February  2011


Paddy O’Connor, from the Midlands Chapter, showed us how to make a walking stick. Paddy had us spellbound making the task seem so simple with his variety of homemade steadies and makey-up files. Using a recycled oak banister as the 32” stem, the centre points were marked and drilled at each end for accurate centering.


The stem was marked at 8” intervals to facilitate turning a taper from 1” at the top to .75” at the bottom. A mini steady attached to the tool-rest provided the necessary stability at all times. With the aid of a calipers with the points rounded, a parting tool was used to determine the various depths at the 8” marks to define the required taper. Turning proceeded from the thick to the thin end to ensure maximum stability. 



 Paddy O'Connor's hand held steady 



The knob for the walking stick was turned from a 4” length of contrasting timber; in this instance laburnum was used. Paddy used a 5mm drill to prepare the knob and stem to insert a joining 6mm threaded bar. A 5” length of threaded bar was inserted into a hollowed out chuck from an old drill, and the shaft of the walking stick was fitted onto the bar.   Next the knob was screwed on with the lathe running at a very slow speed.  


In the event of any minor misalignment with the knob and the shaft, then the insertion of a triple barley twist section may solve the problem. The length of each complete twist should measure three times the diameter of the shaft. Start by drawing a 3 x 3 line grid on the selected spiral area. Working from top to bottom, connect the diagonal points to mark the lines of the spirals. Cut the twist groves with a mini arbortech. It was then carved to correct depth with repeated cuts and cleaned up with a makey-up file. The job was completed by fitting a converted brass bullet shell as a ferrule for the bottom of the walking stick. 



 Paddy O'Connor - Two bowls from one blank



Seamus Cassidy delivered an informative critique on the various entries of the day.  These included:

Spalted beech bowls by Noel Byrne,

Pomander – Tony Twaites,

Bowl of fruit – Cecil Barron,

 Vase of tulips – Dave Carroll,

Multi egg holder – Gerard Corrigan, I

Iroko Cindy bowl – Pat Halligan,

Roman numeral yew clock – Bob Dier.