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.

11. Weather Turned Bad - May 2014

From: Boulter, Phil (DSI) Sent: 29 May 2014 08:17 Subject: Weather turned bad

Why are bank holidays wet.


Last Saturday was spent at the club – we had a grand time trying all sort of finishing and texturing, we did a bit of colouring, tried using texturing tools at different angles, and at different speeds. Bottom line was that some of us decided it was still a game of chance if we didn’t do it enough.

Use a texturing tool one week, then go away and come back to it weeks, or even months later – and you can’t really remember how you used it last time. We had a good turnout though and a huge thanks to the people who took the trouble to bring down their finishing equipment to share ideas with everyone.

Our Saturday workshops are pretty much the only chance I get to do a bit of turning nowadays, and a great time to chat and get advice and tips from the likes of Harvey and Jim (to name just two) and also mix with newer members and see people turn a piece of wood for the first time. Someone last month said the last time they did some turning was at School with a dirty great big scraper – it was nice to see he could still do it. I love Saturday workshops!


I also got my lathe back from Axminster in time for the workshop on Saturday – it went back to Axminster for repair after I broke it. It’s a long story – and I will tell you another time – but bearing in mind I broke it, Axminster didn’t think I should have been able to, so they shipped it back to their main workshop, repaired it and then shipped it back again to my home address – all of it free of charge. Axminsters customer service and customer care is legendary – and they have proved it yet again. I will be one of their customers for a long time to come.


Sunday – a visit to mother-in-law in her nursing home in Bath. Nuff said really. A game old bird and fun to talk to every Sunday – but a lost day nonetheless.


Monday – Bank Holiday. It was wet. A bunch of us hired the barbeque area by the beach at Lepe. It is at the mouth of the Solent and overlooks the Isle of Wight. We do this most years at about this time, and we take pot luck with the weather. Some years it is sunny, and some years it is grotty. Today it was grotty.


Even so there were about 40 of us there, and the barbeque was busy. The kids played in the puddles, much to the annoyance of their mothers, and the menfolk took about 30 minutes to put up a 25 foot long gazebo that should have taken about 10 minutes. Oh well, at least it kept us dry when the heavens opened. On the bright side, once the barbeque was hot enough the chaps all took it in turn to burn meat into an unrecognisable lump of carbonised rock. Someone asked me why women never barbeque food, it’s because they can’t cook – bless them.


Tall-Ian decided to get his rod out of the car and go and catch some mackerel ( he was very specific). It was a good attempt, he trooped down to the beach and only then noticed that the tide was out, a long way out – and it was refusing to come back. I accompanied him, along with a few 12 year old hangers on who had never fished before and wanted to see an expert. We walked halfway to the Isle of Wight in search of the wet stuff. It was at this point that Ian started telling me about this wonderful fishing rod of his. He has had it three years, it has a very expensive reel, and some splendid looking lures. He loves it – and it was apparent.

It was drizzling, it was cold, and we were getting wet. The two twelve year olds, after much pleading and coaching on the deft and delicate skill of casting a line - had their go, they got nothing.

I had a go, obviously got nothing (I am to fishing what Delia Smith is to Thermo-nuclear dynamics).

Ian – the expert cast the rod for about 15 minutes and suddenly – he also got nothing.

“How long have you had the rod Ian” I queried. He eyed me – “Three years” he said. “Good rod is it?” I asked him. “Oh – very good” he said “One of the best”.

I sucked on a thoughtful tooth for a few moments. “How many fish have you caught with it?”

…”none”.


Guess what – he didn’t add to that total on Monday. I don’t really fish, its hard to see the point of it really?


Got back late on Monday cold and tired – but oddly we all had a great day. £45 to hire exclusive use of the barbeque area – and we had a ball despite the weather. It’s good to be British.



So – what other news do we have. Lets have a look.


First and foremost we welcome Mark Raby to our June meeting on 10th June at the usual place of Padworth Village Hall. Mark is something of an expert in the subject of decoration and finishing of wooden turnings, and also not a beginner by any means in the art of pyrography. It should be a fascinating evening and one I am looking forward to very much, as long as I can get back in time from Plymouth!


June 10th is about the last time we will see the hall for a month or two, they are about to give it a facelift – and we have to find a temporary home until they have finished. The work begins on 23rd June and hopefully finishes at the end of August. Hard work and many enquiries have resulted in a new temporary home for us in Brimpton. The Brimpton hall is now booked for the July, August and September meetings. We will remove much of the club’s equipment during the hall’s refurbishment. The committee will organize the removal of the club’s valuable items from the hall at the June club night i.e. tools, projectors, camera and video equipment into the care of committee members.


So – the Saturday workshop on 28th June will NOT be at Padworth – it will be at Brimpton.


We are putting a map and some directions on the web-site – apparently it is quite easy to find. However for those who want a link from here – right now – follow this link and you will find it. Failing that – go to google and type in “brimpton village hall” or type “Map RG7 4SY” – I looked at it just now and it looks quite posh – and the seats have cushions!!

If in doubt just picture the route with me now – come out of current hall at Padworth down to the main A4 and turn left towards Newbury. Follow the road through Woolhampton (watch out for the 30mph speed cameras) and go for about another mile. You will see a sign for Brimpton (a turning on youjr left) – if you go past the Coach and Horses pub *you have just missed it*. If you are coming from the Newbury direction, then turn right just *after* the Coach and Horses pub. Now – follow the road, over the canal and railway bridge, and keep going until you get to a T-junction – it is roughly a mile up the road. At this junction there is a signpost in the middle of the road indicating that you have to turn right for the Village hall. It is about half a mile along the road on the left hand side. Phew!!



So – should be an exciting time for a couple of meetings – a new home, and then a refurbished one.

What else – we are in the final throws of asking for people to make sure they have renewed their memberships. There are still a few stragglers – you know who you are! J

Another topic… Tips. Tips and secrets. Ideas for making things easier and more productive. At the last committee meeting we discussed an idea to share our best tips and tricks to the general membership. We will probably end up devoting a page to this on the web-page.

Simple things like when I drill blanks for making pens, after the first one is drilled I touch a candle onto the tip of the hot drill bit (a little bit of wax then melts on the end of the drill) and then drill the next one, and then more wax, and so on. I rarely have to sharpen the drills if I do this. Also it makes the drill bit’s passage through the wood a lot smoother.



Do you have any examples of simple little tricks like this? If so let me know and I will pass them on.

I think that is about it for this little note. Let me just check

1. Mark Raby – check

2. New address for meetings from 28th June onwards - check

3. Remember about tips and tricks - check

4. Has everyone paid their subs – check

5. Include a joke about Harvey – che…. Hang on!

I asked Harvey to name six animals that live specifically in the Artic – he said 2 polar bears and 4 seals.

Not many of you know I have a pilot’s licence – how about finishing with some pilot humour


Some Pilot Humour

· Tower: "Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles!" Delta 351: "Give us another hint! We have digital watches!"


· One day, the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the runway while a DC-8 landed. The DC-8 landed, rolled out, turned around, & taxied back past the Cherokee. Some quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio & said, "What a cute little plane. Did you make it yourself?" Our hero the Cherokee pilot, was not about to let the insult go by, came back with a real zinger: "I made it out of DC-8 parts. Another landing like that & I'll have enough parts for another one."


· There's a story about the military pilot calling for a priority landing because his single-engine jet fighter was running "a bit peaked." ATC told the fighter jock that he was number two behind a B-52 that had one engine shut down. "Ah," the pilot remarked," the dreaded seven-engine approach."


· A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight. While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC asked, "What was your last known position?" Student: "When I was number one for take-off".


· Taxiing down the tarmac, the DC-10 abruptly stopped, turned around & returned to the gate. After an hour-long wait, it finally took off. A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, "What was the problem?" "The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine," explained the flight attendant, "and it took us a while to find a new pilot."


· A man telephoned the United airline office at Denver International Airport & asked, "How long does it take to fly to Colorado Springs?" The clerk said, "Just a minute." (my favourite) "Thank you," the man said & hung up.


· "Flight 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 degrees." "But Centre, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?" "Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?"


Basic Flying Rules:

1. Try to stay in the middle of the air.

2. Do not go near the edges of it.

3. The edges of the air can be recognized by the appearance of ground, buildings, sea, trees and running people. It is much more difficult to fly there.


The crew of a US airliner made a wrong turn during taxi and came nose to nose with another aircraft, the furious ground controller (a female) screamed: "Delta 345 where are you going? I told you to turn right on 'Charlie' taxiway; you turned right on 'Delta'. Stop right there" Continuing her verbal lashing of the embarrassed crew, she shouted: "You've screwed everything up. It'll take forever to sort this out. You stay right there and don't move until I tell you to. You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about a half hour and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you. You got that?"


Naturally, the frequency went very quiet until an unknown male pilot broke the silence and asked: "Wasn't I married to you once?"


I think that is about it for now.

Don’t forget Mark Raby on 10th June – be safe in the workshop until then. Don’t forget to tell me if you don’t want to receive this rubbish in the future and I will take you off the list. L


Vice Chairman

Kennet Valley Woodturners

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