Report on our club meeting 11th July 2019, a talk by George Burgess on sourcing wood.

Our club meeting on the 11th July 2019 was organized by John Cheadle, he arranged for the club to have George Burgess come and do a talk on how and where to source wood for turning. George had been a chairman of this club in it’s early days but said he had not been to the club for the past 5 years, although a lot of those present then were no longer members, the present members were more than happy to see him return to the club if only to do the talk. George started his talk by saying that the easiest way to get blanks was to buy them from a specialist wood supplier catering for the woodturner, the down side of this was that the blanks can be quite pricey. He then offered alternatives on how and where to get suitable wood. He suggested going to your local joiners shop and offering to buy offcuts, whilst these would be dry and useful the choice might be quite limited, another approach could be your local sawmill, here the problem might be how dry they were, your own firewood pile might reveal something, get in touch with any local tree surgeons, again there could be a problem with how dry the wood is. Old fallen trees, go and ask if you can remove some of it. Finally, green timber, easier to work and usually free but time would be required to dry it or working it wet.

George Burgess as he started his talk on sourcing wood for woodturners.

The next part of George’s talk was all about cutting and drying the timber. he discussed the various methods of cutting like through and through and quarter sawn plus natural edged. He showed some pictures of an Alaska Mill that he had used for milling boards, this is a chain saw mill and went on to discuss the use of the mill including all the safety aspects. He then showed a log of wood that had a few shakes on either end and went on to discuss what was happening with this log.

A short log showing all the usual drying shakes (cracks) that appear in the drying process.

His next subject was drying the timber, how to store it, where to position it when drying, how long it would take and to allow a good air flow round the wood. He also discussed the possibility of spalting your own wood and how that comes about. He mentioned the importance of looking for the pith (the centre of the growing rings, and not the centre of the log) that this should be cut through in all occasions. His final talk was all about the difference encountered in different woods like fruit woods being difficult to dry without any degrade and how to choose the best bits from a plank or log, he had several diagrams that he used to show exactly where a bowl would have come from a tree. George ended by asking for any questions from the members, several questions were asked and answered.

George produced a variety of blanks cut from various aspects of the tree and some he had part turned, these were by way of being examples of what can be done.

The talk ended with the Vice Chairman John Cheadle thanking George for his excellent talk. It was appreciated by all of our members with some individual discussions taking place with George for some considerable time after the talk was over.

Celtic Woodturning Price list

Graeme from Celtic Woodturning will be at our all day event on the Saturday 27th July (remember NO meeting on the Thursday 25th!).

He has furnished us with a price list for items you can pre-order and pick up on the day saving you carriage costs. Please contact Alec with an email of what you want from Graeme. The deadline for orders to Alec is Wednesday 24th. Any order received after this may not be available for collection on the Saturday.

Click here for the Celtic Woodturning Price list (opens new window)

Then once you’ve decided what you want, click here to email Alec with your order.


This weeks meeting, 11th July 2019, a talk by George Burgess on sourcing wood.

This weeks meeting on the 11th July 2019 has been organized by John Cheadle, John has invited George Burgess to give us a talk on sourcing wood for woodturning. As most woodturners will know that getting wood for woodturning (and woodcarving) are quite specific requirements. Woodturning in particular requires the wood to be very dry and in most cases somewhat thicker than the run of the mill timber available at most wood DIY or wood suppliers unless they are catering to the woodturner or woodcarver.

This is some of my own collection of wood for turning, as you will see most have been cut into discs or battens and have also been waxed, all have been air dried down to 14% first while still in the board or longer batten.

We look forward to seeing you all there on Thursday evening, and do ask George questions if your not sure of what he is saying.

Report on our club meeting 27th June 2019, working with green (wet) wood.

Our club meeting on the 27th June was all about working with wet or green wood. It was organized by John Cheadle, he did have 3 other turners booked to assist, however due to circumstances out with his control 2 of those had to call off. He did have assistance from Bill Munro and the evening went very well. John started by giving the members a talk on what wet wood was all about, ranging from how it grows, how to cut and dry it, how to store it during the drying process and how to use it . Once his talk was over John started to turn a wet log and encouraged others to have a go, Bill Munro did the same, both were more than happy to see several members having a go under their supervision. The following set of pictures along with some text will show how the evening went. The turn out was moderate but the meeting went well and was well received.

Due to the constraints of time neither bowl was finished at the meeting, this was not all that important, what was important was getting to know how to use wet wood. The feed back after the meeting was excellent, quite a few of the members were very interested in wet wood working in the future. The pictures for this presentation were taken by Alec Mutch.

Celtic Woodturning

Graeme Taylor of Celtic Woodturning Supplies will be at our all day event on July 27th. His Facebook page has slightly more idea of what he supplies. If you see anything you’d like to pre order to pickup on the day, please give Alec Mutch the details of what you want.

In the meantime, we’ll see if he can provide a better idea of his product range beforehand, and post it here.

This week’s meeting 27th June 2019.

This week’s meeting on the Thursday 27th June 2019 is about wet turning. This has been organized by John Cheadle who is also going to do a short talk on the subject of wet turning before getting into some practical work on wet turning. John is very keen to get some of our members to have a go themselves during his presentation, if you are someone who would be interested in having a go under John’s supervision come prepared to take part. Wet turning can be very interesting in it’s final outcome, do remember that although turned wet whatever is made will still have to dry and it’s that drying process that makes things interesting, to overcome some of the drying problems the item needs to be worked to a very thin thickness. Some other methods can be used, such as using natural edged material, with these the thickness is less critical and if they move in the drying it can hardly be detected due to the fact the natural edges disguise the fact that the item has moved.

Here I have selected 3 items that are all natural edged, if they had been turned wet I would expect to see some movement in the drying, in all three cases it would be hardly visible and would not detract from the finished look they have right now.

Meeting starts 6.45pm as usual and come prepared to do something.

Report on the meeting on 13th June 2019, sharpening.

Our club meeting on the 13th June 2019 was all about sharpening hand tools. There were 4 club members using a variety of sharpening devices , those were David Hay, David Hutcheson, Errol Levings and Alec Mutch. Each were demonstrating how to use their particular sharpening tool with tools brought in by many of the club members. Some had brought a whole selection of tools to sharpen or re-grind, this was exactly what we wanted to happen, they would be shown how to sharpen a particular tool then be asked to repeat the sharpening process themselves. There was a lathe set up with a block of wood for anyone to try after sharpening a tool, it was very well used. The turn out of club members was very good and they had for the most part taken part in the demonstrations.

If you want to see a larger picture and some text just click on the image. The pictures for this post were all taken by Mike Day.

This week’s meeting 13th June 2019, Sharpening.

This week’s meeting on the 13th June 2019 is all about sharpening tools, it’s being organized by David Hobson, we will be using the sharpening station at the club along with additional sharpening tools brought in by some of the members who will also demonstrate the use of these tools. There should be at least 3 and possibly 4 members using the sharpening tools and advising on their use, these are David Hay, David Hutcheson, Alec Mutch and possibly Errol Levings. If any of you have a tool or tools that require some attention, then bring it with you, we will try to show you how to sharpen or regrind any tool, we will also be asking you to have a go yourself. Next to using the tools correctly has to be sharpening, without a sharp tool the correct use of the tool becomes nearly impossible.

This is one of the club’s own sharpening tools, it’s based on using a belt rather than a stone or stones, it can produce a very fine edge on any tool in the right hands, it can also accommodate a jig for assisting the user.
This is the other sharpening tool our club has, this time it’s a grinder with 2 different grade grinding stones, this too has the jig facility. The grinder is more useful when regrinding a tool as the stones work much faster in removing material than any belt. I will be bringing my own grinder with me, I don’t use any jigs when sharpening or regrinding it’s all done by eye and touch, and I hope to pass this on to whoever wants to learn.

We are looking for a good turnout as usual and do bring your tools with you.

For all the committee members, remember there is a committee meeting starting at 5.45pm on Thursday, please try to be there sharp.