An Evening with Steve Heeley

An Evening with Steve Heeley – February 2017

We were pleased to welcome back Steve Heeley to the new club house.

Steve’s project for the evening was a candlestick that incorporated some texturing to enhance the design. Steve started the evening by saying that ‘everyone turns in their own way’ and that this evening he was doing it ‘his way’ !

The candlestick was made in two pieces. Steve started with the base using ash, dimensions approximately 4.75 inch diameter cylinder by 1 inch depth. Initially Steve prepared the base of the candlestick, turning, sanding and then a coat of 50% sanding sealer and 50% cellulose thinner. In preference he would leave the sealer to dry naturally, however, in a demonstration, time limited, he buffed it dry. After the basic shape of the base was completed, Steve set to work on the top section. Roughing from square to round then making the centre spindle to fit inside the base. He then joined the two pieces together to complete the project.

Unlike some turners who like to completely finish the base of a candle-stick, then completely turn and finish the top section before putting them together, Steve likes to partially finish the base then put the top and base together then finish the piece in situ. By doing this you can see the development of the whole design and modify as you go along.

After completing the candle stick Steve added some texture to the piece. He explained that had first added texture to a turned piece because the wood had some splits/imperfections in it, which he wanted to hide. However, having seen the results he now included the texture into other pieces to enhance the design. In some cases he also added colour.

Throughout the demonstration Steve continually stressed the importance of doing the 5 initial checks of lock down before proceeding with any turning and safety first. He was also very thorough explaining at each stage what he was doing, offering hints on the positioning and holding of the tools throughout the process. If he uses a parting tool he always finishes with the skew chisel.

An excellent evening, a good project accessible to all.

Some examples of work from Steve.

Barbara Feb 2017


Professional software Geek and hobbyist hurter of wood.

Leave a Reply