Report on our virtual meeting 15-04-2021 Natural Edged Turning.

Our meeting this week on Thursday the 15th April 2021 was all about Natural Edged Turnings, this meeting was being arranged by Geoff Potter. It had to be changed into a virtual meeting due to the Covid-19 restrictions. However you were all invited to make something along the lines of the criteria requested. The response was very poor, but we were very grateful for the pictures we received from the limited number who took part, those were David Ross, Dave Line, Nick Simpson, Geoff Potter and myself. As Geoff was handling the meeting he chose to make something using a timeline for you all to follow.

I have put Geoff’s timeline presentation in first,


This article is aimed at beginners or the less experienced turners like me.

I was lucky to spot this piece at a friends house– this birch burr was destined to be firewood. It is a large burr surrounding the central stem of a birch tree. The stem is only about 12cm diameter but the burr is c30cm diameter. Picture 1.

Pictures 2,3 & 4
I chain sawed the Birch stems off and after chopping a flat area on the burr – I screwed on my faceplate.
This faceplate has to be swapped for my usual scroll chuck on my Record CL3 lathe as it does not fit into my usual scroll chuck. A bit of an extra fiddle!
Picture 5, I brought up the tailstock and the live centre for extra support. The burr was remarkably well balanced and the lathe was steady. I usually screw the live centre up into a drilled small socket for extra security. You would not want that chunk flying off the lathe! Start slow – which is 425rpm on my lathe. Then step the speed up when its balanced well. Use a bowl gouge.
Picture 6, Here’s the outside and base almost done. I left a tenon on the base which fitted my scroll chuck. Test the fit/size with the scroll chuck before you take the bowl off the lathe!
 Sand ( power sanding with 120 – 240 – 400 grit ) seal and finish the outside (sanding seal then melamine)
Remove the faceplate.
Pictures 7 & 8, Then reverse the bowl onto the scroll chuck. I cut a groove with the parting chisel at the inside edge to start with. Start hollowing with the bowl gouge.
Sand, seal and finish the inside. I used food safe oil on the inside. I used heavy coats of melamine on the bark edge. Treat all splits and any loose sections with superglue as you go along.
Picture 9. Now the tricky bit – reverse the bowl again onto the scroll chuck -holding a wood block cushioned with router mat with the tailstock for support. Very gently remove the tenon at a slow speed. Take of the final pip with a chisel and then sand.  Here’s the base.
 The finished bowl with a natural edge.
I like it chunky.
 Not bad for a piece of firewood.
 Happy turning! Geoff Potter.

Now for David Ross’s presentation.

Hello Alec, I have attached several natural edged bowls. 

Pictures 1 & 2 is a small burr I turned within the last month Finished in Danish oil, the wood used is Burr Elm.

Pictures 3 & 4 were turned in 2018 to hold a glass candle holder Finished with two coats sanding sealer two coats melamine, the wood used is Ash 

Pictures 5 & 6 was turned 2020 two coats food safe oil, the wood used is Alder.

David Ross

Pictures 1 & 2 Burr Elm, Pictures 3 & 4 Ash.
Pictures 5 & 6 Alder. David Ross.

Now we have an entry from Dave Line. This is what Dave had to say about his entry.

Hi Alec,

Please find attached a couple of natural edge bowls. The first is made from Ash (I think) and is 150mm dia and 120mm high. The second is made from Copper Beech and is 180mm dia at longest edge and 160 at narrowest edge and is 85mm high.

Stay safe

Dave Line.

Picture 1, is ASH, Picture 2 is possibly ASH as well.

Next we have an entry from Nick Simpson. This is what Nick Had to say about his entry.

Morning Alec.

I attach a photo of a natural edge thin vase with a narrow base. It was turned end grain from a branch which blew down in storm Desmond a year or 2 ago. It has warped in almost all directions thanks to 2 branches which have left holes in the sides. It measures 120x100mm.

Best regards

Nick Simpson.

Nick’s Natural Edged Bowl made from ASH.

Now for a Natural Edged Bowl I made from a piece of Ash that was kept from an Ash tree that we had to take down due to Ash die back.

Picture 1, this was the piece of Ash I started with, I wanted to use the branch junctions to make the bowl. Picture 2, shows the area I was going to use, marked out in black felt tip pen, including the centre. Picture 3, shows the blank I am using after I cut off the surplus parts, this could be done with a chainsaw or a bandsaw, I used the bandsaw, supporting the wood as I cut it to avoid any rotation wile cutting, I also drilled a 30mm hole in the centre for the pin chuck. Picture 4, shows the blank now mounted on the lathe using the pin chuck.
Picture 5, most of the outside profile almost complete. Picture 6, I have now finished the outside profile and put the chuck recess into the base. Picture 7, shows the outside of the bowl after it was sanded, I then sealed and polished the outside, using sanding sealer then a coat of Melamine lacquer buffed up to a soft sheen. Picture 8, shows the blank now turned around and mounted on the chuck using the standard dovetail jaws, now ready to start the hollowing out process.
Picture 9, the inside of the bowl now hollowed out. Picture 10, shows the bowl sanded, sealed and polished, again using sanding sealer, rubbed down with wire wool, a coat of Melamine was then applied, it too got buffed to a soft sheen. Picture 11, a side view of the finished bowl, Picture 12, a top view of the finished bowl.

Made by Alec Mutch.

Our next meeting will be on the 29th April 2021, this meeting will be our SHOWTIME meeting, Geoff Potter would have been the organiser but due to the Covid-19 situation this meeting will be virtual only. However we do expect that you will let us all see what you have been doing over the past few months, there will be no theme to this meeting you can enter whatever you like and the more the merrier, we are hoping for a good lot of entries.

Do remember the clubhouse remains closed.

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