“Turn for Cancer”…Great Weekend

Thanks to Duncan Birch for this account of the Matisho “Turn for Cancer” Weekend.

Friday March 16th saw members of Hub City Turners loading lathes, tools, wood, and everything but the kitchen sink, and heading out to Waldheim to set up for the 13th annual ‘Matisho Memorial Fund Raising for Cancer Research Event’. Larry Matisho was an enthusiastic wood turner who had a large shop and every November he would invite turners to join him for a weekend of turning. Sadly Larry lost the battle with cancer, so in his memory the original group decided to keep up the tradition, but turn it into a fund raiser for cancer research in Larry’s Name. The first of many took place in the Waldheim school and for the last several years Menno Industries has graciously offered their facilities as a host site. The event kicked into high gear Saturday morning with (if my count is correct) 24 lathes most of which were in use. Saturday also saw too many to count spectators, showing their interest and offering encouragement, as well as offering up their donations to help the cause. After coffee Trent did a demo on designing. Every piece of wood has characteristics that will dictate its best use. This is where we often need help to determine what the best design would be to utilize it’s full potential. Everyone enjoyed the very informative presentation. After lunch Elio demonstrated threading a lidded box with a device of his own making. What a creative person. Later there was a demo on marbling. Sunday morning saw Mel’s demo on making a pepper mill. He showed some of the special equipment and techniques he has acquired to make the process more precise. Many of the original “Larry” group have attended every year and many “newbies” now make it an annual event. The silent auction is part of the fund raising for the last few years and local tool companies have really outdone themselves by putting up some serious equipment. This year saw a complete turning package donated, lathe, tools and face shield. There was also a dust collector which would be the envy of any shop.

All in all it was one of our most successful fund raisers to date. Many new people took part, and as usual, we had a group of carvers who also have been a support for many years. People from the Prince Albert club always add to our ranks and we do certainly appreciate their support. Elio brings all of his equipment and expertise all the way from Lloydminster. Chris was there from Esterhazy. So people come from near and far, and it is all for a good cause. To know that our contribution helps research one of the major life disruptions that has touched people that we all know and care about, can’t help giving us all a warm fuzzy feeling.

‘Tl next Year……………………



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March Meeting 2018

Since Paul was unavailable this week Duncan donned his double duty hat to both run the meeting and do the demo.  Thanks Duncan for stepping up.

Among the twenty-five members who showed up for the March meeting were some of the returning Snowbirds. Welcome back.

Duncan reminded everyone that the deadline for early bird registration for the 2018 Symposium is the end of March.  If you are thinking of coming do yourself a favor and register now:

Click HERE for a link to register for the Symposium.

If you are coming to the Matisho turning event this weekend please read and sign the insurance waiver. You can download and print a copy HERE.

Duncan’s Demo.

Thanks Duncan for preparing all the information and showing us various techniques for holding items on the lathe.
Duncan is a big fan of using a vacuum chuck and he has developed inexpensive aids to make this possible.  Using a tap with the same thread as your headstock it is easy to make a substitute for a metal faceplate. With this technique you can adapt any number of sizes and shapes of vacuum chucks to hold your work.  Duncan uses plastic piping fastened to the wooden faceplate with Gorilla glue and turns the edge round to attach a piece of foam sheeting from Michaels or the dollar store.

Well worth the price of admission was this jig Duncan developed.  He wanted to maximize the piece of expensive hardwood so he could make a lidded box.  Cutting a piece off the already round wood is a dangerous operation on a bandsaw.  Duncan solved this by cutting a hole in a piece of scrap plywood at the correct distance from the edge to hold a chuck so the wood is parallel to the bandsaw blade. A bolt is then threaded into the chuck and tightened. This arrangement then holds the wood solid and prevents rotation as you saw the piece off.  It also has the exhilarating effect of keeping your fingers a long way from the saw blade.

This is fantastic Duncan.

In this picture you can see a use for the flat sanding disc described earlier.  Duncan makes urns and after gluing up the tapered staves he needed a way to create a tenon on the bottom which is then grasped with #3 jaws on a Talon chuck and allows finishing the inside and outside.  The sanding disc provides a solid non slip surface to hold the large end of the urn.  An adapter (available from Lee Valley or Oneway) allows a chuck to be fastened onto the tailstock and precisely advance  the cone to secure the urn between centers and turn a tenon.

Thanks Duncan for a very practical, informative demo.

Show and Tell.

Gus showed us the evolution he has gone through using split and reverse turning techniques to come up with some interesting shapes.  He uses hose clamps a lot to hold the pieces in place while turning.

Dean explained how he made the maple and Ash bowls.

Cal used epoxy with black coloring to hold the two pieces of this maple bowl together while he turned it.

Cal uses some ingenious methods to create these off centered bowls.  Be ready for some challenges with vibration as you turn these!

Steve made this lovely Ash bowl from a local tree. He explained how Ash can be difficult to work with as it is prone to forming cracks.

Gary showed us a bowl that provided numerous challenges along the way from cutting down to finished product.

This piece was intended to be a bowl but Gary felt it really wanted to become a box so he made a lid with a carved rabbit for the top.


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New work from Duncan.

There was a group of turners having coffee at Duncan Birch’s shop when an old battered up piece of wood was discovered.  The origin of the wood, other that likely coming from a tree, was unknown.  The discussion must have stimulated Duncan to explore the inner being of the block of wood.  I would say from the picture below that Duncan unleashed a real beauty from inside that block.

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