West Bay Woodturners Newsletter, September 2023

Next Meeting

Wednesday September 20,
7 pm at Bridges Church, 625 Magdalena Ave,
Los Altos 94024


The program for September is a demo and presentation by Tina Chou on “Advanced Basics for Bowl Turners”.

President’s challenge:

Based on our last in person meeting where Jon demonstrated the Sorby texturing tools: bring a piece that shows a turned texture, either chatter, Sorby texturing tool, or any other.

Upcoming Meetings

October: Grind, Grind, Grind
November: Bending a tree: off-center turning with Kelly Smith
December: Holiday potluck

Notes from the Last Meeting

Wednesday August 9, 2023

The joint picnic with SVW at Cuesta Park was well attended, as you can see from the happy, well fed faces! A friendly vote was taken for the turned pieces on display. Big thanks to Curtis for gathering the food and cooking, Tom G for rounding up the necessary supplies, and all of you who brought in a potluck dish!

President’s Message

I am looking forward to the long awaited presentation by Tina, “Advanced Basics for Bowl turners”. With all the learning Tina has gathered over the last years from many pro turners, this promises to be a very enlightening session, full of good tricks and teaching aids.

In other news, our club still needs to get a grip on maintaining a web site for public view as this is how people can find out about us and join our group. There is an effort in the works to recast the old website to the WordPress platform. If you have any experience or would like to learn and contribute, please contact myself or Roman.

The end of the year is fast approaching, and that means voting in a new board of directors, Holiday potluck, and a few more in person meetings. Think about how you can participate and keep our club interesting and fresh!

Claude Godcharles

“As the Wood Turns” by Dave Vannier

It has been a busy month, and not a lot of time in the shop.  I’ve been experimenting with a different grind. JoHannes Michelsen was here many years ago, demonstrating his hat turning technique, and then we had a hands on class turning min-hats. I’ve turned a few full size hats, but it takes such a large chunk of wood, I stopped doing it.  But one of the things I learned was turning with a very small bevel. He taught us to free hand grind a tool to get his grind.  The smaller bevel certainly lets you make sharper turns and turn much thinner.  Smaller bevel equals less pressure.  But as my tremors have increased, free hand grinding tools has become impossible. The motion and the way I have to hold the tools just doesn’t work. Wish it did, but something I’m not capable of doing. He created a jig which re-creates his grind.  I was anxious to try it once I found out.  YES!  The jig does a nice job of sharpening and creating the second and third bevels, leaving just a small primary bevel. It also has a side benefit of letting you grind older tools which don’t have enough flute left to sharpen in my other jigs.  So some of my old tools that I tried to sharpen freehand, couldn’t throw away, are usable again!  So far, I love the clean cut on the outside if pieces.  Better than the 40/40 grind even on some punky wood that I had.  A little light sanding with 320 grit and it was done.  Very happy. The inside has been a different story. I’m clearly doing something wrong.  I’m getting spiral effect. Clean cut, but not a smooth surface.  Ugh. I need some more time to experiment and see what I’m doing wrong. Sure its just me, not the tool. 

I added this grind to my tool set:  an Irish grind, an Ellsworth grind, Glenn Lucas’s grind, a 40/40 grind, and one of Mike Mahoney’s grinds that I can’t sharpen.  A total of 6 different grinds. Certainly not something I would recommend as you are trying to learn tool control. Each requires a very different use, but all offer pro’s/cons for your work. And of course it justifies this tool junkies collection of gouges.   Yes I live by the motto of “he who dies with the most toys wins!”, and yes I’m competitive.


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: Vacant (Claude G acting)
Visiting artist Coordinator: Vacant (Bob Bley acting)
Anchor seal: Dennis Lillis
Craft Supply: Tina
Librarian: Kelly Smith
Audio Visual: Curtis Vose
Website & Newsletter: Vacant (Roman, Claude and David acting)

All Newsletters About Galleries Contact us

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


2 responses to “West Bay Woodturners Newsletter, September 2023”


    Thank you for sharing your newsletter. I am sorry I missed the picnic.

  2. Phil Feiner Avatar
    Phil Feiner

    Hi all
    I have a neighbor who has a small black walnut tree that has to be taken down in San Carlos.

    Once a member of West Bay Turners, I am happy to help my neighbor find a home for this beautiful wood.

    Elizabeth 650-766-2706, or Phil 650-743-9116

Leave a Reply

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