Club Night – 6th June 2018

There was another good turnout for this club meeting and we introduced the well known woodturner Gary Rance as the evenings demonstrator.

Gary started by giving us a brief introduction of his history in woodturning and his experiences.

The first part of Gary’s demonstration was spindle turning with a piece of square section pine set between centres. The first cut demonstrated was the pommel cut using his preferred tool, a round  skew. Gary went on to demonstrate the use of the skew to create V cuts and beads and also, interestingly, he intentionally induced a catch to show what not to do. Funnily enough he had to work hard to produce the catch, whereas most of us find this aspect quite easy. He also showed the turning of a cove using a spindle gouge. His top tip on making the cut was not to hesitate just make the cut, otherwise the risk of a catch increases.

The next subject to be demonstrated was faceplate turning. Gary made a round photo frame which used to be one of his production tasks. From one blank a series of frames in reducing size can be made. The blank was made as a glued up section of beech as this would be more stable than a full width plank. It was also kiln dried to minimise the risk of distortion after finishing. The blank was mounted on a screw chuck and trued up with a spindle gouge. The final cut was a fine shaving with the bevel of the tool rubbing, although it should not have any pressure so Gary prefers the term bevel floating.

Truing up the edge

The recess for the glass and the back plate was measured and turned out and the back finish sanded. This was then parted off using a thin parting tool used at an angle into the recess. The angle ensured that the frame did not fly off when parted though and remained captive against the chuck. The frame was then reverse chucked onto a scroll chuck in expansion mode although at home he would use wooded jaws. The face was trued up and the centre opened out until the recess was reached. The edge and the face were then decorated with beads and coves. Gary showed a way to quickly create a series of beads using a spindle gouge, not easy to explain but well worth seeing. This would then have been sanded and finished.

To further demonstrate the spindle turning already shown Gary set about making an “idiot stick” which is a 2 part puzzle stick.

Turning part of the “idiot stick”.

This will not be described as it would give away the trick but needless to say it kept a couple of us guessing how it worked until the end.

Drilling a hole with Jacob’s chuck in the head stock.

Part of the decoration was to produce black lines on the piece which instead of burning with a wire were just coloured with a pencil. Does the same job but does not set off the smoke alarm. Gary also said that most production turners do not move the toolpost when sanding but sand from the back of the piece, and then demonstrated the safest technique for doing this.

Sanding from the back of the piece.

The final part of the demonstration was a quick rundown of how Gary sharpens his tools.

Overall the demonstration was very informative with all of us taking something that we can use or develop. The presentation was given in a very informal and entertaining way and was enjoyed by everyone.

June Competition.

The June competition ended with a rare event in that there was a 3 way tie for first place. The honours jointly went to Clive Bryant with a vase and flower, Gerald Hubbard with a square edged bowl/dish and Mick Denton with a natural edge bowl. Congratulations to all three.