Forest of Bere Woodturners Newsletter Pages

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This morning started with the sad news that Trevor Dobbs had passed away, he was a former member of the club and you may remember him as the Librarian and Raffle Man.


Saturday Club 8th June 2019

First up was Bill who stated that he was turning Balls with hands on as seen in the photo, Mike was taking on the beginners whilst Alan was demonstrating Babushka Dolls Tealight Holders.


John said that he would be turning this morning and answering any questions or problems the members had.


We will start with Bill who took under his wing Brian Stewart to take on the project of turning a ball using a block of wood 4” (100mm) x 3 ½” (90mm).


Placing this between centres it was turned to the round to 3” (75mm) the centre was marked off with the diameter off the piece marked off equally from the centre line.

Bill's original ball


Brian roughing down the first stage


Using a Parting tool Brian chamfered the waste away from each end down to a spigot; Bill explained that this would help later when the ball was being turned.

Now the fun started as Brian started shaping the ball so that he ended up with three quarters of a ball turned with two side spigots on each end.

Shows the centre of the ball marked off


Brian’s finished ball


Showing the part turned ball within the cup chucks


With the ball now ready to be finished Bill showed how it was going to be gripped in two cup chucks so that the spigots could be turned off. (Bill did explain that making the balls at home in his workshop that the spigots would be reduced by sawing them off).

Once they had been removed the ball was sanded many times by releasing the pressure on the ball, turned it 90 degrees and sanded it again and repeated this until the whole ball was sanded to a satisfactory standard.

Mike Beck a new member to the Saturday clubs was welcomed and introduced to Mike Haselden.


Mike started by talking about various tools and what they are mainly used for in turning circles.


They started by turning down a square section of wood to the round and then proceeded to turn beads and coves as seen in the photo.


Mike H continued throughout the morning explaining and turning more beads and coves to give Mike B more time to learn about tool control.

Mike Beck turning a cove


Alan with the end marked up and hollowing started


Alan was next on the scene with his take on turning Babushka Dolls.


He started with turning the square section to the round and added a spigot to one end.

Removed it from the lathe and placed it in the chuck so that he could hollow out the first part of the doll.

Before he started hollowing; the piece was marked up on the end to the size that the first doll was to be turned. Hollowed it, turned off the waste and parted off.

He continued by marking off the size required so that the first doll would fit into, once he had parted that one off he continued with the third doll in the same way.

John was asked by Frank Chatfield if he could show how you could make an off centre turned kitchen Salt & Pepper combination dish.  A bit of Blue Peter went on first as the blank was already prepared.

Blank showing the split after turning


Imaging the photo on the left has not been turned and look at it as a blank were two piece have been glued together using a paper joint. The base or waste piece was divided in to quarters along its length and a centre line through the middle.

The two outside marks were drilled so that the screw chuck could be applied.

Underside of the blank showing the screw chuck holes

As this was a demonstration on how to hold and turn the requested item, John turned the first hollow once satisfied he changed position of the screw chuck and turned the second hollow.

Please remember that this is only a demonstration piece on how to hold and turn such an item. The photo shows the item turned and the second photo shows the piece after it has been split apart.

Shows the off centre hollowing out

Original blank split apart showing the paper joint

John was then asked about turning a lidded box. So the usual start to any straight grained project was to rough it down to the round and a spigot added to each end, he then parted off the lid and hollowed out the inside of the box.

He then fitted the lid and with the lid held in place with the tailstock turned and shaped the outside including the lid.

Jon hollowing out the box

John shaping the box and lid

Written & Photographed by Don Smith

Club Night 19th June 2019

Tonight we had to adapt the evening as we were unfortunately left without a demonstrator so whilst I set off back home to pick up a few tools as did Dave Reynolds and Iain Grant John proceeded with the notices.


During the notices John mentioned that the committee was looking at changing the monthly competition and asked for a show of hands as to whether it continued in its present state or should it be changed.


It was left to the committee to decide which the best way to go.  By now I had returned with tools and wood and set about setting up the lathe to re-iterate on Paul Nesbitt’s demo of three sided with twist candlesticks.

I started the demo by saying that the two pieces of wood needed to make a pair of candlesticks was 3” X3” x 5.5” (75mm x 75mm x 140mm). The next part was to find the centre and mark one of the lines as a datum (seen as a line at point one). The datum for the underside would be the corner on the bottom of the photo.


For further information on how to continue will be found on our web-site under Newsletters dated 18th May re Paul Nesbitt.

The last two photos show the project set-up on the lathe between centres with one datum point showing, the second photo shows the finished pair which I finished at home.


John thanked me for a very good impromptu demonstration; we broke for refreshments whilst John set up for the second half.

Top of candlestick showing the marking out

Showing the wood on the lathe with the datum point marked X

Finished pair of candlesticks finished at home

John’s demonstration was all about the members you had difficulties with any aspect of turning including tool control etc. His first request was how to put a chucking point on a bowl blank if you are not in an environment were all tools are available.


Showing the audience the blank he explained that you needed to open up the jaws on your chuck and then after finding the centre of the blank fixed it to the lathe by bring the tailstock up and pressing it against the chuck. Trued up the blank and proceeded to show how to make a recess by using a parting tool at an angle over the tailstock. Scott Waugh asked if John could explain the difference between a pull cut and shear scrapping. Reversing the piece onto the chuck he proceeded to show the difference.


It will need an evening of a more in depth demonstration to explain it properly so this can be an item for a later newsletter.


However John did show how to get to the shape of the outside of a bowl quickly by either a pull cut or shear scrapping cut into the edge of the bowl in steps as seen in the next photo.

By doing this it starts to give you some idea of the shape that the finished bowl would take.

Outside of the bowl with the stepping shown

Scott also asked about OG’s and this again was explained but will need a further demonstration for me to do a better write up for you. The photo (apologies for quality of photo) shows the main object of an OG on a bowl.


John finished off the evening by showing how to remove the centre of a bowl by explaining how to present the tool to the work piece and how to push it through from the outside to the centre removing the little nibs that you can get.


The main piece of good advice was that the way the bevel is facing that is the way the tool wants’ to run.

Sorry that it isn’t much of a write up but under the circumstances it is better than nothing.

Written & Photographed by Don Smith