Report on our virtual meeting 09-07-2020 Candle holders.

Our virtual meeting this week was on Thursday 09th July 2020, it was all about making candle holders, it was to be organised by Errol Levings. Errol had suggested a variety of different candle holders that could be made from standard candlesticks to using nightlight candles and for the more experienced he suggested offset candlesticks.

The uptake was again very disappointing in so much that we only had 5 people contributing to the virtual meeting, we would obviously want to see more and hope the future virtual meetings will be better represented.

Now not all of today’s entries are of candle holders, but those that are not are just as welcome and we hope they keep coming.

I have divided the post into 2 sets of pictures, the first being those who did put some pictures in along with some pictures of various candle holders from previous meetings by some of our members, these will be seen in the first gallery.

The second lot of pictures is a tutorial on how to make a small Sentinel Candle holder by Myself.

The next set of pictures are from my tutorial on how to make a small Sentinel Candle holder.

For a full size picture of any picture in the 2 galleries just click the picture, and I hope we have given you some encouragement to take part in future virtual meetings.

The tutorial is probably one of the easiest candle holders to make, why not have a go and send me your resulting pictures.

Do Remember the clubhouse remains closed.

This week’s virtual meeting 09-07-2020 Candle Holders.

This Week’s virtual meeting on Thursday 9th July 2020 is all about making Candle holders, they can be made for small nightlight candles to large pillar candles and everything in between, you could also try to make some offset candle holders. This meeting was to be handled by Errol Levings and he was going to demonstrate the making of an offset candle holder.

Here are a few examples of different candle holders that you might like to try.

A natural edged candle holder, made to take a standard 22 mm candle.
Here are a couple of candle holders made to take a sentinal candle and makes use of a glass globe as well.
Here we have Colin MacKenzie with a set of 3 electronic candles set into a piece of wood.
This candle holder was made by Bill Munro, and had a 3 inch brass candle fitting set into the top to take a large pillar candle.
Here is an example of the offset turned candle holder, It was made by Errol Levings at a club meeting some time ago.

I hope these few examples have given you some ideas for making your own candle holders. We want to see many of them, photographed and sent to me for upload to our web site.

The virtual meeting is on Thursday, you have until Lunchtime on Friday 10th July 2020 to send your pictures to me, don’t forget to include some information on what you have made and possibly even why.

Click my email to send them to me at,

Report on our virtual meeting 25-06-2020 competition by Errol Levings.

Our virtual meeting on the 25th June 2020 was to be a competition, being handled by Errol Levings, the Novice category were asked to make a Natural Edged Bowl from 1/2 a log, the Intermediate category were to make a Natural Edged Bowl from a whole log and the Experienced category were to make an Inside Out Turning. There wasn’t going to be any judging it was all for the experience of doing it.

I have to tell you that the uptake for this competition was very very poor and quite disappointing I received very few pictures, but those I did receive will be shown here along with some of my own pictures just to pad out the post.

We do have pictures from Bill Munro, Dave Line, Jeff Buttress and myself.

To get a larger picture of any of those shown in the gallery below, just click the picture.

We are hoping for a better uptake for the next virtual meeting, that will be on the 9th July 2020, it’s also being handled by Errol Levings and the subject matter was going to be making an Offset Candle Holder or any Candle Holder. Lets get lots of pictures from our members for our members, start now and get the pictures to me for inclusion in our web site.

We hope you are all still keeping well and avoiding this deadly virus.

Do remember the clubhouse remains closed.

Competition virtual meeting 25-06-2020

This week would have seen our 2nd competition for this year, this will now be handled virtually, it should have been taking place on Thursday 25-06-2020, it was being organised by Errol Levings and Errol had laid down the criteria for the competition. He wanted the Novice group to make a Natural edged Bowl from half a log, he wanted the Intermediate group to make a Natural edged Bowl from a whole log, and the Experienced group were tasked with making an Inside Out Turning. Whatever group you are in can you still make something in line with what Errol has asked for, there will be no judging taking place, do it for your club or do it for Errol, I will let Errol see all the entries and he may well decide to comment on some of them. Firstly we want plenty of entries in all 3 categories, you have up to Thursday evening to get your items made, photographed and sent to me, I will be uploading them to our web site on the following day.

Don’t let Errol down, I know he is looking forward to seeing what you all have made.

I have given you 3 pictures of things made using Errol’s criteria.

This is a Spalted Beech bowl that was made from half a log, the type of thing Errol is looking for the Novice group to make.
This is a Laburnum bowl made from a whole log, this is a little more difficult and would suit the Intermediate group. This one was made from a “Y” piece but a straight log will be all that’s required.
The final group, the Experienced members, you are being asked to make an Inside Out Turning, it can be any size or shape.

Our entries over the past few weeks for virtual meetings or just for publication have been very poor in number, we would like to see you all entering your work much more than has been happening, so please enter into the spirit of the virtual meetings until we eventually get back to the clubhouse, we are aware that may be some time yet so the only way we can keep in touch is through the internet.

Send your pictures to me at,

Remember the clubhouse remains closed.

Report on our virtual meeting 11-06-2020 making weed pots.

Our virtual meeting on the subject of weed pots was held on Thursday 11th June 2020. It was being organised by myself, the usual criteria was in place, the members were to make the weed pots and send their pictures to me for publication on our web site. It was looking fairly clear to me that by Tuesday evening I had very few pictures from only 4 members, this was to say the least very disappointing, so as I was the organiser I decided to do a tutorial on the making of a weed pot, if only to make it worth while to do a post.

I have also change some of the ways I used to present the entries, I do hope you approve of my new method, it will be presented in 2 parts, the 1st part will be the members entries and the 2nd part will be the tutorial.

Part one, the members entries. Click any picture for a larger view.

Here’s a short video of Mike Day’s Weed Pot

Part two, a tutorial by Alec Mutch, on making a weed pot, see the gallery below, there are 24 pictures in 12 entries, just follow the pictures 1 to 24 and you should produce a weed pot at the end if it, click the pictures.

I hope you have gained something from this post from both the members and myself, I hope we can get a better response from our members in the future, our next virtual meeting was to be a competition organised by Errol Levings, this will now be a virtual meeting. Errol wanted the competition to be on 3 subjects, the Novice group were to make a Natural Edged Bowl from 1/2 a log, the Intermediate group were to make a Natural Edged Bowl from a full log The Experienced group were to make an Inside Out Turning. Now I would like you all to follow what Errol has asked for and make something in line with his requests, there will be no judging, but then there doesn’t need to be, just do it for your own satisfaction and remember to send the pictures to me.

Do remember the clubhouse remains closed.

Weed pots virtual meeting 11-06-2020

Our meeting this Thursday should have been all about making weed pots, it will now be handled on line by means of a virtual meeting, it was to be organised by myself, what we would like you to do is to make a weed pot or more than one and send the pictures to me along with some text for publication on our web site. These are not difficult things to make and they use up odd bits of wood that would otherwise not be used.

We had a real disappointing entry for the Inside Out Turnings, I hope we can do a whole lot better with this subject.

If you need some guidance on what a weed pot is and how to make it, click the link provided below for a full description on how to make one.

The pictures and text need to be sent to me by Friday 12th June at the latest, email them to

Do remember the clubhouse remains closed.

Report on our “Inside Out Turning” virtual meeting on 28-05-2020.

Our virtual meeting on “Inside Out Turning” was on Thursday 28th May 2020 It was to be organised by myself, I was going to demonstrate the methods used to produce an Inside Out Turning, however as this was not possible due to the lockdown we made it a virtual meeting instead. I was to be the only turner for this demonstration, we were not going to use all the lathes as is the normal practice. On that basis I decided I would handle this more like a tutorial rather than the normal proceedure where we just show some pictures with a little text, I will take you through the making of an Inside Out Turning.

The membership were invited to do an inside out turning to be shown on this post, however I have only received one other entry for the Inside Out Turning, I was hoping for a few more but I do realise that this type of turning may have been a step to far for the some of our members.

I did receive a couple of pictures of other turnings from another member, and they will be shown here, I did invite everyone to enter any piece of turning if they felt the Inside Out Turning was not for them.

First up is the only Inside Out Turning I received from Nick Simpson, this is what he had to say about his picture.

Morning Alec

If you are short of photos this is one I did a while ago.

It is 9” tall and made from sycamore. The inside is spray painted gold and the outside stained with spirit stain and satin lacquer.


Nick Simpson.

Next are a couple of pictures from Dave Line, not Inside Out Turnings, just items he has made recently, this is what Dave had to say about them,

Hi Alec.

I tried inside out turning after John Ruickbie demonstrated a couple of years ago but the result was a complete disaster so when I saw the programme for this year I was looking forward to this week when Alec would be demonstrating inside out turning so I could have another go.

So no inside out turning but 2 items I have made in the last couple of weeks.

The first is a lamp, 280mm high and 120mm Dia. The body is Ash and the feature rings are Sycamore and Sapele , it is finished with wood wax and friction polish.

The second is a clock of 150mm Dia it is very simple but my first use of millput which I think sets it off quite well, the wood is Copper Beech and finished with melamine lacquer.

Now for my own tutorial on Inside Out Turnings.

For those wishing to follow the tutorial start at the fourth picture and go through them in sequence they are all on a step by step basis for you to follow, and good luck with this, if you don’t try you will never know how interesting it can make woodturning, for a larger picture and the text just click any picture, a full sized picture should appear.

Our next Virtual meeting is on the 11th June 2020, that too is being organised by myself, it’s on a much simpler turning this time, it’s all about making weed pots, now that something that everyone can do and can enter for publication, so get to making weed pots and lots of them and send your pictures to me but don’t forget to tell us all about them.

Remember the clubhouse remains closed.

Inside -out turning virtual meeting 28-05-2020

Our next meeting should have been on the 28th May 2020 but due to the lockdown this meeting will be handled virtually. It was to be organised by myself demonstrating how to make an inside-out or involuted turning. This type of turning usually consisted of 3 or 4 pieces of wood held by temporarily gluing the pieces together (paper joint method) to create a cylinder where the turning that would ultimately be on the inside is turned first on the outside with the ends untouched at this stage, the whole assembly would then be taken apart and reversed so that all the turnings are now on the inside, the pieces would then be glued permanently, allowed to dry and then turned. I have given you a few pictures of one I did myself and one that John Ruickbie did at a demo in 2018, you can follow what we did if you wish or come up with your own idea for any form of inside-out turning, but do have a go at this and send your pictures to me.

This is one I made some years ago, it’s made from Sycamore and has a miniature bottle of whisky inside.

Do have a go at this and send me the pictures, some of them could be as it’s being made along with the finished article and some information to go with it. If you don’t feel comfortable to make one of these turnings, send me pictures of anything else you make instead, we still want to see your pictures, so keep them coming.

All pictures to be sent to me at,

Do remember that the clubhouse remains closed.

Report on our Platters virtual meeting 14-05-2020

Our Platters virtual meeting took place this week on Thursday 14th May 2020, it was being organised by Peter Lawrence but had to be made into a virtual meeting due to the lockdown. We did get some response from the members, not as much as I would have liked, 9 of our 65 members submitted pictures of their work and for that we are very grateful, however that meant that 56 did not, and that also included 7 of the 12 committee members. It does appear that since we started the virtual meetings that there are a handful of members who are more than willing to take part with the rest taking little interest, this is most disappointing because we are trying to keep the interest in the club alive and that will only happen if you all participate. I do hope that at the next virtual meeting in 2 weeks time there will be a better response, we were also asking for you to put any pictures in of anything you were doing outwith the virtual meetings in for publication on our web site and facebook page, this too seems to have come to a complete halt.

There are a total of 30 pictures submitted by our members along with some text, I will put this into 2 sections, the text being the first section and the pictures in a second as a picture gallery. Here are the text entries.

Pictures 1 to 3 are from Alan Ross.

Platter made from mahogany (not certain)
22.5cm x 3cm
sanded to 400grit, sanding sealer, cut’n’polish then wax 22.


Alan Ross

Pictures 4 & 5 are from Bob Chisholm.

A Sycamore Platter measuring 300 mm x 35 mm, it was sanded to 400 grit then sealed with sanding sealer, re-sanded with 400grit and a coat of Melamine applied, it was then buffed to a soft sheen,


Bob  Chisholm.

Pictures 6 to 10 are from Cliff Sim.

Good evening, Geoff. I attach photos of my recent work. Unfortunately my oak platter had a few breakouts hence the reason it became more of a bob-bon dish instead. I took heart from Alec’s recent showing to finish off my table lamp using two lignum vitae bowls, one cut in half, and the other mounted on top . I drilled a separate piece of odd wood I had tuned as I originally planned to use a metal pipe to connect the lamp holder but couldn’t  get a fitting of the requisite size. The other half of the bowl I turned to make a small trinket dish as shown, just like Alec’s, though not nearly so skillfully nor tastefully made. I turned small pieces of contrasting wood to glue in the bases to flatten them and hide the turning recesses. I applied sanding sealer, melamine lacquer then chestnut wax polish to all the items.

 Best, Cliff Sim.

Pictures 11 to 13 are from Dave Line.

Hi Alec,

Here are 3 platters I have made.

The 1st is 170mm dia, it is made from Ash with Mahogany insert, the only problem I encountered was getting the mahogany inserts to bend without cracking, also cutting the blank, this has to be done (very accurately) when the blank is still square so that it can be clamped when the glue is drying It is finished off with food safe finish.

The 2nd is 200mm dia made from Ash. The blank is first turned then sprayed with Ebonising Lacquer (cheap mat black spray paint from Aldi) then the blank is rotated at 2000rpm on the lathe when dry and “Butt It” paint flicked onto the blank whilst rotating. The platter is then turned where required to remove unwanted paint and finished off.

The third is only 150mm dia and my first attempt at using Pabeo Prisme paint and as can be seen I need lot’s more practice.

Keep safe Dave Line.

Pictures 14 to 18 are from Errol Levings.

Hi Alec

Two very plain platters from the same piece of Tibetan spruce- still fairly wet with lots of resin. Very soft, some ripple and short grain so kept thickness up. Needed very sharp tools to cut clean. Had hoped the spruce would have been easier to use – some lovely ripple near the bole. These two platters are 120mm by 15mm. Will finish with OSMO foodsafe oil – have only had one coat so far. 

Errol Levings 

Pictures 19 & 20 are from Geoff Potter.

Alec find attached my platter.


The platter was made from an unpromising thin piece of oak. The wood was thoroughly dry and had a waxed circumference. There was an obvious knot and a section that looked like it might fly off! I used very short screws to attach it to my face plate and used my revolving centre as support until I became convinced it wouldn’t all Frisbee off my lathe. I turned the base including the mortise to suit my chuck. I decided that because of the thin section I would keep the mortise after I had finished so took the opportunity to decorate it with a few grooves. These grooves would probably impress my friends but wouldn’t impress many Woodturners. 

It took at least 6 applications of superglue and wood dust at various times to stabilise the knots and cracks.

The top with its very shallow dish looked too plain so I used two small grooves to highlight the rim/dish boundary.

I like the result, the oak has an impressive set of grain and medullary rays. Its finished with sanding seal, sanded to 400 grit, melamine and a wax. The platter is 220 x 15mm. Quite a thin turning for me.


Geoff Potter.

Pictures 21 to 23 are from Gordon Leitch.

Evening Alex I enclose photos of 2 platters 

One is made of oak 

38.5 across 

122cm circumference  

The other is made of elm 

36cm across 

115 circumference 


Gordon Leitch.

Picture 24 is from Nick Simpson.

Hi Alec

I haven’t had time to turn a platter this week with gardening and HWC business

I thought members might like this. It is called ‘Reflections of…….’

It is a composition of two adjacent slices through the grafted crown of a flowering cherry.

The frame is just that. It gives the sense of a mirror and, in fact, the judge in the Borders Woodworkers Open competition asked the Borders club chairman why someone would bring a mirror to a competition for woodturnings.

The platters are 7” diameter and textured followed by pyrography.

Kind regards

Nick Simpson.

Pictures 25 to 30 are from Alec Mutch.

I have made 3 new platters this week, also shown a couple of smaller platters I had made in the past, all of them have something different to offer.

1, This is an Elm platter it measured 305 mm in diameter by about 40 mm deep, I brought the bowl through the rim by creating 2 small beads on top of the rim.

2, This is an Olive Ash platter it measured 330 mm in diameter by about 40 mm deep, I decorated the rim  using a laser.

3,  Another Elm platter, it measured 305 mm in diameter by about 50 mm deep, I cut some Celtic design inserts for the rim and set them in by drilling a series of shallow recesses to accommodate the inserts, I then used some Milliput to fill the recesses before completing the turning, the Milliput was allowed to harden over night.

4, A smaller Ash platter, with a decorated rim. I used some Pebeo paints for this, the  base coat was Black Vitrail and the Blue was Pebeo Moon, both were allowed to dry for several days before finishing the turning.

5,  Another Ash shallow platter, measuring 250 mm by 30 mm again with a decorated rim, this time the paint is Pebeo Prisme in 3 different colours, these paints are oil based and can be applied at the same time then allowed to dry over several days, in the process they react to each other and produce the formations you see on the rim.

6, I have included a picture of my Laser in operation, it’s a LOBO 6040 CNC machine, it can do engraving or cutting with the use of a suitable computer programme.


Alec Mutch.

This is a late entry from John Ruickbie, it’s very relevant to what’s going on at present so I have given it front of house prominence.

This is what John had to say about his entry,

 This is a tribute to the work being done combating the virus it is more a plaque than a platter. The centre is the virus which I have given a black centre.  Each group is a spear of sycamore piercing the virus. The overall diameter is 290mm and the stand is elm.


John Ruickbie.

Thank you john for this excellent piece of work, it’s most befitting the situation we are in at present.

To get a full sized picture of any in the gallery just click the picture, we hope you find the pictures interesting and encouraging, and perhaps on the next virtual meeting you too could have your work posted here. We look forward to seeing what you can do.

Do remember the clubhouse remains closed.

Platters virtual meeting 14-05-2020

This Thursday 14th May 2020 would have been our meeting where platters were on the programme, it was to be organised by Peter Lawrence, however this meeting will now be done virtually over the internet and not at the clubhouse, to take part you need to make a platter or two, then photograph it or them and send the pictures to me along with some information, such as , type of wood used, size of item made and anything that may be of interest to the rest of the members. The platter can be made from any wood in any size and even laminated or decorated if you prefer. Below are some examples of platters that I have made over the years.

This platter was made from a piece of Wych Elm and measured 325 mm in diameter by 50 mm deep, Wych Elm is quite easy to recognize as it has these pale green streaks throughout the wood.
This large platter was made from Spalted Lime and measured 400 mm in diameter by 60 mm deep. The spalting turned this rather plain looking wood into something much more interesting, almost landscape like in appearance.
This platter although quite a bit smaller than the others was made from a piece of Native Cherry, the grain structure was so nice that I kept the design to an absolute minimum, it measured 250 mm in diameter by only 30 mm deep.

You are more than welcome to use any of my designs as an example for your platter but what we really want to see is for you to come up with your own design.

All pictures and text to arrive by Thursday 14th May 2020 and should be sent to me by email at,

I have one more piece of information to pass on to you all, after the Prime Minister’s address on TV tonight nothing much in Scotland has changed, we are still under lockdown, our first minister has only relaxed the amount of exercise you can do, we are still all expected to stay home. As the lockdown situation changes we will be advising you of what we are doing to comply with the government regulations in regards re-opening the club. To that end we have already formed a sub committee, a task force to look into how we can open safely again, I am chairing the task force with Geoff Potter recording all meetings as secretary, John Ruickbie dealing with all safety matters as our safety rep, Nick Simpson dealing with all matters medical and Peter Lawrence representing the membership. As soon as we know anything you will be informed.

Do remember the clubhouse remains closed and do try to stay safe.