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.