Mahogany Thins

Picked these up for a quid each at Turners Retreat because the price looked ok.

They aren’t really suitable for turning much other than platters or very shallow bowls but they are excellent for practicing the removal of as little wood as possible to get the desired result.

Thin #1.

This went on the lathe a couple of weeks ago and I had no definite idea of where I wanted to take it. Very much a case of seeing ‘what the wood wants to do’.

So, after a few hours of turning, sanding, oiling, sealing and finishing I had the platter seen below.

But… it’s shocking.

Not the shape, I’m really pleased with that. It also feels nice to handle, the curves flow nicely, both to the touch and the eye.

The finish, however, is awful.  And it’s all down to not getting it right at the sanding stage.

So, it’s now a case of stripping back the wax and having at it again with the sandpaper.

Updates to follow.


Woodturning. The journey so far…

I’ve had a lathe for 6 or 7 years now, but until recently I’ve only really created woodshavings and dust.

A few exceptions do exist,  one of the first pieces I turned was a priest (not the clerical type, the ones used for dispatching fish to the afterlife) which found its way to a relative, but it was hardly an example of good turning.

Several handles for garden trowels have also been roughly shaped on the thing, along with a bowl turned from Sycamore which now sits on my bedside bookshelf and contains loose change of varying denominations.



Immediately after turning the above bowl, I obtained a Padauk blank, anchored it to the lathe and had a few sessions trying to get somewhere with it.
Now anyone who has used a wood lathe will be aware of what happens when you get a ‘catch’, and it can be bloody scary.  Following a couple of these on the padauk, I walked away, too scared to retry, and it remained untouched and unloved for the next 2 years.


During this hiatus, I watched numerous youtube videos, read books, investigated websites devoted to turning but nothing gave me the confidence to go back to the angry spinning thing that seemed intent on biting me whenever I gave it a chance.

Then, about 4 months ago, I discovered a chap on youtube called Martin Saban-Smith and something just clicked and I couldn’t wait to get back down in the shed.

Since then, several bowls have been turned including three that became Christmas presents. The Padauk bowl was one of these.


Turning is now far more pleasure than pain with ’30 minutes in the shed’ regularly becoming several hours.  2018 should be a productive year.

Having a tinker…

Focusing on the creative rather than the technical is something I struggle with, hence my existing site ( is a few lines of PHP and CSS rotating a handful of photos… technically ok but not very creative or engaging

So, I’m going to play around with this for a bit, as it takes the technical aspect away, and forces me out of my comfort zone…

Keep an eye out for updates,  you never know what may appear, though most likely it will be woodturning and photos…