April 2015 -Seminar

IMG_2500_1 IMG_2502_3 IMG_2504_1 IMG_2509_2 IMG_2517_1 IMG_2519_1 IMG_2528_1 IMG_2530_1_1 IMG_2532_1 IMG_2493_1 IMG_2494_1 IMG_2498_1Congratulations to the winners of the Seminar open competition!

  • 1st Jim Hynes
  • 2nd Tom Murphy
  • 3rd Jack O Rourke

Magical is the only way to describe our seminar in April, magical in two ways, first in the brilliant demonstration  given by our guest Albert Harrison and in the way he entertained us while work he had polished on the lathe was drying. I am not sure if we were watching a turning demo with a magician as the cabaret or the other way around either way it was most enjoyable.

Back to the serious business of woodturning and Albert showed us four different pieces during the course of the day.

The first piece was a bracket shelf in mahogany and he demonstrated the technique of split turning which is done by gluing two pieces of wood together with a sheet of paper (or cardboard as he used) between the joint. This blank is now turned to the desired shape with a spigot or tenon on the top to join to the shelf and when completed is split along the papered joint and although quite strong on the lathe it does comes apart easily, you now have two matching shelf brackets.  Albert went on to turn this blank to a design he had drawn but he didn’t have a drawing for everyone in the audience so if anybody would like a copy I will send one to them. The second part was the shelf itself turned to a circle with a hole or mortise in the centre to fit the tenon and again split, it is then fitted to the bracket, glued and screwed from the back. I have included some photos to show this very attractive piece.

After a short break Albert was back on the lathe this time showing us what he called square turning,  taking a piece of sycamore 220mm x 220mm and 50mm thick he mounted this on the lathe in the recess he had prepared .

This we were told was going to be a casing for an inset clock and he proceeded to shape the back, curving it outwards then forming a recess in the centre so the piece could be reversed on the lathe. When he was happy with the shape and finish (he said he only sanded his work so it wouldn’t be too smooth and the polish might not grip) he turned it around to work on the face. In the centre he formed a recess to take the inset clock which was 50mm in diameter. Then moving out to the edge of the blank he started cutting inward across the face hollowing out to match the curve of the back. This can be quite tricky as you are working with a square blank so you have to take it lightly and as in this case he was working down to about 8mm in thickness. Albert worked very expertly in towards the clock position leaving a rim around the clock and when satisfied with the dimensions and finish took it off the lathe and prepared for the final stage of the work. This part requires a steady hand as with an engraving tool he preceded to cut a latticework pattern around the outside corners, I refer you to the photo here as this best describes how it looks, a beautiful piece of work.

This took us to the lunch break where we were amply fed and watered by our chef in residence Tom Gibson, a big thanks to Tom.

The rest of the day was taken up by Albert turning a beautiful little decorated box and a large bowl in spalted beech, that was of course between his fascinating card tricks. Albert being Welsh I expected a song or two from him but you can’t have everything, well maybe next time. Thank you very much Albert, we all enjoyed a most entertaining day.

As is usual on our seminar there were two competitions, our monthly chapter one, which was open and an open competition to include our visitors. The results were as follows, Tom Murphy 1st Jim Hynes 2nd and Pat Gannon 3rd in our monthly competition and in the seminar open Jim Hynes1st Tom Murphy 2nd and Jack O’Rourke 3rd. Now I know I keep banging on about it but I think entering  the competition is very important and as for myself I think I have improved very much as a result of doing so. Also remember you get points for entering so even if you don’t win you could be up there with these same guys whose names I have to type each month so give it a go and give me a break.

Finally a thank you to our committee for the work they put in organising these events and to Des Harbourne for the trade stand allowing us to stock up on our needs and of course to all our members who attend and support our chapter.

I hope I have covered everything and look forward to seeing you all at our next meeting, work safe.

Pat Gannon