Gulf Coast Woodturners Association



Club Information




September 2013 Meeting Gallery

For September's meeting, GCWA dispensed with Show & Tell and (gasp) even the Raffle to enjoy demonstrations by noted turner Jimmy Clewes.  With the exception of a short break for lunch, Jimmy demonstrated from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.   GCWA members had additional opportunities to benefit from Jimmy's knowledge and skills as he also conducted hands-on classes the day before the demo and three days after his demonstration.

Demonstration: Turning a color-enhanced platter

Jimmy Clewes is an affable and lively demonstrator who maintains a constant banter with the audience.

As a testimony of Jimmy's teaching skills, participants from his previous day hands-on class brought along their finished turnings for GCWA members to enjoy . . . or was it to "envy?!"

Not to disappoint those who were unable to participate in the hands-on class, Jimmy demonstrated the same learning experience--a color enhanced platter--for all to learn from.

Another hands-on finished project from the previous day's class.

GCWA 's audio-visual equipment allows everyone, to have a good view.

 Notice the RPM setting on the lathe in the above picture. Jimmy emphasized that he turns at a rather high rotation speed and that can be dangerous for inexperienced turners.

He emphasized that turning a high RPM should be tempered by the condition of the wood, how the piece is attached to the lathe, and the skill level and confidence of the turner.  In other words, it's not for everyone.

Jimmy began by turning a recess for the chuck when the piece was eventually reversed. Notice the pencil lines that represent guide marks dividing the two areas at 2/3rds and 1/3.

His easy-going style kept members attentive.

Jimmy quickly removed the wood between the marks and then re-marked the piece for the next curve--the reverse of the first one

Jimmy works very quickly--a hallmark of a confident turner.


Notice again the RPM setting.  Jimmy increased and decreased the spindle speed as necessary. The 12" piece was really spinning!


Here's a better view of the two curves.

After an application of l
acquer sanding sealer diluted with lacquer thinner, (two coats on the end grain), Jimmy gave the piece a thorough sanding . . .

. . . and then raised the grain (see first picture in the panel below), sanded again and applied a coat of  oil.


Jimmy reversed the piece and, again, marked where he wanted to start and stop his curve.

After creating the curve, he gave the piece another quick sanding.

Then (and don't try this at home) Jimmy sprayed alcohol on the sanded area and set it on fire to quickly raise the grain.  Then he sanded again. Jimmy recommends using a spray of water to raise the grain for non-professional turners.

He sanded again and when he was satisfied with the finish, he began applying color.

Jimmy uses  alcohol-based colors that dry quickly which allows him to move quickly to the next step.

Another sanding.


Jimmy then applied green  over the blue blending them as he went.  Then, he used a black magic marker to delineate the edge.

To protect the newly colored surface, he sprayed it with a clear lacquer finish.


Jimmy quickly cut the platter's bowl, above, and in the next picture.


Jimmy usually uses rubbing compound and wax to finish the colored surfaces of his pieces, but for this demo, he simply wiped on a coat of oil.

Needless to say, everyone paid attention!

Ta-da!  The finished demonstration piece.

Another view.

And another.


Jimmy answered any and all questions.

GCWA president, Don Fluker, was obviously pleased to have Jimmy Clewes share his knowledge with members.

More questions . . . and more answers.


Demonstration: Goblet

Jimmy's next demonstration was a simple goblet . . . simple for Jimmy, that is.

As with the platter, Jimmy worked quickly using a very high spindle speed.


After creating the goblet bowl, he sanded it before moving on to the stem.

Then he worked on the stem.

While working quickly, Jimmy was careful not to remove too much material too quickly in creating the stem.

As he reached the bottom of the stem, he began to create a captive ring.

Here the ring is free . . .

. . .  and it rotated freely on the stem while the base was turned and parted of the blank.

Fit for a King!! 


 candid photography by Ric Taylor and Dale Barrack