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November 2005 Demonstrator:

Pleas McKee

"Finishing the Bottoms of Bowls"

Pleas McKee will be presenting his SWAT demonstration on finishing the bottom of bowls. Getting a smooth bottom finish is ranks as one of the more difficult parts of bowl turning. The techniques that Pleas will demonstrate are valuable in turning better bowl bottoms.

Pleas began turning in 1989 after he saw a picture of one of Todd Hoyer's wing vessels. He did not know anybody else who did woodturning at the time so he taught himself. Pleas used the tools off and on for about six years before learning their names. And then, by chance, he heard about Texas Turn-or-Two and went to see what other people were turning. After that, life has not been quite the same for Pleas McKee.

Pleas taught wood shop at a middle school (7th and 8th grade) for ten years and learned to teach woodturning to beginners. All of his demonstrations are geared for beginning students and reflect safety, proper tool use, majoring on the minors, if you will. He has been fascinated with finishing the bottoms of turnings and has used four techniques to produce them.


Pleas McKee will demonstrate the three methods that he is the most comfortable with using: the jam chuck, donut, and Cole (or Jumbo) jaws. He will also discuss making, pros/cons, and demonstrate them in turning. While these are not the only methods, we are all still learning about woodturning, and as this is an interactive demonstration, club members are encouraged to ask questions, share experiences, and explore new ideas with the demonstrator!

Revised January 27, 2006