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MSWG Newsletter - May 2020


Good folks of MSWG,

This upcoming Saturday the 23rd of May will be our 3rd month and 2nd meeting since we were last able to gather. I hope that all our members still have their health and all their families are well. We have been offering opportunities, in our club and neighboring clubs, to use the Zoom demos that we all have worked to bring to help keep the club motivated and functioning.

To that end, we bring you, live from Ireland, an absolutely wonderful and personable woodturner, Glenn Lucas. Glenn will be demonstrating his Dublin Viking Bowl which is styled after an ancient bowl unearthed several years ago in his home country.

Glenn is a production woodturner and when I visited a few years ago, he and one other gentleman working with him had prepared 145 bowl blanks that would produce 3 nested bowls each and a center core.

Being too small for his needs, he sold or gave away the cores to local craftsmen. The amazing thing about it is each Bowl blank was finished with only three cuts. Talk about minimizing wasted movements!

Glenn has a three-yard dumpster near his main lathe and he and his coworker direct most of the wood shavings into the “bin” while turning, making less shavings to clean up. He has an arrangement with a local farmer or rancher who uses the shavings as bedding for his animals. I believe the largest of the set of nested bowls is 16” and all are made from locally harvested woods, Ash and Birch. We can’t wait to see his demonstration and I have not heard of anyone yet seeing his Zoom demo, so we are in for a treat.

Next month, June 27th, we have scheduled a well-known turner, Lyle Jamieson, to do a Zoom session for us. Lyle is well known to any who have attended woodturning symposiums in the Mid-South area, for his hollowing systems. Lyle is also a very knowledgeable and capable turner. On July 25th, we have rescheduled a wonderful turner, Trent Bosch to do a Zoom demonstration for our club. Trent, who was scheduled to do our March demo, but was bumped, does some amazing work with hollow forms and has done a great job in every demo I have seen him work. He is a frequently used turner on the AAW circuit, and we are blessed to be able to have him.

Joseph Voda ran by the Bartlett Station Municipal Center this week and spoke with the facility manager, Cynthia Black. The facility currently is only open to gatherings of church services for assemblies of 30 people or less, so we will not be able to meet until all restrictions are lifted or relaxed and the “all clear” has been signaled for us to gather once again.

We had originally specified a bottom hollowed vessel as a President’s Challenge for the club but since that challenge was made, we have not been able to meet. Joseph Voda actually came up with a great idea and that would be to have our club members enter a written piece to go onto the blog on our website. If you haven’t looked lately at our new, improved website, we are running an ongoing blog to keep everyone current to the workings of our club. For the articles, we encourage everyone to describe a piece they are working on, how they are dealing with the seclusion we are enduring, describe what is going on in your shop. The board will look at the entries and the top four, we will award a $25.00 gift certificate. If you like to write or have a great project you would love to put to pen, please join us in sharing your experiences.

I am spending more and more time in the shop lately and I am constantly looking at ways to improve how my shop works. Does everything flow when I am working on a project? Am I constantly shifting materials around to achieve a clean working surface? Is the area easy to service and clean? There are so many questions you can ask yourself that will help you perform normal tasks and be more productive in your work. Take the time to evaluate your work area and make the necessary improvements to help you work smarter and safer while you have the time.

As always, I look forward to when we can meet again.

Mike Maffitt


Pandemic Pandmonium!

By: Joseph Voda

Hello Fellow Guild-ians!

I realize I am not alone in saying, "Having never experienced a pandemic before, I did not anticipate the interruption it would have on Daily life." Specifically, I refer to my confusion over what to do with my duty as editor of our monthly newsletters. With no opportunity to physically meet, I lost the input of data which I counted on to create the publication. Adding to this confusion was the problem we simultaneously experienced with the Guild website.

Luckily, we have Mike Maffitt as our webmaster, and he came up with a solution for returning our presence on the ethernet! Still, that did not resolve my confusion of what to do about the newsletter. Earlier this week, as I stared at the website, I realized that maybe the position of "Newsletter Editor" should evolve into "Blog Editor". So, I put this concept to Mike and his response was, "Well, Duh!" That resolved part of my confusion, but where am I to get the content I had grown accustomed to receiving?

Then it hit me - "YOU GUYS!"

I am certain that each of you have been working diligently in your shops, so you must have a plethora of new techniques, tools acquired (or made) and/or completed turned pieces you can no longer wait to share with us. That being the case, please start by creating a list of all the subjects you can share with us, then write a short account about each one. Email word, or text file, documents and supporting images to me; and our newsletter will be back - just in a new form! Do the same with your best quality images of finished pieces and I will create the Instant Gallery we have come to know and love.

Lastly and pertaining to my other duty as Secretary, each of you need to log onto the Members Only page of the website and review your entry on the Roster Directory. Please email me with corrections of any mistakes in, or changes to, your personal data, and send me a headshot to add to your entry. I can't wait to find out how each of you have occupied your quarantine!


Concrete Garden Lantern

By: Larry Sefton

(Ed.: This is the first entry of the articles requested above.)

(This is not my photo but the inspiration for my design. To the best of my knowledge this is not a copyrighted design and you can find several of these on the internet including

Over three months ago I was considering buying a couple of oriental-style concrete garden lanterns. No one in the area had anything I liked so I went online. The design I liked can be seen in the attached photo. When I looked at the price ($720 dollars) I had my answer – I have the knowledge, time, skill, and equipment to make my own. So, the process began

After a considerable number of sketches, my design called for seven molds for the concrete sections and approximately four 80 lb. bags of concrete. Each of the molds would require all or parts of the molds to made on the lathe.

The base material for all of the molds is 1-inch MDF laminated together with contact cement (each surface requires two coats). In some cases, some layers are also screwed together. Before gluing, the MDF was cut to size using a variety of saws. The photo shows the glue-up for making what I call the cap casting. I could have gotten by without the two bottom 1-inch layers of MDF but at the time of making the glue-up that was not known. But knowing that fact sure would have helped by reducing the mold’s weight.

In these two photos you see the blank for the lantern’s cap mounted on the lathe (photo 1) with the outside diameter turned to finished size (photo 2).

NOTE: When I machined and sanded the MDF I used a dust collection system, a full-face-supplied-air mask, with all exposed skin protected from the dust.

After machining, the next step was to waterproof and prep the MDF surfaces so that (1) the mold release and concrete would not destroy the mold and (2) to make the mold reusable. To do this I used two coats of West System Epoxy with slow hardener. Two of the finished molds can be seen in the photo.

PROCESS NOTE: to prevent the epoxy from pooling in the bottom on the bowl shape I applied the epoxy while the mold was on the lathe; then ran the lathe at its slowest speed for three hours until the epoxy had time to set up.

The next step was to cast the concrete. I used chainsaw bar oil as the mold release agent. The concrete I chose is Crack Resistant High Strength Concrete Mix with fiber reinforcing (Lowe’s). This is a slow setting concrete and it needs to wait 48 hours before de-molding. Based on my preliminary first casting, these molds will last for many castings.

Process reminder: in cool weather, trying to demold after an 18 hour wait resulted in a cracked casting and having to remold with a full wait of 48 hours. Do not get in a rush!

At the time of this writing several parts are still in the curing process. This photo shows my first lantern as a work in progress. It still needs several steps including the cap section, sanding/grinding, mortar work, and lighting. I may use concrete stain and a topcoat of General Finishes High Performance (yes, GFHP works very well on smooth concrete because I have used it in the past).

Next month, if all goes according to plan, I will share photos of one or more of the finished lanterns.

In the meantime, if you have questions about the process please email them to me and I will attempt to answer. Depending on the questions, I may also include those answers in the next newsletter.


FSBO - For Sale By Owner

From: Our Members

Since the COVID-19 quarantine seriously interrupted our social meetings, we were deprived of our annual Spring Tool Sale. As a resolution to this, I thought we could use a new section in the Newsletter titled as above: "FSBO - For Sale By Owner".

To get it started, I have the following items available.. Please contact me directly.

Joseph Voda


1) 8" Slow Speed Grinder - $90

* 5/8" arbor, 1/2 hp, 1750 rpm, 120 v,

* 2 aluminum oxide wheels, 1 each - 60 & 120 grit, 1" wide

2) 5" SKIL Grinder - $40

* 1/2" arbor, 1/5 hp, 3450 rpm, 120v

* 2 aluminum oxide wheels, 1 each - 60 & 120 grit, 1/2" wide





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1 Comment

Unknown member
May 23, 2020

I think the newsletter is as good as it usually is. BUT, some of the images are "out of focus". (Like the cover page with Joes platter, the mentors page, and the sponsors page)

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