Ryedale Woodturners

Dave Lowe

Gerry Marlow

Thursday 2 April 2015

Snainton Woodturning Supplies

Gerry entertained with a variety of projects involving a variety of home-made specialist equipment, and a variety of techniques.

Routed block bowl

Gerry Marlow

Gerry started with a 6 x 3 x 3 inch block of wood "definitely tree wood", probably mahogany. First he routed a freehand pattern across half of the top surface, and charred this with a blow torch. The block was clamped to the lathe bed during this process, with one G-clamp holding the block, then 2 clamps holding the first clamp down.

Doughnut chuck

The block was then mounted offcentre in a home made "doughnut jig", made from two circles of ply around 12" in diameter, one with a central hole cut out, held together with 6 coach bolts and wing nuts and fastened to a faceplate. "Make sure if you make one that the wingnuts are on the headstock side, and the bolt heads are as smooth and round as you can find."

Routed block bowl The block was inevitably a little out of balance, but not enough to bother with counterbalances, so Gerry turned the dish of the bowl, cutting in to some of the routed area.


JackMost of the audience were sutiably impressed. Not Jack, who as usual preferred to sleep through most of the demonstration, favouring someone's lap on the second row. He was quite indignant at the end of the night when Graham had to shake him off the chair he was sat on, in order to stack it away!

Multi-centre bowl

Multi-centre bowl Gerry moved on to a multi-centred bowl. He started with a syamore blank which had been laminated with a green-dyed PVA coating on one side. It was mounted on a faceplate, and the bowl shape partially turned. Three centres and circles were then marked, and the bowl was mounted in the doughnut chuck. Three dishes were turned corresponding to the marked centres, with Gerry taking care not to chip the laminated top, and to leave a good profile between each bowl.

Off centre candlestick

Metal spinning former

Moving ever onwards, Gerry next showed us some metal spinning with a small plate of aluminium. Sandwiched between a nylon former and a follower, it was "persuaded" into the shape of a candle holder insert with a large bar and cut to size with a parting tool.

Aluminium candle holder Sadly with the insert all but finished, it caught in the chuck jaws and was crumpled beyond repair, but ever the professional, Gerry had one to hand that he had made earlier .

Off centre candlestick A candlestick was then turned, with a recess shaped to fit the metal insert. A small beaded spigot was made at one end, and the piece reversed. The bead allowed a good grip when the blank was moved off centre, with a standard pointed tailstock being moved up and just resting on the point of the circumference of the insert.

Off centre candlestick A little wobbling followed, with just one off-centre bump being added (more occur when the demonstration time allows). The piece was then returned to normal centre, the tailstock moving in to the recess for support, and the base was finished and parted off.

The end result was then displayed complete with red candle.

Hints and tips

  • "Make sure if you make a doughnut chuck that the wingnuts are on the headstock side, and the bolt heads are as smooth and round as you can find."
  • Doughnut chucks can be balanced by adding washers to the bolts, or by off-centre drilled metal weights in combination. A small amount of vibration is tolerable - just go slower and take small cuts.
  • Always have one you made earlier when demonstrating.