Thursday, 14 August 2014

Rolly Munro Demonstration Saturday 9th August 2014

There are few people within the woodturning world that will not instantly recognise the name of world class woodturner and wood artist Rolly Munro from New Zealand.

Rolly started woodturning back in the 70's and has since become a maker that transcends woodturning as most of us know it, view Rolly's web site here. As well as being a creative maker Rolly invented and still personally manufactures the well known and exceptional Rolly Munro Hollowing Tool, as well as demonstrating and teaching all over the world.

On Saturday the 9th of August Rolly attended an all day demo at Burnham-on-Sea woodturning club after conducting a full days master class at George Foweraker's workshop details of which you can view on this link.

As can be expected the day was well attended with some seventy in the crowd that had turned up for the day. Through out the day there was various product to purchase as well as a raffle, lunch, refreshments and time to personally talk to Rolly about the demo and his tools.

People starting to arrive from Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Wales.

Many items were for sale as well as having been donated for the raffle by the below people of whom we 
are very grateful for their generosity

Ian Methringham-Turners Cabin
Ian - IM Tools Burnham on Sea

George Foweraker club chairman opening the day and welcoming Rolly and going through health and safety etc

Rolly started the morning with a slide show of his work, explaining the development of each piece, the thinking behind them and specific techniques. To see a selection of the work shown visit Rolly's gallery here

This was particularly interesting with Rolly being more than open in sharing his ideas, techniques and answering any questions. 

We then took a morning break for refreshments made for us by Sue Foweraker and Sue Meads who looked after us tirelessly all day, thank you to you both.  During this time Rolly was happy to answer any questions and to chat to the attendees.

Following the break Rolly made a bowl in cross grain beech using the Rolly Munro hollower with only one other carbide tool for refining of the spigot and to demonstrate cutting angles and bevel support in cutting. Due to his travels Rolly uses only a few tools and over the years has refined his methods to achieve highly efficient results from the few tools he uses. This was refreshing to see as was the way Rolly clearly and simply explained the use of the tools showing excellent tool control. 

The outside was first roughed with the Munro Hollower

The center then cored with a small carbide cutter

Hollowing out the bowl 

Producing the undercut with the lathe rotating in reverse. 

Refining before lunch. 

After lunch Rolly started on the main project showing how to produce a hollow form that is cut in half and re-joined using a ring turned from the same piece. This being a process of turning a sculptural piece from a hollow vessel. 

Blanked roughed to the round with a ring being turned on the front face.

The ring was then parted from the face with a matching recess being cut into the front face to accept the ring later.

The outsider shape and inside were then profiled and refined using the Rolly Hollower

Rolly talking about some of the finer points of using the tool to achieve maximum control 

A friction drive for reversing the project and removing the foot was made

The Project being mounted on the friction drive

Waste section and base being refined.

The piece was then cut in half on a band saw and joined with the ring. 

The piece requiring more work and sculpting. The processes were excellently shown and explained. 

Then it was time for Rolly to go deeper into using his hollower and to answer any questions and show these specifically in practical terms on a simple bowl. 

Showing how to achieve various cuts as here with a finishing/refining cut.

The day was rounded off by a final question and answer session, a cup of tea and Rolly being thanked hugely by us all for an excellent and inspiring demo. With Rolly then making a trip up to Wales for another demo prior to taking part in the Norwegian woodturning Cruise.  

All pictures copyright Mark Sanger


  1. Hi Mark.
    It was a great day everybody seemed to enjoy it and apart from the food being delivered an hour late because the motorway was blocked and the caterer was held up in traffic.
    Thank you Mark for doing the write up and pictures My Sue and Sue Meads for doing the teas and Sue Meads for putting Rolly up for three days.

  2. Hi Sue and George

    Many thanks for organising the demo last Saturday. It was so good to see a master at work and I particularly liked the first project.

    It obviously took a lot of organising but it was well worth travelling up from the depths of Cornwall.

    Thanks once again and hope to meet up again.

    Roger Lear