Coffee Hour #81: December 16, 2021

Malcolm Zander presented an amazing discussion on piercing and paid a special tribute to Binh Pho (Binh Pho – Critically Acclaimed Artist). Due to content restrictions, this Coffee Hour could not be recorded for public viewing. We strongly recommend you see Malcolm’s work at his site Malcolm Zander | Artist.

Coffee Hour #82: December 23, 2021
Coffee Hour #83, December 30: 2021
The whole Coffee Hour
Kai’s section on spinning tops

Gerry’s Nativity, Smokers & Nutcrackers
Coffee Hour #84: January 6, 2022
Coffee Hour #85: January 13, 2022
Coffee Hour #86: January 20, 2022 – A Tribute to Stephen Hogbin

We lost a truly great one last week on January 13, 2022: the Canadian wood artist and educator Stephen Hogbin passed away at age 79, in Owen Sound ON Canada where he lived. During the 1970s, Stephen flashed on the design opportunities in the cross-section of the turning and he began cutting and reassembling bowl forms in ways no one had seen before. He continued to produce visually startling turnings, furniture, sculpture, stairways, and complete interiors, always new ideas and often colorful. His long career included teaching at Sheridan College near Toronto and a seminal fellowship in Australia. In 2006 the AAW awarded him its first-lifetime professional achievement award and exhibition. In 2015 Stephen closed his own workshops to focus on Intersections Gallery and Wood Studio in Owen Sound.

This week’s Coffee Hour was dedicated to the life and contributions of an outstandingly creative individual who had a huge impact on the art of woodturning.

Enjoy this video of the Coffee Hour, and please leave your thoughts on how Stephen impacted your turning in our Guest Book, accessible from the Home page.

Coffee Hour #87: January 27, 2022
The whole hour
Bert Delisle spool knitter project for kids
Kai Koethe powered respirators for workshop dust safety
General discussion- making thin parting tools and scrapers from old planer blades
Jim Duxbury striped blanks of contrasting wood for turning, with many workshop tips
Coffee Hour #88: February 3, 2022
The Full Hour
Coffee Hour #89: February 10, 2022
The whole hour
Barry’s bandsaw circle jig
Speaking about bandsaw safety
Urning your keep in the shop: Cremation Urn discussion burns up the hour!
Coffee Hour #90: February 17, 2022: Steve Loar

Lancaster Woodturners:

That was a very enjoyable hour with you. Good questions and insights, Steve Loar

If you would like to see more samples of my work, visit Or Google search “Steve Loar” + wood or artist.          

You can always contact me at

 >>>I misspoke about turning plastics. My mind went to a particular pencil holder and not the others. So, here’s some of my experiences:

·      Acrylic can reach a harmonic frequency and shatter into Obsidian-sharp shrapnel. It’s best to take short cuts, let it settle, do it again. I use the very tip of a diamond point scraper. The more plastic that is in contact with the scraping – the more careful and delicate you need to be. Cutting tools are a no, and I have never used a negative rake scraper, so I don’t know. 

·      Corian is a dream, as is Fountainhead – both softer solid surface materials. There’s probably more, now. Look into sink cut-outs. Corian = solid light colors, and the soft solid surfaces can easily mimic marble. 

·      The black dots are “Delrin.” A relatively soft stabile plastic that I could only find in rods. It was inserted into holes that were drilled into a “ledge” as part of the initial shaping.  It is infamous as being the thousands of “Ebony” dots in a famous Wendell Castle folding desk. 

·      The gray was something I found labeled “swimming pool liner” and quite soft – but gray.

·      The waste pieces from the thousands of pens might be precision turned to fit into holes…..

·      **Learn how to buff plastics.

·      FACT: Wood expands and plastic doesn’t. So no glue between them. I use a central dowel or tenon so everything is aligned but can move independently – no glue seam = super clean interfaces.

·      If you want to see the premier samples of work using Lexan and Baltic Birch plywood BONDED TOGETHER, look up Virginia Dotson. I have two gifted pieces of hers where the bod delaminated. I understand very little of her process.

·      Remember: Wood moves, plastics don’t (at least not very much).

·      For the central dowel or tenon I do not use wood, even in a dowel post, because… wood expands. All of my pieces are joined using commonly-available threaded rod “All Thread”. This gives me a precise diameter for alignment and offers grip for the epoxy that a smooth rod will not.

·      Tip: Drill the holes in your wood, then INside the wood shafts create some divots, grooves, or degressions. It doesn’t matter much what, since you’re just making depressions for the epoxy to grip in so it will never ever pull out (even with wood shrinkage). Be sure to leave the drilled edge intact and enough of the shaft intact to allow the rod to align.

·      Tip: When using a hack-saw to cut rod, put the saw upside down with it’s back frame in a vise. Now you can control the rod as you stroke it back & forth on the blade.

·      ** Most pieces using plastic are turned and finished with the loose gap between them (no glue & paper). You might cut some nails and press them between the surfaces to keep things in alignment, then remove before assembly. Once the object has finished true dimensions, you can turn the plastic to fit or align however you want – 

·      … except when PERFECTLY aligned with the surface (which was the way I answered the question, re: the dome shaped pencil holder) (PS the maroon is paint, in that piece). When plastic is to be aligned, you’ll need a wood with a very low expansion ratio, assemble all, then after turning, you will need to tape off your wood to allow for the buffing of the plastic portion. 

·      If the plastic (or wood) layer(s) are on an angle, you will need to create a wood insert exactly the thickness of what the plastic will be. This insert is loose but very necessary for the surface of the object to have a seamless continuity