Woodbury Woodturners Club

Encouraging, developing and promoting the art and science of woodturning

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In light of recent Government guidance concerning COVID-19, all Club events have been cancelled until further notice.

February 2020 Club Night and Competition
Monday 24th February 2020

February 20th dawned DRY in Woodbury and was DRY at the end of the Club Night. Not many days recently you could say that about!

The evening itself was really well supported with in excess of 70 members in attendance.

Peter Johnson ably demonstrated ways in which he achieves the excellent finishes on his pieces and held the interest of a large audience throughout.

Tony Bennett and John Haxell demystified the dreaded skew chisel and loads of people got to experience success with it. Apparently it's all about rubbing your bevel.

John was very generously and ably assisted by relative newcomer to our club, Paul Loseby. It is clear that he is not only a superb turner but also an accomplished coach and that people appreciated this combination of skills.

John Lacey was seen up to his ears in DVDs and books on turning and seemed to be doing a brisk trade. Keith Wilson was as abrasive as ever, displaying recently added products on his table. Michael Merrett  (you may know him as 'Mike') managed the raffle superbly, as usual, and I only managed to win back one of the items I donated this time. Thank you Mike.

At this point it is worth saying that his raffling skills are only of benefit to the club if members donate the prizes. So why not try to bring something for the next raffle on 19th March. It will be gratefully received, especially if, where relevant, it is unused and 'in date'.

John Guilfoyle, Jim Bailey, Peter Banks and others ran the 'canteen', successfully dispensing tea, coffee, biscuits and bonhomie to the masses.

So to the competition - 'Open' this time. In the absence of Competitions Officer, Stewart Leach, Aubrey Dean and Graham Drury handled the most popular contest of the year with aplomb, which was later eaten with custard. The logging of items was immeasurably aided by the use of a mobile phone to scan entrants' membership cards. So modern technology IS useful after all!

In all, a total of 26 entries was recorded, half of them in the Advanced category. Intermediates raised 8 items and Beginners 5 and the standard throughout was impressively high. The winners, runners-up and third placers were presented with their certificates by our Chairman, Stephen Long, and pictures of all may be seen in the night's gallery whose  photos have been taken and uploaded by Graham Drury, for which many thanks.

Also in the Gallery are pictures of the various other activities in the Hall on the night.

The next competition is for a 'Bud Vase' at the Club Night on April 16th so get designing, drilling, hollowing, decorating and finishing in readiness.

AWGB International Woodturning Biennial Seminar 2020
Monday 6th January 2020

This is a 'heads up'!

At the December 2019 Club Night our Chairman, Stephen Long, said

'I attended the 2018 event and found it extremely interesting and instructive. I would recommend any of our members to go. You don't have to be a member of the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain to attend. Check out the costs listed below and try to make it there in October.' How about sharing transport?

Just look at the names of the top ten demonstrators, including our own Colwin Way and Richard Raffan. (Richard is worth the ticket price on his own!)

Further updates will be posted here nearer the date.

December Club Night Report
Thursday 26th December 2019

A very pleasant and entertaining evening was enjoyed by some forty members on Thursday 19th December. The atrocious weather during the day clearly put off many from attending but those who did scoffed mince pies and consumed quantities of highly quaffable mulled wine with gusto.

Thanks go to John Guilfoyle, Graham Drury, Tony Bennett and the others who organised the kitchen work.

The main competition of the evening for a Wee Willie Winky candle holder attracted a surprisingly large number of entrants and showed a range of skills and ingenuity in all three classes.

The Beginners class was won by Stewart Leach with Roger Upchurch and Jim Bailey coming 2nd and 3rd respectively.

In the Intermediates, John Lacey was triumphant, followed by Ray Shaw and Trevor Yates at 2 and 3.

The Advanced section demonstrated an interestingly wide range of competence. The deserved winner was Peter Johnson with runner-up, Roger Hutton and Richard Pegler in 3rd.

The fun event of the evening involved various bodies attempting to turn a natural edged snowman in a limited time of ten minutes.

There were ten entrants - the first three who braved the contest were Peter Gradon, Roger Hutton and Peter Johnson followed by Jim Bailey, Bruce Crisp and Tony Bennett. After the tea break Susan Vincent, Chris Pomeroy and, last but not least, John Haxell and Stephen Long turned their version of a snowman - materials supplied by Peter Banks. All entries were judged by our President, Cyril Rowsell.

Thanks go to Stephen Long for overseeing the mayhem!

The winner was Tony Bennett, who was presented with a bottle of wine, 2nd place was taken by John Haxell, 3rd place Stephen Long

Graham Drury's photos of the evening may be found in the Club Galleries

Here's a note for your diary:

Club Subscriptions for 2020 are due now, payable by cheque or cash. The Club Night in January (16th) is  the usual time to pay up but if you're not able to attend that, please send your subs to our Treasurer, Richard Pegler, as soon as you like.  If you do not intend to renew for 2020, please let Richard know so that someone from the waiting list may take your place. Thank you.


£25.00 single membership                £30.00 joint membership


Richard's address is: 1 Longmeadow Cottages, Oil Mill Lane, Clyst St Mary  EX5 1AE

2020 Competitions
Friday 6th December 2019

The following is a list of all 8 competitions in 2020. Those of you who have already seen the list on our website will notice some changes in the final programme below.

Thursday 20th February 2020 - FEBRUARY CLUB NIGHT:


Anything you have turned, recently or in the past.

The only proviso is that it must not have been entered into any WWTC Competition before.

Thursday 16th April 2020 - APRIL CLUB NIGHT:

A Bud Vase

Defined as a relatively tall, slender vase, often footed, for holding a single, stemmed flower.

Here are some design pointers:

Saturday 29th August 2020 - ANNUAL SHOW:

Open  (O)

Usual Rules Apply: Anything you have turned, provided it has never before been entered into a WWTC Annual Show competition.

Saturday 29th August 2020 - ANNUAL SHOW:

A Box (X)

A box is a box is a box, Well, no, not really!

The possibilities are actually endless. Round, three cornered, square, offset; pop, loose or screw fitting lid; pagoda, finial or no. Decoration to suit - the world is your oyster.

You might find inspiration in the GMC book helpfully entitled ‘Turned Boxes, 40 inspiring boxes by expert makers’. Or perhaps Richard Raffan’s video ‘Turning Boxes’

The Club Library also holds 2 copies of the book 'Turned boxes, 50 designs' by Chris Scott, 2 of 'Turned boxes' by Richard Raffan and 2 copies of the DVD 'Making and decorating boxes' by Mick Hanbury.

There have also been some 27 articles on box making in WTM since 2007! No excuses about lack of encouragement there, then.

From the Sublime to the Gorblimey!

Saturday 29th August 2020 - ANNUAL SHOW:

A Bowl or Platter (B)

Well, it's a bowl, innit? Or a platter!

Maximum diameter in any direction to be 305mm (= 1 ft)

Saturday 29th August 2020 - ANNUAL SHOW:

Two Pieces of Jewellery  - A Two-Piece Set (J)

(Perm any 2 from 5: 1. Necklace, 2. Brooch, 3. Pendant, 4. Ring, 5. Pair of Earrings)

A ‘Set’ usually implies some sort of match between the constituent parts - e.g. shape, wood, decoration and so on.

Another subject overflowing with options. What about lamination or segmentation? (What about them, indeed. I hear you cry.) Offset turning again a possibility.

Haven’t seen a wood-turned necklace for a while! Why not have a go?

The GMC book ‘Woodturning Jewellery’ by Hilary Bowen contains a host of ideas and examples. The Club Library holds a copy for you to browse through.

Note: Since they were a separate subject in 2019, Bracelets or Bangles will not be accepted.

Thursday 15th October 2020 - OCTOBER CLUB NIGHT:

A Rice Bowl with Lid  

The classic shape for a Japanese Rice Bowl is ‘an upside-down bell’ that fits comfortably in the hand, with the lid sitting inside the rim. Dimensions of the bowl itself are usually 100 to 150 mm diameter by 75 to 100 mm high. The finish may be natural wood or decorated. You choose.

Try these for inspiration:

Thursday 17th December 2020 - DECEMBER CLUB NIGHT:

A Party Popper Cannon 

This is a fun item but it will require some thought in the making.

Design it to fit the small individual poppers, not the giant ones used for wedding confetti.

See Colwin Way's article in Wood Turning Magazine Issue 332 of July 2019 for ideas.

Colwin's version

Be aware, when using the cannon, that these popper things can cause serious injury to eyes, for example, and should never be pointed at close range directly at people or pets.

Late News
Wednesday 27th November 2019

It is with considerable sadness that the committee has learned of the death of Jack Major at the end of October.  His funeral was held on Friday 8th November 2019 in East Devon.

Jack was a charming gentleman and lived in Knowle Village, Budleigh Salterton for many years. A keen beekeeper, he regularly sold his honey at our annual shows. 

He was a longstanding club member and only resigned his membership in January this year, citing health reasons.

Jack leaves a widow, Ros, and family in the area. We wish them all well at this distressing time.

Congratulations on promotion
Monday 4th November 2019

Following a delay occasioned by a combination of Competition Officer illness and the changeover in April from pencil to computer in recording competition entries and results, it has become apparent that Roger Hutton has rightfully earned 'Advanced' status and is hereby promoted accordingly.

Congratulations Roger. It is a very well earned promotion and our best wishes go to you to succeed in the new Class and to continue to enjoy your turning

Well Done!

Wednesday 30th October 2019

Firstly, because of the way the system works, you may not have seen the correction to my posting of 22nd October entitled 'For the Avoidance of Doubt' in which I stated that the December Club Night was to be on 10th of the month. WRONG! It is, and always has been, Thursday 19th December.

Tuesday 10th is the Club Christmas Dinner.

The title should obviously have been 'For the Creation of Doubt'!

Next, a very interesting and thoughtful discussion is developing on the Forum regarding club competitions, particularly their purpose and ways to encourage members to take part.

So far, six people have aired their thoughts and suggestions, many of which make a lot of sense.

If you hesitate to put an item into a competition, for whatever reason, or if you have any thoughts on the subject, now is the time to come out and say so, and why. We can't improve things for you or make it easier for you to take part and learn unless you tell us ways in which we can change things for the better.

It would be most helpful if you were to do it via the forum, but if you'd rather, you can email Bob Merrifield direct.

Richard Findley Weekend Demonstration
Sunday 20th October 2019

A few weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to have professional turner, Richard Findley demonstrate at our club for a full weekend. Richard is a well respected turner and a regular contributor to Woodturning Magazine and was selected by the committee as an ideal candidate for Bill Bolt's legacy. I think I speak for everyone who attended when I say that Richard was an excellent choice, providing informative and entertaining presentations both days.

Saturday started with Richard making a barley twist leg. This began with basic spindle turning techniques, moving on to methods and tools employed for creating duplicates. Richard explained about different types of twist and the importance of marking out such that the ends of the twist line up. 

He covered a number of tools and techniques for creating the beads and it was impressive just how rapidly he managed to produce the finished leg. This was followed by a quick apple, made with careful attention to shape and form. 

Many thanks to Jim Bailey for helping to keep the dust down.

In the afternoon, Richard turned a round bottom bowl; an aesthetic, tactile object, but highly dangerous for hot soup!

Sunday comprised a different set of projects, starting with a pewter inlay box. Richard started by making a crude mould from a piece of pine into which he poured pewter that he'd melted using a camping stove. 

Setting the pewter to one side, he proceeded to make a box from black walnut, including a small recess in the lid to accept the pewter. After sanding and oiling the walnut, Richard started shaping the pewter, using normal woodturning tools (beading/parting tool and a spindle gouge). It is important not to be greedy here; Richard took small, careful cuts with swarf dropping into a strategically placed saucepan. 

Shaping with a parting tool and catching falling pewter for next time.

After parting off and some final buffing, the pewter was fitted into the lid's recess. 

Next was the Magic Cup project which facilitated the vanishing and reappearance of a small, red ball. I cannot give you any more detail for fear of Richard being thrown out of the magic circle; the secret will remain with those who attended on Sunday! 

Finally, Richard turned a Puzzle Bowl, which might be described as a shallow dish containing a squashed volcano. The idea being that you have to move the bowl in such a manner that a marble ends up in the central hollow.

You can see more photos from the weekend in the gallery

Thanks to all those who helped with the event, setting up cleaning up, with special thanks to George Webb and Suzanne Parsons for dealing with the tea/coffee/pasties, and John Rockey for stepping in at the last minute to operate the cameras. 

Arranging demonstrations like this is becoming increasingly awkward, with many turners booked up for many months (or even years) in advance. As such, it is inevitable that unforeseen clashes with other events may occur on occasion, so it was unfortunate and unavoidable that the Creative Craft Show ran concurrently with Richard's demonstration. No doubt, this contributed to an attendance level lower than anticipated, as several members were prevented from attending whilst they helped promote the club at Westpoint. However, those who did manage to attend Richard's demonstration were most appreciative and thoroughly enjoyed it, with the majority attending both days. 

Top Turners Under Attack from Monstrous Regiment
Friday 18th October 2019

The ducks and ducklings, after some initial squabbling, took flight in the Competition at Thursday evening's Club Night. As a result, two of our keenest members have gained promotion in the 'Class' system, dubbed ‘the School of Hard Knox’.

Vicki Prouse, following a win in the Annual Show's Tazza category and a triumph with her ducks the other evening, is now promoted from Intermediate to Advanced status.

Pleasingly, Liz Cherrett's turning skills have come a long way in the short time since she joined the club, and following her wins at the Annual Show with her Tazza and success on the duck front on Thursday, she now moves from Beginner to Intermediate standard.

A quick chorus of 'Ducks and Tazzas come away . . .' would not go amiss here.

Many congratulations to both these winners. It just shows what you can achieve if you're willing to read a bit, learn from others and put some effort into your turning.

Have fun both of you in your new Classes.

Photos of the evening demonstrations and competition entries may be seen here.

Next Club Night

Next Competition

Next All-Day Demo