Forest of Bere Woodturners Association


Saturday Club Workshop 11th November 2023

This morning started as we always do by welcoming the new faces to the proceedings and hope that they enjoy the experience that they join the club.
Unfortunately, Alan was not able to be here today.
Today we had John explaining how to hold bowl blanks to start turning and how to reverse the blank to finish the bowl.
Whilst Don started, with the new faces showing them and with hands on how to use a Spindle Roughing Gouge, a Spindle gouge for beads and coves plus how to use a Skew.
Only two photos were taken one showing Don showing the techniques for turning a bowl whilst on the table you will see the test piece plus a small tree. The second photo is of Daniel Churchill with Nick Rose and his father looking on.

Don Smith
Nick Rose with Daniel Churchill

At the break the members were asked what they would like to see at the next Saturday club and it was requested if John and myself could re-visit what we were going to demonstrate at the next club night on the 21st November. We both agreed that we would carry out a revision of the projects shown.

We returned to turning but as today was Remembrance Day we held a 2 minutes at 11.o’clock.

The morning ended and everyone mucked in put all the equipment away, cleaned up, and swept the floor.

Thank you to everyone who helped.   

Club Night 21st November 2023

The meeting opened by welcoming guests, new members and also to GPS for bringing along Acrylic products, which were for sale. 

Before John was introduced, a certificate was handed out to Jon Marks for achieving 300 points in last year’s competition photo no 1.

Tonight Mike Sharp had added some more cameras to the viewing set up enabling him to record the demo as videos also taking single snap shots for me to use in the monthly write up.

Photo 1 - John Marks receiving his certificate from Richard


John Wyatt

With all the other business taken care of Richard introduced John for the first part of the evening at which John stated that his project for this evening would be a Miniature Bird House.
The block of wood had already been pre-drilled and he explained how this was achieved by showing a template marked out and by placing, this over the blank he drilled the holes. Photo 2.

Photo 2 - Drilling Template
Photo 3 - The drilled block in the chuck

In photo 3 please note which way the holes are placed (as this represents the top). Using a Forstner bit drill a hole in the block as seen in photo 4. The depth of this hole needs to be beyond the smaller of the two holes drilled in the side. Once John was satisfied with the depth, he changed the chuck from the large jaws to a pin jaws the piece was reversed to commence the profiling. Photo 5. Before he commenced to turn the profile a 6mm hole was drilled through the body ready to have the finial attached.

Photo 4 - Using the forstner bit
Photo 5 - The developing profile

John explained that if you did not own a set of pin jaws you could make yourself a jam chuck. Using a scrap piece of square section timber make two saw cuts as seen in photo 6 place it on to the chuck and turn it down to your hole size. If by chance it is just slightly slack this is where the saw cuts come into play by adding a screw into the centre of the cuts you can by screwing the screw in you will open up the saw cuts so that you can adjust the tightness of your piece. Photos 6 and 7.

Photo 6 - Shows the saw cuts
Photo 7 - The screw centred in cuts

The next stage of John’s project was to make the finials picking up a new square section piece of wood placing it between centres turned it to round and added a spigot, removing the piece from between centres he replaced it in the chuck. Then turned a dowel on the end to fit the drilled hole in the body. Once satisfied he replaced the piece into his pin jaws and finished off the top finial. Photo 8. John then turned the bottom finial in much the same way. Photo 9.

Photo 7 - The top finial
Photo 9 - The bottom finial
Photo 10 - The finished birdhouse

John finished his Miniature Bird House photo 10 and it was refreshment time.

During the break, GPS had a lot of interest and made, a few sales with the promise of an Invite to go over to their workshop sometime in the New Year if it was as good as last time it will be a good couple of hours well spent.

Richard gave out the competition results photo 11. Then introduced Don for the second part of the evening 

Photo 11 - Competition Table

Don Smith

Photo 12 The finished Candlestick

I started my demo by explaining that if time permitted I would be making two projects tonight.

My first project being a Wee Willy Winky Candlestick .
The first thing that I did was to take a piece of 50mmx 50mm x 25mm thick piece of wood and placing it in my chuck, explain by using a piece 25mm thick you would be able to turn two base from the one piece.

Photo 13 - First turning
Photo 14- Second turning

My first turning was to shape the base and add a expansion chucking point to fit my pin jaws, sand and polish before removing it from the lathe. Photos 13 and 14.
 It is at this point that I would take the piece over to the band saw and cut it in half giving me two bases.
The next stage is to take a piece of timber 80mm long by 25mm square and drill a 1.5mm hole in one end (this is to take your eyelet). Putting it between centres and using a Skew I turned it down to 20mm diameter, from the tailstock end mark off 20mm and shape the flame of your candle, then 50mm from the base of the flame turn a 12.5mm spigot
With your pin jaws on your lathe attach your first base, face off and drill a 12.5mm hole approx. 10mm deep to take your candle. Place the candle into the hole in the base and mark round it to give you the dimension for dishing out the base, to get the right curve I used a 20mm steel washer.

Photo 15 - Candle placed in base
Photo 16 - Turning the dish

Once satisfied sand and polish remove from the lathe and glue the candle into the base. The next part was to take an offcut piece of 25mm square section anything from 30mm long and place it in your chuck.
Turn it round to 20mm, drill a 10mm (3/8) hole, mark off 7mm long, round the edges, sand and part off.
This will make your handle (refer to photo 12) you will need to flatten one side slowly checking all the time that it fits the bottom of the dish at the same time meeting the candle, when satisfied glue in place.

My next project was a Miniature Lantern with a Tea light.
Using a piece of square section large enough to turn it into a 50mm diameter dowel by 90mm long I marked a circle of  50mm on one end. In the true Blue Peter way, I had already added my chucking point to my block of wood. Placing it in my chuck, I turned it down to the pencil mark. Photo 17.Replacing the live centre for a Jacob’s chuck fitted with a 38mm Forstner bit (1 ½ inch) to a depth of 20mm. This size allows you to fit your tea light. Photo 18. Always make sure that the tea light fits nicely and does not sit proud of the base as all tea lights are not the same depth.

Photo 17 - The first turning
Photo 18 - Fitting the Tea Light

The next stage was to measure the exact depth of your hole and mark it off on the outer surface. From this pint mark another line 38mm (1 ½)
Photo 19 shows the two marked position highlighted by using a parting tool leaving the centre hub to the required dimeson from outside to outside of the slots. The next photo 20 shows the shape-taking place.

Photo 19 - Highlighted position marks
Photo 20 - The shape developing

The next operation is to mark a line in the centre of the main body and divide it off in to four quarters centre pop each mark. You will need to remove it from the lathe to enable you to drill four 20 mm (3/4) holes at those marks. I use a pillar drill.
Return it to the lathe as you will need to drill another hole this time 32mm (1 ¼) to an approx. depth of approx. 60mm (2 3/8). Photo 21. You will now need to make yourself a Jam Chuck so that you can reverse the piece if you do not have a chuck that has small enough jaws see photo 22.

Photo 21 - Drilling the main hole
Photo 22 - Jam chuck with the finished profile

Well this finished my demonstration and it was difficult for me to write it as I normally would do so I have written it in how it is made rather than the exact way it was done on the night.

The last two photos shows the finished lantern with the Tea Light lit up and the Display table. 
John and I hope that these three projects inspire you to make a few Christmas Decorations. We would love to see your creations at club night on the 19th December.

I have sent Nick Rose two drawing so that they can be add to the projects page.

Until then keep those shavings flying.

Written by Don Smith with photos from the laptop and myself