January 2019

Jonathan Wickham from the Dublin chapter, made a very good start to 2019 as our guest demonstrator at our first meeting of the year. Jonathan commenced with a chat about safety in the workshop generally, not just the lathe, but the other machines which we use in connection with our hobby or profession. Band saws or circular saws without a guard left running have been the cause of many an accident and Jonathan emphasised the importance of safety wear, right down to steel capped footwear.

To the demonstration, an unusual piece this time a nutcracker and Jonathan had brought along two already finished which gave us an idea of what to expect. These are made up in three pieces, a bowl, a treaded shaft and a turn handle. Starting first with the bowl Jonathan mounted a blank cylinder of apple roughly 70mm in diameter and about 100mm long then with a parting tool proceeded to mark the length he wanted, around 70mm, following that by shaping the outside.

The next step was to mark a drilling point to take the treaded shaft, this should be a little above half way from the bottom say 40 to45mm. Taking it off the lathe Jonathan placed it on a jig to hold the cylinder for drilling, selecting the best place in the grain to take the treading, (this is of course held in a drill stand for accuracy) he then drilled a 18mm hole about halfway into the side. Back on the lathe Jonathan hollowed out the bowl leaving a thickish wall, then with a treading tool cut the tread. Next came the preparation for the shaft, a piece 30x30mm long enough to allow it to reach through the bowl and enough length to fit the turn handle. Turning this to a cylinder Jonathan then treaded the shaft to the required length, like using a pencil sharpener. Happy with the treading he went on to make the last piece, the turn handle, this from a piece around 40mm x12mm and 80mm long. Turning each end cylindrical then drilling a hole in the centre of the flat section to fit over the end of the shaft Jonathan assembled and tested it, worked perfectly. Thank you, Jonathan, a very good demonstration, I hope you will visit us again.

That’s it for this month, until next time, work safe.

Pat Gannon