North East Chapter – Irish Woodturners Guild


  December 2013


The 14th AGM of the North East Chapter reflected another successful, fulfilling and active year. However, it was not without sadness when we learned of the sudden passing of our esteemed woodturning colleague and friend, Luke Sharkey – his obituary appears in the News section of the website.


The following members were elected to officiate for 2014:-  

Chairman - Peter Donagh:  

Secretary – Dave Carroll:  

Deputy Sec. – Seamus Cassidy:  

Treasurer – Richard Coyle:  

Deputy Treasurer – Pamela McMahon:  

P.R.O. – Bob Dier:  

Web Site – Dave Kelly:  

Catering – Gerard Corrigan: 



Seamus Cassidy continued to demonstrate the techniques involved in making a Baby’s Rattle, with a central holding handle and a ball at each end.  Safety features of the finished project are of paramount importance: each ball must have a minimum diameter of 46 mm, in order to prevent it from fitting into the child’s mouth, and a wall thickness of at least 6 mm to avoid cracking when dropped to the floor.  Each ball joining must be secured with strong Epoxy glue. 


Starting with 175 mm X 50 mm between centers, bring to a round with a spigot at each end.  Mark dimensions of each ball with their centre lines, and continue to shape each ball and central holding handle.  Using a narrow parting tool cut off half of the first ball and mount in chuck.  A central ball washer of contrasting timber may be fitted for enhancement.  Cut recess for washer and hollow out with a spindle gouge; starting in the centre, perform a pull cut to the outer edge working at 10 to 10 o’clock. Repeat this process for each half ball.  Prepare washers for fitting into recess.  Select material to be used in rattle: in this instance 12 BB Bullets were put in each ball before assembly using Epoxy glue applied to the recess, and then clamped between head and tail stock ensuring a tight and secure fit.  Avoid heat build up on end grain when sanding to eliminate possible heat cracks.  Lightly highlight joints with a burn wire before wetting the entire rattle to raise the grain.  Gently and carefully dry with a hairdryer and re-sand.  Repeat the wetting, drying and sanding, and finish with a soak in hot Walnut oil.  Thank you Seamus for bringing us through this simple but yet, very exacting process.    Useful tip to remember when texturing a bowl rim, - it is recommended to cut from outside to inside in order to avoid tear-out at the outer edge. 


Thanks also to Seamus for his valued critique on the following items:- 



tn_Textured Coloured bowl – Peter Donagh

Textured /coloured Walnut and Cherry bowls

– Peter Donagh


tn_Iroko Platter – Richard Coyle

Iroko Platter – Richard Coyle:



tn_Pestle and Mortar – Beech & Oak – Bob Dier

 Pestle & Mortar in Beech and Oak – Bob Dier: 



tn_Beech hinged box – Bob Dier

Beech hinged box – Bob Dier: 



tn_Red and Black textured Iroko bowl – Michael Clarke

Iroko textured and coloured bowl – Michael Clarke: 



tn_Iroko supported box – James Halligan

Supported Iroko box – James Halligan.


Pair of snowmen – Gerard Corrigan: No Photo available




  • Luke Sharkey RIP 


    It is with great sadness that we record the death of our colleague and friend Luke Sharkey on 25th November 2013, aged 86.  Luke was a regular attendee at our Northeast woodturning meetings, and he was with us for our October demonstration, sharing his wit and quick sense of humour.  


    Luke spent most of his life at sea; serving in the Merchant Navy, and as Captain of his own fishing boat ‘Cuan Mhuire’ operating from Clogherhead Harbour, Co. Louth.  Not only was he a skilled boatman, but also a competent   maintenance and corker practitioner, and his expertise was in constant demand from his fellow fishermen companions.  He was also a valued member of the Lifeboat Service. 


tn_Luke Sharkey RIP


His love of the sea is reflected in his input into the erecting and positioning of the Stella Maris statue, with its light shining out over Clogherhead Harbour guiding the fishing boats home, and protecting those who travel or seek their livelihood on the sea. 


Following his funeral mass in St. Michael’s Church, Clogherhead, the ever haunting sound of Whistle and Violin playing ‘The Lonesome Boatman’ echoed throughout the Church before he was laid to rest in Mullagh Cemetery overlooking Clogherhead Harbour. 


To his wife Mona, and his sons Gerard and Noel, and daughters Dolores, Patricia and Nuala, and extended family we extend our sincere sympathy. 


Ar dheis De go raibh a anam – May his soul be on God’s right side.