March 2015

Hello again,

It’s time to write up the report for our March meeting and I am happy to say we had a very good attendance, great to see all the lads (and lass) there to welcome our guest Michael Fay who gave us a very good demonstration on turning a pepper mill and what he called a magic salt shaker. Michael had brought along some sample pepper mills to show us some different shapes and the ones he liked best. (See photos)  I have made a few of these myself and I know there are endless possibilities in shape and design but for the sake of the demo Michael choose to stick to a simple shape more to give us an idea of how the various parts of the mechanism are fitted and the different borings needed. Now there are different mechanisms to be had but the one he used is readily available in the Carpentry store and costs around 4euro which I don’t think will break anybody’s  bank, also I won’t go into dimensions other than to say the finished mill is 170mm by 55mm the borings are determined by the components in the kit. Now the second item that Michael turned was this magic salt shaker and I have to say I was quite taken by it, finishing 75mm high and 40mm in diameter, it consists of two parts, the outer shell and the inner core. (This is what makes it work) The outer shell Michael turned as a cylinder with a domed top and from the bottom drilled a 30mm hole almost to the top then formed at the bottom, a 3mm by3mm rebate on the inner rim. The core which is 50mm long is turned like a funnel, tapered from 36mm with a 3mm shoulder,(the inside diameter of the top cylinder) to 12mm with a 3mm hole drilled through the length. Then finally the bottom of the core, the 36mm end is cut to a concave about 6mm deep at the 3mm centre hole. Are you still with me? I think I have lost myself; anyway I have included some photos which I hope will make it clear. The core is now fitted and glued into the top shell and when set is turned upside down,  some fine salt is poured into the 3mm hole, not too much it shouldn’t be higher than the inside core or it will just spill out. It is now ready for use and the salt is dispensed by an upward and downward flick of the hand. When I showed it to my wife she loved it and I was tasked with making one straight away.  The size, shape and finish of course is up to your own imagination. A tip from Michael on safety in the workshop, he related how a spark from a grinder had landed on some wire wool and ignited it, shows you can’t be too careful.  Thank you Michael for your very interesting demonstration.
And now the result of this month’s competition, in first place Jack O’Rourke second Tom Murphy and third Ciara Dowling
Next month’s competition is open so get turning I want to be able to type different names in the winning places.
Until we meet next month keep the lathe turning and work safe.
Pat Gannon

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