Club Night – 17th January 2018

The meeting today was almost entirely given over to the demonstration by Paul Jones. The equipment and chairs were set up, an introduction made by Mick, and Paul launched into his demo. There was a quick break for tea and then Paul resumed the demo, continuing until it was time to clear everything away.

Demo by Paul Jones (

Paul planned to show us how to make a hollow form on a very long and slender stem.

The hollow form consists of a “trumpet” and a “bowl” turned separately from tulipwood and then glued together.

The stem and the base are also separate parts but unfortunately there was no time to make them – the picture shows one that Paul had previously made. In this instance the stem was to be made from sapele.

It was an enjoyable demo and Paul made it look easy, well within the capabilities of ordinary turners, although the long and thin stem is rather daunting and it would have been nice to see the techniques employed. He explained clearly what he was doing at all times and passed on a few comments regarding his preferences for doing things in a particular way, some of which I have included below


He said that he likes to run the lathe no faster than necessary, to be gentler on the wood.

Started with a square blank of tulipwood between centres.

Rounded with a roughing gouge, leaving a bit of square on the edge to aid location in chuck jaws.

Put a 40mm long straight sided tenon on one end with a beading/parting tool, to suit the O’Donnell jaws, which hold the long unsupported length of wood very securely.

Mounted the wood in the jaws and brought the tailstock up for initial support.


The first difficulty showed up immediately when Paul tried to mount a 10mm dia drill in the tailstock – the small Vicmarc lathe is too short to accommodate the length of the wood plus drill and chuck. No problem, he hollowed out the trumpet for a short distance with a spindle gouge, until there was room to insert the drill bit and then to drill to about 70mm, defining the depth of the trumpet.

Reduced the outside to approx the final diameter and marked the base of the trumpet. (Skew and spindle gouge).

Used a spindle gouge and Simon Hope 10mm hollowing tool to hollow out the inside.

Hollowing The Trumpet

Paul prefers to define the shape by cutting on the bevel from outside to inside as he finds this gives him better control of the shape and finish, although it is slower than cutting on the edge from inside to outside.

Tucking the tool handle under the arm and moving the body gives better control than purely hand/arm control when using the long Hope tool.

Sanded the inside.

Spindle gouges used to shape the outside of the trumpet.

Testing Trumpet Wall Thickness

He used fine cuts and sharp tools as it got thinner, steadying it with his fingers. Paul uses calipers to gauge the even thickness of the wall thickness as he finds fingers can deceive. Final wall thickness was around 1.5mm, and 1.5/2.0mm at the joint to the bowl.

Reduced to around 16mm diameter at the base, blended into the curve and sanded.

The slightly tapered joining tenon of around 38mm dia was formed and then parted off from the blank.


Marked out a 38mm dia circle on the end of the blank and drilled with a 35mm dia Forstner bit to about 35mm depth.

Hollowed out the inside with the Hope hollowing tool. The bowl is not functional so doesn’t strictly need to be hollowed, but it is done to reduce weight on the thin stem and improve the balance of the completed object. There’s no need to go too thin and it is advantageous to leave a fairly heavy rim, to accept the tapered joining tenon.

Marked the intended bottom of the bowl on the outside and shaped the outside of the bowl.

Refining The Inside Of The Bowl

Refined the inside of the bowl to match the external profile.

Ensured there was an accurate centring mark in the bottom of the bowl and drilled a 7mm hole through the bottom – this will accept the tenon on the top of the stem.

Assemble Trumpet & Bowl

Refined the 35mm bowl rim to suit the trumpet tapered joining tenon. Paul likes to use a round skew for this as it avoids fouling the rim and makes it easier to creep up on the correct size and taper.

When it appeared correct, he tested it by using a padded cup centre in the tailstock to push the trumpet in – not too hard! Once the tenon was a nice fit, and slightly proud of the bowl rim, he removed the trumpet.

Gluing Trumpet to Bowl

He then applied CA glue and pushed the trumpet tenon back in, taking care to align the grain of bowl and trumpet. More glue was then run around the join; capillary action will take it right into the joint.

Cleaned up the tenon and bowl with a shear scraping spindle gouge until the surfaces flowed in a smooth curve, the join visible only due to the line of CA glue.

He hid the glue line by scoring it with a tri-point tool, and scored two further lines inside the glue line.

Blacked the lines with a piece of Formica pressed into the grooves, then skimmed very lightly over the surface with a spindle gouge to remove any overburn.

Formed a shouldered spigot about 16mm diameter at the bottom of the bowl – this had the previously drilled 7mm hole through it, ready to receive the stem.

Finally, he sanded all over, and parted off the assembly.

The Completed Item

Stem & Base

At this point, time ran out and Paul was unable to make either the stem or the base, but the picture shows a completed item.

Club Night – 3rd January 2018

This was the first meeting of the month so we had both a competition and a demonstration, details below.


The winners are shown here, with some other pictures in the 2018 Gallery.

Yew bowl with lid and finial, Mick

1st  Signs of Mick trying to muscle in on Gerald’s territory here, with a lovely little lidded yew bowl with a finial.

Natural edged yew bowl, Roger

2nd  This natural edged yew bowl by Roger is simple but attractive.

Table with Star Trek, Adrian

3rd  Star Trek by Adrian,  guarding the table with the other entries. Complete with multi-coloured lights.

Demonstration by Lee Stoffer of Covert Craft (

This was a very different sort of demonstration as it was nothing to do with woodturning! Lee is a wood carver, and a previous demonstration by him was very popular, so he was invited back again. Although not woodturning, there are similarities, including a need to “read” the wood and work with it not against it, and to cut downhill where possible.

On this occasion he made an oval bowl out of green wood from a willow tree, with the work carried out on a carving horse of his own design.

He first split log through the pith using a froe. The flat side of the log was to become the bottom of the bowl, the curved side the top.

Splitting the log

Using an asymmetrically bevelled axe for easier control, he straightened up the edges, and flattened the bottom of the bowl to provide a reference face, working both along and across the grain. He also squared up the ends.

Mounted on the horse,  the flat faces were cleaned up with a scrub plane, a drawknife and a No.4 smoothing plane.

With the round side up, he marked the centre then put screws in the wood on  the longitudinal axis about 140mm either side of centre (280mm apart). Lee then made up a loop of string about 305mm long when pulled tight, placed it round the screws and pulled the string out with a pencil to describe an ellipse – the inside of the bowl rim.

He started hollowing out with a hollowing adze by making an initial hollow across the minor axis and then worked along the major axis towards this hollow, thus reducing the likelihood of a slip damaging the rim of the bowl. A roughing gouge could have been used – more accurate but slower.

Hollowing with a roughing gouge

Finishing to the line of the rim was carried out with a roughing gouge and mallet. The inside of the bowl is shaped before the outside as there is less likelihood of splitting.

To clean up, a hand pushed gouge with a sharp curved edge was used. A spoon gouge could also have been used – in fact any sharp curved edge would do.

The rim outer edge and the handles were next marked out; the rim is about 20mm thick.

Lee used the axe to trim the ends around the handles, and remove surplus wood at the sides and underside.

At this point, the shape was now roughed out – but still faceted as the flat facets made it easier to control the axe.

Shaping continued with an adze, including finger grooves on the underside of the handles.

Refining the shape with a drawknife

He then rounded off the edges with a drawknife, working downhill to avoid lifting the grain.

The bottom was made flat, with just a slight hollow in the middle – but it is expected that the wood will move as it dries out and some finishing will be required.

The last stage tonight involved more shaping, now with a spokeshave – pushing not pulling. Another technique involves using a gouge to apply a scalloped finish.

Finished – now wait to dry

The bowl will now be allowed to dry then finished off with gouges.