Past Activities

2022 Oz Awards

Training Workshop with Gary Rance

Member Training Workshop Spindle/Faceplate Techniques-Candle Stick

Mark Douglas

I’d like to share my experience of the Spindle / Faceplate techniques day held at are our local club Crow Valley Woodturners.

The Tutor for the day was Gary Rance assisted by our club chairman Peter Bradwick.

The day started with a quick chat to get to know each other. Five of us where on the course, three members of our club and two that had travelled, one from Wiltshire and the other all the way from Yorkshire.

Gary started the day demonstrating spindle work using the roughing gouge on some square stock, then showing us cove and bead techniques using the spindle gouge and the skew. All the time sharing with us the methods and nuances he’s perfected through his entire working life as a professional turner. Like watching any craftsman at the top of their game Gary managed to make the work look effortless and with his easy-going teaching style eased us into trying his methods. With each one of us on a separate lathe Gary worked around us individually helping with our technique and showing us how to get the best from the tools. I definitely benefitted from this, just by small adjustments to the way I held the chisels and my stance at the lathe, I was finding cuts took a lot less effort and the finish I achieved was far better than my usual attempts.

After a short tea break Gary was back at the lathe demonstrating his face plate techniques. The standout part of this demonstration for me was watching Gary turn a series of beads using a spindle gouge, each bead perfectly spaced and identical to all the others, achieved with what appeared to be a simple technique. There was obviously a lot more to this than met the eye because what appeared to be simple I can’t even begin to describe, let alone copy!

After lunch we were each given a dimensioned drawing of a candle holder, and with the mornings practice under our belts it was then on with applying all we had learned. With the added concentration required of using newly acquired techniques and reproducing the parts from a dimensioned drawing this was probably the most challenging part of the day. Continually on hand with help and guidance Gary and Peter ensured we all had a very rewarding day.

If you’ve never been on one of these training courses before I can thoroughly recommend it, I think what makes turning so interesting is there always more to be learned. I would like to thank Gary and Peter and the AWGB for an excellent day.

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