West Bay Woodturners Newsletter, May 2023

Next Meeting

Wednesday May 17,
7 pm at Bridges Church,
625 Magdalena Ave,
Los Altos 94024


May presentation is with Eric McCrystal with a talk on making staved goblets of various styles for small scale production. Eric will bring in his jigs, fixtures and special tools that allow him to make a variety of styles.

President’s challenge:

Your attempt at a bowl with a perfectly smooth and ring free inside transition, practicing lessons learned from Kirk DeHeer’s demo.

Upcoming Meetings

May: Eric McCrystal on staved goblets
June: Don Bonnett will demonstrate his finial techniques
July: Tina Chou on bowl turning techniques
August: picnic at Cuesta Park in Mountain View

Notes from the Last Meeting

Wednesday April 19, 2023

Remote Demonstration with Kirk DeHeer. Notes by Laura Rhodes.

Kirk DeHeer, resident instructor at Craft Supplies and co-owner of a Cut Above Bowl Co., gave a thorough demonstration of bowl turning. Starting with green ash blanks, he fully turned one bowl and the outside of another. Along the way, he gave many suggestions for both the experienced and novice turner, including: how to shim the bowl on a screw chuck to be able to eliminate a crack near the pith without losing too much of the bowl’s depth; what bowl gouge grinds to use at each stage of the turning; fixing compression rings underneath the bowl rim by grinding the heel off the gouge; avoiding a “light ring” at the transition from the side to the bottom of the bowl by not allowing the gouge to come off the bevel; body motions and tool approach angles; and more. A very informative presentation for all.

Kirk recorded the video presentation and club members have access for the next month or so. Bob Bley sent out the link via email.

After Kirk’s presentation, we had a “lightning round” of president’s challenge and show and tell. Unfortunately, no photos were taken. Dave Vannier showed his laser cut templates for bow ties. Tom Gaston showed a “stitched” bowl using 1/8” slats in table sawn grooves. Bob Bley showed a burl vase where he used Alumilite resin to stabilize a base with so many voids that it would have made it impossible to hold on to. Harvey showed a bowl made from a silver maple blank from Dave. Jon Bishop showed a bowl and vase. Laura Rhodes showed a spring-loaded paper towel holder and the custom made wooden collet chuck she used to hold the shaft to drill it. Dean Caudle had an interesting burl bowl with lid that he had to use a dental pick to clean the burl edge. Ed showed bowls and a platter from blanks from Dave. Kelley Smith had large and small offset-turned birds and lots of items made from olive wood. Tom Gaston had a cork oak vase that he used a steel wool and vinegar ebonizing mixture wicked up through the bottom to create an interesting color gradation.

President’s Message

Welcome to your club’s new Website and Newsletter format. The website is in transition to a WordPress platform, which allows multiple contributors and easy maintenance and links. The Newsletter is now part of the website, this is where I am typing my notes directly right now! It is a work in progress, the format will surely improve as we get more skilled at it. Doesn’t that sound like woodturning?? This will also help cut down delays so you get the Newsletter sooner. An email link will be sent when it is ready to view online, but it is also always visible though the website.

A big thank you to Tom Haines for shouldering both the Website and Newsletter for as long as I can remember. We hope the new platform entices more of you to collaborate and provide content. Roman is currently the administrator for the Website, and can give access to any volunteer contributor.

Claude Godcharles

“As the Wood Turns” by Dave Vannier

Most of us are tool junkies. Honestly I think we all are, but I’ll leave that small window open for any that aren’t (or claim they aren’t). Personally the saying “He who dies with the most toys wins!” applies to me. I’m eying a few new tools. Honestly, in my time turning, I probably only use a very small number of tools on a daily basis. But some turnings would be hard to do without that tool I use once a year. Then there are those tools that i can’t remember the last time I used therm.

If you are just getting started, our collection can be over whelming and leave you asking “what do I need to get started?” Of course the answer is going to be different depending upon who you ask. They say if you ask 3 turners a question you are likely to get 5 different answers. I’m going to be one of those with 2 answers, but give you my 2 cents.

If you want to do spindle work like pens, pepper mills, goblets, boxes, etc you want a spindle roughing gouge, a 3/8” spindle gouge, a 1/2” skew, and a parting tool as a minimum. After that I would collect different scrapers, different size spindle gouges, and different parting tools. I have 2 different spindle roughing gouges, 5 or 6 spindle gouges, 6 or 7 scrapers, 6 skews, and 6 different parting tools. Many of these tools have very specific grinds and purposes. For instance some of the parting tools are ground so that i can cut grooves, not part things off. Add in hollow forms, and you will expand the tools that you will want and NEED!

If you want to do bowls, the tool set is different. For this, I would recommend starting with a 3/8” and 5/8” bowl gouge and a diamond parting tool. This means you need to settle in on one grind. As you experiment with different grinds, you will add more gouges. Can you live without them, well I did for years. Predominately I use Glenn Lucas’s grind. But some woods just cut so much cleaner with the 40/40 grind. While shear scraping is so much easier with the Ellsworth style grind. Then there are bottom feeders that let you ride the bevel so much easier on the bottom of a calabash. Of course I can’t live without my Michelson’s grind when I’m turning thin. So I have a rack of gouges, of which I use just the 2 every time.

Hollowing tools and chucks can be a long winded debate. But I think you can see that starting without spending a lot can be done. Tool junkies just can’t avoid justifying that one more tool, which never turns out to just be one tool. Time for me to see if I shouldn’t order that tool I can’t live without……

See you next week at the meeting! Eric’s staved presentation should be interesting.


WBW board members and committee chairs

President: Claude Godcharles
Vice President: Tom Gaston
Treasurer: Jon Bishop
Secretary: Roman Chernikov
Member at Large: Fred Colman
Meeting Program Coordinator: TBD
Visiting artist Coordinator: TBD
Anchor seal: Dennis Lillis
Craft Supply: Tina
Librarian: Kelly Smith
Audio Visual: Curtis Vose
Website & Newsletter: Tom Haines

Click here for contact information of the above; login is required to open the link.

All Newsletters About Galleries Contact us

Please comment below. Note, that all comments are visible to all website visitors, not just the club members.


5 responses to “West Bay Woodturners Newsletter, May 2023”

  1. Edgar Whipple Avatar
    Edgar Whipple

    Works for me. Well done!


    Not an expert, but this format is not easily saved to an archive file on my computer for later reference.
    When I tried saving it by copy and paste, the result was that all the original formatting and size, position and alignment of photos was lost.

    1. Gordon, thank you very much for the feedback. I guess, including a PDF version of a newsletter would be convenient. I can look into it. Again, thank you for the feedback!


    Forgot to say that I’m with SVW.


    I looks fine to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *