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The Saturday Club this time was out of the ordinary from our usual meeting.

Scott had arranged for the Portsmouth News to attend so John had asked members to bring along items for the Gallery the items which were presented at the S.A.W.S Open Day and those items which were made for the “STELLA” competition in memory of one of our members Dave Marsh.

The hall was set up with four lathes and tables for all of the exhibition pieces. Alan Brown was in charge of the Gallery whilst Ken Briffett the S.A.W.S and “STELLA” tables.

So the morning started in the usual way with notice and John our Chairman explained what was going to happen this morning.

Newsletter - December 2019

On the four lathes would be in order going clockwise round the room would be Allan Brown, Bill Thorne, Mike Haselden and on the last lathe Don Smith.

Alan was demonstrating a moderate sized Lidded Box; Bill was turning Christmas Tree Decorations and his usual Apples and Pears.

Mike was helping beginners with hands on whilst Don was helping Scott make a pen and helping other members to learn about the equipment used in making pens.



This morning wasn’t just about turning Mel Turner came along with his Piercing equipment which is very delicate and sitting next to him was Frank Chatfield demonstrating Pyography. These two demonstrations were extra to our normal Saturday’s. All the time the News Photography was walking round the hall taking photos and talking to the members.

During the morning instead of our normal 15 members turning up we somewhere in the region of 40 plus coming in during the morning.

The S.A.W,s and “STELLA” tables had a great deal of interest shown and Ken was kept pretty busy throughout the morning.

The photo shows the S.A.W,s display with the Best in Show piece centre front the club came second in the overall club competition. Well done to all those who took part.

The above photo is all about the “STELLA” challenge is was to honour the late Dave Marsh for his talent and out of this world pieces. (Dave’s piece is the Star Shaped piece centre back).

This challenge is run over a year and over the past few years we have certainly had some challenging projects which always seem difficult until you start to design and turn them.

The morning went off very well and I am sure that we are all looking forward to what the Portsmouth News will print about the morning.

Photo’s showing part of the Gallery.

Frank Chatfield with his pyrography

Drum Kit and photo on the left are samples of work by our total novices who attend our Saturday Morning Club.


Written and photographed by Don Smith.

Club Night - 18th December 2019

The chairman welcomed everyone especially Sheila Thorne and Les’s wife Liz followed by the usual notices Dave Reynolds took the floor with the words I have been asked by the SAW’s committee to present to our Chairman John Wyatt with an engraved Goblet for Best in Show at their October Open Day.

Congratulations to John.

Les Thorne was then introduced who thanked the club for inviting him again and gave a little insight into the Auctioning off of projects made by the late Ray Key and about the book that had been published show casing Ray’s work. Les then presented his father with a copy of that book.

Tonight’s demonstration would be about techniques on how to present the tools to the work piece in this instance a bowl.  Les stressed yet again about the Spindle Roughing Gouge because of its lack of strength in the tang area it should only be used as the name implies “SPINDLE”.

Les explained that to night he was going to show different methods in helping to turn a bowl.

I am not going to be able to describe everything that Les talked about but show you a few photo’s to help you bring the information to the fore.

The photo on the left shows Les turning the base of the bowl so that he could demonstrate the continuous bead turning on the underside. Using the external spigot he had made earlier the bowl was reversed ready for him to commence hollowing out the bowl shape.

The photo on the top left shows the underside of the bowl complete with is continuous beading whilst the one on the right shows Les starting to make steps in the inside of the bowl which will help those who have trouble with kick back. By making these steps the gouge will have a backing to rest against and will help you in stopping that kick back.

The next photo shows the finished article which shows off the rim which of course was done before the inside of the bowl was started.

Les faced up the blank and turned the rim features before texturing. The rim was then sprayed Black and when it was dry lightly sanded the top before adding a coat of a dark stain which gave the effect that you see in the photo. Once this was all dry a coat of clear lacquer was applied once dry the bowl was ready to turn as described above with the top right photo.

Les finished the evening by explaining about the Skew bring out his latest tool of a slice of flint attached to a handle to show how the first turners and their tools performed.

Whilst all of this was going on there was a lot of humorous banter going on between him and his father plus many questions being asked.

So yet again another good evening had come and gone with all the members having some extra knowledge to go and put into practice.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and hope to see you all in 2020.


Written and Photographed by Don Smith.