Forest of Bere Woodturners Newsletter Pages


Forest of Bere Woodturners Archive Pages

March 2018 Newsletter

The Chairman reminded the meeting that the 25th anniversary is in April and we have just one more club meeting before the day. We still need more entries for the “Enigmatic 25” competition, there are have some stunning pieces so far but more are needed. Additionally there will be a gallery table and a tactile table where visitors may touch and feel the pieces. Iain  needs more photographs for our slide show, which will run all day. Pictures have to be with Iain ASAP as he has a lot of work to do while building the slide show. Pieces for the gallery table must be submitted at the next meeting to be included. Articles this month are the competition feedback from Judge Malcolm Bryant and the the demonstration by Jennie Starbuck.

Jennie Starbuck was ably assisted by husband Chris who remotely controlled the camera system that he had built and they had brought with them.

The demonstration started with a small and thin piece of sycamore, approximately 7in x 11/4in which was carefully turned to form a thin platter ready for piercing.

The blank was mounted using a revolving steb centre to press it against the chuck jaws. It was stressed that this method of working requires care and shallow cuts to prevent accidents. A small 1/4 to 3/8 spindle gouge was used, ensuring there was bevel rub as the gouge was turned into the cut. Gentle undercutting produced a chucking point which was undercut with a pointy-tool before reverse mounting the piece into the chuck jaws.


The underside of the platter was then cleaned up using a 1/2in deep fluted bowl gouge to leave a spigot to fit the chuck jaws. The spigot will be re-turned later to form the platter foot. The underside was then shaped using a bowl gouge with traditional grind and a push cut from the centre outwards. With the tool pointing to the outside edge of the platter, set the bevel of the right hand wing to rub and take light cuts. Using the same tool


 A pull cut would have caused the grain to be torn.

it is important to take fine controlled  cuts, treat every cut as an opportunity to practice for the final one.


 Use a pad of tissue/kitchen roll to protect fingers

on the back and place thumb onto the  tool to steady it taking fine cuts.

cut a gentle curve from the spigot across the back to the front edge. To complete the back a Gary Rance tool honed with a diamond hone to produce a cutting burr used to shearscrape around the spigot. Again the Gary Rance tool was used to trim the edge on the chuck side, this will be the top. In this case the edge did not clean completely, it will be a feature. A centre point was marked to enable centreing the piece, as it will be reverse chucked later. The top of the platter can now be turned, cleaning the front with a 1/2in deep flute bowl gouge, leave the centre intact for now, to reduce vibration. Use each cut as a practice to accurately finish exactly on

centre and thus avoid a pip or dip.

A slightly thinner portion of the platter was turned close to the outside edge, this is to allow the piece to be pierced later.

Having completed the face it was remounted against a dolly, setting the tail stock to the previously marked centre, to shape and finish the edge of the foot/pedestal. Gently undercut into the centre to prevent the foot rocking on the finished platter. The outside was sanded on a disc set in the chuck. In this case a sanding pad from a Simon Hope rotary sander was used. To finish the platter foot.

Caution work may be getting very thin now  and could break up.

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Throughout the evening Jennie discussed the subject of decorating. This started with a coloured bowl which was decorated using a product called “Buffit”. The product comes in both hard and liquid form, it was used to build up layers of different colours to form a coating that could be buffed once hardened. Jennie used a mop from Proops Online.

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Discussion continued into the use of other craft products she used to decorate her pieces. This included the use of stencils and outline stickers available from craft shops. The latter of these are used to produce images by applying colour between the lines of the stickers which are then removed to leave the coloured shape. Alternatively piercing could replace colouring. The stencils are similarly available in metal, plastic and card. Jennie also had a vast collection of card cutters which are used to stamp out particular shapes. We were also shown how she kept a record of her stickers by taking one of each and sticking it to a sheet of A4. This can be photocopied on a LASER copier allowing the images to be cut out and stuck to the piece copy side down. Application of solvents such as Premi Air, Liquid Reamer or Acetone work well in transferring the laser image to the piece. The outline can be used to guide a Dremel or similar tool while piercing. A favoured bit used by Jennie is a “Fissure bit” 699L available from Dental Sky. However care must be taken when starting off as the tool tends to jump. Gently start to cut the hole then immediately take the tool away momentarily to minimise the tendency.



Seal the piece with sanding sealer before

applying the solvent. This will help to prevent the ink from running or blurring.

Pieces decorated with beads, granular inlays and some using crackle paint were on display. The crackle paint used was sourced from Jo Sonja as it does not chip or crack, when turned to neaten up the edges. Beads and other inlays were stuck using a glue called Fast Tack which is flexible, preventing the inlays from becoming loose due to movement.


Example of granular inlay

Example of crackle paint inlay

Feedback on the Club Competition for February 21st 2018 – CANDLESTICK

It was extremely pleasing to see 8 NOVICE entries in this month’s competition. Well done to all of you for achieving such a good standard.

Most of the candlestick entries were of a traditional design. Nothing wrong with this approach, but it is always good to think “outside-the-box” and come up with your own novel interpretation of the month’s brief.

This month’s judging paid particular attention to the profile of the candlestick stems. The sharpness and definition of beads, coves and grooves, and the smoothness of curves gained additional credit.

Where two pieces were joined to mount the stem to the base, was there any sign of an air gap? Were they square to each other? Any evidence of adhesive?

A point to consider for the future might be: when cutting the shoulders on your tenon, cut them slightly concave. This ensures the contact between mating parts is less visible.

When joining two pieces in this way, try to align the wood grain so that runs in one direction. This is normally quite difficult (if not impossible) when joining a cross-grain piece to an end-grain piece.

From a practical point of view, a candlestick holding a wax candle should be stable enough not to be easily knocked over, and the depth and size of the hole in the top should be sufficient for the candle to sit comfortably.

Some of you will probably have found that ‘Her-Indoors’ has said that “It would have been nice to have had a matching pair”. This adds a whole new level of difficulty to re-create the exact same profile and achieve the same finish. I would recommend carefully marking out the beads, coves and grooves on a piece of cardboard, cutting out the profile with scissors, and offering this up as a template as you recreate your design.

Thank you and well done again to all of you for submitting your pieces. Your showcase entries demonstrate to guests and other new members at our club evenings what can be achieved when undertaking this exciting hobby.

In the past, I have heard one member say that he felt embarrassed about putting his pieces on the table. No-one should feel this way. It is very much a learning process, and we all commence wood-turning from different starting points. In most cases we all start with simple tools, limited equipment, and a poor knowledge of wood. The benefits of entering enables you to compare your work with others, and see how they approach the monthly task. In my experience, some of the best club relationships are formed as you progress together.

In the words of the 1960’s hit for the Byrds:-   TURN, TURN, TURN

Practice makes Perfect.

I wish you happy and safe turning

Malcolm Bryant
Competition Judge

Demonstration by Jennie Starbuck

We were kindly offered copies of Jennie’s project information sheets in electronic format. These we have gratefully received and links to them are at the foot of this newsletter. You may need to download a pdf reader, if so there is also a link to a trusted source.

Information Sheets Provided by Jennie Starbuck.

Install Adobe Acrobat Reader

Decorative Techniques

How to use the Perspex Indicator

List of Materials

A Simple Thin Bowl

A Frugal Platter

Platter with Thin Band for Piercing

Reflex Rimmed Bowl

There are a lot of galleries on Jennie’s website along with a section on helpful hints. Click here for Jennie’s website


Note: I suggest that you untick the two boxes for the Optional Offers.

If anyone has a project idea, a story to tell or an idea for an article, please get in touch. We would be really interested in publishing articles from any member. We will be happy to work with you on it, assisting with photographs, wording and layout as needed. Please use the articles button below or talk to either Rick Smith or Dave Hutchings at any club meeting.



Buff by hand or with a cheap pad in a drill or lathe

Chuck. The colour will rub off and spoil a buffing wheel mop.