Sunday 14 April 2024

Wood Turning Experience Day


 I have wanted to have a go at wood turning for ages.  I was aiming to do a class for my 40th birthday, but then we all got locked down.

But this year 'im outdoors gave me a wood turning experience day at Hampshire Sheen for my birthday and yesterday I got to use it.


There were just 2 of us on the course and I wasn't sure what to expect.  The workshop is hidden at the back of a garden centre and we met in the cafe (amazing food) to have a chat before wandering down to the workshop to get hands on.

In the workshop we were introduced to the lathes we'd be using and the block of Ash we'd be making a bowl out of.


A bowl is a great project to start with as there is a lot of wood to cut away before you get to your actual bowl shape, so you can practice your cuts lots before you get to the point where it matters.


Martin took us through the process step by step.  We learnt how to hold the tools correctly and how to attach our block of wood before smoothing the sides of our wood to make sure it was even.  We then made a recess to use later before cutting away all the wood we didn't want to make the outside of the bowl.  The shape was up to us.

As was the colour finish.  We used his range of dyes to colour the outside of our bowls.  I used a mixture of Midnight Blue, Plum, Ruby and Sky Blue.  We then sealed the wood and finished with a wax.  I used purple.


After lunch we turned our bowls round and uses the recess from earlier to attach our bowl to the lathe before learning how to cut away the inside of the bowl.  This was very tricky as you need a nice smooth cut so you don't have a lumpy inside.

With some very good guidance from Martin, I managed to finish the inside of my bowl as nicely as the outside.  Once we were happy with the finish we also sealed the wood, bringing out the beautful pattern.


Wood turning isn't quite as easy as you'd think (things never are) but I had a really brilliant day and am soooo pleased with my finished bowl.  


It was very messy, but you don't need much strengh to make your cuts, the lathe does that for you.  Martin was a great tutor, very knowledgable and always at hand to help you out.

I won't be investing in a lathe anytime soon, but I know 'im outdoors is thinking about it, so maybe I can convince him to let me have a go if he does. 

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