North East Chapter – Irish Woodturners Guild

August 2017

Michael Fay, Dublin Chapter, was our guest demonstrator at our August meeting – his project was a Saturn Box, complete with an off-set Saturn Ring. 


Saturn is over 760 times bigger than Earth and the rings of Saturn are the most extensive planetary ring system of any planet in the Solar System.  They consist of countless small particles that orbit Saturn’s equator.  The ring particles are made almost entirely of water ice, with a trace component of rocky material.   


tn_Michael Fay creating a Saturn box IMG_0143

Michael Fay creating a Saturn box


However, Michael’s Saturn started with a 100 mm square blank mounted between ring centres to facilitate turning across the end grain in order to allow more strength to the finished ring.  A 3 mm wide ring was defined at the equator with an 80 mm diameter.   The balance of the cylinder was turned down to 70 mm, the centre point of a 70 mm diameter cylinder was marked, then marked 35 mm each side of centre to define the perimeters of the sphere.  Using the David Reed Smith formula, a tenon was turned on either side of the cylinder to 0.414 times the radius of the cylinder.  Take the resultant measurement and mark two more lines – one on the corner of the cylinder, and the other on the corresponding horizontal corner.  Cut the corner off in a straight cut, leaving the two marked lines.  Repeat the process on the other end of the cylinder to form an octagon. 


Still retaining the same measurement repeat the markings each side of the corners.  Cut the second lot of corners off in a straight line to form a16 sided polygon.  Reduce size of tenons and blend all flats into a sphere using a scraper. 


The next stage is to mount the sphere in a holding jig, off setting it by 8 mm to give tilt to the ring.  Hollow out sphere, leaving a 6mm recess for lid.  Turn lid with finial, fit into position and blend into sphere.  Thank you Michael for a fascinating project that was executed with precision and accuracy.   


tn_Michael Fay - Saturn box IMG_0151

Michael Fay - Saturn box



Thanks to Seamus Cassidy for his critique on the following exhibits:-


 tn_Damson lamp - Eamonn McKelvey IMG_0146

Damson lamp – Eamonn McKelvey: 




tn_Beech bowl - Richard coyle IMG_0144

Beech bowl – Richard Coyle: 




tn_Lime arrow and captive rings through glass bottle - Kevin Milton IMG_0145

Lime arrow through a bottle – Kevin Milton: 




tn_Oak bowl - Bob Dier IMG_0149

Mini Oak bowl – Bob Dier.