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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.

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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.

Show & Tell – 25 March 2015

Kauri Platter - Colin Wise
Kauri Platter – Colin Wise
Marcrocarpa Platter - Colin Wise
Marcrocarpa Platter – Colin Wise
Ancient Kauri Bowl - Bruce Wiseman
Ancient Kauri Bowl – Bruce Wiseman
Kauri Platter - Bruce Wiseman
Kauri Platter – Bruce Wiseman
Kauri Platter - Raed El Sarraf
Kauri Platter – Raed El Sarraf
Norfolk Pine - Lindsay Amies
Norfolk Pine – Lindsay Amies
Norfolk Pine - Lindsay Amies
Norfolk Pine – Lindsay Amies
Norfolk Pine - Lindsay Amies
Norfolk Pine – Lindsay Amies
Hollow Form - Lindsay Amies
Hollow Form – Lindsay Amies
Demo Platter - Nick Agar
Demo Platter – Nick Agar

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 www.timberly.co.nz to see some of his platters and other work.

Show & Tell – 19 March 2015

Kauri Bowl - Colin Wise
Kauri Bowl – Colin Wise
WInged Hollow Form - Red Mallee Burl - Wim Nijmeijer
WInged Hollow Form – Red Mallee Burl – Wim Nijmeijer
Kauri Pens - Colin Wise
Kauri Pens – Colin Wise
Vise - Oak - Daniel Strekier
Vise – Oak – Daniel Strekier
Monster Truck - Maple/Kwila - Daniel Strekier
Monster Truck – Maple/Kwila – Daniel Strekier
Plug Cutting - Daniel Strekier
Plug Cutting – Daniel Strekier
Wall Hanging - Nick Agar
Wall Hanging – Nick Agar
Boxes with inserts - Bruce Wood
Boxes with inserts – Bruce Wood
Boxes with Textured Inserts - Bruce Wood
Boxes with Textured Inserts – Bruce Wood
Thin Turned Vessel - Jerry Kermode
Thin Turned Vessel – Jerry Kermode
Various - Graeme Mackay
Various – Graeme Mackay

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 http://gordonpembridge.com/

Show & Tell – 4 March 2015

Standing Support - Dave Armstrong
Standing Support – Dave Armstrong
Foot Roller - Straight off Chisel - Phread Thurston
Foot Roller – Straight off Chisel – Phread Thurston
Pods - Graeme Mackay
Pods – Graeme Mackay
Turrets - Graeme Mackay
Turrets – Graeme Mackay
Reburnt creation - Graeme Mackay
Reburnt creation – Graeme Mackay
Ball - Graeme Mackay
Ball – Graeme Mackay
Platter 1 - Terry Scoot
Platter 1 – Terry Scoot
Platter 1 bottom - Terry Scott
Platter 1 bottom – Terry Scott
Platter 2 - Terry Scott
Platter 2 – Terry Scott
Work in Progress - Gary McDonald
Work in Progress – Gary McDonald

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.