Forest of Bere Woodturners Newsletter Pages


Forest of Bere Woodturners Archive Pages

CLUB NIGHT January 17th 2018

January Competition and Gallery Pieces

If you wish to see a larger image please Click or Tap it.

Alan Aldridge

Iain Grant

Novice Competition Pieces

Peter Noot

Peter Noot

Peter Noot

Feedback on the Club Competition for January 17th 2018


It was very pleasing to see such a good number of entries for judging at January’s meeting.

It was a good demonstration of NOVICE skills, with a wide range of design ideas submitted.

Woodturning finish, and Surface finish were very good on all entries. Remember that in making wooden items for future use in the kitchen, a recognised “food-safe” finishing product should be used.

The Design element of this month’s entries did not look too deeply at how practical each rolling pin would be in use in the kitchen, or how well the might be cleaned after use.

Credit was given for thinking of original shapes, balanced symmetry, and in this case of this project, how to achieve rolling handles. This caused some issues with problems involving poor free-running and poor alignment.

Using different woods in your entry always helps with the Use of Grain

General Comments

Remember you are more likely to be more successful with innovative ideas of your own, rather copying traditional designs. This hobby encourages everyone to be creative with their project ideas, making use of new materials and tools, and finding new ways to overcome problems.

Some general points to consider when turning your item:-

Does your design look top-heavy, bottom-heavy, un-balanced?

Do contours have good smooth curves without flat spots?

Are repeated areas of the item symmetrical and identical?

Are joined components concentric?

Does it have crisp edges where appropriate?

Can I use a combination of woods to make the piece more appealing?

Continuing to enter the competition each month will help you improve your skills, allow you try out new ideas, and compare your work with the work of others. Most of us more advanced turners have followed this route, building our confidence, developing new skills and getting plenty of practice.

Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from any member of the club. We are all happy to talk about one of our favourite hobbies. Don’t forget to come along to the Saturday club as well.

I wish you happy and safe turning

Malcolm Bryant

Competition Judge

This month’s newsletter features photographs of the competition pieces and the gallery. I hope that this will now become a regular part every month. Competition Judge Malcolm Bryant, has written an article on the January competition to give some guidance on what the judges are looking for and how you might approach future submissions. Peter Noot has also written the story of his rolling pin, an insightful tale.

The club still has a vacancy for a newsletter editor to take up the reins and produce our online monthly issue. This is an opportunity for one of you out there to report on both what we have done and what we are about to do, in your own style. You won’t be cast adrift with a notebook and pen, we will be with you all the way. So, any budding journalists or photographers among you? If so, please get in touch.

If, like Peter and Malcolm, you have an article, story or project that you would like to see published please contact the Newsletter editor using the button below. This does not have to be a finished article as we can work on it together.

For more info on the editor role or submitting articles please email using the button below or speak to Dave Hutchings at any meeting.

If you have any ideas on ways that we can do better as a club please contact any member of the committee with your thoughts. Alternatively you may use the “Feedback” button at the bottom of this page.

The Story of My Rolling Pin by Peter Noot

There’s a nice piece of hemlock in the wood pile, but it is too good for a rolling pin.

Where did it come from?

From a doorframe of a house built in 1905.

What evidence do we have to find out where the wood came from?

Only what we can see in this piece of wood.

The end grain shows 100 years growth in 3 inches diameter.

The curve of the rings is so flat that it must be from a very large tree, possibly 8ft diameter or more and well out from the centre of the tree.

There are no knots in this piece, so it probably comes from between 15 and 40 feet up the tree where the the branches would have been shaded by the canopy.

A tree of that size would be up to 1800 years old or more. What was happening then? Hadrian was building the wall to separate Britannia from the “Heathens in the North” and the govenors of Londinium are about to be removed from power.

Growth of this kind cannot possibly originate in the UK as western hemlock from the west coast of America was only introduced into Europe during the 1800’s, so the tree must have come from north west Canada.

The very slow rate of growth shows that the tree came from a forest at a high elevation, over 3000  ft above sea level and well to the north of the US/Canadian border, with a very short growing season.

The tree would have been growing at 1 to 2 inches per year in height, achieving over 200 ft when felled. An 80 year old man would be about 14’9” at this growth rate.


Tree felled in 1895 at the age of 1800 years.

Tree growing on a semi-sheltered mid slope in the Canadian Rockies, at 3000ft above sea level, more than 100 miles north of Vancouver.

When the tree was felled, it was floated down river to Kamloops and sawn into large baulks of wood in Canada, then shipped to the UK where it was re-sawn into smaller building timber and ending up as a door frame for a house in Farnham, Surrey.

So, the wood for the rolling pin is between 400 - 500 years old.



Our thanks go to Peter for this insightful piece of analysis. - Ed.


Photographs by Don Smith

Email Newsletter 

February 2018 Newsletter