February 2017





The demonstrator for our February meeting was our own Tom Murphy, who showed us some alchemy, (no he didn’t turn lead into gold or water into wine) he did show us how to stabilise timber in which decomposition had started or as he called it, gone dosey and to recycle timber which had shaken or split. To do this Tom had brought along a piece of equipment which consisted of a large container like a drum and a vacuum pump with some valves and tubes connected, which when switched on created a vacuum in the container. To stabilise the timber Tom used a liquid resin mix in a smaller container in which the piece of timber is immersed and placed in the drum, lidded and switched on. The vacuum created draws the air from the wood and replaces it with the resin which is sucked in and when hardened, (this takes a few days,) is stable and usable to turn on the lathe for whatever. I should mention that dyes can be used to colour the timber for effect, Tom tells us that powdered dyes are best as they mix better than liquid. As to shaken or cracked wood Tom filled these cracks with epoxy resin, again coloured, which when hardened give a very good effect, nice coloured streaks to the wood when turned as bud vases or, well use your imagination. Tom as you have gathered by now likes to work and experiment with acrylics and resins and another thing he featured in his demo was making pen blanks in resin. No ordinary pen planks these, but using some natural materials like acorns, wood chippings and would you believe, bacon rashers, set in coloured epoxy resin, (I prefer mine in a sandwich, but then if you are in the habit of chewing the end of your pen.) As to the acorns these are first stabilised in the vacuum press and then set in coloured resin in moulds and quartered to get the best effect, the same with wood chippings and again you can use your imagination to get unique looking pens. Powder dyes like gold or silver mixed in the resin are also very effective, Tom had some samples of these, the possibilities are endless. Tom very helpfully had printouts of all the materials used and where to source them and if any of our members who were unable to attend due to pressing rugby engagements are interested they can contact me or Tom who will be only too willing to help.

Our chairman brought up the subject of the annual guild competition, which this year is a concrete mixer and asked for ideas and volunteers to take part in this venture. As we only meet once a month it’s imperative we get this off the ground as soon as possible and the first thing we need is a member who will take charge to organise and coordinate this, I would take it on myself but due to circumstances I may be out of action for a while, I would however be willing to help in any way I can. It would be very helpful if anyone who wants to take part would let me know so we can get this up and running by the next meeting, you can get me at 0867356444.

There were a good number of entries for our monthly competition and the standard was very high in both sections making it difficult for the adjudicator, the results as follows. The senior 1st was Jack O’ Rourke, 2nd Cecil Barron and 3rd Dave Seeney.                 In the novice section 1st place went to Kevin Mc Loughlin 2nd Frank Trappe and 3rd Anthony Murphy. Keep the entries coming lads, competition improves skill.

That all to report this time, hope to see you all in March, until then work safe.

Pat Gannon