The Monthly Newsletter of
May 2017 Vol.
From the Editor
We have run out of space for our website. I will be
removing files over the next month that are older than 2011. If you are
new to the club or just want to look back at what others have done in the past,
Now is the time to do that. A copy of the website files will be given to
the club before I get started.
Those Members who did not attend the business meeting and wish
to know the status of the Clubs funds can contact the club Treasurer, Leona Gipe (406)248-1664.
Think About Turning Today!
Roaring 20’s Auto Club clubhouse,
7400 Grand Avenue.
(Wednesday April 12, 2017 Meeting)
Officers: Stan, Leona, Tim, Nick
Historian Photographer: Jane Kelly
Call for Guests: We had 3 guests at this
meeting, Martin R.'s youngest daughter Heather, Mark Heggen and Ron Hecht who
has all ready joined our club.
Cookies By: Nick E.
Health Reports: No new reports. Martin R.'s wife
will need to have knee surgery. Best wishes from all of us.
Correspondence: We have some hats and sew on
patches with our club's logo for sale. Call Stan L.
Stan L. had a couple jokes for us.
Show and Tell: Any project you like.
Roger H. Brought a 3 tiered tray made from Oak, Mahogany
and Poplar combination with aclub mix finish. He also brought several eggs made
from all different woods all with
a club mix finish.
Dale M. Brought a bowl made from Box Elder with a club mix
Gary W. Brought a bowl made from Black Walnut and Maple
with a linseed oil finish, a lidded box made from Black Walnut and Maple with a
linseed oil finish and a bowl made from Maple and Mahogany with a polyurethane
Dr Van Brought several things that he had worked on when
he went to a class at Craft Supplies. Some of the projects he worked on were a
plate, bud vase, a bowl, Madelyn etc.
Jerry G. Brought a bowl made from Box Elder with a lacquer
finish, and several bullet pens made from Box Elder with a CA glue finish.
Stan L. Brought a platter bowl made from Oak with a club
mix finish he put in our collection for the “Souper Bowl” fund raiser. He also
brought a dish made from Box Elder with added red color and a gold glitter
center with a club mix finish, a vase made from Apricot stained color and owl
stencil with a club mix finish, 2 chisel handles made from Maple with a club mix
finish, a rough turned vase made from Apricot unfinished, a rough turned bowl
made from Box Elder unfinished and a bowl made from Bubinga with a inlay ring of
glitter and CA glue with a club mix finish.
Ralph P. Brought a bowl made from Box Elder unfinished
Dave T. Brought a bowl with cut outs, kind of wood and
finish unknown. He also brought a box made from Apple, finish unknown, and a
yo-yo kind of wood and finish unknown.
Tim M. Brought a bowl made from Walnut with a turquoise
inlay with a Master Gel finish and 3 pens made from several kinds of Oliver wood
as he called it with alternated layers of CA glue and Walnut Oil for a finish.
Next month's challenge: No special challenge, just
turn any thing.
Treasurer’s report: All
bills are up to date and Jane K. has our brochures finished but with a higher
cost then originally thought, they look great.
Gathering Wood: We steal have quit a bit
of Box Elder wood to be cut up. Stan asked for a motion to pay him $62.00 for 2
bandsaw blades and a plastic table cloth. There was a motion and seconded, voted
Stan also mentioned that he would be ordering
another 5 gals. of sealant. We have plenty of Silver Maple and Box Elder wood
for sale very cheap. If you would like some call Stan.
Soliciting New Members: On going
Open Workshop: Nothing scheduled at this
Hands On Workshops: Nothing scheduled.
Stan L. said he would talk to George O. about them when he gets back.
2017 Dues are due, they remain at $25.
Stan mentioned that we should look into tree
cutting again this year and that we all should keep our eyes and ears open for
possibility’s. Stan mentioned that we did make
$1,000.00 last year doing that. Jane K. mentioned
she had some one in her neighborhood that is going to have some trees removed.
Stan also said that we should
all try to get relationships with tree trimmers.
Stan told us that Dennis Liggett is our
demonstrator at our next Symposium. The dates are September 30th and
October 1st. Stan is asking for ideas on what we want covered,
if you have any suggestions let Stan know. One
was to build canteens. Stan will bring some of Dennis Ligget's flyers to the
Jane K. has our brochures finished and they look
great, and Stan asked for volunteers for a committee to decide where to and
distribute our brochures. Gary W. and Nick E.
volunteered. Stan L. also said he would help.
Stan also received the forms from AAW for 50% off to members who would like to
join AAW. This would be for people who
never were a member before, and this is good
until the end of April. If you would like a form call Stan.
Stan mentioned that he talked to Bill about us
being at the Fair this year and he told Stan that he was willing to spend money
to make it right for us. We will have a place in
the Sandstone Building for our booth. Stan said
that we will be able to have our trailer out in front of the building. Stan also
mentioned that we may need to have our own
lockable display cabinet and asked if any of our
members have one. If you have one to to loan call Stan.
The pictures of the projects for show and tell
that Jane takes, Paul now has on our Web Site. Take a look at them, there great.
High School classes: Jerry G. mentioned
that they had 1 student participating in the class.
Grant Status: Dr Van told us that we
received a letter from AAW stating that we didn't get the grant at this time but
that we could reapply next time.
Dr Van mentioned that we have 11 urns for
veterans that Paul S. had made and brought in.
We have a total of 3 bowls for next years “Souper
Bowl” so far, you can bring in bowls any time. The more the better.
There is an order list being taken for CA glue
that Chris S. will order. He needs at least 9 20 ounce bottles at $20.00 each
great price. If you would like a bottle or two call Stan or
Chris. Chris can also get 5 gals. Of alcohol for
$80.00 if you would like to try that drying technique.
If you need a new members list call Leona. The
updated ones are now finished.
PROGRAM: Ralph T. gave a very interesting
talk on Intarsia witch is a raised picture of animals,caricatures, or just
scenes by just using different sizes and kinds of wood, kind of like puzzle
pieces. He told us you buy patterns of what ever you like and then cut out the
pieces according to the patterns. He told us that you do best to trace them out
on tracing paper and glue them to your wood, he uses a glue stick. He recommends
that you start with an easy pattern. If you would like more information talk to
PROGRAM: No program scheduled for next
month as of end of meeting.
Cookies sign up:
April - Nick Emslander
May - Dr. Van
June - Dale Molyneaux
July - Jane Kelly
August - Gary Walter
Wanted, For sale,
This is your area,
Email, or phone Paul if you have an item to post here.
A Message From Members
Shop tip from AAW
Clean Up Your Shop
This is my current benchtop (actually slightly tidied by removing the stuff
that was going to fall off). The remains of
at least two projects are on this benchtop. There may be a third, but I'd
have to clean off the top layer to be sure.
The mess and the junk keep me from finding what I'm looking for. That
frustrates me, slows me down, and occasionally makes me use the wrong tool
because I can't find the right tool. All of that increases the risk I will
Clean up your shop for the New Year! Resolve to keep it that way. You'll be
safer and enjoy it more too.
Safety Officer, Cascade Woodturners Association
For anyone who has arthritic fingers or has trouble holding small pieces
of abrasive, try a dish-mop sander. It can be used on the lather or to
sand small boards or edges. Buy an inexpensive dish mop, remove its
sponge/scourer pad, and replace that with a piece of high-density foam.
I glued self-adhesive hook and loop to the face. Any cloth-backed
abrasive can be attached. It is a quick-to-make, effective sanding tool.
~Gary Field, Australia
An Article From More
Finishing your turnings
By Fred Holder
Finishing seems to be another one of
those things that is special to the individual turner. Each of us seem to
develop our own particular finish for our turnings. In the process of arriving
at that finish, we may have tried nearly every commercially available finish on
the market. What seems to work best for us may not work at all for the fellow
down the street. I wish I could give you the magic finish that would eliminate
all of your problems. I’m afraid that I cannot do that, I can only give you some
ideas based on the finishes that I’ve used and what the results have been for
When we talk about finishing a piece
we are talking about a whole lot more than applying some lacquer from a spray
can to the piece that you’ve just turned. Before we get into this subject too
far, I would like to establish what I consider finishing. The
finishing of a turned
involves two stages: (1) smoothing
the work by scraping, sanding, burnishing with shavings, etc. and (2) sealing
the smoothed surface with a product of some sort, usually a product containing
oil or varnish or both.
Wally Dickerman, who belongs to three
of the clubs that I belong to, and who has been turning wood for 60 years,
produces beautiful, thin-walled vessels that simply shine. Wally says the shine
must be put on before the finishing medium or sealer is applied to the wood. He
sands to 1200 or finer grits of sandpaper. Then he applies his finish. I
understand that Wally may spend an entire day applying the finish to a piece he
has turned, and that may be an understatement. Whatever he does it shows in the
quality of the finished piece. Wally does what many of us do not do. He makes
the wood as smooth as he possibly can before he begins to apply a finish to the
wood. In reality, Wally finishes his wood with sandpaper and then seals in the
Personally, I’m a bit lazy. I belong
to the, “I hate to sand club.” I keep threatening to buy a sandblaster and start
finishing my pieces with a sandblasted finish as do several of the well-known
turners. Perhaps, they also belong to the “I hate to sand club.”
For a long time, I started with about
100 or 120 grit paper and sanded down to 220 or 240 grit and then quit. (I’ve
moved on to 400 and sometimes 600 grits in the last couple of years.) I rubbed
on some oil and let it go at that, and sometimes applied some wax over the oil.
This finish never did shine. However, if the item is to be used, say as a salad
bowl, it shouldn’t shine. It should be treated with an oil that can be used
occasionally to renew the finish by the owner. There are a number of different
ideas here. Some turners recommend mineral oil. Others recommend cooking oils
such as olive oil, peanut oil, etc. Some turners use linseed oil or Danish oil.
I personally use peanut oil on many of my kitchen items. I’ve also used a
commercial mixture of nut oils called, “Preserve,” that I like very well.
Preserve dries within about 24 hours, whereas many of the other oils never
really dry or they take several days to dry, which can be a pain. Any item
finished with oil will need to be refreshed occasionally. You should advise your
customer about the type of oil to use to refresh the piece after washing or
simply after a good deal of time has gone past. Before we start applying oil, we
need to finish the wood and prepare it for stage 2, application of the sealer.
Making it Smooth
I realize that quite a number of
prominent turners these days are doing things different from “making it smooth”
when they finish a turning. Some of them are sand blasting, stippling, grooving,
etc., but for the most part, the average turner is “making their work as smooth
as they can.” For most of us this means sanding with progressively finer
sandpaper up to 240 to 600 grit and maybe a little burnishing with a hand full
Jim Hume, who belongs to some of the
same clubs that I do, is an artist that creates beautiful pieces. I once ask Jim
how fine of sandpaper he uses. He replied, “I don’t use sandpaper at all, it
dulls the carving tools.” Jim uses the lathe to make things round and then he
finishes them by carving and hand scraping with cabinet scrapers or other means,
but never uses sandpaper. It is not uncommon for him to spend 100 to 300 hours
on one of his pieces. The end result shows.
Again, most of us are going to use
sandpaper. In his book, “Turning
Wood,” Richard Raffan
recommends sanding with hand held sandpaper from 120 grit down to 240 grit. He
indicates that for most of the work that he does, work intended for use, that
240 grit is fine enough. I believe that most of the production turners; i.e.,
people who make a living from their turning, do not sand much below 240 grit.
People aren’t going to pay for pieces that you have put that extra time in to
sand down to 600, 800, or 1200 grit on the general market. If you are selling in
galleries, that may be a different thing, but I’ve read many places that no
woodturner makes a living off of his gallery sales. They are nice supplementary
income, but the groceries and rent come from the production work, the salad
bowls, the spurtles, the scoops, tops, and architectural pieces such as
spindles, newel posts, etc.
In one of his videos, Richard Raffan
points out that you can sand an item in much less time with a rotary sander
mounted in a drill motor that has replaceable disks with different levels of
grit. I never did buy one of the kind that uses or Velcro Fastener type. My
first one was a two-inch diameter unit with about a 3/4" foam backing. I’ve worn
out several of these and lots of sanding disks. I generally keep disks on hand
from about 60 grit to 400 grit. These are available from a number of locations,
but I’ve found the disks from Klingspore’s Sanding Catalog to be about the best
available. I recently added one of Klingspore’s one inch disk units and find it
works much better on the inside of smaller bowls and on cleaning up the foot of
a bowl after you’ve finish turned the foot or parted off from the waste block
and are simply cleaning it up a bit without re-chucking to turn the foot.
About a year ago, Vic Wood was here
in Washington from Australia on a demonstration tour and I purchased one of his
hand-held, self-powered rotary sanding units. This unit uses a three-inch disk
and is powered by the rotation of the wood. You apply the disk to the rotating
wood and it revolves with varying speeds depending upon the diameter, or perhaps
I should say the surface speed,
of the wood. This thing really gets
up and whistles at times. For many things (outside of bowls, balls, spindle
work, etc.) this system works great. It works well on the inside of larger
bowls, say 10" and larger. I think this may be because a three-inch disk is too
large for the inside of bowls under about 10". Anyway, the rotary sanding disk
with interchangeable disk is an excellent way to go. It is quite a bit faster
than hand-held sandpaper and, I believe, is less likely to leave scratches in
the surface of your turning. Maybe you don’t want to purchase a rotary sander
unit; you would rather use flat sandpaper. Ok, here’s what I do. I cut the paper
into strips around 2-1/2 to 3 inches wide and fold the strips into 1/3rds.
This technique, I picked up from
Richard Raffan, but I believe most turners use the same idea. Paper folded this
way simply works better, but it sometimes burns your fingers. I use a piece of
foam rubber about 2" to 2-1/2" square as a backer between the sandpaper and my
fingers. This keeps the heat away from my fingers and, I believe, does a better
job on the surface of the bowl or other turned object. Others use a thin piece
of soft leather as a cushion and heat insulator. This works pretty well, but I’m
partial to the foam.
Ok, we’ve selected a sanding
technique--all of those described above will eventually get the wood smooth. Now
what? Let’s start sanding. Normally, I start sanding with the finest grit that
will smooth the surface of the turning. Sometimes you start sanding and find
that you can’t get out all of the flaws with that grit of paper, then you go
back to a coarser grit. If the wood has been exceptionally stubborn and the
turned surface is not level; i.e., there are high and low areas caused by
chatter, poor chisel technique, excessively heavy scraping, etc.; the sandpaper
needs to be fairly coarse, 80 grit, 60 grit, or even 40 grit. You can do a lot
of shaping with 40 grit sandpaper, but you can also put in some real deep and
hard-to-remove scratches. If I can’t sand clean quickly with 100 grit paper, I
suspect that I need to go back to the turning tools if at all possible and I
often do so. When turning with a skew, I generally try to start sanding with 240
grit paper to simply sand off the little ridges that I may have left with the
tool. Often the surface left by a skew chisel is best burnished with a hand full
of shavings and left as is.
Use the piece of sandpaper of a
particular grit until the surface is as smooth as that sandpaper is likely to
make it and until all of the scratches made by a coarser grit have been removed.
Then, move to the next finer grit. By having the sandpaper folded in thirds, you
have three fresh surfaces to work with and the piece folded inside has grit
against the back of the out-fold and helps hold it in place. I generally like to
start with 100 or 150 grit, move to about 180 grit, then 220 or 240 grit, then
to 320 grit and finally to 400 grit. On some woods, I can start with 240 grit
and then jump to 400 grit and then to 600 grit with excellent results. Woods
such as Ironwood, Lignum vitae, Red Heart, Ziricote, Cocobolo, and other exotics
or very hard woods can generally be sanded this way, starting with 240 and going
to 600 grits. It really doesn’t matter whether you are using hand held sandpaper
or rotary sanding devices, the grit levels should be about the same. A handful
of fine shavings held against the rotating surface will burnish an already
smooth surface to simply make it shine. I’ve also used 0000 grade steel wool to
good advantage at this point. This will burnish the surface to a shine. The
better the shine from sanding and polishing, the better the finished piece will
Ok, you’ve done all of the damage you
can do with the sandpaper. We hope you haven’t eliminated any of the details of
the turning, rounded over any corners that should have remained sharp, or done
any damage to the overall appearance of the piece. Remember, sanding is to make
it smooth and make it look better, not to change its shape. Personally, I would
rather leave it a bit rough than ruin the shape with heavy sanding. Now, it’s
time to seal the surface.
Sealing the Surface
Getting to this point varies greatly
from turner to turner and going beyond here has an even greater variance. It
seems that everyone has something different that he/she likes to use to seal the
surface of their turnings. On the one side is a simple oil finish, applied,
allowed to soak in, wiped off, and then burnished with a rag. Here, the
variations are in the oil used as well as each turner’s needs to try all of
those nontoxic oils to come up with the one that works best for them. Oils like
Tung Oil, for example, have a lot of other things in them: hardeners, varnishes,
etc. I use peanut oil on many items I turn, especially if they are for use in
the kitchen. I make wooden spatulas and always finish these with peanut oil,
which is much cheaper than “Preserve”, but doesn’t dry as quickly. I simply
flood the surface and rub it in as much as possible. (Some production turners
will have a tub of oil, such as mineral oil, and will throw the piece into the
oil when it comes off of the lathe. They will let it soak for half and hour or
more before wiping and lightly buffing.) I let it soak for a while and then wipe
off the oil and buff it with a soft cloth. You can have a fairly shiny surface
if your wood was shiny before you applied the oil. Sometimes, the oil will seem
to raise the grain of the wood. When this happens, I like to cut it back with
400 or 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper with the sandpaper dipped in oil. When done
sanding, wipe and buff. I also use this finish on my spinner tops. The oil
brings the wood to life and is nontoxic in case the top goes into a mouth. Tops
don’t need a high gloss finish, because they are going to be used and abused. A
gloss finish would look worse than an oiled finish in a very short time.
I’ve used a number of different waxes
from straight beeswax that came from a friend who kept bees to auto paste wax.
The best I’ve used is a beeswax-based product called
The Clapham family are Canadian bee keepers who looked for a use for their
excess beeswax. They came up with a number of products, the two of most interest
to woodturners or other woodworkers is their
which I like to use as a sanding medium when I’m approaching near finish sanding
and I’m planning to finish with wax. I apply the Clapham’s Beeswax Polish and
then sand. Do this the last two or three grits of sandpaper and you have an
ultra smooth finish. Apply one more coat after all sanding and buff off. Then
apply a coat of
Clapham’s Salad Bowl Finish
and buff to a shine. This makes an
excellent finish for salad bowls if you don’t want to use oil and it will give
you a much higher polish than you can ever get with just oil. These people also
sell block beeswax if you wish to use pure beeswax for some purpose.
In one of her videos, Bonnie Klein
tells how to make up a mixture that provides a near French Polish when applied.
I use this finish on all of my bottle stoppers and on small bowls. I haven’t had
real good luck using it on larger bowls. This finish is made up of shellac,
alcohol, and linseed oil, equal parts of each. I use commercially mixed shellac,
rubbing alcohol, and boiled linseed oil. Shake the bottle before applying. Apply
enough to soak into the wood and then, with the lathe running, buff in the
finish using the wet part of the rag. I then shift to a dry area on the rag and
buff dry. I then use 400 or 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper or 0000 steel wool to
lightly take off any whiskers. Then I apply the wet area of the rag again to
essentially give the piece a French Polish. It works really well on small items
like bottle stoppers and small bowls. The higher the polish of the wood before
applying the finish, the higher the gloss after French Polishing. I read
somewhere about one turner who sands his work to a high gloss and floods the
surface with Red Label Hot Stuff CA Glue. He allows the glue to set naturally,
no accelerator, and then sands with 400 or 600 grit or finer. Then he applies
the French Polish to obtain a super high gloss finish that is impervious to
water, alcohol, etc. That sounds like a rather expensive finish, but then it
upon how much you are selling your
work for or whether you are simply turning it for your own use. In either case
this is a possible way to really get a fine finish. You must always remember
when working with CA (super glue) that you can glue your fingers together or to
something else including the workpiece or the lathe. Keep the special CA glue
solvent handy, just in case.
Varnish, Lacquer, and all of
those Other Things
I don’t personally care for the
painted on or sprayed on finishes, although I do occasionally use them. I’ve
used spray on clear Deft with some good results, but the fumes for this stuff
makes it hard for my wife to breath and it stays with the piece for several
days. I was always afraid that it might give a customer breathing problems, too.
We don’t want any lawsuits! This caused it to be eliminated from my list of
possibles. I’ve used Durathane on a few pieces with some pretty fair results.
The spray on kind works better for me than brush on stuff. I apply this stuff in
a light coat, and sand it away with 600 grit sandpaper and 0000 steel wool the
following day. Then another coat and repeat the sanding away. I do this for four
or five applications over a week’s time and leave the last coat as sprayed.
Makes a very shiny bowl that looked like it had been dipped in clear plastic to
me. But people stood in line to buy one of my pieces finished this way--a
10-inch natural edge bowl made of maple. It was sold at an art show this spring.
At least six people wanted to buy it. Obviously, I priced it too low!
More Woodturning Magazine
Events Calendar Listing - May - July 2017
May 11, 2017 to May 13, 2017 Utah Woodturning Symposium SYMPOSIUM Location:
Orem, UT Dates: Thursday, May 11, 2017 to Saturday, May 13, 2017 Description:
Over a three day period you will have the opportunity to learn from many of
the industry’s top professionals, to ask questions, to engage and to expand your
knowledge. You will also have a chance to meet new woodturners, catch up with
old friends and have a great time participating in the evening activities we
have to offer. Website: https://utahwoodturning.com/
June 22, 2017 to June 25, 2017 AAW's 31st Annual International Symposium
SYMPOSIUM Location: Kansas City, Missouri Dates: Thursday, June 22, 2017 to
Sunday, June 25, 2017 Description:
The conference will bring together more than more than 1,500 turners from
around the globe to learn, share, and celebrate the art and craft of woodturning
making it the largest woodturning event in the world. Read more of the
description on the web page. Website: http://www.woodturner.org/?page=2017KC
July 15, 2017 to July 16, 2017
UK and Ireland Woodturning Symposium
Location: Coventry, UK
Dates: Saturday, July 15, 2017 to Sunday, July 16, 2017
This two day symposium is sponsored by a not-for-profit organization promoting
woodturning throughout the UK and Ireland.
"Creativity Is Allowing Yourself To Make Mistakes.
Art Is Knowing Which Mistakes To Keep."
PRESIDENT: Stan Lambert (406)348-3499
VICE PRESIDENT: Tim
TREASURER: Leona Gipe (406)248-1664
Librarian: (Dr. Van) Richard Vande Veegaete (406)245-9945
Technical Advisor: Newsletter & Website Editor: Paul Spencer (406) 861-6718
One Good Turn” is the monthly newsletter of Yellowstone
Yellowstone Woodturners Club
PO Box 21836
Billings, MT 59104
A local chapter of the American Association of Woodturners.
Map to Meeting Location
and October 1th,
Roaring 20'S Auto Clubhouse
Cost of Symposium (Discounted if
Paid by September 13th) $90
Cost of Symposium (If Paid after September 13th)
per person $100
Cost for single day - Saturday or
Sunday (per person) $75