Ken Allen 8 May 2008

This was the first time I had seen Ken Allen so I didn’t know what to expect eitherSee Ken's Photos in the way of what he is like as a person or what sort of turning he does. I was not disappointed as he turned two quite different and very interesting projects.

The first item was a stand for a pewter and glass oil burner, made in ash with an inverted stem. He started by making the stem and, as with all inverted turning, he had four pieces of wood approximately 1¼” square and about 7” long glued together with paper between them and a piece of plywood nailed to each end. He started by marking off an inch at each end then he used a ¼” bowl gouge to turn the shape which consisted of a cove at each end with a large bead in the middle. He didn’t turn it to a cylinder first and when he had finished he still had some flat spots on the middle of the big bead. He then separated the four pieces, taking care to mark them first, and turned them round by 180˚. As he didn’t have time to glue the pieces together and wait for them to dry, in true ‘Blue Peter’ style he produced one he had made earlier, which once again had a piece of plywood nailed to each end. He turned this into a rough cylinder and then turned the shape which was now two beads with a cove in the centre. Having decided which end was to be the top of the stand he made the upper bead a little smaller than the lower one. He also turned a spigot on each end, which included the pieces of plywood he had nailed on.

After the break Ken turned a base for the stand, using a small turning blank. He turned the edge so it sloped nicely up to the base of the stand and put a recess in the top to take the spigot on the base of the stand. He then did a similar thing for the top but this time he turned a recess in the underneath to take the spigot on the top of the stand and another one on the top to take the pewter candle holder. This was a lovely item and one of our members, Tim, was lucky enough to win it in the raffle.

Ken finished the evening by turning a natural edged bowl from a half a log of yew which measured approximately 5” long by 2½” wide. He started by drilling a hole in the flat side (middle of the log) which he used to mount it on a screw chuck. He turned the outside of a round bowl with a spigot on the base and flattened the underneath of the outer pieces to make long wings. He then mounted it in the jaws of the chuck, using the spigot and turned the inside of the bowl with a lip which stood above the wings and flattened the upper edges of the wings. Finally he turned it round again and mounted it back on the lathe, using a piece of router matting to hold it against the jaws and the tail stock to hold it steady. He then tidied up the base.

Ken’s ready wit and typical Brummie humour, together with his very interesting turning ensured that an excellent evening was enjoyed by us all.

Lorrie FlanneryTop of Page

SWC Club Member