Everyone must have been keen to see our demonstrator for tonight, Nathanael Griffiths, as the room was filling up early….or maybe it was also because our subscriptions for the year are due. In the end, 45 members attended.

Nathanael comes from near Chester so had not far to come to see us all. He had demonstrated at the club before and it was a joy to see him again after all his success on TV – but also he was the winner of “British Young Woodworker of the Year” in 2019 with his Zebrano Segmented Vase.

He decided he would do something that he had not done as a demonstration before, so we were in for an interesting evening.

Our highly skilled technical team of Richie (our chairman) and Howard (ex-secretary) sorted out the wonders of our Audio-Visual cameras and screens so everything was set up so we all could get close ups on the screens.

Nathanael’s plan was to convert a blank – 6″ square by 1.5″ thick – into a perfectly formed 5″ high bowl. He explained there was 2 ways of cutting the blank – either on a bandsaw or in the lathe.

Starting with the bandsaw, he had made a jig not unlike one for cutting round blanks but using it like a coring system to get 4 pieces from the one blank.

Using the lathe with a pre-made wooden glue block for centering the blank and then using hot melt glue to hold the piece and cutting in with a long thin parting tool – cut in at approx. 25 degrees. To get a segment about 15mm thick, he repeated the process twice so having the three looking like an old expandable camping cup.

Then came making a bowl out of pieces, Hot Melting the base onto the glue block, building up the 3 sections – this was a demonstration in true Blue Peter fashion: here’s one I made earlier. Shaping the inside first, then the outside, and ending up with a vessel about 3–4 mm thick.

What was impressive was the finishing off using sanding sealer, finishing paste and finally microcrystalline polish. His explanation of the process of the use of the polishes was first class and it was good to see a demonstrator with a finally finished piece.

On a more mundane note, the new Committee met at coffee break for the first time and agreed plans to improve our website and social media but also plan for some more demonstrators for the year….so watch this space.

Mike Wilson