Ryedale Woodturners

Questions and answers / tips

It is hoped that the site can provide some insight into problems and issues that arise from woodturning. Hopefully members might post questions to which others have a possible answer, or tips that might help a fellow woodturner. Such items often arise at the Annual General Meeting, where people share their hints, or disasters, with a view to helping others. Please send any thoughts by email.

1. Oak Burr
Burr oak bowl

To kick things off, I recently turned a bowl from a large, heavily cracked oak burr - about 12 inches diameter, 5 inches high. I wondered what to do with the cracks - should I sand them to remove the roughness, how should I clean the dust out of the cracks, what about the crack through the rim (front left on the picture) - should it be pegged? I never intended filling the cracks. In the end I blew out what dust I could with a straw, lightly sanded inside some of the larger cracks, and finished the piece with mineral oil, letting it soak in to the cracks. I haven't pegged the crack on the rim. What do others do with burrs? email your thoughts.

Margaret Garrard:

  • A little wax on your drillbit when using a Jacob's chuck can remove the earsplittting high pitched whine that often occurs as you bore deeper into the wood.
  • Jubilee clips are ideal for providing tension in a home-made jig.
  • A hole cutter with the teeth ground off can make a good shaping tool for a sphere

Dave Lowe:

  • Bowls often go slightly oval once hollowed, causing bumps and hollows which mean that sanding leaves a patch of raised grain (or 2). Dave recommends slowing the speed down for sanding, so that the abrasive is always in contact with the surface.
  • To remove chatter marks, take a fine cut without the bevel rubbing, which should remove the marks, then take another fine cut with the bevel to get the desired finish.
  • Using cutting wax after sanding to 320 or 400 provides a quick on-the-lathe finish with a good sheen.

Steve Fearnley:

  • Hints on pyrography following the Hands On Evening (8 January 2015) are available on a pyrography hint sheet. These include
  • how to set text to size and shape using a computer,
  • how to flip text to allow transfer to wood,
  • how to prepare photographs and graphics as black and white images for transfer
  • the type of pyrography stylus and nibs I use
  • some examples of work are available at http://www.oldfern.co.uk/wood/pyro.html

Mick Hanbury:

  • A simple depth gauge can be made by having a pencil stuck through a hole in a piece of wood, friction fitting to provide adjustment.
  • On a thin walled piece a 0.9mm piercing bitwill be alright. If the walls were much thicker such a fine bit would snap.
  • When sanding Mick used a piece of sandpaper reversed on the rear side or inside of the piece, to provide some support without actually sanding.
  • The best way of removing fine burring after piercing holes is with a small blowtorch. The burning can be lightly sanded away after, or can be incorporated into the design.




August 2016

Tony Taylor from Herts and Beds Woodturners sent me an article he had written about making a vacuum chuck based on a vacuum cleaner rather than a compressor. He said it was alright to share on this site, so here it is.

29 July 2015

Joe Laird Demonstration, Driffield Show and Malton Show

Three reports by Gordon Malan on woodturning around the area.

Joe Laird

On Saturday 25 July, Jorvik Woodturning Club hosted an all-day demonstration by the Irish professional wood turner, Joe Laird, who is also Chairman of the Irish Woodturning Guild. He was in the middle of a tour of various clubs in the UK and Snainton club members had been invited to attend. Three Snainton members enjoyed a very interesting and enjoyable day’s turning by this expert. First, Joe showed how to turn a six-sided bowl using off-centre techniques. Then he turned two identical square bowls, on a pedestal, created magically from two blanks of two 8x8x2 inch blocks stuck together then turned to create the outer square shape; the bowl was hollowed and finally the pedestal was turned and attached. Then he demonstrated the turning and texturing of a Celtic Chalice and pedestal. Finally he explained how to create an off-centre shamrock-shaped tri-bowl. This was a very informative, interesting and enjoyable day’s demonstration, and we were grateful to the Jorvik Club for the invitation to join them.

Driffied Show

Four Club members, Gordon Malan, Rob Thompson, Brian Wrigglesworth and Carol Knott, won prizes in the Handicraft ‘Any Other Handicraft’ and ‘Turned Item in Native Timber’ Sections at the Driffield Show. In the latter section, Gordon Malan was awarded first prize for his walnut lidded bowl, Carol Knott was second with a pierced-rim bowl and Rob Thompson was third with a large burr platter. Brian Wrigglesworth won the ‘Best Turned Item’ prize and a second for the gavel and block in the ‘Other’ section. Photos are in the gallery

Malton Show

Club members, Brian Wrigglesworth and Gordon Malan, submitted entries for the Malton Show Handicraft section for wood-turned items. Gordon achieved a first with his walnut lidded bowl, which also won a cup for the ‘Best Entry in the Handicraft Section’ as assessed by all the judges in the Handicraft section. Brian’s gavel and block and spherical, carved ornament won second and third prizes, respectively. Pictures are in the gallery (4th column).

14 June 2015

Proposed exhibition and sale by Snainton wood turners

A message from John Whiteley

The proposed Sale would take place in the late autumn in time for Christmas sales ie Mid November to early December and cover two days. Friday + Saturday or Saturday +Sunday the room being set up the evening before. The room can be locked and the building secured over night.
Each person wishing to take part will be allocated a seller Number and all items MUST bear the number and expected sale price. This allows a track to be kept of an individual's sales.
To pay for the hall, approximately £75, I propose we take a commission of 20% - that should cover all costs and leave a small profit for the club. With falling numbers attending this extra revenue may allow us to keep having the better demonstrators.
The sale should also provide us with a platform to promote the club which is much needed. With an eye to recruiting new members handouts will be distributed inviting people to contact the club along with details as to how to do so.
On the day help will be required both inside and most importantly outside the hall.
I am happy to arrange the above including providing banners, sale signs and table coverings.
However I do need a firm commitment from members at our next meeting ( July) if it is to go ahead.
What do members feel about having it in conjunction with our annual competition and Christmas party?

Please email John with comments, questions and offers of support.

14 June 2015

Joe Laird Demonstration 25 July

Jorvik Club emailed Malcolm Dayson to say:

Saturday 25 July we have a full day demo by Joe Laird an Irish turner. Said to be very good. Your members are very welcome. 10am till 4pm at Earswick Village Hall. £12.50 for the day. Please put the word out. 

Regards. Barry