Club Night – 4th March 2020

Tonight we welcomed Gary Rance who introduced himself and the itinerary for the evening.

The first part of the evening was a bit of spindle turning to show us techniques and tips on turning beads, coves etc. Although this sounds basic the information and expertise passed on meant that all of us learned something from the explanations that Gary provided.

The second project was a fob watch stand which was made in four pieces where accuracy of manufacture was required to ensure that they all fitted together correctly.

(photo of fob watch stand taken from Gary Rance website)

  The first part of the task was to create the base which was turned to predefined measurements.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020-03-17-a.jpg

The next part was the top ring which also used a cup chuck to finish it off, and then the 2 columns which had to be a matching pair.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020-03-17-b.jpg This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020-03-17-c.jpg

There was so much going on with loads of information to take in it was difficult to keep up, especially when he did one of the columns at his normal speed. Very interesting to see him working without worrying about talking to us.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020-03-17-d.jpg

On completion of the main project Gary filled in the remaining time with a bottle stopper. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2020-03-17-e.jpg

It was a great evening that was crammed full of interest and entertainment.

The designs for the items that Gary made are for sale on his website as are the tools etc that he brought along.

Tonight also included the March competition.

1st prize was an inspirational half Taurus drawer by Clive Bryant.

Second was a box made from an old fence post by Ken Garratt.

Third was a pretty little potpourri bowl by Roger Gilbert.

Club Night – 19th February 2020

Tonight we welcomed Gregory Moreton to give us a demonstration which consisted of 2 bowls, one rustic made from an oak fencepost, the other a winged form made from a laburnum log.

The first bowl was an old oak fencepost which Gregory prepared so that it could be mounted onto a pine jig to allow it to be turned. Before any turning took place Gregory showed us how he sharpens his bowl gouges to get the best finish even when deep hollowing.

Once mounted the bowl was turned out and power sanded working from the back edge of the bowl working to the middle, then back out again. The working back out is important to remove dust otherwise the next pass will clog the abrasive.

The natural faces of the oak post were then cleaned up using a fine nylon brush mounted on a drill. Once cleaned the piece was treated with sanding sealer. This was applied with a lint free cloth as paper towel would tear and contaminate the grooves. Once the sealer was dry the surfaces were waxed using a toothbrush to apply it. After about 15 minutes the wax could be brushed using a polishing brush in a jacobs chuck in the lathe.

The winged bowl was made from a laburnum log that was split down the middle, sanded flat and then scraped with a cabinet makers scraper to give a fine finish. Be sure to do the splitting of the log safely. The blank was mounted flat side onto a pine carrier to allow turning. The screws were in the area that was to be cut off when the bowl was finished. The wings and outside of the bowl was turned (very carefully as the wings are potentially dangerous). The outside of the bowl could be sanded on the lathe but the wings would need to be done off the lathe.

The bowl was finally reverse mounted on another jig so that the inside of the bowl could be turned and sanded.

It was a great night’s demonstration with lots of good, solid turning tips and insights.

Club Night – 5th February 2020

We welcomed once again the 3 Musketeers, Roger Gilbert, Gerald Hubbard and Mick Denton. The night’s challenge was a box made to look like a water droplet using a piece of 2 coloured Padouk.

Roger was up first so he mounted the piece between centres, turned it to round, created a tenon on each end. The piece was then mounted in a chuck and using the rule of thirds the base and lid were parted off. The base was hollowed out and the recess for the lid created. The base was reverse chucked using the lid recess and the outside turned to a finish. When applying the sanding sealer Roger used the sealer on each colour in turn as the red will bleed into the white.

The baton was then passed to Gerald who worked on the lid, mainly the inside and concentrating on getting the tenon right to fit in the base.

This required a lot of fine turning to make sure that he did not remove too much material. He then got carried away and turned some of the outside but went a little too far so the water droplet shape was lost. It was at this point he dumped the final part of the turning on Mick Denton. The final shape was turned out and the piece reverse chucked on the tenon and the pointy end finished.

Overall the evening proved to be very entertaining and with some of the things that did not go quite according to plan proves that even the best can come a cropper from time to time. But there is usually some way to get over any problems you encounter.

The evening also had the February competition.

1st was an intriguing box that included a cute little mouse inside by Clive Bryant.

2nd was a mirror by Bob Green.

Joint 3rd was a vase with Fractal burning by Bryan Turner, a bowl by Gerald Hubbard and an egg box by Roger Gilbert.

Club Night – 15th January 2020

Unfortunately the designated demonstrator for the evening was unavailable so we had to revert to plan “B” which was to press gang Roger Gilbert and Gerald Hubbard to provide the entertainment. Needless to say we were not disappointed even though both struggled with using tools that were not their own.

Roger took first dibs and before the tea interval he created a winged bowl which gave most of us at least one useful tip.

After tea Gerald produced a small box and again he also provided a number of tips that will prove useful for most of us.

The Facebook page for West Northants Woodturners seems to be drawing a fair amount of interest and we have had an increase in the membership which is encouraging. Also from this page we have received an option of some wood turning equipment. More details are  on the for sale page.

Club Night – 18th December 2019

The evening was described as a social event which allowed us to have a chat and also watch a couple of people using the new lathe. Overall the evening was a reasonable success even though the turnout was a little below par. This was the last meeting of the year 2019, there will be no meeting on 1st January so the first will be Wednesday 15th January 2020. Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year. See you all in the middle of January.

Club Night – 4th December 2019

This evening was a new concept of “technique improvement” whereby a lathe was brought out so that members could get close and Roger Gilbert demonstrated woodturning techniques at close quarters. Members got to ask questions and be shown the relevant detail to that question. At the same time our new lathe, an Axminster AT406, was set up and then tested by Gerald Hubbard. He then supported Roger for the rest of the evening.

Also for the evening we had the December competition which was themed as Christmas Decoration and proved to be well represented with a good number of quality projects.

There was a dead heat for first place with a spiky bauble by Bryan Turner and a family of snow men by Bob Green.

Second place went to Ken Garratt with a tree decoration.

Third place went to Arthur Ellis with an elegant snowman T light holder..

Club Night – 20th November 2019

The evenings meeting was for the 3 impostors, a play on words as alternative demonstrators for the usual 3 Musketeers. The impostors were Ian George, Adrian Finch and Ken Garratt who kept the audience amused with bowls, an old fashioned telephone masquerading as a candle stick and a tea caddy spoon. 

This was an opportunity for members to start demonstrating but in a warm and friendly atmosphere and we will look to continue this over the next 12 months so if anyone is interested please put your name forward. It is a daunting prospect to undertake but is enjoyable, give it a go.

The audience look on with interest
Ian George working on a bowl
Adrian Finch working on his candle stick
Ken Garratt working on the tea caddy spoon


Club Night – 6th November 2019

Tonight was the turn of Ian George to demonstrate some woodturning, the first item was a mushroom made from a small Yew log. This was started between centres and a chucking tenon established.

Once the piece was mounted in the chuck it was turned to shape and the head undercut using a spindle gouge.


Although relatively simple this was interesting to see how the operations were performed.

The second item was a natural edge bowl where a log was mounted on a screw chuck and turned out and a chucking recess created.

Once the outside shape was finished the bowl was rechucked onto the recess and was hollowed. Again this explained the processes admirably and gave many of us inspiration to try something similar. 

The last 10 minutes were filled with a quick T light holder which looked to be a nice fun project for novice turners.

The November competition was once again well subscribed with a wealth of quality projects.

1st was a little box by Gerald Hubbard.

2nd was a cat by Clive Bryant

Equal 3rd was a vase by Roger Gilbert and a pot by Mick Denton


Club Night – 16th October 2019

This evening was a hands on with 2 lathes set up and a number of people doing little bits and pieces. Unfortunately there were only a small number of members there but we did have an entertaining evening with a good exchange of information, tips and banter.

Club Night – 2nd October 2019

Adrian Finch made a demonstration tonight and it was his first club demonstration so he was given a warm welcome. His first comment was that he would not tell us what he was making, we had to guess. The first person to give the correct answer would get a Yorkie bar (other chocolate bars are available). The 3 components of his project was a large copper sleeve, a brass plumbing fitting and a sizeable chunk of Ash, which from the look of it showed promise for some good figuring.

Having turned the Ash to round he created a spigot for the chuck and mounted the wood in place. The first diameter was turned down so that the copper sleeve fitted onto it. Over the next part of the evening Adrian stepped down the wood three times. The wood lived up to it’s promise of good figuring, but even at the tea break we could still not work out what it was and, bearing in mind Adrian’s wacky ideas, it was not surprising. Finally Mick Denton blurted out (more in jest than anything else) ‘Telescope’ and that earned him the Yorkie bar.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-10-02-finch-1.jpg    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-10-02-finch-2.jpg

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-10-02-finch-3.jpg

Adrian then worked the project to a finish. Overall we got to have a sense of the unknown, a demonstration of spindle turning and use of materials other than wood. Not only that there was some light hearted banter making the evening very entertaining.

The competition for October heralded a substantial and competitive table, so much so that there was one winner and 4 equal seconds.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-10-02-comp-1.jpg

First was Bob Green with a pair of plywood bowls.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-10-02-comp-2.jpg

The four second places went to Bryan Turner, David Hartley, Mick Denton and Arthur Ellis. Congratulations to one and all and thank you for the effort put into the work for the competition.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-10-02-comp-3.jpg    This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-10-02-comp-4.jpg

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-10-02-comp-5.jpg     This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2019-10-02-comp-6.jpg