Ryedale Woodturners

Steve Heeley

Steve Heeley

Thursday 4 May 2017

Snainton Village Hall

Steve made a four-hour journey up from Cannock Chase
(Birmingham) to demonstrate for us. His subject was a plant holder. More information and lots of woodturning pictures are on his website at www.steveheeley.co.uk

Plant stand

Steve Heeley

Steve started by explaining his need to wear a mask - and not just the standard patter about safety. Steve had been a joiner before becoming a full time woodturner. Too much wood dust has caused problems, and he narrowly escaped a nose cancer diagnosis.

Evolution dust mask

Normally Steve now wears a respirator mask all the time in his workshop, but for demonstration purposes, to allow his voice to be heard, he uses a fabric mask - expensive but effective. Look up the Dust Be Gone Mask from Turners Retreat (an American import, £30).

Plant stand base

The plant stand was to be in three parts - base, stem and top. Base and top in tulip wood, stem in contrasting oak. The base was shaped mainly with a swept back bowl gouge. It needed to lose quite a lot of volume - not ideal, but these were the blanks that were available for tonight's demonstration.

Spindle turning

A reasonably tight fit between base and spindle was careflly achieved, and then both were worked on together, one end in the chuck and the other supported by the tailstock - with a ring centre to reduce the risk of splitting.

Turning a stem

The spindle was turned with great care and attention to minute detail - Steve believes that shape and form is everything. Spindle turning is essentially coves. beads and fillets, and each was demonstrated and described.

Spindle turning

Steve has been trying cryogenically treated tools recently, and is well pleased with their effect.

The finished spindle shows good proportion and just enough detailing. Subtle rather than over-done.

John Whiteley and Steve Heeley

Steve talking to John Whiteley at the tea-break. John has recently joined the Association of Woodturners of Great Britain, and has had one of his pieces accepted for a forthcoming touring AWGB exhibition.

Cutting a ring

Moving on to the top of the stand, Steve once again had an oversized blank to take down to width. He showed how to use a thin parting tool to cut a ring before taking away the waste - this could then be used in another project, for example a mirror frame.

Turning a plant stand

The top was to have a flat surface, which Steve worked on with a scraper. He has nothing against scrapers, and finds then the best tool for levelling a surface, before sanding and after lots of pull cuts with a fingernail bowl gouge.

DustBeeGone face mask

I had to leave early, so did not see the final cuts. Hopefully Gordon will send me a few pictures to complete this description.

Some exhibition pieces are shown below.

A few pictures of members' turning and Steve Heeley exhibits

Woodturning club exhibits

Members' turning display

Wooden bowl

Members' bowl

Turned wooden clock project

Steve Heeley clock - a one day demonstration piece

Turned rectangular dish

Rectangular dish - SH

Burr bowl

Members' burr bowl

Tall turned wooden candlestick

Tall candlesick by Steve Heeley

Colouring and texture

Some different turning and colouring techniques - SH

Natural edge vase

Thin natural edge vase - SH

Burr bowl

Members' burr bowl

Tall turned wooden candlestick

Tall candlestick by Steve Heeley

Textured hollow form

A large hollow form - SH

Turned and coloured dish

Coloured dish - SH

Turned wooden lampstand

Burr lamp stand

Highly polished wooden bowls

Steve Heeley bowls

Highly polished hollow form

Highly polished hollow form - SH

Small fluted candlestick

Small candlestick - SH