Our chairman Francis Corr took the demonstration at our Saturday meeting and as a change from turning brought along two chain saws, one I guess a twenty to twenty-four inch bar the other about half that, which can be operated with one hand. This would be used for branch cutting while climbing, (one hand for yourself and one for the boss). Francis started by giving a good talk on safety, how to handle the machine and the protective gear available. He showed us a pair of safety trousers which protect the legs, probably the most vulnerable part of the body while using a chainsaw and needless to say these machines are very unforgiving. Face protection is also essential as well as steel toe capped boots and mitts. A lot of turners have chainsaws as they go foraging for the endless material needed to feed their habit, and many use these lethal machines without any proper training so take note lads. Francis followed this with a lesson on maintenance, stripping the saw down for cleaning and sharpening the chain, as with all types of saws there are different types of chains, for ripping and for crosscutting and he demonstrated the sharping of both, for this he used ratailed files of slightly different sizes. All through this he fielded the many questions thrown at him, as to the tension of the chain, the fuel used etc. (these machines had two stroke engines) There are of course electric powered ones which have all the disadvantages of trailing leads and access to power points so are probably only suitable for garden work.
After our tea break, (thanks again to Tom Gibson,) we moved outside for a practical demonstration and here Francis had a large cutting of an ash tree which he proceeded to cut in sections showing how skillfully he could get the best out of the timber, the grain patterns for bowls and such, I was impressed by his knowledge. (I have been a long time working with wood and I still cant tell my ash from my elbow).
Some of the lads had brought along some logs of there own and Francis obligingly cut these up to their requirements. Thank you Francis for a very comprehensive demo, I enjoyed it as I’m sure all the members did.
Now to the results of our monthly competition. In 1st place Chris Hayes 2nd Cecil Barron and 3rd Pat Gannon. In the novice section and its hard to tell one from the other, 1st Frank Trappe 2nd Shay Clarke, thank you lads for your entries though we should see more, we have some very good turners in our chapter so don’t be shy guys and girls.
That it for now, keep those lathes turning and work safe, hope to see you all next month.