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Stories about Club Nights
June Club Night Story PDF Print E-mail

Egg-Cup Challenge

A fair turnout of members was entertained by attempts to turn an egg-cup in the time it takes to boil an egg – about 3 minutes 10 seconds. Cylinders of ash, kindly provided by Geoffrey Vicars, chuck-mounted on the lathe were the starting point for the nine members who tried to beat the clock, and each other, to produce a handsome, functional piece of kitchenware. It clearly is possible although finishing in most cases left something to be desired. The assembled membership performed the judging identifying Dave Willcocks, who had clearly been practising and Alan Stewart as winner and runner-up. The evening appeared to have been enjoyed by all. Any suggestions for next year’s club challenge?!

The July Club Night is on Tuesday 28th July and is a demonstration by the Irish turner, Joe Laird.  Click here to see his website.

The guided walk in August has had to be postponed and so the next event will be Margaret Garrard on 3rd September.  For more information click here.

Let Battle Commence

One Minute Left

You don’t need Latin for the judgin’!

The winners egg-cups do function.

Last Updated on Friday, 26 June 2015 18:02
June Club Night PDF Print E-mail
Club Nights - Stories about Club Nights

Read all about June's eggciting challenge, with seven members going head to head to make an egg cup in the time it takes to boil one.

To read the full story, click here.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 December 2015 12:31
Scott Murray Club Night PDF Print E-mail
Club Nights - Stories about Club Nights

Scott chose to demonstrate turning fruit, which he did with humour and considerable skill. He used some laburnum for both the apple and the pear, describing in some detail the home-made jigs he uses. The jig for the pear was a cylindrical MDF add-on to the more usual fruit screw chuck which we generally make ourselves. His was plastic which he said meant it lasts a bit longer, the pear ‘extension’ slotting snuggly over the top but with an essential hole in the side to allow the accurate positioning of the hole in the top of the pear onto the screw. As someone who tends to use cloves for the non-stalk end, Scott’s use of a charred (pyrograph) pip left when turning was a worthwhile alternative. His preferred finish is a Polyx floor polish from Osmo which seems to seal and polish in one coat (for more details click here ). In addition, Scott showed us how he tackles thistle-shaped bottle stoppers, using a long, conical home-made screw-chuck with a 12mm diameter coach bolt providing the screw. This allows access to the stopper end with a spindle gouge as well as providing the hole for a dowel to support the plastic stopper. He also showed us a neat means of darkening the wood (he was using oak) by suspending the stopper over household ammonia in a sealed(!) jar. The darkening depends upon how long the jar is left (and ammonia is a gas it evaporate, completely when the stopper is removed. His method of making a bunch of grapes involved string, dye and PVA adhesive and was effective and straightforward if a little tedious to implement. He ended by turning a yew mushroom, emphasising the spindle gouge technique he uses to produce a smooth finish for the undercut gills. The evening was both enjoyable and instructive.


The next Club Night is on Friday 15th May and is the annual visit of Chris Pouncy from Robert Sorby. Chris brings a fair amount of material from Sorby for sale and also demonstrates some of the Sorby tools in an entertaining way. I know it is the evening before our Annual Show, but it will provide an opportunity for you all to bring in your entries for the show, as well seeing what novel kit Sorby has available!

March Club Night PDF Print E-mail
Club Nights - Stories about Club Nights

It was a great pleasure to have an excellent discourse on stick-making given by two of our own expert members, Jim Fraser and Jake Bryce.

They began with an informal question and answer session covering choice of wood, types of head and the methods of connection to the shaft, and the various things that can be done with horn from a variety of creatures. Horn from the Indian water buffalo, Bubalus bubalus for the taxonomically curious, is solid but after boiling in water for about half an hour, it can be bent with a little help from cramps, car jacks or scaffolding pipes, not to mention cunningly constructed templates. Sheep (I’ve started so I’d better continue, Ovis aries, cosmologists take heed!) horn is hollow and needs to be squashed to make is more or less solid, a process also carried out after boiling. Deer (Cervus elaphus) antlers can also be used. Wood (Trees various!) and plastic, for example Perspex, can also be used for the handles though the shafts are mostly made of hazel, harvested from around the county, including the centres of some roundabouts.

The demonstrations focused on bending horn (Jake) and straightening and fitting the shaft to the head (Jim), but throughout, a steady stream of nuggets of information about methods, what show judges look for, and how less than perfect pieces of material can be used effectively, poured forth to our considerable entertainment. A number of finished sticks were on show and several of the other stick-makers were also present to add both to the enjoyment and to the educational value of the evening.


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