Monday, August 6, 2018

Woodspun 2018

John O'Shea was interviewed  recently for Woodspun and Cork Craft Month August 2018. John  will also demonstrate at the gallery in Kinsale.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

.Workshop Report March 24 201

Jerry Twomey

Next up was Jerry Twomey, our Chapter Safety Coordinator and several years a demonstrator. Jerry always comes up with something interesting and today was no different with ‘inside out’ turning a lamp. He has a very good approach to woodturning which is one well planned step at a time. And as a result he worked through the process making a potentially complex process very simple.

Here are the main points:
  1. Check that the four pieces are square (90degrees).
  2. Glue in pairs with paper joints so that they will be easily split apart later.
  3. Fix squares of ply to the ends to avoid the centres, particularly the tailstock centre from splitting the pieces.
  4. Turn the required shape to the blank leaving some square material on both ends.
  5. Split the joints and reverse the pieces carefully.
  6. Permanently glue the four pieces leaving the turned area to the inside.
  7. Optionally a decorative spindle can be fitted to the centre before the final gluing to camouflage the electric cable.   
  8. Replace the plywood squares.
  9. Turn desired shape and put a spigot at one end to fit base.
  10. Turn base and fit to stem.

Jerry’s demo again should appeal to all levels. The beauty of Jerry’s project is that it can be made from small cross-sectional stock, 2”x 2”(50x50) and a small circular piece for the base.
A Big Thank You! Jerry from all of us.

See photos of Jerry’s demo below and also the Competition Winners.
And as always a Report like this will never substitute for the real thing so update your calendar if you  haven’t already

Peter Manning 2nd Advanced with Sean McSweeney Judge 
John Ahen 1st Advanced

Jerry Twomey with finished piece

John Ahern

Demo Piece
Senan 1st Beginners with Ger Hennessy Judge

Kevin 1st Intermediate with Ger Hennessy Judge

Jin Donovan 3rd Advanced
Workshop Report March 24th.

John Ahern.

John Ahern, esteemed Chairman, stood up to give the first demonstration of the day. Two parts - part one on sharpening and part two on texturing. He began by stating that nice tools, equipment and timber is to no avail without “ edge “ “ and I mean good sharp tools all the time”. He then went on to explain the difference between “grinding” and “sharpening”(honing). Grinding is where you take a damaged cutting edge or an unsatisfactory grind angle and re-shape it that will necessitate the removal of substantial steel. Whereas sharpening (honing) is the removal of the minimum steel to regain keen edge on a dull tool. John went on to introduce his preferred grinding/sharpening system, the Sorby Pro Edge. This is a belt system with a variety of belts available: aluminium oxide for carbon steel (carpentry and joinery tools), Zirconium for high-speed steel and Ceramic also for HSS but more effective and longer lasting. Johns demo was carefully thought out and dealt with questions as they arose. It was obvious that John was convinced of this system and it delivered great edge as he demonstrated later.
The following are main points:
  1. Start with 60grit and work through each grit.
  2. Keep flutes clean and be extremely careful around that cutting edge.
  3. Finish off with 3000 grit.
  4. Optional is fine honing on a strop or leather pad. Homemade pad – ensure smooth leather side is glued down with rough side up.

John also touched on different grindstone types and the importance of keeping the surface of the stone true and clean – there are a variety of dressing tools available. On he went to give a show of fine shavings with each tool previously sharpened. All were impressed. He also demonstrated how a bowl gouge could be used with one hand to stress that with good edge there is no need for force of any sort. To push home the point a little further, when in doubt, stop the lathe and reassess your whole approach – guaranteed its poor edge.

Having comprehensively covered grinding and sharpening John proceeded to an overview of texturing and provided some good tips:
  1. 1000rpm.
  2. Rotary head on texturing tool held at 45 degrees.
  3. Encouraged experimentation with speed and angle of address.
  4. Colour can be applied with ink markers to highlight the actual texture.
  5. A beads or a simple vee can emphasise and separate certain sections of texturing.

Overall a very good and informative demo with plenty for the beginner and the more experienced. The overall thrust of his demo throughout was on the importance of “edge” and this cannot be overstated. So it was good for everyone, I’m sure, to take a moment to reflect on this most important aspect of woodturning.
Thank You! John.
See photos of Johns demo below.

As Always the members would like to thank today's judges Sean Mc Sweeney and Ger Hennessy for judging the competition, and also for their excellent critique.  

Monday, April 16, 2018

Cork Chapter Heads Up.

 Saturday, 21st  and Masterclass Sunday 22nd April 
The Scout Centre

Registration: 9.00-10.00 a.m.  Demonstration commencing at 10.00 a.m. sharp

FEATURED TURNER: Kieran Reynold, well known Dublin based Turner

Cost of seminar:  €50.00.
Hot Lunch and Dessert included. Free tea/coffee will be provided for breaks and for lunch.
Contact: Mick Bouchier at 086 8520542 or email, before 14th April, if possible.
There will be an OPEN competition.  Bring your pieces on the day - you may enter 3 pieces.
There may be a few places available for a Masterclass on the following day.  These will be filled on a first come basis.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Annual Seminar 2018.

Annual Seminar.
Cork Chapter of the Irish Woodturners Guild will hold their annual Seminar at the Scout Hall, Tramore Road junction with Togher Road (Eircode: T12 W658), on Saturday 21st April.
Kieran Reynolds is the guest demonstrator and to see samples of his work check-out

The Competition  will be an Open Competition.
Each person attending can submit 3 pieces.

The Master Class on Sunday the 22nd April will be held in the Home Workshop of Tony Farrell, The Gables, Ballinora, Waterfall (Eircode: T12 W8NY).


Michael Bouchier, Secretary Cork Chapter IWG

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Cork Chapter Heads Up.

Hi All,

The March Workshop will be held on the 4th Saturday  of the month, 24th March 2018 at 1.30pm in Old School, Togher Road. (3rd Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day).

Competition is a “Toothpick Holder”.


John Ahern and Jerry Twomey.

 *** Beginners Classes will take place before the Workshop, commencing at 12.30pm.

*** If you are attending the Beginners Classes, please let me know by email or text in advance.

Michael Bouchier, Secretary Cork Chapter IWG

Friday, March 2, 2018

Display at February Workshop.    Photo  Pat Dromey 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Cork Chapter Heads Up.

Hi All,

The March Workshop will be held on the 4th Saturday  of the month, 24th March 2018 at 1.30pm in Old School, Togher Road. (3rd Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day).

Competition is a “Toothpick Holder”.

Demonstrators: John Ahern and Jerry Twomey.


Michael Bouchier, Secretary Cork Chapter IWG

Monday, February 19, 2018

How to join the Cork Chapter   Irish Woodturners Guild

When you join the Cork Chapter, you are joining the Irish Woodturners Guild,  and as a member you can attend the meetings of any of the other 19 Chapters across Ireland by prior arrangement, with the Secretary of that Chapter. To join the Cork Chapter contact Hon Sec  Mick Bouchier  0868250542
It is a requirement under our insurance policy that only paid up members may attend meetings. However, you may become an associate member for the day if you are introduced by a member. This allows you to attend one meeting so you can access if you would like to join. The annual fee is €57 there is also a family membership. There is also a €5 fee collected at the monthly demonstrations to cover the cost of tea coffee biscuits etc. Woodturning classes for beginners can be arrangements locally.
New members are always welcome.
Ger Hennessy

Peter Manning
Workshop Report February 2018

Our two demonstrators for February were Peter Manning and Ger Hennessy both very experienced and talented demonstrators.
On Feb 17th we returned to our base at the Old School Togher. Peter was first up and demonstrated until the tea break and Ger then followed full of energy after the coffee cakes and biscuits, supplied as usual by John O Shea.
Peters demo was very suitable both for the beginner looking for a challenge and also someone with more experience. He immediately ran through what he had prepared; a Spanish lady, a Ballycotton duck/swan and a Christmas tree. Ornamental tree making is obviously very popular around Christmas so you can be planning already.
Peter began with the Spanish lady by explaining the setting out ( 3 centres on the base, 3/8 inch or 10mm either side of true centre) he then passed around one already made for close inspection.As usual Peter fielded many questions in his calm and encouraging way. During the demo he stressed several times the importance of enjoyment, trying new ideas and mostly of having fun with your woodturning.
Peter then proceeded with his second project, his duck, which was a similar process,(off centre turning) to the lady so he was able to move along without too much repetition.
For his final project Peter took a waste piece of branch wood between centres and turned a tree that did not require any sanding and the final decoration was left to your own imagination. He also spoke on the importance of using the skew chisel, mainly because of the finer finish and the less amount of sanding required.
Peter touched on some of the main points again before finishing (see below)
  1.   No pressure on the  tailstock end - support only.
  2.   Ramp up speed for off centre work - for something small it would be fine at c1200rpm but you must be in your comfort zone - if you are not comfortable with the speed turn it down.
  3.   Have fun! Peter says, and we all have to agree.

Next up saw Ger Hennessy all ready for action, having enjoyed his coffee and ???????,  his demo piece was a cocktail stick dispenser again with the beginner in mind but still with plenty of scope for enhancements, that would appeal to the more experienced, e.g. texturing, chatter work, pyrography
colour etc. Ger provided a large drawing which he hung on the wall ,to help explain the different stages involved, and was able to explain and make simple what appeared to be a complex piece, He also distributed a handout for the beginners, but I think that he saw me and a few of the cute old hands slipping one into our pockets. Ger being the gentleman that he is ignored such carry-on.
Anyway as always Ger went through each methodically starting at the bottom, then the inner cup, to the dowel and finally the lid. When fitted together it worked as smooth as a precision piston.
 Some tips along the way:
   1   Sharpen the fostner  bit regularly as they are made from hardened high carbon stee
   2   Slow down the lathe to a snails pace when drilling- prevents damage to the bit and timber
   3   When making more than one work from a drawing or sketch with measurements

Both demonstrators gave clear and concise explanations for all stages and techniques. It was obvious
they stuck to a well planed schedule and as a result we finished on time and ..As always a Workshop Report will never replace the real thing-the actual demonstration.

I would like to thank Kevin Geaney for providing the prizes for the competition, Kevin won the beginners section but was missing for the photos. I would also like to thank all those who open and prepare the school, set up the lathe, cleaning up, help around the lathe, cameras, safety officer for the demos, look after the library,purchasing tea coffee etc.and  making  the tea and coffee,and always cleans the kitchen, judges, competition score keepers,  and anyone who helps in any way, sorry to anyone if I did not mention your help but I can assure you that you are greatly appreciated  .
It always seems to be the same people who clean the demo room, the kitchen, and put away the lathe etc, so I am asking everyone to help, after all we all participate and enjoy the demonstrations so please do not leave it to the few. 

                                                                                                   John B Ahern Chairman

Stephen Pearson  Judge,  John Ahern Winner Advanced,  Michael Pattwell  
Stephen Pearson,  David Lee Second Advanced,  Michael Pattwell Judge

Peter Manning  3rd Advanced

Brian Goulding 1st Intermediate 

PJ O'Brien 2nd Intermediate  

Jim Byrne  3rd Intermediate 

Jack Lynch 2nd beginners

Noel Murphy 3rd beginners

1st place beginners  Kevin Geaney


Hi All,

It is with regret, I announce the death of Donal O’Donoghue, brother of Leo O’Donoghue.

I do not have the funeral arrangements available yet.

May he Rest In Peace.


Michael Bouchier, Secretary Cork Chapter IWG

Friday, February 9, 2018

Cork Chapter Heads Up.

Workshop 17th February.

Hi All,

The February Workshop will be held on Saturday 17th at 1.30pm in School, Togher.
Demonstrators : Peter Manning and Ger Hennessy.

Competition : Bowl of any shape!


Michael Bouchier, Secretary Cork Chapter IWG

The Old School, Togher Road - opposite the "The Way of the Cross" church and on the right of Applegreen petrol station. 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Life Story. Michael Box. Part 1 - The Early Years.

        The Ballyhoura Rural Service facilitated the recording and publication of this book.

(Extracts from Michael Box’s Life Story The Early Years)

These extracts from Michael’s short book ‘Life Story The Early Years’ highlights the interesting life he had. For those that knew Michael it will obviously be a very interesting read but it would also be of interest to the historians among us.
There will be a small number of copies available at the next workshop.

Gloster Aircraft Barrage Balloon Attack.  (Gloucestershire Aircraft Company was renamed Gloster to help non British with their pronunciation.)

Gloster Aircraft was six miles across a flat plane from Dowtys, where I worked (building under carriages for aircrafts). We could see Gloster Aircraft in the distance and all around it there was a ring of barrage balloons to protect it from dive-bombers. In the summer when we would have our dinner breaks at Dowtys we would sit on the roof of one of the buildings and we could see across to Gloster Aircraft. Half twelve to half one was our break time. At one o’clock every day the balloons would be lowered down for servicing – the whole lot down together. Obviously someone had tipped off the Germans that this was happening every day at one o’clock. One day we were watching these balloons go down when we suddenly saw an airplane diving from above. The plane came straight down towards the factory and we said ‘cor’ look at that plane. We didn’t think it was a German as it looked just like a Bristol Bullfighter, as it had a very similar pattern to it. It was a Yunkers88 actually. I got my leg pulled afterwards for getting it wrong. Anyway this plane levelled out over the factory, dropped one bomb and it hit the tool room at Gloster Aircraft. It killed fifteen people and wounded a lot more and destroyed a whole load of precision machinery. Then away it flew up into the air and it was gone over Chosen Hill just on the edge of the Cotswolds. That’s where they roll the cheeses down the hill... And he was away and gone out of sight before anyone realised what had happened. Then all the balloons went up again, it was pathetic. Obviously if they were lowered one at a time they would still have protection… It is easy to criticise in hindsight but it could have been avoided with a bit of thought. That was a wartime experience of bombing that I had. Bloody daft things happened in the war!…
I tried to join up a couple of times and got told off by the boss… When the war finished and they didn’t want planes anymore, we were all called up because conscription was still on…A friend of mine was called up at the same time and we volunteered to join the navy so we went to the HMS Royal Arthur, Skegness…During that period we got interviewed and did a medical…eventually had to pass an exam to see what we knew about engineering. I passed anyway and got accepted as a recruit to be an engineer in the Fleet Air Arm… We did a general induction of forces set up. It was like basic training. They had a rifle range there and they taught us how to use a rifle. They also taught us how to do various things in the engineering line and it was quite interesting. My knowledge of aircraft helped me to get into the fleet arm of the navy which was one of the better sections. We were far better treated than the ordinary navy sailors. I had nearly three years in the Fleet Air Arm. I was working on the naval equipment of the Spitfire. It was called the C Fire with slight modifications to suit naval use. They had a different shape intake for the engine for low flying over the ocean. It had landing gear that was lower down for deck landing on an aircraft carrier where the hook would catch to keep it down…
When we eventually ‘passed out’… we had to do six weeks with the RAF Training School near Cannock Chase in Staffordshire… where we had to learn about aero engines because those who had been selected to be air mechanics, of which I was one had to go on to Hednesford. It was a training place to learn about aircraft jet engines…

The Log Man.

I worked on a lathe as an apprentice and on the next line to me was a man that was in fact a very good turner. He came in one day in a blazing temper and said “that bastard pinched my logs again” and I said what are you talking about?
It seems that his brother kept him in firewood. He used to bring a load of logs down to where this man lived which was on a very steep bank. There is a place in Chalford Valley near Stroud where most of the houses are on a steep bank. There is no road or such for vehicles and even today the deliveries are still made by donkey, would you believe. This man lived in one of those cottages near the bottom. They called them pitsies? Anyhow he had a store of wood next to his cottage. He had a feeling that someone was pinching his wood. He knew it was disappearing and he had a feeling it was a bloke from a cottage above him who worked in the same factory, the same shop actually. He could never catch him. He would stay up at night watching but could never see it go.
Anyway this day he came in blazing. He brought a log of wood into the works. It was about a foot long and about four inches in diameter. He bored the log so it had a hollow chamber inside it. It was around November, fireworks time when you could buy a one penny or halfpenny banger. The halfpenny bangers were called little demons and you could buy twelve for sixpence. Anyway he brought in a load of  these demons and stuffed them into the log. He then turned a round of wood and bunged the end of the log so that you couldn’t see anything. “ I will get the bastars” he said… So he took the log back and put it nicely on his pile of logs… one morning he came in and said “the bugger has it, its gone…

(There’s a nice twist to the end of that story of the log man but you really need to read it in the context of Michaels full story, which is truly a step back into history.)

(‘Chalford Donkey delivering shopping’ can be seen on YouTube)

In memory of our dear friend Michael.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Workshop Report

Padraig MacAnFhaillghigh – Jan 2018.

January 20th brought a very cold and bitter wind to Dromahane but still 30 enthusiasts struck out for Padraigs workshop. Some arrived early for his tool sharpening tutorial which proved very popular. Many also stayed on afterwards to avail of his kind offer to continue with some more hot tips and one to one consults on issues around sharpening – ‘edge’ ‘edge’ and more ‘edge’ as we say.

Padraig began by showing a sample of a completed Grole (pronounced Groll). It was absolutely new to us insofar as it was never demonstrated before at any of our Workshops. It was pointed out to me later by someone more travelled than myself that it is common to the Savoy region of France and the Aosta Valley on the Italian side. It is an ancient wooden vessel with a small lid and several spouts (as little as 2 and as many as 10) – Padraig did eight spouts (see picture below). It is sometimes called a friendship bowl because it is designed for one to drink from the spout and pass it to the person to the right until all imbibed. If it is put down before the circle is completed it is suppose to bring bad luck. Traditionally it is filled with coffee, liquors, spices etc to produce a delicious hot drink. Interestingly the Grole should never be submerged in water, instead it is wiped down with a warm cloth and stored in the shade away from direct sunlight.
It’s always nice to listen to the story behind the artefact but it’s really the woodturning that gets us salivating. Padraig proceeded to explain the importance of planning out the stages in a good logical fashion and not to rush at it. A 12mm bowl gouge (finger-nail grind) shaped the lower two thirds of the bowl leaving a raised section for the spouts. The top surface was shaped leaving a slight recess where the lid would fit. Padraig now settled down to shaping the spouts with a Microplane rasp, a small saw and a ‘Microplane rotary shaper’. Alternatively, an Arbortech industrial carver and a mini carver could be used for this and the decorative carving later.
To remove the material from the inside, Padraig began by drilling the centre out to the correct depth. It was now a little easier to come back with the 12mm bowl gouge and draw-cut the bulk of the material. To finish off the inside a shallow grind bowl gouge was used across the bottom to avoid dig-in. Followed up with a scraper (inclined downwards) to give a clean finish.
It was brought to our notice that time had run on as it does when you are having fun so Padraig concluded with a question and answer session before we all retired to Padraig's sun-room for well-appreciated sustenance and plenty of hot drinks.
Shortly afterwards we returned to the workshop to finalise the Competition. This is a major part of what we do to help maintain and promote a high standard of woodturning in the Cork area. Once again a big thank you to the judges Brian Goulding and Leo O’Donoghue for their time and critique. Also, thanks to the competitors for coming out so soon after a busy Christmas with well-finished new pieces.

Beginners.     Ken Morey - 1st.
Intermediate. P.J. O'Brien - 2nd. and Kevin Geaney - 1st.
Advanced.    John Ahern - 3rd., Hugh Garrett - 2nd. and Ger Hennessy - 1st.
(photographs are shown below). 

Next competition is a bowl/vessel “with a difference” Our secretary Mick Boucher will be circulating, shortly, the actual ‘brief’ for the competition.
It is clear from Padraigs demonstration that the Grole is an ‘advanced’ project therefore extra care should be employed and always use a visor for faceplate work. Yet the skills shown can be adapted for less adventurous items that would suit all levels so there is no excuse for not using your imagination and not bringing your pieces along to next months competitions..

Safety Health and Welfare:
Safety is always foremost in what we do so remember to (1) plan ahead each stage carefully,  (2) assess the risks, i.e. envisage what could go wrong and act accordingly.

Finally we sincerely thank Padraig and family for their hospitality to the Cork Chapter once again and so soon after Christmas.
And as always a Workshop Report will never substitute for the real thing – the actual workshop. So keep the third Saturday each month reserved.

P.S. Also thanks to Padraig for organising the printing of  Life Story – Early Years, by Michael Box one of our founder members fondly remembered by all. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Wanted lathe please contact John 0878158159
Photos of the winners of the January competition held at the home workshop
Ken Morey winner Beginners 

PJ OBrien  second Intermediate

Kevin Geaney winner intermediate

John Ahern third advanced

Hugh Garrett second advanced

Ger Hennessy winner advanced
of Padraig MacAnFaillghigh in Dromahane Mallow on Saturday  19th
Also included in the photos are the competition judges Brian Goulding and Leo ODonoghue
The members of the Cork Chapter would like to thank Padraig, Catherine and family for their wonderful hospitality again this year.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Cork Chapter Heads Up.

Workshop 20th Jan.

Hi All,

The January Workshop will take place at the Home Workshop of Padraig MacAnFhaillghigh, Dromahane, Mallow.

From Cork, take the Mallow road as far as the Dromahane

Turn left for Dromahane; go about 200 yards and turn left again.
Take another left at the T-junction.  

Take the road up the hill to Dromahane village.  Pass the church
and the Quick Pick, and Pádraig's is the red-bricked 
elevated house  about 400 yards along on the left hand side.

Postcode: P51 DT78.

List of events for the year has been emailed..

Competition: Three sided Bowl!.


Michael Bouchier, Secretary Cork Chapter IWG

Memo from Padraig.

Padraig has generously offered to sharpen tool for members before and after the workshop and have a chat with them re the finer points of getting a keen edge.
This is a great opportunity so get there early or hang back afterwards if you are interested. 
Thanks Padraig !!!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year to all the members of the Cork Chapter from the Chapter Committee and the new admin: Ger and Stephen.
Its a new year and the calendar is full for the Cork Chapter. Everyone on-line should have a copy by now. For those not on-line there will be copies of the Calender available at the Workshops.
Our first Workshop (20th Jan) is at Padraig Mac AnFhaillghig in Dromahane overlooking the beautiful Blackwater valley. In a short few months (21st April) our Annual Seminar with Kieran Reynolds will be at a new venue The Cotton Ball - check out for beautiful shots of Kieran's work. And its never too early to put your name down for our 'Gone Fishing' with Peter Manning in Ballycotton (27th June) - a lovely social outing with a bucket of fish to boot.
Plenty more going on each month so put that Calendar somewhere where you can see it and plan ahead if you can.
Keep the wood secure, the chisels sharp and the shavings thin and most of all have fun.