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July 2018 Newsletter

After a request by Bill Thorne I take up my pen again to write a report on the July meeting. (Thank you Bill).

When the Chairman had finished his report and notices he introduced Chris Grace a Woodturner who uses a wheelchair from which to turn.

Chris thanked everyone for the warm welcome and stated that he would be demonstrating his way of turning a box with a twist in its design.

Firstly the wood that is going to be used will be taken from a LOG yes that’s right a log. The piece he chose was 200mm long by 100mm wide and 100mm diameter explaining that he used a jig to cut the log down its length so making it 200x100x50.

He explained that he selected one half of the log sanded the flat sawn surface until it was to a finished standard.

The next stage was to set up a chucking point on the rounded side of the log, taking his masking tape he applied a piece as near to the centre as possible. Measuring the exact length of the log a centre point was marked. (he now had to find the centre of the width)

Making a note of the width across the flat face he laid the piece down on a flat surface and with an engineering set square placed it up against one edge and marked off the centre point using a ruler pressed against the upright of the Square. Taking a half inch Forstner bit he drilled a hole into the wood to the depth of the Forstner bit.


Once this was achieved the next stage (which is the beginning of the turning aspect) would need a faceplate and in this case it was a MDF disc covered with a Self Adhesive Cork tile and a hard wood piece on the reverse side which would be used as his chucking point. Chris did explain how he made this and in different sizes for different parts of the project.

Fixing the Faceplate in to the chuck and checking that it ran true he offered the object piece up to the lathe and brought the tailstock up which had a half inch Steb Centre attached and brought the two pieces together checking that they ran true.

The first thing was to turn a chucking point which would match the dimensions of his chuck.

Being that the piece has a finished flat surface this would enable you to turn a true chucking point, once satisfied that the size was correct the piece was reversed chucked so that the flat surface was facing the tailstock end of the lathe so that the bowl of the box could be turned. The size of bowl is completely up to the turner but in this instance it was 80 mm wide by 31 mm deep. The inner edge of the bowl would be slightly straight sided to accept the lid later on.

Once satisfied with the inner bowl it would be sanded and finished ready to be reversed.

Chris stated that this could become a little bit hairy as you are now going to turn the outside of the bowl.

Taking another Cork covered MDF Disc he placed the partially finished piece to the face bringing the tailstock up to centralize it again using the half inch Steb Centre as his location point.

Once satisfied that it was running true he took two pieces of square sacrificial wood and hot glued them on the two trailing edges, this didn’t just help in holding the piece whilst revolving but helped in preventing breakout on the trailing edge of the bowl.


Before fixing the piece to the lathe he double checked his internal bowl measurements.

The next stage involved turning the out side bowl shape and reducing the wings down to anything between 2 and 5 mm thick so he continued to turn this shape using Bowl and Spindle gouges. Point of note is to do this turning with a firm grip and a light touch until you are satisfied with the result. Sand and finish.


Now came the Bowl shaped lid which was going to be made from the other half of the original blank.

Cut this in half keeping the other half for later.

The blank was mounted and turned through all its processes as per the main body without the wings.

The thing to remember here is the inner bowl dimension must be smaller to allow for a rim to be turned on the bottom which will fit in to the main bowl (this needs to be a easy fit) also when you reverse it you will need to leave an overhang on the shape of the lid which you can see in the photo below.


Once this has been turned sanded and finished it is time to look at the base and finial.

The last half of the log you cut again in half so that you have two pieces one for the foot and the other for the finial. Using these two pieces of wood it will allow for the grain to be running the same way, you can however use straight grained timber to make these two items if you feel more confident in doing so.

The method is almost identical to the main bowl if you are using the log element, centre, turn chucking point reverse and turn your shape not forgetting the half inch spigot to fit both base and lid.

The photo to the left shows the project without the Finial as time ran out to finish it.


Written and Photographed by Don Smith.