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I write occasional daft emails to fellow members of my woodturning club.  As we get new members, some of them are stupid enough to ask me for some of the older emails.  As time passes and the read them, they will learn never to ask again - but meanwhile I have to dig into my email archives and find old items and then send them one by one to the unlucky recipients.

You would think they would find more useful things to do with their lives than read the sad wittering's of this old fool and try to make something of their lives - but no!  Any that appear here will do so in reverse order, there are many reasons for this, but logic is the main driver.  If there is one thing I have - it is logic.  Not much else to be fair - but I do have logic.

I have only recently worked out how to put the pictures in, so many are still missing.  I will continue to work on it.

15 - KVWT monthly log. These wood based puns are so old I sawdust on this month's one. October 2014

Updated: May 20, 2018

From: Boulter, Phil (DSI) Sent: 22 October 2014 00:00 Subject: Kennet Valley Woodturners monthly log. These wood based puns are so old I sawdust on this month's one. Yew know what I mean.

Oh dear – they are getting really bad, and I am knot joking.

Hello my Kennet Valley Woodturning chums. Welcome to another monthly posting of drivel, bad jokes and monthly news about the club. We have much to report this month…

Mark Baker returns after a lengthy absence. We have not seen him since January 2011, that is a lengthy absence indeed. I was going to say you get less than that for murder, but apparently not in South Africa. (Also it seems that the International Paralympic Committee have banned Oscar from competing in international competitions while he is in prison… I’ll let you wonder about that splendid piece of logic!). Oscar is being sent to the hospital wing of the prison because being in with the other inmates is considered dangerous, although probably not as dangerous as his bathroom perhaps…

Enough. We need to consider Mark Baker, the next Saturday workshop, upcoming competitions, the Thatcham festival of art and leisure, the annual Christmas function and whatever else comes to mind. We also welcome a couple of new members this month.

Mark Baker

Firstly the November meeting, which is only a couple of weeks away on November 11th, once again at our temporary home of Brimpton Village Hall. We welcome Mark Baker – one of the country’s best Woodturners (he assures me that is true), Mark loves working with shapes exploring form and seeing what can be done with them. While it is fair to say that the classical and ancient forms feature heavily in Mark's work, he always tries to develop and tweak things further. Mark is very conscious of the woods selected, going a long way to find specific woods and cuts to maximise both the form and the look. At times he uses colour and texture to enhance work and is always trying new things.

Personally I am thrilled that Mark is coming back to see us, and I will make sure I have a front seat. (unless someone else wants to work the video!) J Newer members may not have seen Mark before, please make sure you invest the effort to come in November – I know you will enjoy it.

I am sure regular members will know Mark as well as the editor of the Woodturning Magazine, as well as the writer of the problem page in the monthly Horse and Hounds magazine.

Saturday Workshop

Those of you keen to avoid the shopping next weekend will hopefully look forward to the October Saturday workshop this coming Saturday – 25th October. We meet in the mornings from now on from 10am until 1pm. The subject this month is lidded pots. We will not be too extravagant, they will be small, perhaps even dainty in size, but the important factor here is the process. Making a lidded vessel of any size if partly technique, but equally partly about the planning. If you do it in the right order – it can be on the simple-side of being an intermediate project. If you forget yourself and do things slightly in the wrong order you will find yourself unable to hollow the lid, or lacking a good joint to mount the lid onto the base. Once again we plan to try to get beginners to do the turning as much as possible, with help from the good grace of the good turners that club has. Or me. It is getting close to Christmas – the shops will be crowded anyway, so come to us instead. The tea or coffee is also free – you don’t even need a Waitrose or John Lewis card!!

Monthly competition for November

The competition piece for the November club night by the way is an item with a natural edge. All submissions of a branch or piece of tree trunk will be burnt, but anything with a modicum of turning applied will be allowed in! J Use your imagination, it does not have to be a bowl, or platter, think of something unusual that might not normally be presented with a natural edge – whether that edge is large or small… I have a piece to enter for a change, unusual for me I know, partly because I am not a brilliant turner (I tend to rush the finishing which spoils any effort I put into pieces) – partly also because as I have pointed out before – I still work for a living in order to make sure most of you lot get your pensions! I’m not bitter though. One day it will be my turn, although by then Boris will probably be prime minister and I will have to work until I am 90.

Thatcham Festival of Art and Leisure

I am delighted to say that once again the club represented itself well at the annual Thatcham festival. While most stands had a single 3 metre plot – we wangled three plots, two of which were filled up with some magnificent turnings, showing all who visited the sort of skill that is endemic within our membership. We also had a space set aside at the end of the area with which to use a lathe to demonstrate how we create these wonderful pieces. In my case this was pretty much limited to spinning tops – but hey – the kids loved them! I believe we attracted three new visitors to the last members evening as a direct result of the Thatcham show, two of whom have already joined the club. This year we were particularly flush with assistance from members which was also important. Regular readers (if they are still awake at this point) know that I frequently drone on and on about how important it is to share the load in helping the committee run the various events, and we were certainly well rewarded this year. Thank you very much to all who helped, provided pieces for the stand, who demonstrated, or just stood there and answered questions. As usual I provided the eye-candy for the ladies. This did prove slightly awkward when the Mayors wife was all over me like a cheap suit, but I survived to fight another day. Actually I wonder if the worshipful Mayor is trying to keep a suspiciously low profile for some reason, every time I tried to get a picture of him and me he seemed reluctant to be seen in front of the camera? Odd that?

Club Annual Christmas Function

December brings the annual party. Remember please that this is a free event, we only charge a nominal amount for the liquid refreshments. The entertainment (yes – we will call it that) is free, the food is free, and the chance to win a large cash prize, valued at over £1,000 is still non-existent. Once again Bruce Forsyth has declined our annual invitation, confusing that – considering he is not doing Strictly any more. I am seriously thinking of asking Cliff Richard next year.

The annual party is our slightly underhand way of thanking our long-suffering spouses for allowing us to tread sawdust and shavings all over the carpet, and for filling the shelves with more dust hungry ornaments that are really what they want. “Oh wonderful dear – another bowl! What will we be putting into this one then?” I would really appreciate it if you could add your tick, a cross, or some sort of mark against your name on the members sheet we will put out for you at the Saturday workshop or the November meeting. It is this that will help us know how many people to cook for, and how much liquid refreshment to bring along. We do hope to get a good turnout – it takes a lot of organising and I am pretty sure the people who come each year do enjoy themselves despite my singing.

The date? Thursday 18th December at 7.30pm Please come along, please bring your partner – we will do our best to entertain you! Heck – it’s free – what is stopping you!


I have to share this. Although while I am writing this I am in a hotel room in Llandudno. (I know what you are thinking – he is off living the high life again) I should be at a committee meeting tonight, but I am missing it because I am away on business. The meeting will be ruled with a rod of iron as usual by our leader – Ken “mad-dog” Saxton. He does tend to keep us in line despite us trying to undermine him and throw him off track at these monthly meetings. I penned Ken a quick email this morning apologising for my absence, and in the same email sent him a few comments from the minutes of the last meeting. While looking at the minutes I noticed a sentence that amused me. Ken is older than me, older than a lot of people really, as old as time to be frank, despite looking younger than most of us and having more enthusiasm that is healthy for a man of his extremely advanced years. Ken along with veteran ex-copper Harvey Grimwood (don’t ask him for goodness sake) are playing the golden card and representing our club by demonstrating at one of the local nursing homes. We are partly funded by grants we are awarded from time to time – so we do look for a chance to pay back the gift of these grants by visiting the local community. Thank you Ken and Harvey for taking the time to bring a little variety to the inmates – sorry – guests, at the one they are going to next week. However – I am reflecting on the way this visit was represented in the minutes of last month’s meeting, and I quote..

Item 17. Donnington Care Home Demonstration

Ken has spoken to the care home. Ken and Harvey will go into the home on 28th October”

I hope some of us will visit them from time to time… Hee hee!!!!

Don’t forget our fledging Facebook page, I am wondering about trying to get anyone interested in a KVWT group on Facebook (or facepaint as I call it) I have put one together to see if there is any interest. Not just limited to you – the members – but to anyone else who wants to join in. If you are interested it is here -

So – we are nearly there again for this month. Regular readers will know that at the time of writing last month, I was faced with my good lady wife who told me “I am not fussed about a holiday this year – we can do a few jobs around the house” The short list of 153 jobs on four pages of very closely typed A4 paper were not that inviting, and I left you not knowing whether my plan to drape the house with holiday brochures from Thomsons would have any effect. I am pleased to say it worked. Claire has succumbed and booked a holiday instead. Two weeks by the seaside to be precise. I shall miss her at first – but think of all the turning I can do. I can clear the garage out next year.

You will know I spoil Claire. I shower her with gifts even though I am starting to wonder if she is really appreciative. She has still not used that pillar drill I bought her for our anniversary. The only reason the band-saw I got her for her birthday is not gathering dust is that I use it from time to time to stop it seizing up. What is a chap to do?

She bought me a tour of Twickenham with Gareth Chilcott for our anniversary. I suggested that she drives me there and waits in the car while I am on the tour, it gets her out of the house – I think that’s important.

She is not without her virtues though, my lovely wife. She came in last week, “Happy Birthday” she said, placing a riding crop in my hand and lowering her voice to a husky level, “Today’s your lucky day”. I couldn’t believe it – I was getting a pony!!!

Finally I must admit to a mistake, I noticed it late on Monday evening as I looked out at all of the strange creatures standing to attention on the lawn. I realised I had mixed up the slug pellets and the Viagra.

See you on Saturday!!!

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