January 2020 meeting!

We were privileged to have Frank Fitzpatrick, the editor of the Guild journal, as our demonstrator to kick off the new year of our chapter. Frank focussed on the use of wood dyes to a     chieve beautiful results to turned pieces, notably the sample lidded box he had brough to show us. He explained how he choose light coloured straight grained wood to make these boxes as the colours came up more vibrant.

To demonstrate this Frank mounted a blank cylinder around 180mm long by 75mm and proceeded to shape this like a barrel, using only an oval skew chisel ground to a curve which he explained he favoured. He showed how he got the best finish using what he called the sweet spot about one third up from the bottom of the chisel, a tool he used with great skill. This ease of use
only comes with a lot of practice and used this way lessened the chance of a catch, the reason a lot of us avoid this tool.

Having marked and parted the lid he drilled out the centre using a fostner bit and widened it with a tipped scrapper sufficient to fit the lid, Frank didn’t waste time finishing the inside as it was the outside finish which was the core of the demonstration. The dyes Frank used were by Chestnut and can be bought as a sample set of about eight colours for anyone interested in trying these out.

After giving the piece a light sanding Frank started the process by rubbing on a red dye to the bottom half of the box and a blue to the top half as a base coat. (Here it is recommended you wear a pair of surgical gloves or you will end up with multi-coloured hands.) The piece was sanded again baring some of the wood, then more dye of different colours was laid on blending together to give a rainbow effect. Frank then sprayed on some acrylic lacquer to give a lovely glazed finish.


Thank you, Frank for an interesting demonstration adding some more ideas for decorative finishes to our work.

The monthly competition result as follows:

Senior, Tom Gibson, in 1 st Pat Gannon 2nd and Cathal Ryan.

Novice section Kevin McLaughlin 1 st and Shay Clarke 2nd .


That’s it for this month, I hope to see you all at the next meeting, until then work safe. — Pat Gannon