Monday, August 29, 2016

There seems to be a war being raged on Eucalyptus trees in the Cork Area. I now have three separate offers of freshly cut (green) eucalyptus. One is between Half-Way and Crossbarry, another is near Crossbarry and the third is in Carrigaline. Any woodturners who wish to get some can give me a call and I'll put them in touch with the kind people who have offered the wood.
Some people don't like eucalyptus much for turning but I have used it and liked the results. The most interesting aspect of it is that even when finished the turned item will most likely move a lot and one can end up with interesting shapes.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Members and friends might like to read this interview with our own Tony Farraell from The Irish Examiner, Thursday 4th August 2016.
All the members of the Cork Chapter of the Irish Woodturners Guild extent our sympathy to our fellow member, Stephen Pearson, and all his family, on the death of his mother. DETTA PEARSON on August 3, 2016,

Reception Prayers on Saturday at 9.30am in St Michael's Church, Blackrock, followed by Requiem Mass at 10am. Funeral afterwards to St Finbarr's Cemetery. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

For the July workshop we were back to Kieran Higgins’ workshop in Skibbereen. When one considers that it is about 125 km. from Cork City, where many of our members are based - with many coming from even farther away in East Cork – an attendance of over 20 members was quite satisfactory.
For his demonstrations Kieran likes to try something new that he mightn’t have tried before. His philosophy is that while we, the audience, are learning he might as well be learning too. That is a brave approach but with Kieran’s skill, experience and overall expertise it is an approach that he can get away with; and he did.
The partly turned urn with the lathe-steady in place.
His project was a Grecian-style urn shape that would sit on its side. He started with a large piece of elm that, as he said himself, was a “bit dozy” but which je had turned to a round before we arrived. He very quickly turned the outside shape and then he enthralled us with the gear and equipment he used to hollow and finish it. He first introduced a large lathe steady that he had made up by an engineering friend of his. He began hollowing with a forstner bit on an extended morse-taper shank that he drilled to very near the bottom of the interior. Then he introduced a Hamlet ‘Big Brother’ but after a while decided that that was too hard on his shoulder and arm. It was then he introduced an articulated arm that, again, his friend had made up. This piece of apparatus is very like the one that Simon Hope is making and selling but was much bigger and stronger. Why wouldn’t it be when one considers that most of Kieran’s work is the production of quite large pieces? This made short work of the hollowing with quite large shavings being produced. 
At this stage Kieran then introduced a laser attachment and for most of us who had heard about them but had never seen one before this was quite amazing. Not only did it show where the cutter was inside the vessel but also it was useful too in indicating the thickness of the wall.
Kieran, with all the equipment in use.
Adjusting the cutter on the Big Brother gave a finer cut and when Kieran eventually parted off the piece he had quite a good finish on the inside. Time didn’t permit him to do it but he plans to make a “trumpet” shape for the top from contrasting wood and this should finish off nicely what is already an attractive and skilfully made piece.
The almost-finished urn
Our competition had a very poor entry. Hugh Garrett made the only off-centre barrel lamp of the kind that Charley McCarthy demonstrated in June and that got first prize. Charley himself entered an off-centre item in the shape of a figurine and that was awarded second prize.
Hugh Garrett (right) with his winning lamp.  Chapter Chairman, John Ahern, on the left.
Our annual exhibition is on again this year in the James O’Neill building in Kinsale from the 8th to the 24th August. Members are urged to confirm that they will have stuff on display and to volunteer to attend and invigilate at the exhibition for a day or for part of a day. This is our one big chance to show off our pieces and by so doing to promote the Chapter and the art of woodturning.

Monday, June 27, 2016

The June workshop saw us in Fermoy in Charley McCarthy’s new workshop.  Charley has managed to provide a great space for his hugely imaginative creations and anybody thinking of constructing a workshop would be well advised to consult with Charley – he has issued that invitation – at design stage.

The Max Brosi type turning
The workshop clashed with the Ireland v Italy soccer match and as a result the attendance was a little smaller than usual.

This was a new workshop for us and we were not disappointed.  Our host decided that the topic would be offset or multi-axis turning.  He introduced us to the topic by distributing helpful drawings as well as copies of an excellent article on the subject from “American Woodturner” in the Fall 2007 issue.  He then showed us a “wobbly” rolling pin and then a wooden ‘plumbing piece’ he had made in the Max Brosi style.  Anybody not familiar with Max’s style could see an article on this imaginative craftsman in “Woodturning” magazine for March 2016.

Charley's off-centre barrel lamp
Charley’s main topic was a lamp made in several axes, each one slightly different to the other, with each section made to resemble a miniature barrel.  This he achieved with careful planning and calculating. 

Anxious to make the most of his couple of hours Charley, quite sensibly, didn’t finish out the project once he got beyond the critical stages but very happily referred us to a similar item he had made in preparation for the day.

Instead he went on to demonstrate some very cleverly and attractively designed candleholders that started life as an inside/outside turning project.  For this he referred us to a Barbara Dill YouTube video.  Once he had completed the initial inside/outside part of the project he then parted the four pieces and finished them using the multi-axis procedure.  The result was a couple of very attractive candleholders.

Inside/Outside turning
Completed candleholder
There was a small entry for the competition based on the three-part jewellery box that John O’Shea demonstrated in May.  Joe Kennedy was 1st in the Intermediate section and Brendan Griffin was 2nd.  Jim O’Donovan was 1st in Advanced with John O’Shea 2nd.

Many thanks to Charley for hosting the event, and a special word of thanks to Vanessa for delicious food – without forgetting Neil who demonstrated great skill at the barbeque.

The July Workshop will be held in Kieran Higgins’ Workshop, Skibbereen on Saturday 16th July at 1.30pm.

Competition: is a Multi-Axis Turning of any form.



Sunday, May 29, 2016

Some of the attendance.
We had two of the Chapter’s better turners doing demonstrations for our May 2016 workshop. 
First off was John O’Shea and he made a jewellery box from Ash.  It could be said that he really made 4 pieces; the main box, the insert, the cover and the knob.  He started each piece on a screw chuck and having rounded the pieces then made spigots.  Our attendance was a bit smaller than usual but those who attended were very impressed.  This item is to be the subject of the competition for June.
John O'Shea's jewellery box. Project for the June competition 
After the break David Lee went through the intricacies of turning a tool handle from Ash also.  This “back-to-basics” exercise was very welcome.  Dave can only be said to be “the devil for detail” and without doubt this stood us all in good stead.

With a few minutes left Dave showed us a jig he had made for making spheres and demonstrated it.  Maybe he might decide to patent it and he will have plenty of customers from the Cork Chapter.

David Lee's 'sphere' jig.
The competition was a set of napkin rings on a stand, as demonstrated by John Ahern in March.  David Lee and Paddy Lynch kindly acted as judges.  There was a small entry, just 2 in “Intermediate” and 5 in “Advanced”.  Peter Manning took the honours in “Advanced” and Frank Allen in “Intermediate”.
Dave Lee, judge, congratulates Frank Allen.
Peter Manning with one of the competition judges, David Lee.


The Chapter are planning a days fishing in late June and also a possibility of a day with Glenn Lucas.  If we choose a weekday we can have use of the Scout bus.  Anybody interested should submit his/her name to Mick Bouchier.




Thursday, May 19, 2016

Remember: The workshop on Saturday next (21st May) is deferred to the following Saturday, 28th May at 1.30 p.m.