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Written and photographed by Don Smith

Whilst a new year brings its own challenges the F.O.B. Saturday club met for the first time and although the numbers were down we still had a good turnout. Alan opened the meeting wishing everyone a Happy New Year followed by a few notices.

First in the Limelight was John Wyatt who had brought along a number of different hollowing tools to talk about and demonstrate, the photo shows John with Frank Chatfield hollowing out a vase using the Simon Hope hollowing tool.

Don was on another lathe firstly demonstrating how to make a small Christmas cracker with Dave. (Unfortunately Ken could not be with us as he was self isolating for 7 days).

The photo on the left above shows Dave starting the project and the second one the finishing the article.

The photo above shows a finished item with its Moto and surprise present.

See you all on Tuesday 18th Jan and Saturday club 12th Feb.



The meeting opened at just after 19.00 hours with our chairman Alan giving out the usual notices and tip of the month. (Obtain a used yogurt or cream container screws it to the wall and keep your pencils in it so you don’t keep losing them). Alan explained that this evening there would be three demonstrators Dave Reynolds would be showing off centre turning whilst John Wyatt would be making a Christmas tree Bauble and Don would be making a Christmas cracker. He then handed the floor over to me to start the evening’s demos.

I started by explaining how the holes were drilled in the two pieces of the cracker. Due to the set up on my lathe I used Forstner Bits set in my pillar drill to drill the 1 inch hole in one piece and 1 ¼ inch hole in the second piece.

I then showed two jam chucks one for each size hole which I placed in my chuck on the lathe making certain that it was centralized and using a 1 3/8 Forstner bit kissed the end so that I could take it to the pillar drill to complete the drilling.

The male part of the cracker which has the 1” hole a chucking point was turned for later use.

After explain how I had drilled the holes I was ready to start turning so taking my male part I fixed it into my chuck using the tailstaock to centralize it before tightening the chuck up.

Using my template a line was drawn from the open end 2 ¼ inches then using a parting tool I sized the piece down to 1 ¼ inches then using a Spindle Roughing Gouge proceeded to bring the bulk down to that size.

To make certain that the female part would fit over the male piece with a Russian fit sand paper was used until a push fit was achieved, and finished off by cleaning the shoulder using a 3/8 Spindle Gouge.

The second part was then attached to the first part and kept in place by bringing up the tailstaock, we were ready to turn the whole cracker down to approx 1 ¾ diameter.

Not too concerned about the fit at the shoulder until after we had turned the whole piece to a cylinder. The two pieces were separated to allow 1 inch masking tape to be wound round the stem the right side piece was pushed on to the tape making a tight fit then using a small parting tool trimmed off the end to make a snug joint between both pieces, once satisfied remove the tape and bring the two pieces together.

Using the template I marked the places that had to be turned to make the ‘V’ cuts and the position for the burn lines plus the length of each piece.

Using a 3/8 Spindle Gouge the ‘V’s were cut and Skew was used to indent the burn lines and using the wire burnt the two lines. Using a parting tool the ends were witnessed, (at this point it would be sanded) I would give it a coat of Sander Sealer before finally parting off both ends.

Once I had parted off I would take it to a disc sander to trim both ends of the Cracker then using my buffing system give it a polish.

Photo shows the finished article

I then stood down and Dave Reynolds took the stand explain that he was going to show his chucking system for off centre turning.

Dave showed the off centre chuck and explained how it was used and started to turn his first circular pattern. Changing the setting he turned his second circle.

It was at this point it became apparent that he was have equipment failure between the club chuck and the off centre chuck so apologized and hoped to come back at a later date to re-demonstrate its potential and the types of patterns that you could make using this equipment.

We then had a short break before John Wyatt started his demo.

John started by showing the main body of the Bauble and would explain how it was it was turned.

John stated that you could turn the piece in either

i.e.:- straight or cross grain as highly grained wood would make a nice contrast between the pieces.

Taking his square section piece of wood he placed it between centres and turned a spigot on one end.

It was at this point that he mentioned that if you have a set of dividers with a pencil in one leg and you set it at your external chucking diameter you could draw a circle on the end as a witness mark for when you turned your spigot.

This was then reversed and placed in the chuck a 6mm hole was drilled right through the length of the piece.

He then turned what could best be described as a spigot approx 15 long which was parted off and put aside for future use.

Next came the beginning of the shaping of the outside not a ball shape but more like a Tangerine once satisfied he turned his attention to hollowing out the piece.

Again once satisfied of the wall thickness John now explained what the small spigot shape piece that he had turned off earlier was for a lid to close the Bauble up.

Taking the lid he slowly fitted it to the main body until it was a perfect fit for the demo he used Super Glue to stick it in. Bringing the tailstock up to make certain that the hole would line up with the body hole glued it in place. He checked that the holes lined up by using the 6mm drill in the tailstock drilled the hole again.

Satisfied everything was OK the piece was finished and sanded before parting off the photo at the beginning of John demo was like the finished item.

He then changed his chuck and proceeded to set up a long square section to make a Finial.

As you can see from the photo John is using his fingers as a steady. The next couple of photos show the finial on the lathe and the final two thirds of the finished product. The waste at the top of the Finial wasn’t removed until the whole piece was finished and polished.

The first meeting of 2022 went off very well and hopefully with the latest Covid rules on facemask etc we will be able to get back to something like normal meetings.

So would like to encourage our committee to continue with their good work.

Do not forget to keep looking at the website for more data as we progress through the year.

Next Saturday Club is 12th February and club night 15th February both to be held at St Nicholas Church Hall Bedhampton.