Report on our all day meeting on the 27th July 2019.

Our all day meeting on the 27th July was a great success, it was organized by John Cheadle who arranged for 3 turners to do different demonstrations throughout the day, he also arranged for Celtic woodturning supplies to be present to sell their wares. We had a good response from our own members, but what was also very pleasing a group of 12 woodturners from the North Highlands Woodturners based in Castletown Caithness also attended the meeting, there were also representatives from the Elgin Woodturners. The day went very well and to schedule finishing off with the customary raffle. A summary of all 3 turners work follows in 3 separate galleries.

Alec Mutch.

Gary Lowe.

Mark Sutton.

The all day event was first done in 2018 to good effect, this year however with the addition of Celtic Woodturning Supplies and a very good attendance this year was even better, we will be having an all day event again next year.

Our next competition on 22nd August 2019, spindle turning.

Our next competition on 22nd August 2019 is all about spindle turning. The criteria and guidelines for this competition are as follows. Spindle turning applies to any work that is held between centres at the same time, i.e. headstock and tailstock, we will accept entries that have an element of faceplate work in them, like the base to a table lamp for example as long as the faceplate work is less than 50% of the rest of the item being made.

Criteria and guidelines, spindle turning.


Any spindle turned item that consists of only one piece of wood.


Any spindle turned item that consists of two pieces of wood, it can be made into a single piece by laminating if required or used separately (like salt and peppers).


Any spindle turned item that consists of at least three pieces of wood, laminating is a possibility or any other construction method, or used as separates (like fruits).

Here are some examples of spindle turning, you will see that there are some elements of faceplate work on some of the items, this is perfectly acceptable. You need not follow any of these examples if you have an idea of your own in your category.

We are looking for lots of entries in all three categories, do remember there are prizes of £25.00 for the winner in each category. Colin MacRae and Jim Kelman will be the judges for this competition. Good luck to all of you.

Whilst the competition judging is going on, Colin has arranged for 4 turners to man the lathes on free turning, these are Bill Munro,David Hobson,Dave Line and David McGruer.

HWC All day annual woodturning event, 27th July 2019.

Saturday 27th July 2019 is our annual all day woodturning event. There will be 3 turners working the lathes, the event has been organized by John Cheadle. There will be some refreshments available and he has also arranged for a woodturning supplies business to be there selling items relevant to the woodturners.

  • Date Saturday 27th July 2019.
  • Venue HWC premises in Munlochy.
  • Timetable.
  • 0950 Hours Introduction by John Cheadle.
  • 1000 Hours Demonstration by Alec Mutch.
  • 1145 Hours Short break for refreshments.
  • 1200 Hours Demonstration by Gary Lowe.
  • 1345 Hours 2nd Refreshments break.
  • 1400 Hours Demonstration by Mark Sutton.
  • 1600 Hours closing remarks by John Cheadle.
  • Entry
  • Members – Free.
  • Guests – £5.00.
  • Catering
  • Free tea and coffee.
  • Bring your own pack lunch.
  • Raffle as usual.
  • Sale of wood and equipment .

The demonstrations will be a natural edge bowl made by Alec Mutch, a textured dish made by Gary Lowe and a Diptych or Triptych made by Mark Sutton, for those unfamiliar with what a Diptych or Triptych is, they are a set of 2 or 3 associated artistic works.

This is a view taken at last years all day event, here we have Fred Houghton demonstrating the art of making an offset goblet, Fred is a member of the North Highlands Woodturning Club base in Castltown Caithness.

We are looking forward to seeing you all here , a good turnout is expected.

Graeme Taylor of Celtic Woodturning Supplies will be in attendance all day and available for sales from 0900 Hours and throughout the day with a final opportunity to buy from 1600 to 1630 Hours.

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.