Monday 9 July 2018
Every Saturday, members of Sandon Woodturners Club – SWT – meet at their permanent club premises off Mayes Lane in Sandon, Essex. They enjoy demonstrations by professional, local and club turners. There are currently 58 active members who, for a single entrance fee, can attend the morning – 10am-12.30pm; afternoon – 2-4.30pm – or both sessions.
The club was formed in 2009 upon the retirement of Brian Pugh, who started and ran a woodturning and woodcarving club known as BHP Woodcraft. Brian's club started in 1994 and the same premises are now used by SWT. These demonstrations have been given by such respected turners as Bill Jones, who became the club's Patron from its inception, and Mark Baker who bravely accepted that position after Bill's death. Further illustrious names will be revealed by a visit to the galleries on the club website. There, too, will be found the future programme of demonstrations and events, as well as further useful information.
Sandon Woodturners have the best-equipped demo facility at their disposal and equipment includes two lathes – a Graduate, which has now been relegated to instructional use; and a JET 3520B – as well as the necessary ancillary equipment, including a bandsaw, drill press, sharpening facilities and much more.
To aid the members' appreciation of the skills of the turners an audio/visual system with multiple remote controlled cameras and four large-screen monitors enable detailed observation of the demo. A radio microphone system enables even the hard of hearing to keep up with the turner's commentary. Dust extraction and filtering, which is also remote controlled, keep the environment comfortable and this, coupled with the excellent tea/coffee bar together with the quality of demonstrators, possibly accounts for the high attendance figures regularly achieved.
Shop & library
During the mid-session breaks refreshments are usually followed by a visit to the compact, but well-stocked, shop to replenish consumables and select some pieces of timber. Very competitive prices make this a well-enjoyed facility.
A reference library, which contains an almost complete set of Woodturning magazines, is maintained and a collection of wood-related books, mainly donated by past and present members of the club, is a useful source of information and inspiration for our members.
The club, being keen to promote woodturning in general and Sandon Woodturners in particular, have taken stands at two local events. The Blackwater Show in June and the European Woodworking show at Cressing Temple Barns in September. At both these events demonstrations by members and local turners have attracted new members and provided a good day out for members and the public to enjoy. Please note – no demonstrations are made at Mayes Lane on show weekends.
On the social side – apart from the Saturday demos – members also enjoy a Christmas dinner, which is usually held in February to avoid bad weather.
Friendly, sociable members will make any visitors and new members welcome every Saturday – a trial visit is free – and an enjoyable and instructive day can be expected in the well-equipped and maintained environment.