Roger - Full Day Beginners Course
In April 2019 Roger from Derbyshire Dales Woodcraft Club had a full day beginners course covering tool sharpening, tool control, and the fundamentals of spindle and faceplate work. Following is his write up for the club newsletter "Woodworms"
A day's turning tuition with Rick Dobney
After seeing Rick's demo at the Club and having a birthday coming up, for which I had no idea what present I wanted, I booked a day's woodturning tuition at his workshop just outside Chesterfield.
I had done a course with Mick Hanbury in France, run by the owners of Craft Supplies, in 2013 but I had done so little turning since that I had got to the point where I was only confident to use a spindle roughing gouge, scrapers and a lot of Abranet.
Rick sent me a plan for the day which included a dibber and a honey dipper. Having a number of dibbers and no use for a honey dipper, which seems a waste of time and good honey, we agreed to do a rose vase. He was happy for me to take my Delta lathe, workmate, turning tools and sharpening system.
The tuition was due to run from 9 to 5 on a Sunday, but due to my Satnav overestimating the journey time I got there early, so by 9 it was all set up in his workshop. After listening to his demo I was well prepared with safety shoes, face mask and safety glasses. He showed me full face masks with battery drive ventilation but was happy for me to continue with the safety glasses I was used to.
We went on to sharpening and he set up my Robert Sorbey jigs and I sharpened all my gouges before we went on to setting up the lathe. He recommended using the Workmate with the footrest at the back, which allowed me to get closer than I was used to, and felt more comfortable. Having checked the lathe he was happy to go on to use of a roughing gouge to smooth a block of pine, including how to turn the gouge at 45° to produce a shearing cut giving a much smoother finish than the straight presentation. We went on to turning beads and coves until Rick was happy with my technique and then started on the rose vase, out of a piece of cherry wood, which was drilled and finished with Waxoil, before a glass insert fitted.
After a substantial lunch we went on to turning a bowl in sycamore.
This was started on a screw, using a plywood spacer to reduce the penetration into the blank. The major part of the wood was removed using a bowl gouge in scraping mode before finishing with a shear cut. After shaping, a chucking point and decorative rings were added in the base and Waxoil was applied again before the blank was reversed.
The session ended sometime after 5 and by the time photos of my with my new pieces had been taken in the garden and my car was loaded it was nearer to 6 when I finally left.It was a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding day. I left feeling confident that I could turn without continual jags and keep my tools sharp. Rick and his wife made me very welcome with coffee breaks throughout the day. I would recommend a course with Rick to anyone wanting to improve their technique with a professional turner, not too far from Ashbourne.
Rick Dobney Woodturning