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Member postings for Dave Atkinson

Here is a list of all the postings Dave Atkinson has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: Lots of newcomers....but not many new galleries!
02/06/2008 21:23:00

Just thought I'd let you know I;ve started a gallery in response to this thread.

Hope you like 'em

Cheers Dave

Thread: cutting inside
02/06/2008 20:56:00

Hi Ralph

I tend to use about half a sheet folded into a small square and I just bring up the centre until it starts to revolve.  I don't want any pressure on the stem as it is quite selnder and a bit of pressure and it turns into a flying goblet!

I keep meaning to turn someting in foam to go over my live centre and I like you idea of a soft ball, I'll keep my eyes open in the grandkids toy room

Clive I think your goblet is great for an early attemppt and yew heartwood is very hard so I'm not surprised it kept going off centre.  However, if you have this trouble in future it probably mens you are trying to take cuts which are too greedy.  I often leave the tailstock in situ until I've started to get the shape of teh inside going, then remove the centre.  You can also bore out the centre with a spindle gouge and if Im doing a box I often use a square ended box scraper for quick hollowing.  There are loads of ways and no "correct" way they're just different. 

As I've improved I try to use the same tool in different ways to do different things.  Having said that I've created lots of scrap en route, but as Jimmy Clewes said at  a demo I was at just before Christmas, if you don't push yourself you won't get better and I try and folow this motto all the time.

If you can get hold of any laburnum or cypress branchwood they make great natural edge goblets with the contrast between heartwood and sapwood.  When I get home at the weekend I'll take a couple of photos for the gallery.

Keep up the good work.


02/06/2008 14:06:00

Hi guys

I would recommend watching videos by Mick Hanbury for goblets and boxes and Andy Lodge for bowls.  Also any by Jimmy Clewes are hugely informative.  I had a course with Mick last year for a couple of days which moved my turning on by leaps and bounds.  I hardy ever use a scraper on my bowls - I use a large bowl goughe (1/2") with a swept back grind for quick removal of timber and a 1/4" gouge with a straight gring for my finishing cuts.

When I make goblets I use my 1/4" bowl gouge with a fingernail profile for the initial work on the bow and then my spindle gouge for the finsihing.  I have some branchwood I use to practise on and have made many intersting goblets and some very decorative firewood.

 Make sure the pith is off centre, to either side but not crossing the stem, otherwise it will break.  Always find the bevel and I start by truning the inside first and I often cut fromn teh outside in, which strictly speaking is against the grain but with fine cuts and the bevel running I get a good finish straight off the tool.  Always finsh as you go as it is impossible to sand the goblet bowl once you have started the stem.

Next step if to complete the outside to match the inside profile, I try to get to about 2mm thick here and keep the natural edge, again finish as you go.  I also out a pad of kitchen paper in the bowl and bring up the tailstock for some light support.  The stem is next and again I try for a diametr of about 3mm, finishing as I go.  as you get nearer the base you may find the top of the stem is off centre - don't worry - just keep going, I find it's an act of faith.  Then finish the base, undercut it and after the releasing some of the tailstock pressure part it off and finish the underneath.

I hope this helps. 

Cheers Dave

Thread: How do you rate your lathe
31/05/2008 08:45:00

I agree with you George, I've usually gone for the best I can afford and it has always served me well.  When I didn't, I have regretted it.

If you can get hold of a Tormek I'm sure you wouldn't be disappointed.  Having said that I know two people in my club, one who can't get on with it at all, and the other only uses it for chisels as he makes grooves with his gouges. 

I'm in Macclesfield and if you're around this way you're very welcome to have a look, but I'm usually only here at the weekend - work takes me away in the week.

Cheers Dave

Thread: Lots of newcomers....but not many new galleries!
30/05/2008 20:28:00

Must get down to the shops tomorrow and find out what you guys are on about.  I've just taken out a subscirption so I shall be ahead of the game in the future.

Mike my setting were as you suggested but everything seems OK now.

Thanks for your help again.

Cheers Dave

Thread: How do you rate your lathe
30/05/2008 20:26:00

Hi George

About three years ago an aged relative died and left me £3K and I spent the lot on new lathe (the Nova)), a PLaner thicknesser (SIP) and the Tormek plus a few other bits and bobs!  I was like a kid in a toffee shop!!

The Tormek needs very little maintenance.  The water evaporates between weekends and I just top the tray up each time I go in the shed.  It usually needs a bit of a top up initially as the stone sucks up the water.  Periodicaly, I clean out the water tray as it fills up with slurry.  I also have a rare earth magnet in a plastic bag in the water tray and this attracts all the steel swarf and stops it sticking to the wheel.  As it's in teh bag it's easy to get the stuff off - I usually use a paper towel.

I've used some of the wheel of course as it has to be dressed and I guess it'll last me another year or so before it needs to be replaced and then I shall look at the replacement wheels that Peter Childs sell.  I think they are pink - there is also a diamond one which I believe lasts for ages.

When sharpening you need to be careful not to wear a groove in the stone as they are soft.  Having said that I love it and find it takes no time to get a keen edge on my turning tools and my chisels are fabulous as I hone them as well.  I don't bother honing the gouges very often as the edge is usually good enough.  I do hone the skew on a regular basis.

If you can afford one then go for it.  It is a luxury and I've seen some look-a-likes on the market which will take the Tormek accesories although I've no idea whether they are any good or not.

 Hope that helps

Cheers Dave

Thread: Lots of newcomers....but not many new galleries!
30/05/2008 13:25:00

I've taken your advice Mike - thanks.  It all went well and I'm using it now.  What I thought were pics were in fact some sort of link and I think I've read somewhere that they were a mistake.  Anyway, everything seems to be working.

Cheers Dave 

30/05/2008 12:42:00

Hi Mike, Thanks for that - I think it must be because I'm using MS Internet Explorer.  I've heard good things about Firefox, but I use MS IE for my business stuff sometimes and I'm reluctant to mess with things.

 usually when I do it all goes wrong and I spend hours and hours sorting it all out.

Cheers Dave

Thread: scroll saw
30/05/2008 12:36:00

Hi Peter

 I have a scroll saw which I use mainly for making toys for the grandkids and other odds and sods.  I don't do intarsia etc but it's on my list to try.  It's harder than it looks to get smooth curves but like all things practice makes better (if not perfect).

 Good luck with it - I'm sure you'll have loads of fun.

 Cheers Dave

Thread: How do you rate your lathe
30/05/2008 12:27:00

Hi George

 I have a tormek which I think is great.  if I want to reprofile anything I either take my angle grinder to it or use a white wheel that I used before I got the tormek.

I know they're expensive but being water cooled I never blue the edge, an favourite trick of mine.  I also use it to freehand sharpen some of my tools.

Cheers Dave

Thread: Lots of newcomers....but not many new galleries!
30/05/2008 12:19:00

Hi Guys

I'm one of those newcomers to the site and I pop in from time to time.  I don't seem able to view Sparky's pics in this thread, or anybody elses for that matter.  Any ideas why?

Cheers Dave

Thread: How do you rate your lathe
20/05/2008 21:43:00

Thanks George

I've only been a member a short while.  My main interest is in Turning but I dabble with most things.

Cheers Dave

20/05/2008 15:11:00

Hi Guys

have a Nova DVR purchased just over 2 years ago. It has now been superseded by the NOVA DVR XP and is also marketed under the Record Brand as well. The XP has some improvements over my verison but the basics are the same.

The basic spec gives a 24" between cebntres with a 16" swing over the bed. The headstock swivels and allows a maximum size of 29" diameter using the optional outrigger attachment. The bed can be extended in 20"increments.

I have the outrigger and extended the bed by 20". Both work well although the join between the bed sections required a little fettling to enable the tailstock to slide smoothly acrss the join (about 20 minutes by hand).

The lathe is designed by Teknatool International and is, I believe, now manufactured in China. Their website adress is <!-- m --><!-- m --> and it is possile to download a user manual in PDF format from the site which will give details of the full technical spec.

DVR stands for Digital Variable Reluctance (see the website for the full technical details) but basically the motor is driven by strong electro magnets which increase the torque in response to the resistance sensed from the turning activities. This means you can take really big cuts without the lathe slowing down.

Plus points - easy to use, powerful, variable speed (100 - 3500rpm), reverse drive which is useful for sanding

Down side - variable speed requires pressing a button on the headstock and it takes a few seconds to increase/decrease the speed (as opposed to turning a knob which is faster). I understand the XP has the facility to preset regularly used speeds (up to 5 of them which I think addresses this minor moan). Secondly, if you lean on the headstock where all the controls are you can stop the lathe by accident and similarly you can start it up as well. Neither of these are of any significance in my view as I only lean on the headstock when parting off, so I've never accidentally started it - I think you'd have to work hard at doing that.

I love the DVR and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it. It will do all I want and more. I have turned some large logs (12 inches diameter by 24inches long) and once brought to round these were turned at 750 rpm plus without vibration. I started turning these at 250 rpm and increased the speed as I brought it to round.

I am going to set up an "Emergency Power Off" button near the tailstock as I've spotted it's hard to get to the on/off switch when you are hollowing a log , espcially if you've swivelled the headstock. (yes it nearly went horribly wrong one day  )

I still have my original Record DML24 which I upgraded to swivelhead etc and it's still going strong.  I use it for doing the odd demo with. 

Cheers Dave

Thread: Wood working clubs
20/05/2008 11:59:00

Hi Clive

If you go to (the AWGB website) and follow the link to Branches you will see there are at least three within easy reach of you - Forest of Dean, Herefordshire and possibly the Worcestshire branch.

As far as timber goes, if you fancy a day out try visiting Yandles in Martock, which is about a couple of hours from you, just outside Yeovil.  They have a great selection of timber and 2 open days/shows each year which are well worth a visit.  They also have a coffee shop etc and it's a great part of the world to visit.  Their website is

Good luck Dave

Thread: bottle stoppers
20/05/2008 11:31:00

The first thing I ever made - a set of skittles for the kids was made from the legs of an old bar table I "rescued" from a skip.  I think it's great making things form recycled materials , especialy when you're just starting.

It saves making expensive firewood, and Ive made/make loads of that).  When I make bottle stoppers I glue some dowel into the blank (to reduce wastage of good wood) and use the rubber stoppers like George.  Then I just finish the top in whatever I have to hand. 

Like Rob I don't have much call for stoppers though - it always seem to evporate somewhere!!

Cheers Dave

Thread: pen making
14/04/2008 14:01:00

Hi guys

 I tend to buy most of my pen blanks and they often come "part seasoned".  A weekend on top of a double radiator soon sorts that out.  As they are only 15mm square they don't split but dry very quickly.

I've also machined my own as Dan has done. 

I make mainly the slimline pen that has a 53mm barrel and drill the blanks on my pillar drill which has a 50 mm travel so I do this in two stages, making sure to keep it central otherwise the hole becomes larger at the top - more firewood!

if you're new to pen turning I find it best to drill the hole, glue in the barrel and then cut the waste off the end.  The ends can be milled with a pen mill (a few quid from Axminster or similar), or trued up on a disc sander but if you sand then it must be square.

If you cut the blanks to size then drill they invariably split as the drill comes through and if you cut them after drilling that often goes wrong as well!

Hope that helps

Cheers Dave

Thread: Thread Chasing
26/03/2008 09:33:00

Hi David, just another thought - I think John is demonstrating at Woodex in a couple of weeks time - 18 - 20th April.  It's free and well worth a visit and he'd be pleased to advise you I know.

Cheers Dave

Thread: Woodex 08
26/03/2008 09:30:00

I went last year and thought it was a great day out.  There weren't a lot of trade stands but I think the days of great bargains may be behind us. 

There were lots of demonstrators and lots of club stands and displays of work which I enjoyed immensely - just chatting to other turners was great fun.

I'd recommend it and it's free!

 Cheers Dave

Thread: Thread Chasing
26/03/2008 09:24:00

Hi David

Once you've cracked it chasing threads is fantastic.  There are a few key things to remember:

dont think about it - just let it happen, this needs relaxed stance. 

do the female thread first

it's easier at a slower speed - 350 - 450 rpm

grind off the half tooth on the leading edge of your chasers, making sure that the first tooth is a hole one and make sure the chasers are sharp - just grind the top edge and then you can use a hone for quite some time

start the thread with the second or third tooth of the chaser until the the thread is established, then intoduce the first tooth,

stay relaxed and let the chaser drop into the thread - it always will - it is some form of magic!

use woods such as Mopane, boxwood, the heartwood of yew, cocobolo. as a guide if it's heavy it'll probably take a thread.

I would also recommend John Berkeley's book "All screwed up" and his DVDs.  Check out his website and that of the DVD supplier:

Good luck with it.  It's worth persevering as it is like doing magic.  let me know if I can help some more.  I had a day with John which is well worth it.

Cheers Dave

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