North East Chapter – Irish Woodturners Guild

December 2016 

Our December meeting started with the A.G.M. and after the various reports the following members were elected to officiate for 2017:-


 Chairman:                  Dave Carroll.              

Vice Chairman:            Peter Donagh 

Secretary:                 Imelda Connolly         Treasurer:                  Richard Coyle 

PRO:                         Bob Dier.                   

Web Master:              Dave Kelly. 

Catering Manager:       Gerard Corrigan. 


After the Christmas Festive tea break Dave Carroll treated us to an experiment demonstrating the Lichtenberg Technique – a unique procedure with the potential to randomly burn complex designs into turnings. 



tn_Lichtenburg equipment - Dave Carroll P1040675

Lichtenburg equipment - Dave Carroll


The equipment used consisted of  a transformer from a recycled microwave oven appropriately wired and installed in an insulated box, complete with a cooling fan.  From this power source both positive and negative wires were fitted with alligator clips and attached to opposite ends of a piece of thin timber board.  A solution of bread-soda and water was painted onto the board between the two alligator clips as a conductor agent.  The current was switched on – all 20,000 volts – triggering a powerful electrical discharge similar to the way a lightning bolt discharges within a thundercloud, creating intense mini flames and a distinct smell of ozone gas. 


tn_Lichtenburg action P1040679

Lichtenburg action


The result was dramatic – leaving tree like patterns burnt into the timber by the passage of high voltage electric discharges along the conductive path which had previously been applied to the timber. 



tn_Litchenburg results P1040680

 Litchenburg results



Warning:  This procedure is extremely dangerous, and should only be conducted by competent persons with a thorough understanding and experience of working with high voltage electricity. 


Seamus Cassidy rounded off the day by bringing us through all the procedures in turning a salt & pepper set mounted on a rectangular base with a central finial handle. 


tn_Salt & pepper set - Seamus Cassidy P1040688

Salt & pepper set


His encore was a 2” wide bracelet turned from 100 mm burr Horse-chestnut disk mounted in large jaw chuck.  The centre 68 mm was cut out using a parting tool.  Mark the internal central point and taper each internal side with pull cuts using a spindle gouge. Reverse chuck and repeat the tapering process.  The bracelet was then mounted on a jam chuck to turn the outside, and finished with 3 coats of quick drying Melamine Lacquer.   


tn_Seamus Cassidy turning a bracelet P1040686

Seamus turning the bracelet


Thanks to Seamus for these two delightful items, and also for his critique on the following exhibits:-


 tn_Ash urn - Eamonn McKelvey P1040657

Ash and Elm urn – Eamonn McKelvey: 



tn_Laburnum box - Eamonn McKelvey P1040659

Laburnum box – Eamonn McKelvey: 



tn_Ask bowl with weave decoration - Kevin Milton P1040658

Ash bowl with weave design – Kevin Milton:



tn_Jarrah mallets - James Halligan P1040660

 Pair of Jarrah mallets – James Halligan: 



tn_Mahogany type bowl - Bob Dier P1040665

Mahogany type bowl, – Bob Dier: 




tn_Mahogany type bowl - Bob Dier P1040665

Spalted Beech bowl – Bob Dier:  



tn_Mahogany type bowl - Bob Dier P1040665

Pine femesphere – Bob Dier:




tn_3,500 years old Bog Oak bowl - Thomas King P1040664

 Bog Oak bowl from Bohermeen bog, 3,500 years old oak, weighing 12 lbs. - Thomas King