Martin Pidgen
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Martin Pidgen

Martin demonstrated for us in October 2015 and again in October 2016. On both occasions he showed us items he normally makes in the course of his professional work. On his latest visit much banter took place as most of the members present had forgotten what Martin had shown us the year before.

It was interesting to watch Martin’s tool control, how he was able to obtain a good finish from the tools with only a minimum of sanding needed. Sometime only needing a finish with bronze wool, similar to but gentler than steel wool. On the point of sanding he recommended avoiding very coarse grid as this would inevitably require more sanding with finer grids to remove the scratches from the coarser grids. You should try to get a good finish from the gouges in the first place.

In order to avoid marking the wood with the gouges Martin always uses short convex bevels, as long straight bevels often leave marks  from the heel of the bevel.  Apart from the bowl gouges Martin also used a chisel (similar to a skew chisel) where the cutting edge is straight across rather than skewed. This also had a pronounced convex bevel.

Another tool used was the bead forming tool. Martin emphasized the importance of lowering the handle during use to present the cutting edge at the best angle for getting a clean cut. Regarding shapes Martin was anxious to make sure that all curves flowed.

The photos show most of the items Martin made, notably the diamond bowl made from the block of wood shown on one of the photos. He told us about the pepper mill, which apparently has sold very well without any customer complaints. It was agreed that we should buy some for our club shop as several people showed an interest. The photo showing the base of the wine bottle coaster indicates how you can get away with a very shallow recess for mounting on a chuck. You can do this if you ensure the chuck jaws are accurately aligned.

A platter made in 2015

Coaster for wine bottle

Diamond bowl

Pepper mill

Bottle stopper

Light pulls

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