November 2023 Meeting

November 15, 2023

November skies, no snow, warm night, the rumour that Duncan Birch was doing a demo on vacuum chucks….Something stimulated nearly 40 members to head out to Walter Murray High School for the regular meeting.

A few business items were discussed and then Duncan did a great demo on vacuum chucks.


Duncan Birch give us his take on vacuum chucks.

Duncan uses an air compressor and attaches his hose to the intake side and passes it through some control valves and an air filter. He then built an inexpensive bearing attachment to connect the vacuum hose to the headstock spindle to prevent spinning the hose into a big mess when the lathe is turned on.

A vacuum gage shows he can pull about 24 (units are in/Hg) or inches of mercury.

Here is the bearing assembly attached to the hand wheel so when the wheel spins the bearing turns around the hose. The fittings for the hose to the bearing need to be sealed to prevent air leaking.

One of the ingenious inventions that Duncan uses are home made vacuum chucks that can be made in any size. Plastic pipe can be cut into disks, attached to turned wooden bases and topped with soft closed cell material available at place like the Dollar Store.

Here you can see a faceplate used to attach the chuck to the headstock threads.

Duncan showing the closed cell foam disc that connects with the wooden object you are turning.

The setup is now ready to accept the bowl or whatever piece you are attaching to the vacuum chuck.

An alternative, less expensive and just as effective way to connect the chuck to the headsock threads is to purchase a tap of the same threads as your lathe and use this rather than purchasing a new faceplate for each vacuum chuck you want to make.

Duncan has turned on the vacuum, attached a small wooden plate and is turning away the foot. You can see that the plate is firmly held without the tailstock needed to hold it in place.

Thanks Duncan for a useful and well presented demo.


Show and Tell

Trent Watts showed some pieces made from a Birch log a friend cut after a fire destroyed a cabin on a northern lake this summer.

Randy Sawchyn made a lovely bowl out of a beautiful piece of Manitoba Maple.

Dean Weldon had two pieces, a Basket Illusion bowl and a creative dish to capture the change in your pocket.

Jay Scott turned a beautiful Elm vase and finished it with paints.

Vic Schapansky made a ‘Plethora of Snow People’ for the upcoming Food Bank Fundraiser.

Paul Schroeder used lots of talent and time to create beautiful segmented hanging ornaments.

Richard Kent made some pepper mills out of Ebonized Oak, white Oak and Rosewood. The rolling pin is made from Maple.

Brian Guillemin made some snowmen, a very furry gnome from Birch and a bowl out of Applewood.

Mark Noete used Birch to make this pierced rim bowl.


The door prize draw finished off the meeting.

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