Can’t believe another 3 weeks have gone by and it’s time for another round up of turning tales. A new
feature in this issue:- “Me & My Shed” Starting off with Tom Dullage. (I was going to call this “Turners In
Their Sheds” but …………….). Having said “all contributions gratefully received” Tom took me at my word
and sent this (edited) article which has inspired the feature.
“My smallish, single car, garage, has never, in the 35 years we've lived here, housed a car. Having parted
with our last motorcycle a few years ago, it has since become my woodworking shop, initially with very few
tools. Many years ago, I made some simple wooden toys for my children, mostly inspired by Richard
Blizzard’s books from the 1980s. When our grandson, Aaron, came along, I thought I would try my hand at
replicating some of those toys for him and, a few years later, for granddaughter Emma.
I gradually acquired a few power tools and found a web site, Toymakingplans.com, where I could buy and
download lots of excellent wooden toy plans, reasonably cheap and well designed. So I started making
quite a few cars and trucks, for the grandchildren and children of friends and relatives. For many years I'd
quite fancied having a go at wood turning, but never had room, or budget, for a lathe and the associated
tools, but, with a bit of re-organisation and with a bit more spare cash, I finally decided to take the plunge,
so I had a chat with the folk at Axminster tools and ordered an Axminster AC305WL, which arrived in mid
September 2019. I very nearly bought the basic model, but decided, luckily, that the variable speed model
might be a better bet, good decision!
Enough of the preamble, this is supposed to be about the workshop!
So, I was working in a cold and slightly damp attached garage. I had made an attempt to insulate the
outer wall, a few years ago, with some pearlboard (insulation-backed plaster board) dot and dabbed to the
inside of the wall, but it really hadn't made much difference, as most of the heat was being lost through the draughty steel garage doors and concrete slab roof, so something better was needed. Just before all this C-19 crisis hit, I ordered some sheets of 18mm OSB and Kingspan insulation sheets and set to work. First job was to build a stud wall inside the steel doors, for both insulation and draught proofing, OSB on a stud frame, with 50mm Kingspan between and a small man door to maintain access from the front of the
garage. Next, some more studs fixed to the outer wall, over the existing pearlboard, 25mm Kingspan, then
skin with more 18mm OSB. That has given me two walls to which shelves and fixings can be easily fixed. I
also put some studs and a single sheet of 18mm OSB on the inner wall, behind the workbench, just to
make fixing things up easy. I've started a French Cleat system there, which I intend to also do on the wall
above the lathe.
The ceiling was a bit of a puzzle, as it's a solid concrete slab and not fun to fix things to, so I decided to
just fix some lengths of stud at each end and lay the 50mm Kingspan sheets on these, to provide some
insulation overhead. The next step will be a proper electrical installation. I've got an electrician lined up,
but, of course, he can't come until the lockdown is over. The rather odd floor covering is our old lounge
carpet, which is easier on my feet than the concrete floor, much warmer and surprisingly easy to sweep
I have a small electric fan heater to help warm the place up, but don't need it on much, especially at the
moment! Time will tell how successful the insulation has been, as I haven't gone through a winter with the
current arrangements, but I'm hopeful of it being warmer and drier. The stud wall at the front of the
garage, as well as insulation and draught proofing, has provided a nice extra storage area, as I can now
have shelves there. Still a bit of tweaking to do and the next major project is to build a shed, so my bicycle
and some of the other odds and ends can be moved out of the garage, giving me a bit more room to
organise things better, but, for now, it's a pretty handy place to work. Toy making has taken a back seat,
since the arrival of the lathe, but I will get back to it at some point. The lathe has already opened up some
extra avenues to explore, to enhance the toys.
I hope the accompanying pictures tell the rest of the story, I think there's already more than enough
reading here! “
I think the French cleat system is a brilliant idea. Cost effective and very flexible.
Part 2 of Pete Osborn’s chairs. If you recall, Pete is in the process of making a new set of dining chairs. We
saw the steam bent back slats in Letter 1. Here are the remaining turned components.
We’ve been promised the finished article for the next issue
Our Chairman Roger has been getting creative making a table for use outside. Apparently it’s so he doesn’t
have to bend so far to get his glass of wine. Here’s what he sent.
“First photo shows the pieces I intended for the outdoor project. A waste of time as the wood was far too
wet, fancied myself as a bodger! I should have known better……...
The second attempt, after finding some dry wood. The top, 3 pieces of scrap wood (left over from bird
boxes), main spindle from a piece of bannister or handrail in oak, next bit, brown wood, (no name) larger
diameter to accept tripod legs, 3 in oak, random bits all finished 4 coats of finishing oil, and, hey ho, one
very cheap and cheerful outdoor table My daughter saw a picture of it, “Well I don’t think it will make the
Antiques Road Show” was her gentle comment !!!
The other project was “ Table Lights” after the style of Ian’s lights, taller and with a twist, I like the one with
the thick end of twist at the top ,made in firewood, the other is in yew but with a straight not tapered twist,
finished a la Ian’s method,1 coat finishing oil, then buffed with 3 mops and Carnuba.”
The end photo is Roger’s first selfie. Are you sure that’s tea in the mug Roger? You did say it was a wine
Having seen Pete’s natural edged bowls (letter 3) I remembered I had a couple of rough turned bowls
lurking in the “too difficult” pile. I was inspired to resurrect them and see if I could somehow re-chuck them and finish them off without them flying off the lathe. It worked ok by keeping the speed down and the results can be seen below. The one on the left is silver birch and about 11” in diameter. The one on the right is in cherry and about 7” in diameter. I managed to keep the bark on both and, surprisingly, the skin on my knuckles. Both are finished with OSMO Polyx Oil. Very slow drying in turning terms but it produces a nice satin finish
This is the second of our features on “Me and My Shed”. This one is from Terry Hutton. It should really be
called “A Tale of Two Sheds”. Read on to find out why:-
Building my Own Workshop - Terence Hutton
“It has been twelve years since we moved into our ‘new’ house in Grange-over-Sands. We chose the house
for many reasons, but largely because of the wonderful views overlooking Morecambe Bay. We love the
house, the town and its position. However, the only thing missing was a good sized working space for any
DIY or general pottering.
So, after much thinking, I decided the best thing to do would be to acquire a workshop, 24 ft by 8 ft would
be perfect. But, as you know, buying a workshop that size would be very expensive. I shopped around,
getting several outlandish quotes, but was pleasantly surprised with the response from one particular
supplier, Haverigg Prison.
It was clear that they made a quality product, but it was only available in a certain size i.e. 8 ft.x 8 ft. and
they could not guarantee delivery date. Completion of products, as I learned, depended on the number of
inmates who were trusted with handsaws, chisel hammer etc. To get round the size problem, I decided to
actually buy two sheds, planning to stand them apart and build a roof and walls between them. So, I put in
an order for 2 x 8 x 2 sheds, with floor and PENT roof included.
Finally, 6 months later the sheds finally arrived. But unfortunately, instead of being PENT roofs, they had
APEX roofs, as you can see below.
This meant I had to alter my plans slightly but as you can see the final result came out well. The combined
sheds are now one complete workshop, which sit on a made to measure wooden foundation. The
foundation sits on concrete slabs laid to various heights to account for the slope of the garden.
Once the foundations were in and the workshop built I set about running the electricity and wi-fi to the shop. I installed a full ring main circuit with 12 socket outlets, after giving a lot of time to creating the electrical plan. However, it turned out I still needed several more outlets and the first of what would be several extension cables was added. Getting the internet was a much a much simpler task. I now have a friendly lady called Alexa who I can talk to whenever I want.
I have now completed all the insulation of the workshop to BS 75000! The whole workshop is warm. I use a
small heater to keep the temperature at a steady 18 deg. Overall I am very pleased with how it has turned
out and enjoy spending many hours 'self-isolating’. Although the sheds took a long time to be delivered and weren’t exactly what I ordered they have worked out well in the end. My next plans are to install better
lighting, as well as dust collection and an air line, but that will have to wait another day. As for inside the
workshop, I have lots of tools, many of which I have built myself. If any of you think that would be
interesting I will write a little about those as well.
If anyone has any questions about using sheds to create a workshop, let me know. Or if you want to share
a similar story or photo of your own workspace, feel free to share.”
Yes please Terry we would love to see the inside of the shed. Does Alice know about this Alexa lady you
have stashed in there?
Another new feature (I do spoil you). I thought it would be useful to have a “For Sale and Wanted” section.
After all most of us will have sorted out the shed now and found all sorts of interesting things we had
forgotten and you may no longer need. Hopefully you have a pile in the corner for Tools with a Mission but
you have stuff you want to sell or swap.
You will recall I recently sent an email out from Frank Rice with information on a lathe. Now here is one
from Gordon McIver.
I have an Electra Beckham band saw free to anyone who can collect it . It is in quite good condition and
is a very heavy machine.
Anyone interested please contact Gordon McIver on 01539 725265.
If there is something you need or want to swap or sell let me have the details and we can publish them
here. Remember “A few words and a photo” is all I need.
I am in need of more material for future issues. It would be great to see something from those who haven’t
contributed yet. I am very grateful from my “regular” contributors but it’s a bit like demonstrating. Don’t want you to be saying “Oh no not him again” All I need is a few words and a photo. So come on you must have made something during lockdown. Doesn’t necessarily have to be turning if you think it could be of interest to your fellow members. Lockdown may be easing but I suspect it may be a while before we can meet as a club.
That’s the end of this issue folks.
Thank you for reading
Don Davies 27th May 2020
Starting this one off with a contribution from me.
I decided to take advantage of the lockdown by having a good clear out of the shed and rearranging of
various bits of kit. First on the list was re-routing the dust extractor trunking from the lathe.
My lathe sits on a bench with a cupboard under and the bench against a wall. Behind the wall is a small
store in which I keep the dust extractor. I had originally had the bright idea (or so I thought) of fitting a
plastic hopper head in the bench top under the lathe to catch all the woodchips. It was effective to a point
but, as we know, woodchips go everywhere and not where we want them to. I had a separate smaller
suction tube for dust linked in but it tended to get in the way. One of the major disadvantages was that the
routing of the trunking involved 3 x 90 deg bends. As any engineer will tell you every sharp bend reduces
the flow of air, so I was obviously not using the power of the extractor to best effect. Another was that,
when collecting chips, especially with green wood, the system was prone to blockages.
I had decided to take the extraction directly through the wall so reducing bends to a minimum. The hopper head was removed from the bench top without too much bother and then positioned against the wall to mark the size of the hole I would need. Once this was knocked out and cleaned up I could fit the hopper head through the wall on a light frame.
Having got the hopper secured I then had to rework the trunking behind
I have also had to fill the hole in the bench top. I will, at some point make a new bench top but not today!.
Job done! The suction is much better. The larger shavings still go everywhere but the dust goes where it’s
meant to. Down the pipe. You might well ask why such a large extractor for a lathe. It was bought primarily
as a chip extractor for the planer thicknesser and saw table. It has twin inlet ports so being able to use such
a powerful extractor on the lathe was a bonus. I’m a lucky boy!
All I need to do now is improve my turning.
Here’s one from Mike Earl.
Here is a photo of a platter I turned recently. I believe the wood is Parana pine. It came from a bit of the
original staircase in our house. No worries, we have another staircase now!
The two parallel lines are veneer that Gordon brought to one of the club meetings. The platter is
approximately 22cm diameter. I simply sliced the blank and glued the veneer in before putting it on the
And one from Chris Clements.
In between decorating and gardening I have been stick making and woodturning.
I have made two sticks, a horn crook and a horn trout, the latter has been published in this month's Stick
As for woodturning I have done three boxes and as it was our wedding anniversary I asked Bernie to select
one as a gift edit.
ou may recall Pete Osborn showed us some natural edge bowls he had made for a local restaurant,
L’Enclume in Cartmel no less. The chef, Tom Barnes, used them for serving his pudding entry in “The Great
British Menu” They were spotted by Jon Gibb (didn’t have you down as a foodie Jon!) who told Pete who,
with some technical input from his son, watched it on “Catch Up” and downloaded some screen shots
which are shown below.
Tom won the Northwest heat. The bowls, of course, made all the difference. The food, just some
concoction of sponge, pears and honey ice cream, was incidental. One of the judges did make a favourable
comment on the bowls!
Now I have probably broken all sorts of copyright laws by including the above so please don’t tell anyone.
Actually, thinking about it, I can blame Pete as he lifted them off the screen.
It’s a quiz!!. Ian H sent me this photo and asked me if I knew what it was. I got it half right. Can you do
better? Let me know. Answer in next letter from lockdown.
Have you made something unusual that would provide a brain teaser? Send it along for a future letter.
That’s all for this letter. Thank you all for your contributions. I have more tucked away for the next one, or even two. Keep ‘em coming. Doesn’t have to be all turning as you have seen. Hand
crafted items are always of interest whatever they are (but no knitting patterns thanks)
Don ~~~2nd May 2020
As you will be aware, Rod passed away earlier this month. He was 87 and had
been a club member for almost 30 years. He joined about the same time as Bryan
Harris, who tells me that back then the club used to meet in various places such as
the Brewery Arts Centre and Parish Church Hall etc. They both belonged to the
same Rambling Club too! Rod always supported club activities such as Revolutions
for as long as he was able. Of late he was brought by his son Phil also a member.
R.I.P Rod, you will be missed
Chairman’s Report for 2019 (or Roger’s Ramblings)
I feel this is the time for me to gather you all around.
It is a trying time for all but with a concerted effort we will beat the bu..ger. I won’t use its correct name and put it on a pedestal, it just wants stamping out.
No AGM this year or resignations from the committee. Big sigh from audience so the committee will stand
until next AGM 2021.
Last year we had some good demonstrations both professional and from club members. My thanks to the
club members who gave of their time and knowledge.
participating member making either a leg or top. When all the pieces were assembled and the outcome was a total of five, yes five, plant stands. I feel this is the way forward for the club. Participation and the sharing of knowledge.
The monthly “Bring & Tell” table collected a number of pieces from members which were discussed,
lessons learned, good or bad, shape and form liked or not liked. It gets members joining in. This is what the
club is for.
Now during this crisis, you and I will all have time in our sheds, to make plenty of pieces for the Tombola
table for the forthcoming Hawkshead shows. When that will be I don’t know but we will given as much
notice as possible.. A chance to raise money for the club and yourself. Enjoy the “craic” and put money in
your pocket, so come along and join in the fun. That’s what it should be about.
For the next weeks or months please continue to send pictures and articles to Don Davies our very
hardworking secretary and, at present, news editor.
Roger Busfield, Chairman
Andrew Bowen sent me an email with details of boxes he has been making. Below is an extract from the
email with pictures of his boxes.
I’ve been doing plenty of self-isolating in my workshop recently (well, it’s only big enough for me in
any case) and made time to have a go at a couple of boxes (photos attached). The first is a post box
money box; lower portion in tropical hardwood Wenge, sadly I’m not sure what the body and lid are made
of. The idea came from a childhood toy that I recall, although that had been made of tin. The second is a
bird box. I hollowed out the body from a piece of cherry and took advantage of a knot to form the entrance.
The lid is pau rosa (I think) – whatever, it was as hard as rock and as heavy as lead. The hanger was an
old coat hanger shaped to fit. I put this up outside our kitchen window and it had its first visitor (a blue tit)
within half an hour.
Thanks Andrew. A super-deluxe stylish birdfeeder. Makes my plastic one from B&Q look a bit tatty!
Now, I thought it worth reproducing in its entirety the email below I received from Tom Dullage, a relatively
new member. Not because of the kind words about the newsletter but because of what he says about the
club. Thanks Tom!
Thanks for the newsletter, I'm already looking forward to the next one! Pretty grim times at the moment,
but at least we've got a roof over our heads and a garden to sit in, when the weather is nice and, of course,
I've got my lathe, which takes my mind off everything! I thought I would send a few pictures of some of my recent turnings and some thoughts from a turning beginner.
I was quite keen to try a lidded box, hopefully I'd manage one I felt was good enough to enter in the club competition, so I found some suitable wood and had a go. The first attempt was the mahogany box in the attached pictures
I like the shape and was quite pleased, but the lid is far too loose and the inside finish was not as good as I would have liked.
So it was time to try again, this time with a beech spindle blank, that's the one shown in
two pictures below one with the lid off. This one was better, but the lid was a little tight and the joint a little
small, still, quite a good attempt, for a second go.
I had bought some Olive wood, from Olive Wood Turning in Lytham St Annes, I turned a small bud vase from one of the spindle blanks and had a small piece left, just big enough for another small box, I added a small finial, nothing too complicated and I really like that one.
Finally, with another piece of the beech spindle blank, I turned another small box, to which I added a
sycamore insert on the lid.
I'm getting better at this, but still a lot of learning to do!
Having only started turning last September, I soon realised I had a lot to learn, and wouldn't progress too
far just by watching YouTube videos, although that has been very entertaining and quite informative.
Looking online, I found several turning clubs within a reasonable distance and thought I would go to a
meeting at each, to see whether I would fancy joining one.The first meeting I could get to was the CWA at Burneside, in November and I haven't bothered to go to any other clubs, as I was made so welcome here and had so many offers of help. I've been to all the subsequent monthly meetings and I'm really missing them at the moment!
A couple of members had offered me some tuition, the first was Ian Henderson and it happens that he is
also, I think, the nearest to me, so I trust the others members who offered haven't been offended by my not
taking up their offers (although that doesn't mean I might not in the future). I've had one lesson with Ian,
when he had me practising beads and coves in the morning and making a tea light holder in the afternoon, I came away with lots more confidence and a couple of extra gouges, as well as plenty of lessons to remember and practice. I've since been to Ian's house for coffee a couple of times and we're corresponding by email on a regular basis, swapping pictures of items we've made. Ian's constructive criticism and the knowledge he's passed on have been invaluable to me.
The hands-on day at the club, turning mushrooms, was also a great way to learn and get some more
experience, both from having a go myself, under the watchful eyes of several experienced turners and from
To summarise, before I waffle on any further, joining the CWA has been one of my best decisions and my
wood turning has progressed far faster than it would otherwise have done, so I'm looking forward to the
resumption of monthly meetings in the, hopefully not too distant, future. In the meantime, newsletters and
email will keep me motivated and in touch, thanks to everyone involved.
Next up is Frank Rice whose email is self- explanatory
A few weeks ago I was requested by my wife to make some light pulls to replace our old ones. We have seven light pulls in the house and the old ones were some of my first attempts at turning and I am sure everyone will agree they look rather gruesome. I am sending a selection of the new ones with three of the old ones in the rear as a contrast. I have given the name Big Ben to the small one in the front as it just seems to be a miniaturized version of the real thing. The height of the old ones are around 88 ml whilst the latest are around 72 ml. and were made from damson wood that came from our own garden. I would like to think that my skill level has improved since the early days.
……………….except for why he felt the need to grow a tree for replacement turning blanks!
Thank you Frank
The next contribution is from Ian Henderson.
I find making brackets for drives and revolving tailstock and Jacobs chucks invaluable.
I have just made another one. Also after making other things around my workshop I realised I should move
some of them to a better, more convenient location. So I did, this has made things a lot easier. Finally, if it
can be seen, the location of the brackets adjacent to the tail stock of my lathe. Also note the tools behind lathe.
Anyone who has visited Ian’s workshop knows how clean and tidy he keeps it. It’s very clean and tidy.
Very, very, clean and tidy. If I didn’t know better I would say he couldn’t possibly do any turning in there and
keep it so tidy. But of course we know he does and with excellent results.
Thank you Ian.
We come to the end of this particular letter and hope that it helps keep you motivated and inclined to send
me a contribution of your own. It doesn’t have to be of great length. If you have sent me stuff and can’t see
it here then fear not, it is waiting in the wings. I almost have enough for the next newsletter already.
18th April 2020
Hope you are all bearing up under the strain of being forced to spend so much time in your sheds.
We are looking forward to seeing the results of your labours. Now I have managed to find a few
bits and pieces to cobble together a newsletter. Had we met in March you would have been able
to see the following article, written by Gordon McIver, in the latest AWGB magazine
Not too long ago the West Sussex Wood Turners had an article published in this magazine
showing how they had produced work for sale for their local hospice to sell. Inspired by their lead
we at the Cumbrian Woodturning Association (CWA) decided to do the same for our local, St
John’s, hospice. Well they do say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
The two large tables were full of our products and were duly sold in the hospice gift shop and at
various events over the last few months. The hospice was able to raise approximately £500 (and
rising) for their invaluable work. Thanks for the inspiration WSWT! It was a joy to be able to turn
and to see the finished products going to a good cause.
Anyone visiting the Lake District is more than welcome to visit us at one of our meetings. We
usually, but not always, meet on the 3rd Saturday of the month. Our programme, along with all
contact details, is available to view on our website www.turningcumbria.co.uk . Like most clubs we
have a mixed programme of demonstrations by both professionals and our talented club members
along with “hands on” sessions.
We are fortunate enough to be able to hire the Market Hall in the lovely village of Hawkshead, in
the heart of the lakes, every May and October half term. There we are able to provide
demonstrations and are able to sell our wares. As is the way with these events no fortunes are
made but it is good to engage with the public and, now and again, we gain a new member or two
and spread the word that the craft of wood turning is alive and well. Come and see us there if you
can’t make it to a meeting!
Pete Osborn has been busy making new chairs for his kitchen. Read on for the 1st instalment describing the process.
‘I am in the process of making some Kitchen Chairs in Ash. The back has 3 curved rails. I worked
out the lengths & turned them accordingly. I have made a Steamer using a stainless steel flue pipe
& a wallpaper steamer. After steaming for just over an hour I took them out & clamped them onto a
I left them for a couple of days & then removed the cramps. They sprung back slightly but stayed
in a good enough shape for my requirements.
More pics when the chair gets put together
Jon & Roger’s Demonstration at the Lakeland Farm Visitor Centre, Ings on Saturday November 23rd 2019
The club was invited to demonstrate at the Lakeland Farm Visitor Centre by the owner, Isaac
Benson. Several members of the Committee went to look around the venue in August but, due to
commitments at the Westmorland Show and Hawkshead, it took until November to agree a date.
The Visitor Centre has a café and a shop selling meat (lamb and beef) reared on the farm and
gifts. In the tourist season there are regular demonstrations of wool processing (carding and
spinning) and shows of livestock in a purpose-built arena. Isaac also does drystone walling
instruction. For more information see https://www.lakelandfarmvisitorcentre.co.uk/
Isaac and the staff made us very welcome and provided us with plenty of space for a lathe, the
club banner and a sales table in the walling and wool processing room which is beyond the café.
This proved to be a good location – We had the room to ourselves, were visible from the café with
the added benefit that anyone needing the loo from the café had to venture into our room! See the
Sales on the day proved to be a bit slow as we were informed that visitor numbers were down
compared to a “normal” Saturday. This was explained by the centre staff as a result of competition
from the Ulverston Dickensian Christmas Festival.
Roger and I had a good time though – free coffee, a day woodturning and a few sales made it
we can’t meet for the foreseeable future the AGM has been postponed accordingly. I realise
this annual 45 minutes of high drama is the highlight of the turning calendar but fear not, it will
However the other event in the April calendar is our annual competition and this year it was meant
to be Boxes. It could well be that you had already started planning or even making your own entry
for the competition. We can worry about the competition another time but it doesn’t mean we can’t
tell each other about what we are doing.
Ian Henderson has kindly supplied photographs of two boxes he has made recently.
The first was to be his entry for the competition:-
Ian has told me what it is but I am not going to tell you. You have to guess. What is it for? The only clue you get is that you have to remember that Ian is interested in somewhat esoteric, historical items. Let me know what you think it is.
He has also produced this rather nice box in Yew as a commission for a local jeweller as a presentation box for a bangle.
Nice one Ian and thank you for the contribution.
I have run out of space and have run out of material. Let me know what you are doing. Doesn’t
have to be boxes. Send a picture or two and the what and why of what you are doing so we can