June 2017


Our guest demonstrator for our June meeting was to have been David Sweeney but due to circumstances beyond his control he had to cancel at the last minute, unfortunately none of our own very skilled turners had come prepared to do a demonstration, but a phone call to the inimitable Joe O’ Neill saved the day. Joe who was just about to leave his house when without hesitation he came immediately to our rescue, we had an early tea break and as soon as Joe arrived he got down to business. Joe had brought along some blanks to show his take on turning lidded boxes and a selection of short handled chisels which he told us he preferred when working on smaller jobs.        The first tip he gave us was on using wood which was not fully dried, as a lid on a box can shrink and become loose, not good in a competition, this happened to myself recently. Greenwood as we know should be rough turned and put aside and revisited when it is considered dry enough to be finished. Another thing Joe told us was about proportions, the depth of the lid to the body, he didn’t think there was a strict rule but to use our eye so it looked right. The first blank Joe worked on was a piece of iroko, not a preferred timber of his but ok for a demo. He started off by turning a cylinder then worked on what was to be the top explaining different ways we could decorate it, acrylic inserts or texturing, to use our imagination. He then parted off the lid using a parting tool he made himself, this from a wide hacksaw blade ground to a cutting angle to which he fixed a wooden handle, this gives a very fine cut which helps retain the run of the grain. Joe then hollowed out the body of the box with a small rebate at the top to hold the lid and a fine champher around the rim. He then prepared the lid with the champher repeated on the lid and when put together forms a fine vee.  The second box Joe turned was much the same, this time a piece of maple, showing us the different cuts he made to hollow out and to get a fine finish. Of course, Joes patter and his jokes kept things moving along as he worked, never a dull moment and he promised that next time he would show some of his magic tricks which he has picked up on his travels. Thank you, Joe, for your entertaining demonstration at such short notice and we look forward to the next time.

There hasn’t been a very good attendance at our last few meetings, the chapter needs your support to function properly and also we should see more entries to both sections of the monthly competition, we are after all woodturners, especially the more experienced members who could show us lesser mortals what is achievable.

The 1st place in our monthly competition went to Tom Gibson, 2nd to Jim Hynes, and 3rd to Pat Gannon, there were no entries in the novice section.

That’s it for now, until our next meeting where I hope to see you all, work safe.

Pat Gannon.