Wight Woodturners

Demo day – Saturday 14th March 2015

Full day demo by Mark Baker

Wight Woodturners were very pleased to welcome Mark Baker, editor of the Woodturning magazine.  This was the first demonstration of 2015 and the first where our newly purchased AT1416VS lathe would be used in a professional demonstration.

Mark as well as being editor of Woodturning also does demonstrations throughout the world so we were very lucky when he agreed to come to the island to demonstrate to the club.

The first part of the day was taken up with Mark making a lidded bowl. This was followed by a square dish, then a couple of natural edge vessels and finally Mark covered carving & embellishing turned items.

Given the location of the scout HQ and the fact there were no food outlets near it was decided to offer members pre-booked lunches. This turned out to be a great success, so our thanks go to Ruth for the Ploughman’s, Sarah for  the assorted cakes, Annie for the scones and Kath for making all the teas and coffees and assisting with all the serving and washing up.

The pictures and text below give a flavour of our day. Just click on any of the small images to bring up the bigger picture

Long before most members had arrived Mark was putting edges on his tools. This was done using a wooden face plate with some 180 grit paper on it, a very simple and portable grinder!

As members started to arrive several started to quiz Mark on his various tools.

The demo started with Mark explaining how he was actually going to mount this very large piece of ash between a steb centre and live centre in the tail stock!

Final adjustment to get the blank centred.

Turning begins on the outside of the bowl.

Throughout the day session Mark frequently took a diamond file from his pocket to put the edge back on his gouges.

The outside shape of the bowl just about complete now ready for...

..the decoration. Here Mark is using a beading tool to cut beads spaced equally leaving a bead width gap between each.

This was followed by Mark using a  parting tool on the previously left gaps between the beads.

The decoration complete Mark remounted the bowl on the previously made spigot and began using a straight coring tool to remove a section which would ultimately become the lid of the bowl.

This shows the base of the bowl with the lid section now removed.

During the morning tea break many members were keen to ask Mark questions on the work they'd seen so far.

Here you can see the pattern on the outside of the bowl achieved with the combination of beading & parting tools.

The cored out lid section.

After the tea break Mark starts work shaping the inside of the bowl.

Mark now working on the lid for the bowl.

The underside of the finished bowl.

The inside of the bowl clearly showing the undercut “ledge” where the lid will sit.

First item of day complete.

Mark quickly moved on to his second item of the day, a square dish with a difference! Working on the outside of the dish where the blur in the photo is the wings ready to catch the unwary fingers!!!

The dish now mounted on the spigot Mark works on shaping the inside of the dish.

With the lathe stopped the wings of the dish can clearly be seen. Here Mark is using a Proxxon mini carver to shape the wings, with one pair pointing upwards and the opposing pair downwards.

Top view of the dish.

Underside of the dish.

These are two types of sanding wheels that can be used to smooth surfaces once carved.

Third item of the day was going to be a natural edge bowl turned across the grain. Work begins shaping the outside.

The outside shape now nearly complete.

Piece remounted on the previously turned spigot to allow the inside to be turned.

The fourth item of the day and another natural edge bowl, this a different and more difficult shape.

The outside nearly finished and as can be seen a very different shape to the first bowl.

Here we see the two natural edge bowls. The one on the right was the first one turned and the one on the left the second.

For the penultimate item of the day Mark went over the various ways turned items can be embellished. Here he's showing a a previously turned bowl which has a grooved pattern carved up the side with a powered carver.

Here Mark is showing us a  mini spiralling tool and describing the techniques to use to get various patterns and how to line up one cut with a previously made cut.

Here we see the result of two spiral cuts where the correctly aligned second cut produces a diamond pattern.

This small bowl, the last of the day, was quickly turned by Mark to demonstrate three embellishing techniques. Here Mark is using a power carver to put equally spaced grooves round the top edge of the bowl.

Here Mark is using his Proxxon carve to form three feet from the bowl base.


Here you can see the feet.

Lastly Mark is using metal leaf to embellish the inside of the bowl.



This was a very successful demonstration which several members have said was the BEST they've seen since joining the club. A BIG thank you to Mark Baker.


Resources for the demo

*      Details of the Proxxon mini carver can be found here & here & here, other suppliers are available.

*      Details on mini spiralling tools can be found   here and here or here

*      The metal leaf used by Mark can be brought from Amazon (here) , but I'm sure it can be found from other sources.

*      Power carving tools here and here and Mark recommended Flexcut blades for power carving as they keep there edge better than most other blades.

Text and Story – Derek Atkins

Photos - Derek Atkins - David Woodward - John Osborn

March 2015