Monday, December 5, 2016

The Cork Chapter of the I.W.G. held its AGM on Saturday, 3rd December 2016.

Donal Ryan with the finished item
To start the proceedings we had Donal Ryan from the Limerick Chapter doing a demonstration.  Donal chose to do a shallow, lidded, bowl, in ash, with an ebonised finial.  Donal is a very accomplished turner and has won many competitions around the country and has featured among the winners in the National competitions.  His finished product seen here is sufficient testimony to his skill and competence.  Thank you Donal for a wonderful demonstration that kept the members in wrapt attention for the two and a half hours.
Only the finial left to do

After the demonstration we held our usual Christmas ‘party’.  The temptations provided by the wives/girlfriends – maybe husbands/boyfriends too – proved too strong for many of us with a sweet tooth, leaving us with no option but to climb a few trees in the following days to try to get back in shape.

Peter Manning's beautifully turned Crib.
We had a great array of turned items on display.  This was not a competition and each member was asked to bring in three items.  We had a great display that included bowls, lamps, candlesticks and even a 12 piece crib that was wholly turned on the lathe without carving of any kind, yet each ‘character’, including winged angels, were easily identifiable.
Some of the members' completed work on display.
Some more of the members' completed work on display
We had a full agenda that included all the usual items that are included in every A.G.M. and we quickly got through the usual minutes and reports. 

There was no change at the top table and John Ahern continues as Chairman with Mick Bouchier as Hon. Secretary and John O’Shea as Hon. Treasurer.  Michael Pattwell is again the Vice-Chairman and P.R.O.

Gerard Hennessy opted to give more of his time to Health & Safety issues (Helped by Jerry Twomey) and he handed over the job of Competition Secretary to David Lee.  The competitions sub-committee was enlarged to include Brendan Griffin, Séamus Healy and Michael Pattwell.

Joe Kennedy continues as Librarian.

Kieran Higgins opted out of the committee as he lives away down in West Cork and it is difficult to attend meetings and his place was taken by Stephen Pearson.

The meeting approved a new set of rules for the monthly competitions.  In fact they aren’t much different from the old ones but needed to be reviewed.  Anybody who wants a copy can get one from the Hon. Secretary or the P.R.O.  It was also agreed that a small token prize would be awarded to each category winner.

The Chapter accepted a proposal from the floor that a motion should be submitted for the A.G.M. of the Irish Woodturners Guild providing that each Chapter should be entitled to nominate a representative of that Chapter to be a full committee member of the I.W.G. with full voting rights on all issues.

We have arranged for our Annual Seminar and Master-class to be held at Togher Scout Hall and Tony Farrell’s workshop on the 1st & 2nd April next and we look forward to seeing Scottish turner, Richard Kennedy, do his stuff.  A brochure and booking form should be available shortly for those interested in attending.

A list of the workshops scheduled for 2017 is now available from the Hon. Secretary.

Based on points awarded from competitions during the year Joe Kennedy was the clear winner and he was presented with the Chairman’s “Woodturner of the Year” award for 2016.  Well done Joe.
Joe Kennedy, "Woodturner of the Year, 2016" receives his award from Chairman, John Ahern.

Monday, November 14, 2016

12 Nov. 2016

We had two of our own turners demonstrating for the November workshop in Togher.  There was a good attendance of almost 40 members.

Before getting on with the business of the day we had a minutes silence in memory of our much esteemed past Chairman, Michael Box, who passed away over the weekend and whose funeral takes place from St. James’ Church, Mallow on Wednesday, 16th November, 2016.
Rest in peace, Michael.  We shall miss your gracious presence in the front row at future workshops.

Brian Goulding opened the demonstrations.  He first made a ring holder from spalted beech.  He made the little spindle first, suggesting it was easier when making the little recess to fit it into in the bowl to bring the spindle to the bowl.  In fact in Brian’s expert hands it fitted perfectly first time.  He also cautioned us that we should consider making the upright spindle suitable to hold a lady’s ring, rather than a larger man’s ring,  as these items are mainly appreciated by the ladies in our lives.  Brian went on to finish the little bowl and had the whole project completed to perfection in very little time.

Brian Goulding with his ring holder
Brian then made a candlestick from beech.  He pointed out that in items like candlesticks and lamps care has to be taken to get the proportions right.  The candlestick he made was in a teardrop shape with a cove between the main part and the base.  He suggested that the measurement from the base to the narrow part below the “belly” of the teardrop should be the same as from the cove to the widest part of the item. 

Sanding has to be at a minimum at out venue and accordingly Brian had completed and finished examples already made for passing around.

Brian smiles.  Happy with his candlestick.
Both items were made in less than an hour, which caused a few people to talk about how little time time we might spend in making an item and how much more time we spend sanding and polishing.

After the break Paddy Lynch demonstrated a beautiful cake-stand made from poplar (tulipwood).  It was in four parts; being the main plate on top, a support under it into which an upright spindle was fitted, the spindle itself and the base.  Paddy, as usual, completed the whole project with great dexterity and precision and all the time keeping up a humorous commentary that sometimes focussed on some hapless observer who happened to catch his eye but also receiving some accurate repartee with great hilarity.  Again Paddy had brought a couple of completed cake-stands (as well as a few sets of the “makings”) to pass around – and to sell (in fairness at very reasonable prices) if anybody wanted to buy them.
Paddy Lynch with his cake stand.

During the break the winners of the monthly competition were announced by Leo O’Donoghue, whose gavel and sounding block made at the last workshop were the subjects.  In “Advanced”, Charley McCarthy was first, Jim O’Donovan was second and Hugh Garrett was third.  In “Intermediate” the winner was P.J. O’Brien with Joe Kennedy second.  There were no entries in “Beginners”.
"Advanced"  winners - in order from left

Intermediate winners - in order from left
Saturday, the 3rd December, is the date for our A.G.M.  Members who want to have an input into the affairs of the Chapter are urged to let their names go forward for election.  Every officership and membership of the committee is open for new blood. 

In line with our Chapter policy of encouraging new/young Irish demonstrators the day will open with a two-hour demonstration by Donal Ryan from the Limerick Chapter.  Donal has made quite a name for himself and, by no means a one-trick pony, he really has made a mark with his thin hollow forms topped with really delicate finials.  He will start at 10.00 a.m. and the venue is the usual Togher venue in the old school across from the R.C. Church.

After the demonstration the A.G.M. will take place and this will be followed by our little Christmas party – bring your own, but enough to share.
1922 - 2016

The members of the Cork Chapter were particularly saddened to hear of the recent death, at age 94, of our oldest member and friend, Michael Box.

Michael lived at Two Pot House, outside Mallow, Co. Cork where he hosted many Chapter Workshops over many years.  Following the death of his wife some years ago he continued to reside in the family home outside Mallow where he was lovingly cared for by his daughter, Jackie, to whom we now offer our sincere condolences.

He was from Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds area in England and despite many years living in Ireland he never lost his accent.  He served in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy before relocating to this country.  England’s loss was Ireland’s gain.

He was a talented turner in both metal and wood.

In an interview he gave to John Ahern for the Cork Chapter Newsletter Michael explained that he had no history of working with timber but was a mechanical engineer and toolmaker by trade.  When he retired over 30 years ago he took up woodturning because, as he said himself, “Unlike metalturning, woodturning is a much more skilled and difficult discipline because when the metal lathe is set up it will do the work itself.  In woodturning you have to do all the shaping by hand and by eye.”  At the beginning he attended a course in Craft Supplies under Chris Stott.

Michael’s work was very artistic and he preferred faceplate work.  He was heavily influence by Greek artwork and liked especially one-off pieces that included twist work.  Air-dried ash, yew and sycamore, sourced locally, were his favourite woods.

For his artistic work he designed and built a home-made router jig that is quite unique, was very versatile and that he used to great effect for his intricately designed pieces.

Though his health had declined with the passing of years Michael attended the Chapter monthly workshops up to quite recently where he occupied a front seat, making sure he took everything in.

Rest easy, Michael Box.  You will be greatly missed.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Members of the Cork Chapter at The National Seminar in Maynooth, 22nd & 23rd October, 2016.
From left: Michael Pattwell, John Ahern & Paddy Lynch

From left: David Lee, Charley McCarthy & Hugh Garrett

From left: Leslie Clarke (Kerry Chapter Secretary), Pat Moloney, Seamus Healy & Jerry Twomey

From left: Jim O'Donovan, David Lee & Charley McCarthy

From left: Gerard Hennessy & Joe Kennedy

The winning entry, Limerick Chapter 
Fourteen members of the Cork Chapter attended the National Seminar in Maynooth over last weekend. It was a most enjoyable few days and everybody seemed to have a good time. Unfortunately we didn't bring back any prizes from the competitions even though the standard of the items that our members entered was very high. Indeed the overall standard was really high and accordingly nobody was really disappointed. It was an honour to just be there.
Thanks to Ger Hennessy and his team, our entry in the Chapter Challenge looked very well and those of us who were there felt very proud of our effort. We didn't, however, win but we were delighted when the Limerick Chapter were announced as the winners - and a very worthy winner they were too. Hearty congratulations to them.  They even included a box for the pieces and that can be seen in the background.

The Cork Chapter entry.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

For the October 2016 workshop we were back in familiar territory, in Leo O’Donoghue’s comfortable workshop in Little Island. 
Some of the attendance
For his project Leo decided to do a gavel and sound block.  A gavel is a small ceremonial mallet commonly made of hardwood, typically fashioned with a handle and often struck against a sound block, a striking surface typically also made of hardwood, to enhance its sounding qualities.   It is a symbol of the authority and right to act officially in the capacity of a chair or presiding officer.  The expression passing the gavel signifies an orderly succession from one chair to another.  The gavel is much associated with the judiciary but in truth I never saw a judge in this country using one.
In Medieval England, the word "gavel" could refer to a tribute or rent payment made with something other than cash.  These agreements were set in English land-court with the sound of a "gavel," a word that may come from the Old English "gafol" (meaning "tribute").
Leo O'Donoghue at work on his gavel
The main part or head of the gavel was made of mahogany and  the handle was beech.  The sound block was a combination of the two.
Leo drilled the hole for the handle first into the squared wood, on his drill-press, and then turned the head between centres.  For a finish he sanded up to 400 grit and used sanding sealer, followed by his own polish made of bees’ wax (from his own apiary) mixed with turpentine, liquid paraffin and carnauba wax.
When fitting the handle he split a section of it on the bandsaw and glued a wedge of mahogany and this gave the end of the handle a nice contrast.
Leo, with his completed gavel and sound block
Leo’s workshops are long recognised for the great refreshments served and this time was no exception.  Thanks, Leo and thanks too to your wonderful “catering staff”.  
The competition was a plate as demonstrated by Tony Farrell at the last workshop.  In “Advanced” Peter Manning was 1st, followed by Gerard Hennessy and Charley McCarthy, in that order.  “Intermediate” was won by Joe Kennedy, with 2nd and 3rd going to Jim Byrne and Michael Pattwell, respectively.  “Beginners” went to Pat Dromey for 1st and 2nd.

Competition winners.

The members agreed that we should vary the date for the November workshop as the regular date clashes with the Open Day in Ronaynes’ Shop in Thurles.  The new date will be 12th November at the usual venue at Togher at 1.30.
The Cork Chapter, in co-operation with Atkins on the Carrigrohane Road, held a chainsaw training evening at Oriel House Hotel, Ballincollig, last week.  This was an excellent evening with the presentation made by the Technical Manager of the Husqvarna main importers in Ireland. 
To say it was anything less than excellent would be doing it a disservice.  We were taken through the ‘secrets’ of properly sharpening the equipment as well as how to use them as safely as possible.  Personal protection equipment (PPE) was available to view and examine and was tested. 

The success of the evening is confirmed by the number of people who left with a new respect for this dangerous piece of equipment and the number who promised themselves that they would no longer use it without first fitting themselves out with the adequate PPE.

Monday, October 3, 2016

These messages have been circulated by our Hon. Secretary, Mick Bouchier.

Hi All, October Workshop in Leo O’Donoghue’s at 1.30pm on Saturday 15th October. Competition is a Plate. Leo will have Beeswax and Honey for sale on the day. Regards, Mick Bouchier, Secretary Cork Chapter IWG 086 8520542


Hi All, Date for your Diary Please let me know in advance if you will be attending. A Chainsaw Presentation, relating to care, sharpening and H & S will take place in the Oriel Hotel, Ballincollig on Wednesday 12th October at 7.30pm. This is “FREE” event (2 hours approx.) sponsored by Atkins Limited, Cork & Bandon and will be delivered by Andy Walsh of Liffey Distributors, Dublin. It is a must attend event for Chainsaw owners. Regards, Mick Bouchier, Secretary Cork Chapter IWG 086 8520542

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Our September 2016 workshop was held at Tony Farrell's workshop.  It is always a popular venue, not alone for the quality of Tony's demonstration but also the food that he, Alice and her band of helpers serve.
Tony has a top class ventilation system and that made it the ideal venue to deal with sanding and finishing.  Our host went through both hand-sanding and power sanding as well as the various finishes he uses.  Everybody learned something new.
For hand-sanding Tony favours Abranet but for power sanding he uses the Simon Hope system with the 47mm sanding pads and the 50mm discs that he cuts using a wad punch.
Most of us are familiar with bees wax mixed with liquid paraffin but Tony has his own variation in which he uses pure turpentine instead of the liquid paraffin (mineral oil in the USA.)
He does, however, use liquid paraffin extensively, especially for his food plates.  He fills a container with the oil and dips the plate into it, then lets it drain in another receptacle.  The finish is most acceptable.  For heavily spalted wood Tony likes to use the mix of sanding sealer and thinners - 50/50. That clearly stabilises the wood and produces a much better finish.
The subject for the monthly competition was a bowl and there was a good entry.  Judging was undertaken by Kieran Higgins and Gerard Hennessy and their critiques were themselves valuable lessons. In advanced Peter Manning secured first place and Charlie McCarthy got 2nd and 3rd.  In Intermediate Joe Kennedy was first, Jim Byrne was second and Michael Pattwell was third.  Tom Daly won the beginners.
The subject for the October competition is a plate.  That workshop will be held at Leo O'Donoghue's in Little Island.
Tony Farrell finishing a large platter

Happy Birthday, Tony.

The competition entries.