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  • January 2023 Monthly Meeting Notes

    Key Facts Bob Wolfe demonstrated how to use Old Fashioned Milk Paint. 42 Members and guests were in attendance. 13 Members participated in the President's Challenge (27 items were on display). We also had a miniature made by Lee Chandler MSWG's first Lifetime Member - thank you to whoever brought Lee's Box in a Box (link to the photo. $70 in raffle tickets sold (thank you to those who brought items and wood for the raffle), Received $280 in membership dues at the meeting. As of 1/21/2023, we have 73 Paid or Lifetime Members (this is a record number for the first month of the year). 3 New members: Ross Lipscomb, Mark Manning, and Joe Rowell 3 Wig Stands were donated (2 Larry Sefton, 1 Kevin Pearson). Total program now stands at 67 wig stands completed. 2 MSWG logo patches were sold (see Treasurer if you want to buy MSWG Patches). $100 donation by a member. Instant Gallery - 8 members participated, and 30 items or group of items were on display. 9 Members raised their hand that they are planning to attend the TAW symposium in Franklin, TN. Several members stated they are planning to attend the virtual Meet the Woodturner: Live 2 - January 27th - 29th 2023. Rick Cannon is one of the demonstrators. Bob Wolfe referenced Kimberly Winkle's use of milk paint. Here is a link to examples of her art. Pens for Troops Sam Dawson stated MSWG shipped 190 pens in 2022. Sam is planning a Turn-In to make pens. Location will be Rick Stone's shop and there will be a morning and afternoon session. Date TBA. Three-Legged Stool with Milk Paint Finish - Possible Hands-On Bob Wolfe is planning to provide a summary document on his Three-Legged Stool with Milk Paint Finish demonstration. Bob also stated that if enough members are interested, he would lead a Hands-On Class on making three-legged stools. If held, he would supply the materials at a reasonable cost for those who attend. If interested, please send Bob Wolfe an email. Wig Stands for Cancer Joseph Voda stated that beginning with the January meeting, members submitting a turned and finished wig stand will receive a voucher for $5 for each wig stand. To redeem the voucher, just turn it in to the MSWG Treasurer. The vouchers can also be used to purchase raffle tickets, or they can be donated back to the club. (FYI/fine print - the voucher program has a budget of $500 and will be terminated when that budget is depleted.) Joseph is planning on offering free kits/wood to members willing to make wig stands. If interested contact Joseph. There will be a limited supply. Joseph also asked for wood donations for wig stands.

  • Instant Gallery Photos from Jan 21, 2023, MSWG Meeting

    Following are the photos of the MSWG Instant Gallery taken by Don Farage. To see who made the item(s) you will need to view on the MSWG website. There are two methods to view: or Click on the photos in the gallery below to enlarge. To see who made the item(s) you will need to view on the MSWG website. Below is the President's Challenge photo gallery. Click on the photos in the gallery below to enlarge, To see who made the item(s) you will need to view on the MSWG website. or

  • Allan Batty’s Woodturning Notes - Download for Free

    Every woodturner should have a copy of "Allan Batty Woodturning Notes" printed and handy in their shop for reference. Get yours by going to this link.

  • Congratulations to our Newest MSWG Lifetime Member - Joseph Voda

    At the December 2022 general meeting, President Bob Wolfe presented Joseph Voda with the MSWG Lifetime Membership Award for his long-time membership and dedication to the club. At the time of the award presentation, Joseph had served 110 months on the MSWG board: 35 months as Vice President, 24 months as Secretary, 24 months as Treasurer, and 27 as a board member at large. In addition, he has served 38 months as the Turners Talk editor. History shows that Joseph is outstanding at showing up when help is needed. Joseph was instrumental in the success of MSWG's Beads of Courage program. As the Beads of Courage program ended, Joseph recommended a new outreach program to takes its place called Wig Stand for Cancer Patients. Joseph is currently the Chairperson for our Wig Stand for Cancer Patients outreach program. Joseph's 2021-2022 term on the MSWG BoD has come to an end. However, in Joseph's normal style he volunteered to serve on the board for another two-year team (2023 and 2024) while also continuing as the Turners Talk editor. Next time you see Joseph, please thank him for his time and continued service to MSWG. Photos are of Bob Wolfe presenting the Lifetime Award to Joseph. Click on the photos to enlarge To see all MSWG Lifetime Members, select the following button.

  • Richard Raffan on Verdigris and Rust Finishes on Wood

    Do you need a refresher on how to put a rust finish on your woodturning? Well, I did! As you recall many of us were at Jeff Hornung's September 2022 MSWG demonstration that featured wood rust finishes. I was one of the members that purchased his kit but maybe, like you, have not used the kit. Richard Raffan to the rescue! He just published a YouTube video that is outstanding and his process for applying the finishes is different than what Jeff Hornung showed us. In my opinion, I like Richard's method better than what Jeff showed us September 2022. Here is Richard Raffan's video. Enjoy!

  • MSWG's Rick Cannon Doing an International IRD in January 2023

    MEET THE WOODTURNER LIVE 2 January 27-29, 2023 MSWG's Rick Cannon is one of the 21 woodturners who will be demonstrating during MTW Live 2. (For those who are planning to attend TAW, this is the same weekend as their 34th Woodturning Symposium.) The MTW ticket you purchase gives you access to ALL demonstrations and sessions plus access to recordings from the event for 30 days after the event closes. MTW Live 2 will be a great opportunity to learn techniques from woodturners around the world right from your own home. PLUS, you have 30 days after the event to watch the IRDs again and again. If you plan on attending MTW Live 2 please go to TICKETS and enter the coupon code of “rick” to receive a £5.00 reduction in price which also gives a financial bonus to Rick. Use code “rick” to save £5. Don't miss our own Rick Cannon during MTW Live 2 -- some examples of Rick's art can be seen below.

  • Woodturning Tips

    I was not able to be at the meeting to offer some of my tips because I was sick (not COVID, not flu). So, I will offer the tips to you in this blog posting. In reality you did not need to sit through my blah-blah-blah and explanations. However, you would have had an opportunity to ask me questions. Therefore, if you have any question(s), feel free to contact me by phone or via this email link: Tip One - Tape When making thin wall and certain other woodturnings, one difficulty is the wood drying unevenly during the turning process. The drying results in wood movement and many times stress cracks. Woodturners employ a variety of methods to control this drying and I have tried most of them (including tape). Long story short I had to substitute a different tape because my old tape was out of stock. So, I tried 3M Nexcare flexible clear tape. The Nexcare tape exceeded my expectations! It is flexible, stretchable, water resistant, almost clear, easy to cut/tear, and works great with laser guided hollowing systems (the red dot in photo below). The bonus is that the tape enhances the laser visibility. Bottom line: I will not be going back to my old tape. The photo shows the tape on a 3-inch thin wall turning (fresh sugar maple) being prepared for a pierced Christmas ornament. This tape tip has already been accepted for publication by AAW. Tip 2 - Mixing Small amount of Epoxy Consider using a disposable plastic spoon for both the mixing stick and container. Break the handle about an inch from the bowl. Add your epoxy to the spoon bowl and mix using the handle. The handle then becomes a great applicator for the epoxy. Tip 3 - Epoxy Cleanup Most of us have bottles of alcohol base hand sanitizer in our shops or at home. This hand sanitizer is great for removing un-cured epoxy from your hands and other surfaces. Do not us the hand sanitizer for thinning epoxy. As a reminder denatured alcohol is effective in thinning epoxy because it does not affect the physical properties of the substance. Tip 4 - Variable Speed Oscillating Multi-Tool If you do not own a Variable Speed Oscillating Multi-Tool, get one. They have a lot of uses in woodturning. I use mine for special and some detail sanding. It also works great for removing the nub on a woodturning. In many cases it works better than a saw when parting a woodturning still mounted on your lathe. Tip 5 - Forstner Bit as a Center Marker Tip 6 - More Tips Obtain a copy of AAW publication Tips & Tricks for the Woodturner. You can get a copy from Amazon or AAW. AAW publication Tips & Tricks for the Woodturner Or search Amazon for "Tips & Tricks for the Woodturner".

  • Put a Cork On It

    Any old corks lying around? I mean after you sniff them, now what? Here's a way to recycle them and maybe keep you from cutting yourself when traveling with your tools. I started using these rubbery left-overs a year or two ago for my dog grooming gear for shows with the Schnauzers. Really not fun to get poked by sharp scissor points when grabbing something from the tack box! Ouch! Sticking an old wine cork has greatly helped with that issue and helps prevent damage to the ends of the scissors. Does this transfer to the turning world? Maybe. Here's a shot of a series of tools in a roll up for travel. Not bad, but could be better! After carefully adding the corks to the sharp end of the tools, I think my odds of keeping my roll-up and my hands unscarred just improved :) Hopefully, this will help with your tools as well!!!

  • Wood Telescope by Don Farage

    Many of you may have missed the wood telescope from a recent MSWG instant gallery. Let us take a closer look. A refractor telescope is really just a tube to hold the primary lens and the eyepiece optics. Most of that support structure can be made of many types of materials including wood! The scope was made from all locally harvestable wood. Only a couple of the small knobs are made from any imported materials. The process started with a primary lens from the Lens Surplus store. It's actually a recycled projector optic. The key criteria for the design was the base diameter and the focal length of the lens. This on is 100mm in diameter and has a focal length of 450 mm. That translates to an f/4.5 telescope for those that want to know. The photo to the right is a test of lens to be sure of the actual focal length. All the tube and focus unit lengths are based on the distance from the primary lens to the focal plane (focal length). The next piece is the focuser. A typical focus unit is a Crayford style unit. Essentially, a tube with a rod under it to roll it in an out. I did add bearings to make it more solid and roll easier. Adding the tensioner to pull the focus knob rod onto the tube is the next part. That part was dovetailed together and a dovetail was cut into the body of the focus unit to allow this piece to be tightened by the top knob. Add the knobs on the end of the tube to hold the eyepieces and tada, a focuser. So now we need to attach the primary to the focus unit to have a telescope. The tube is made from poplar and birds mouth jointed together. The temporary piece at the bottom has an inside disk to help hold the pieces for fitting and gluing. Once the glue dried, a simple mandrel was used to mount and turn the recess for the lens cell. Note the band clamps. They were used to insure that the tube did not come apart during turning. The clamps were moved around to allow access to the tube in sections for turning. Next a small plate was made to hold the focuser tenon and tube together securely. The primary lens cell is ready to insert into the tube and is held with in place with a ring and screws. The same ring will be used to attach the dew shield. Segmented turning anyone? Poplar and Black Walnut were cut and glued to make the dew shield. Here's a pic after turning the dew shield. All that's left is to add a rail on the bottom to connect the scope to the mount. Adding a simple lens cap to keep dust out. This scope has already been out for use at several Memphis Astronomical Society events here in Memphis. Surprisingly the view are comparable to commercially made scopes! The design allows for a camera to be attached in-place of the eyepiece. I'll add some images below. I hope this inspires you to create a project of your own like this or something totally different. Get out there and go for it! Actual photos with a Canon 60D. No tracking and no special settings. Here's the moon a few nights before the full eclipse. Here's Jupiter and it's moons. The lens is intended for wide field observing so no surprise the photos is grainy. More to come when we get to a darker sky sight...not the front driveway in Bartlett ;)

  • Woodturning Shop and Other Tools for Sale

    Marlan Phillips, a former MSWG member, is liquidating his woodturning shop and other tools due to health. If interested, please contact his wife Darlene: Darlene Phillips 3913 Towering Oaks Dr. Jonesboro AR 72404 Home Phone: 870-972-0626 Cell Phone (also for text messages): 901-992-6740 Email:

  • Turn-In and Burn-In October 15, 2022

    When: October 15, 2022, starting at 9am and ending around 12:30 Location: W.J. Freeman Park Pavilion, 2629 Bartlett Blvd, Bartlett, TN 38134 Food and Drink: This is a bring-your-own event. Better yet, bring extra and share. There will be plenty of tables. There will be electricity so you can even bring your toaster oven and cook fresh biscuits or bring an electric coffee pot. YOU WILL WANT TO BRING A COMFORTABLE CHAIR. Turn-In: We will have two lathes for you turn something small of your choice. You will need to bring your own ideas, wood, tools, and PPE (personal protective equipment). The club's sharpening station will be there if you need help with sharpening. OR you can use some of the club's provide baseball billet cutoffs and test your skill at making tops. Who knows - if you make a top and bring it to the October 21, club meeting, it will win the spin off in this month's presidents challenge. The following video is a great top you may want to try and duplicate. Burn-In: we are asking members to also bring their pyrography equipment and do a Show and Tell of their equipment and methods. Why attend: This type of activity and Show and Tell creates a lot of smoke. Therefore, it is best to do outside. For example, Rick Cannon does much of his pyrography outside and not in his shop. Also, the plan is to let you observe and test out some of the equipment. Suggestion: Bring an extra piece of dry wood to use as a test surface for burning. You could get sample burns from each demonstrator or reference. Pyrography Safety Reminder: The main concerns when doing pyrography are protecting yourself from toxic fumes and sawdust, preventing burns from heat tools, and of course, being wary of the general fire hazard of putting heat to wood. Your Help Needed: For this to be a success, we need all members that are experienced at doing pyrography to bring their equipment along with your PPE. There should be plenty of power outlets, but you will need an extension cord. Then find a table and start doing your Show and Tell. Members then can go from table to table and learn. WOW - just think what we will learn from each other. If you are planning to bring your pyrography equipment, please confirm by emailing Larry Sefton using the button/link below. Also please bring an extension cord and small fan if you use one.

  • Successful 2022 Pink Palace Craft Fair for MSWG

    Measuring success: Sales were very good with most selling members pleased and stating they would back with more merchandise next year. I personally made about $400 more than I expected, and my total will pay for my used Oneway lathe. There were 14 club members selling. All club members and in some cases their wives appeared to have fun. The biggest complaints I heard were sore muscles from more use than normal. Several of us enjoyed hearing one retired member telling, "and a young woman gave me a nice big hug". The person talking was 91 years old. Way to go Ray Tanner! MSWG's demonstration and FREE tops were once again as successful as past years. Channel 24 on Friday recorded several minutes of video because of all the activity and wood chips. Many visitors told us "You have the best booth". There was another success that cannot be overlooked. Rick Cannon was sitting at the end of a table doing pyrography. He appeared to always have a couple people looking over his shoulder or sitting to watch and ask questions. For anyone that wanted their name on a wood tongue depressor, he would burn it on along with a hole in the end for a string. At times he had several children in line waiting their turn. A feel-good story. On Saturday a young lady named "Chesney" and her mother came by the top making lathe. Chesney told us that when she was a child, she came to the Pink Place Craft Fair every year and each year she got a MSWG top and that she still had the collection at home. On Sunday she came back to show us her top collection (see photo below). How cool is that! We took a video of Chesney spinning her tops (and more photos), but they are not on this blog because . . . after seeing them, a representative from the Pink Place stated they would like to use them.

  • MSWG is Open for Business at the 2022 Pink Place Craft Fair

    Come and join us. These photos were taken today 9/23/2022. It is not too late to come and help in the booth or be a demonstrator. If you are working the booth or demonstrating and need a pass to get in, please contact Bob Wolfe (901) 277-8622 or Avi Pelc 612-817-1470. Someone will meet you in the parking lot or at the vendor’s gate. These are not free passes just to get in. They are for those helping in the booth(s). If you only want to attend the event, you will need to buy your admission ticket at the entrance.

  • Jeff Hornung's MSWG Demonstration on Saturday September 17, 2022

    In case you missed one of Jeff's best recommendations: get the book Understanding Wood Finishing, 3rd Revised Edition: How to Select and Apply the Right Finish (Fox Chapel Publishing) Practical & Comprehensive; 350 Photos, 40 Reference Tables & Troubleshooting Guides Paperback – March 2, 2021. It sells for $20, and I gave it 5 stars on Amazon. Jeff's talk on finishes in my opinion was the Cliff Notes of this book. We had a record attendance of 38 for the morning half (attendance since the startup of meeting in person due to Covid -19). We also had a record after-lunch attendance of 23. We are pleased to say these are similar to attendance seen pre-Covid. Jeff presented a lot of materials and idea. We do not typically record professional demonstrations. Therefore, if you forgot a point or have questions, please email your question to use using the link below and we will do our best to get you the answer. We took a lot of photos and have very good notes. We also can contact Jeff. Below is a link to Jeff's website and he is giving MSWG members a $10% discount for a short period of time. (Be patient his website for some reason is very slow to load).

  • MSWG's Skip Wilbur Interviewed on Bluff City Life

    Skip did is usual great talk about MSWG, AAW and woodturning. Thanks, Skip for representing MSWG! After watching the 9-minute video below please text, email, or call Skip and tell him how great he did.

  • September MSWG Meeting Demonstrator - Jeff Hornung

    September 17, 2022, start at 9am and ending around 3:30pm Location - Bartlett Station Municipal Center 5868 Stage Rd, Bartlett, TN 38134, USA About Jeff Hornung Jeff began his artistic foundation in 1984, as a ceramics maker, and this morphed into a 24-year career as a floral designer. Following an auto accident and suffering from post-concussive syndrome, he attended the Folk School on a much-needed vacation. Woodturning was the class Jeff chose, and somehow that not only began the healing process his brain needed but also ended up launching his very own woodturning business. Since that first class, he has become a juried artist, national and international demonstrator, author, woodturning teacher, and Artist-in-Residence at the Craft Alliance School of Art + Design in St. Louis, Missouri.

  • Congratulations to Jonathan Marrero

    Most MSWG club members know our youth member Jonathan. Next time you see him make sure you congratulate him on his ribbons in the Advanced Wood Crafting Division of the Wood Category at the Delta Fair. Below are photos of his award-winning woodturnings that can be enlarged for more detailed viewing.

  • Rick Stone is Making 37 Replacement Stairway Spindles

    Bob Wolfe found out that Rick Stone was turning 37 poplar replacement stairway spindles and suggested that we (as in Larry Sefton) video record the process. So, on short notice Larry grabbed a webcam (a HD video camera would have been preferred) and head off to Rick Stone's workshop. Following is the video for your learning and enjoyment of Rick completing start to finish one spindle. Most impressive is that there was NO editing of the video from the time the poplar blank was loaded on the lathe until completed. You will see the complete process in real time. Text and some photos were added to clarify. Again, there are no cuts or do-overs.

  • Great Instant Gallery at the August 20, 2022, Meeting

    MSWG tried something new at the August meeting and moved the instant gallery from the meeting room to the lobby area. Based on comments by members in attendance (all positive), photos taken, and general observations, the new location appeared to have been a success. If you liked the new location, click on the heart at the bottom of this blog post. If you did not like the new location, send an email to Thank You to Don Farage for taking great photos. You can see so much detail in these awesome photos. Select the following link to see all of the instant gallery photos on the website. As a reminder, all photos can be downloaded in high resolution to your device. Just use the underlined arrow (typically in the lower left corner). Members enjoying the instant gallery.

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