March meeting and Mark Sanger was our demonstrator for the day.
His style is to produce decorative hollow forms and also some pieces that are a type of sculpture.
One he brought in was named ďFed upĒ and you can imagine someone with a long face looking down at his feet.
That certainly didnít fit the mood today. His demonstration and his explanation as he went along were excellent.
Markís first piece to show us was to make a flat top hollow form with a small lid with a hand carved finial.
He chose sycamore for this.
With the log between centres he formed the basic shape for the outside and then turned a spigot to hold in chuck jaws when hollowing it out. The piece was placed in the chuck and Mark started hollowing first with a spindle gouge to create a hole approximately 50 mm diameter and started removing wood from the inside. He changed to a Crown hollowing tool with a straight cutter to cut out to the inside edge. He was able to swivel the cutter to get under the rim of the bowl and checked the thickness with double ended callipers. Then he went back to putting the finer touches to the outside giving the top a slight lift to the seating for the lid.
He sanded it down using only up to 320 grit and then applied some cellulose sanding sealer. Finer finishing comes later!! It was then parted off from the spigot and the pip removed with an electric carver.
Next came the lid which was made from a contrasting wood. It was quite thin and had a spigot to fit into the hole in the bowl and a shoulder to meet the raised seating on the top.
A small hole was drilled through for fixing the finial which was hand carved from another piece of sycamore.
To add a touch more to the artistic appearance he fitted a solid silver bead between the finial and the lid.
Then it was back to giving the bowl a fine finish. Mark fitted an unstitched cloth mop to the lathe and ran a block of HYFIN stainless steel polish against it to give it a coating of polish. This will give a finish equal to 1200 grit in a matter of seconds.
Just a couple of minutes with this and the piece glowed with a soft sheen.
Markís second item was to turn another hollow form.
The shape was much like an inverted bee hive and rings were cut with a pointed tool all down the wall at close intervals. The top was flat , again with a hole for a small lid like the first piece and was decorated in the same way as the base and was made to be a snap fit into the base and would be glued in place. The finish can be whatever you want. The picture in the gallery shows one Mark brought in with him with a burnt and polished finish.
The next item on the agenda was a sycamore bowl that would be textured using an electric carving tool and then scorching with a gas torch and burnishing it by rubbing it vigorously with a piece of soft wood, even a scrap piece of sycamore!!
Another skill Mark showed us was to create a weathered bronze effect. After turning and texturing the bowl he scorched it and then used Chestnut spirit stain applying first a coat of black followed by red and once dry he applied a thick coat of Liberon Verdigris wax and worked it well in to the surface.
The final act was to burnish it with a soft wood block. (Probably sycamore!!)
After this he turned another hollow form with a really small hole in the top so he hollowed it through the base. He turned the outside leaving a spigot at one end that he parted off and saved to plug the base with later.
His final piece was a holder for incense sticks. Health and safety have decided that it is no longer safe to have a candle/incense stick fitted in to a wooden holder. So Mark turned a base into which was fitted a brass candle stick insert (Axminster Power Tools £3.30). This can be filled with sand to support the incense stick.
I think that rice was suggested as an alternative to sand. I suppose that when you smell something akin to the local chinese chippy you know your incense stick has burnt to the end!!
And that was it folks. A most enjoyable day.
Another reminder that there is no meeting in April because the trip to Yandles takes itís place.
Our next meeting is on Saturday 14th May when Mick Hanbury will be our demonstrator.
Mickís work is very artistic and he has demonstrated world wide and seems particularly popular in America. Piercing and cutting shapes into his woodturning appear to be the theme. Sounds like a good day is in store for us.
So, nothing in April but a good one to look forward to in May.
See you all then.
An internet address for you from Mark Sanger
for the polishing mops and the Hyfin stainless steel polishing block go to
We are pleased to announce that Matthew Jevons has offered to fill the post of Events Organiser.