April 2016 – Seminar

Our seminar this month was well attended by both our members and some very welcome guests from other chapters and one I enjoyed very much as I’m sure everybody else did. This was due to Sue Harker, our visiting demonstrator who gave us a very entertaining day both with her skill on the lathe and her presentation. Sue, who comes from Bridlington in Yorkshire told me she got hooked on turning after buying a lathe as a present for her husband sixteen years ago, and has been a professional for the past ten. Her specialty is segmental turning and that’s how she started her demo, by showing us how she turned an open segmented apple.  This is made up of a solid base and top with the segments layered in between and of a contrasting timber and I guess it was about 80 to 100mm in diameter. The segments were cut on a circular saw, 50mm triangles and 10 mm thick, set on a jig of six segments with 6mm dividing pieces (see photo)making sure to keep the grain running on the outside line. The base piece, which has enough wood on to allow for a mounting spigot, is then glued to the first layer, when set this is then glued to the second layer this time rotated so the 6mm gap is centred on each segment of the first layer(got that?) then so on with the other layers, in this case six in all. When set this is shaped and hollowed out, then the top piece is glued in place left to set and the turning can now be  finished, forming a dimple on top to take the stalk.  The glue Sue used was a fast setting PVA titebond or similar , which speeds up the preparation but when completed must be left to set at least 24 hours before turning.

The next item Sue tackled was a candleholder which she called back to back turning and was prepared by gluing together with a paper joint (as in split turning) two pieces of sycamore about 350 mm long x 50 x 30mm making it 100mm wide. As well as glue Sue also put a screw in each end, which would be waste, to ensure they would not part when being turned. The next thing was to mark with a template in the centre of the piece an inward curve from each edge about 280mm long and in 35mm, (Here again I think the photos will show it much better than I can describe) It was now ready to mount between centres on the lathe and run at a high speed. Sue now proceeded to cut into the shape which can clearly be seen as the piece spins, working from each end towards the centre, remember this is 100mm wide and the cut has to be approached very gently taking very little off as you go in. Having reached the line she wanted Sue took the piece off the lathe and undoing the screws broke the joint and reversed the two pieces careful to line them  up, taped them together and mounted them back on the lathe. Sue now cut the outer curve by eye following the line of the inner one making sure not to reduce the edge thickness and finished each end with a bead and dowel to fit the base and top. These she turned from a darker wood, the top I think was walnut and the base ash. Sues final item was a pendant turned from acrylic, first cut to thickness from  a 50mm cylinder and then placed into a sort of jam chuck (her words) but held in with two sided tape rather than jammed in. Using a negative edged scraper Sue trued it up very gently (its a material that needs a very light touch) what was the back, leaving it concave then drilled a 3mm hole at the top, this to take a ring. The piece was then turned around and the face was finished convexed.  The next step was to was to replace the jam chuck with another this time off centred to allow a hole to be cut near the top this one part of the design. Sue then removed the pendant from the chuck and polished it on a buffing wheel before inserting a ring in the top hole and a cord for hanging. Thank you Sue for an entertaining day, we look forward to seeing you again.

As usual through the day we had breaks for tea coffee and biscuits and a sit down lunch, all this provide by our expert catering manager Tom Gibson and assisted by Shay Clarke, thank you Tom and Shay for all your good work.                                                                                                                             

To the competitions, the open competition was as follows. 1st Pat Carroll 2nd Tom Murphy and 3rd Jim Hynes.   The chapter competition, in the novice section, 1st Frank Trapp 2nd Anthony Murphy and in the senior,  1st Cecil Barron  2nd Jack O’ Rourke 3rd Jim Hynes.              

A big thank you to our visitors and members for your support and a thank you to the committee members for organising everything, I hope you enjoyed the day as much as I did.

Until next month work safe.


Pat Gannon                            

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