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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.

19 - Feb 15 - Wood you believe it.

From: Boulter, Phil (DSI) Sent: 20 February 2015 17:35 Subject: RE: Kennet Valley Woodturners - wood you believe it!

Hi all my woodturning chums.

I begin with an apology to some of you. I have recreated an email group so that I can send this (roughly) monthly rubbish out to everyone by typing in just one email address. I firmly believe that I have removed all the people who said they no longer wanted to be bored by it, but if I have made a mistake then I apologise, please let me know and I will remove you again. Done.


Well, the AGM is over and a new membership year has begun. Thank you for so many of you attending the AGM, it was nice for the committee to see such support on an evening which, let’s face it, is not normally the most appealing and enthralling event of the year. A welcome also to Ian McGuire and Ray Brindley to the committee. We will miss Mike Larby from the committee meetings, but hopefully will still see him throughout the year.


So what do we have in store for 2015? Lots of new stuff, that’s what.

We have had a bit of a clean sweep with the demonstrators, the calendars are being printed at the moment. If you cannot wait then the website does have the details on the diary page. I can tell you that the next Saturday workshop is on 28th March from 10.00m until 1.00pm and we will be turning captive rings. Those of us who are a little heavy handed might not keep them as captive as we would wish – but we will see. These captive rings may even feature (if you wish) in the March competition – see below.

A quickie When Tony Harvey first moved to his house (with the huge garden) he decided he’s going to take up chicken farming. He went to the local farmers co-op and tells the man, “Give me a hundred baby chickens.” The co-op man complies. A week later the Tony came back and says, “Give me two hundred baby chickens.” The co-op man complies. Again, a week later the Tony returns. This time he says, “Give me five-hundred baby chickens.” “Wow! The co-op man replied “You must really be doing well!”

“Not really” said Tony with a sigh. “I’m either planting them too deep or too far apart!”

Paul Hannaby

On 10th March we have a demonstration by Paul Hannaby. I am very excited because Paul is new to us at KVWT. I had a peek at his web-site – “Paul uses many different species of timber for turning and the main focus is on artistic or creative woodturning. Wood is the material of choice both for its unique characteristics and properties and because of its seemingly endless variations in appearance and character. Wood is not only the raw material but also the inspiration for many of the pieces produced.” You can see some of Pauls work on this web-site. It is well worth a look. I was wandering through it and found a fascinating article about turning an Arc bowl, well worth looking at – I thoroughly recommend it.

I did search for Paul’s image on the interweb, and as you can see I did find one. Oddly I also found another one on the same search as you can see…

Frankly it doesn’t look like him, and I hope the boot on that Rolls is big enough for his equipment!

Oh – just as an aside – I was in a management meeting on Thursday last week (No – I don’t know why they invite me either). Anyway, one of our directors is leaving to go to one of our offices in Australia. She is a middle aged lady, very good at her job and will probably be just as good when she arrives is Oz. The room heard our Managing Director say “Sue has had a fantastic offer down under” – giggles ensued – but these were silenced once I asked “Was the bush mentioned?”

Competition time!

If you look at the diary page mentioned above you will see the result of the voting that took place at the AGM for the competitions this year. Voting for the competition subject was one new move – the second was that we included some competitions that are very new to us. We wanted entrants to let their imagination take over just a little bit and have a wider brief. You will see what I mean when you see the final list – either by following this link, or when you get your free pocket 2015 diary listing on the next club night.

Talking of the next Club night (remember Paul Hannaby is coming), well the competition on the 10th March is a long stemmed goblet. This is one of my favourite things to turn, and while it can be quite a challenge of you get a little too ambitious, it is very rewarding once it is done. The devil in us wants the stem to be as thin as possible, the coward in us tries to wave just a little flag with “Common sense” written on it in big red letters. Again with Paul Hannaby – guess what – he shows how to make a Goblet on his web-site – see this link. I am now really looking forward to meeting him!

Goblets are a particularly fun thing to do even as a beginner. The long stemmed variety also allows a turner to test his/her patience and often proves how far wood can be thrown, either by the lathe or the turner. (Remember a face mask, or goggles at the very least!!)

Goblets are good practice for both hollowing and also spindle work. The only tip I would give a beginner is to start at the top and finish the piece as you get towards the bottom. Don’t be tempted to make the stem too thin (or too long) on your first attempt – you will feel the pain when it snaps!

Members evening 14th April

In April we have a members evening – and guess what – it will be back in Padworth Village Hall!! Well we think it will be. The works on the bridge are due to be finished and as long as they are the road will be open and the committee will have taken all the club’s goodies back to the hall. When we are all there on the 14th we will see the refurbishment.

In the event that British Rail are late – god forbid that should ever happen – we have not booked a demonstrator for that night. We thought it unfair in case last minute changes were required. So we have one of our twice yearly members evenings where we will split up into teams and collectively turn something better than the other teams. The theme for that evening’s team competition will be lidded pots. As usual points will be awarded to teams that have the most input from beginners (it is about joining in!!), so IPL type bids for the beginners to join your teams will be held at the start of the evening!!

March Saturday workshop

The workshop on Saturday 28th March will be eggs and egg cups – just in time for Easter. Large or small, solid or hollow – all welcome. We clearly won on this one – I wouldn’t find an egg and egg cup on Paul /Hannaby’s site!!

Facebook page

I know a lot of you are not on Facebook, but for those of you who are please remember we have a fairly new facebook page which is open to all (members or not). You will find us on please come visit and join in on the comments as you wish.

Tony and Harvey

Tony went fishing with Harvey near the coast, but they haven’t caught anything all day. Then, another fisherman walks by with a huge load of fish. They ask him "excuse me, but where did you get all those fish?"

The other fisherman replies,” If you just go down the stream until the water isn't salty, there are a ton of hungry fish."

They thank him and go on their way. 15 minutes later, Harvey says to Tony "fill the bucket up with water and see if the water is salty." Tony dips the bucket in the stream and drinks some. "Nope. Still salty." 30 minutes later, Harvey asks him to check again.

"Nope, still salty." One our later they check again. "Nope. Still salty."

"This isn't good," Harvey says, "We have been walking for almost two hours and the water is still salty!"

"I know," says Tony "And the bucket is almost empty!"

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