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Home of the McNaughton Centre Saver - and more

Kel McNaughton is a woodturner and engineer working in New Zealand.  His fertile mind leads him to create robust and imaginative solutions to the challenges which his woodturning presents to him.  The products featured below are those most commonly selected by UK purchasers but we will be happy to source any Kelton products for you.  As the UK distributors for these fine tools, we at The ToolPost will be bringing new products from the Kelton stable to your attention from time to time.  With a mind as active as that of Kel, of one thing you can be certain there will always be something new and fascinating "just around the corner".

McNaughton Centre Savers

Kelton Mk 8 Combined Centre Saver:  Click for a larger view of this tool

Please note: the above photo is representative only. Different models have different contents and the product changes from time to time as part of ongoing development.

The McNaughton Centre-Saving System: Timber isn't cheap.  Good, attractive timber is positively expensive.  So why do we happily convert most of it into shavings on our workshop floors?  Primarily because we believe we have no alternative.  That may have been true before the advent of the McNaughton Centre-Saving system but this clever and versatile tool provides a realistic way for you to "core out" blanks from within your turning timber, creating extra material for you to use at no extra cost.  Hugely popular with professional turners and described by Ray Key as "the turning tool of the century" here's a real opportunity to actually reduce the cost of your hobby.  Imagine getting four bowl blanks or even two or three but why not five or six - out of your source material? 

Five configurations of this great tool are available.  Each includes a pin gate, restraint yoke, toolpost, handle and a selection of blades, as follows:-

  • Micro set: 3 curved blades plus one straight blade of 1/8" x 5/8" cross-section.  The three pin Micro gate supplied accepts both Micro and Small centre saving blades.
  • Small set: 3 curved blades plus one straight blade of 13/64" x 3/4" section. The five pin gate supplied accepts all current sizes of centre saving blades.
  • Standard set:  3 curved blades plus one straight blade of 1/4" x 1" section.  The five pin gate supplied accepts all current sizes of centre saving blades.
  • Large set: 2 curved blades plus one straight blade of 1/4" x 1.1/4" section.  The five pin gate supplied accepts all current sizes of centre saving blades.
  • Combined set: 3 curved blades plus one straight blade from the Standard set AND 2 curved blades plus one straight blade from the large set with the five pin gate described above.

Because this system is so flexible in terms of the size and shape of core that can be taken with any particular blade, it is difficult to specify any sort of exact size range for each set.  The following guidelines, whilst by no means "absolute" may help.

  • The Micro system has been designed to cater for those who work in valuable tropical and exotic timbers and whose work is probably in a size range from 4" to 8" diameter
  • If you typically work with blanks in the size range 6" (100 mm) to 10" (250 mm) diameter, then the Small set will probably fulfill your needs.
  • For work in the 8" to 14" (200 mm to 350 mm) range, then I would opt for the Standard system.
  • If you routinely handle work in the 10" to 18+" (250mm to 450 mm) diameter range, then the Large set is for you.

Note that additonal blades may be purchased to extend the range of your basic set, up or down and that there is considerable overlap between the sizes of cores that can be taken with the different sets.

Please note that the system is supplied with a 1" diameter toolpost stem. Other sizes are available as accessories, as listed, below.

Spare toolposts are listed below and this list indicates the toolpost sizes available.

 

Whilst the centre saver is not a difficult tool for the competent user to master, it is certainly 'different' from most normal turning tools.  We found the excellent DVD produced by Mike Mahoney on the Centre Saver to be a great way of learning to get the best from the Kelton tool.  There are hints and tips here that you might spend a lifetime discovering otherwise.

A second DVD is available, created by Reed Gray, which takes a somewhat broader and very personal view of the McNaughton Centre Saver system.  This includes the use of the laser guide accessory, available as an option, and some tips on "disaster recovery"!.  Again, a very useful adjunct to ownership of the McNaughton system.

 

Kelton Tool Handles

Kelton Tool Handles: The wide range of specialist woodturning tools developed by New Zealand-based professional woodturner Kel McNaughton share a common basis the Kelton handle system.  Choose from a range of rigid, comfortable, easy-grip handles with a choice of capacities, or the superb Ultimate Handle which offers the flexibility to fit just about any interchangeable tool through its ferrule and sleeve/collett system.  (NB:  All handles will equally accept imperial or closest metric size tools.  i.e. 5/16"=8 mm; 3/8"=10 mm; "=13 mm; 5/8"=16 mm; "=20 mm)

The second range of Kelton handles are the ER collett handles which utilise the readily- available standard ER-series engineering colletts, as used on collett chucks, to allow the handles to be fitted to almost any size of tool.  As their names suggest, the ER16 handle takes collets up to 3/8"/10mm whilst the larger ER25 can handle up to 5/8"/16mm colletts.  A stabilising side handle is also available.  Just a twist of the knurled ring is all it takes to lock the collett onto a tool or to release it.  The ER16 handle is supplied with both 8mm and 10mm collets and the ER25 is supplied with both 13mm and 16mm dia. collets.  Collets have approximately 1mm compliance on nominal diameter.

 

Kelton Hollowers

Kelton Hollowers: A range of hollowing tools with various shaft configuraClick for a lrger picture of these hollowing toolstions designed to fit into the Kelton Handles (supplied separately).  Use of these handles allows the extension of the tool to be regulated to minimise vibration.  The tip design ensures quick, easy removal of timber through a shearing action, with cuts of up to 20 mm, yet is capable of leaving as surface which is virtually "as sanded".  The attention to detail embodied in these tools virtually eliminates the possibility of dig-ins.  Easily re-sharpened when necessary, these tools prove that deep hollowing can be both quick and easy. NB:  Handles NOT included.  These tools are normally utilised as a set of three hollowers - straight, medium curved and tight curved - in sequence, as needed to access the more difficult areas of the form, but we can also supply them as single hollowers, as listed.

 

Kelton Shear Scrapers

Kelton Shear Scrapers: A choice of two sizes of scraper tips with 10" shaft to fit KH3 and KH4 handles.  Shaft flats automatically set the tip at optimum shear cutting angle.  Ultra long life cutting burr holding tips.  Tips can be replaced and interchanged.  NB:  please also see the Multi-Angle scraper at the head of this page.

 

**NB: Prices quoted in pounds sterling.
Value Added Tax will be added to invoices to EU residents unless a valid EU VAT Registration Number is provided.

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1997-2009 P. Hemsley.  The information on this website is the copyright property of Peter Hemsley.  Coeur du Bois and The ToolPost are trading styles of Peter Hemsley.  Whilst reasonable efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, no liability can be accepted for errors in this information nor for contingencies arising therefrom.  If you are inexperienced in any aspect of woodworking, we would strongly counsel that you take a course of formal instruction before commencing to practice