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