then make a recess, just deep enough to take the upstand. Butterfly boxes do not want a tight fit for the lid. Bruce felt the flat inside the lid looked too big, so he cut a further recess stepping down towards the centre. Remember it still needs to be strong enough to be held in the chuck. Clean any superglue, and give it a sand. As done previously, harden with CA then polish with EEE and finish with Aussie Oil. On the circumference of the lid, mark the centre and round it off as per the base piece. Sand and put on sanding sealer to the outside.

Turn it round in the chuck with a compression hold against the resin. Bring up the tailstock. Next job is to shape the top. Start by removing most of the waste wood at the tailstock, leaving enough to keep it secure. Start to shape the dome. Using a gouge can chip the resin, so when it is near final shape finish with a scraper (skew) to get a smooth finish. When the shape is mostly formed, carefully start to nibble away the rest of the waste wood. The last cut through the top is with a thin parting tool. Withdraw the tailstock, and smooth off the top of the dome, taking care to get a good curve and not a flat. Now with a power sander starting at 150 grit Bruce worked through the grits to 500 and polished with EEE. At this stage the beauty of the greenstone is revealed. Bruce removed the lid from the chuck and fitted the beall wheels to the lathe, charged them, and buffed both the top and bottom of the box. The shine of the greenstone was amazing.

Bruce capped off his excellent demo by producing a larger version of his butterfly box and opening the lid. With a jack in the box surprise a bevy of butterflies flew from the box, a truly fun way to end a superb demo. Woohoo!

David Jones – Butterfly Box with Finial

Club Meeting: 23rd June 2021
Report by: Nicole Morley

On Wednesday 23/06/21 at the Papatoetoe clubrooms, David taught us how he makes his beautiful butterfly boxes with finials. These are a treasure that I’m sure the receiver would love.

Firstly, David roughed out an Ash blank that was slightly larger on half with a step down in the center and then put tenons on both ends. This was then mounted in a double-chuck fashion which allows the work to be aligned exactly right from the start.

Whilst set up on the lathe, he then cut the two parts in half with a parting tool and a Japanese saw. It was noted to release the pressure on the tail stock to allow for easier sawing.

Shape the base as per the standard methods and take out the center of the box. David has a small block that has been made up to the correct dimensions to check as he goes which would be handy if doing multiples.

Now, sand any imperfections out.

Remove from the lathe and put the chuck with the lid section on in its place. Face off the piece and then make your rim. This should be a loose fit, but not sloppy. Don’t be too scared to stop the lathe multiple times to check. David then did a rebate on this so that he could turn the lid around on the chuck in expansion mode.

Shape the lid as per profile that is pleasing. Keep in mind when getting close to where the finial will sit that it is possibly better to go slightly larger (around 15mm max), then this can be blended in with the finial attached later.

Face off the post for the finial and drill a 7mm hole approx. 7mm deep.

Sand your work.

Now, with a chuck with smaller jaws, mount a piece of Pacific Ebony and turn into a finial. It was said that if you are unhappy with your finial shape, throw it away. It is only a small amount of time spent on it, so is better to redo than have regrets later.

The attachment of the finial is done whilst the lid is on the lathe. David has made a small jam chuck that will take the point of the finial, which means that your finial should be pretty close to perfectly straight. It was whispered around that a few people had glued theirs in crooked. 😊

Although a very sharp point on a finial looks lovely, if you are worried about safety of children, it was proposed that you could put a small sphere at the highest point.

Thankyou David for your presentation. I am sure we will be seeing a few renditions of this box on the final meeting this term.