September 2019


Our guest at our September meeting was Michael Fay who over the years has given us some motivating and noteworthy demonstrations both of his skill as a turner and his ideas and tips, both on interesting projects and the use of tools. This time he elected to show his take on a gavel and block, an item which has come up a few times in our monthly competition. The wood Michael used for this was a piece of beech, a timber that has a short tight grain, used by carpenters and woodcarvers in the making of mallets, though usually they look for copper beech. It is also a timber that is easy to work on the lathe, liked by turners for its ease of finish and takes stains and polishes well. Michael had prepared a cylinder about 75mm in diameter and 150mm long and he proceeded to explain why he had not drilled the hole for the handle while it was in the square as a lot of us might think was easier. His reason for this was he likes to show the lines in the end grain of the head at right angles to the handle.  With this in mind Michael marked a centre point along the cylinder then choose the point of entry for the handle to archive this result, then with callipers found the opposite point on the head to ensure accuracy of line. The head was then mounted on the lathe, one point on the tailstock using a revolving centre and the opposite point on a Fostner drill with a Morse taper. The hole was drilled half way through then reversed and drilled from the other side to prevent breakthrough.  The head was remounted between centres and Michael shaped and decorated it with a series of beads and coves, the photos show this in detail.  The handle was then turned with similar detail and the final part was the block. Michael turned this from a blank around 150mm in diameter and 50mm deep again decorating it with a bead and groove, top and bottom, then finishing it by hollowing the underside to give it resonance. Thank you, Michael, for a very good demonstration.

Pat Gannon

The monthly competition piece was a kitchen item and in 1st place was Tom Gibson, in 2nd place, Jim Hynes, 3rd place Kevin Milton.  There was only one entry, but a very good one, in the novice section and that was Cathal Ryan. Next months subject is a pen, lets see lots of entries for this one.

That’s it for this month, hope to see you all in October until then. Keep well and work safe.