North East Chapter – Irish Woodturners Guild


February 2014


Cecil Barron volunteered at short notice to demonstrate how he makes a napkin holder complete with six serviette rings from various timbers and varying designs. The use of a napkin or serviette holder started in Europe during the Napoleonic period. The practical use of the napkin ring continued to spread throughout the western world, and it is still widely used to-day and well integrated as part of the table setting. 


tn_Cecil Barron turning serviette rings

Mount a 2” Square x 1.25” deep blank in chuck and drill into the end grain, cutting out the centre using a 1.25” forstner drill.  Mount the ring on a 9” long tapered split chuck made from a curtain pole, and bring to a round working towards the drive centre, and create a slight bevel on each inside edge.  Decorate ring, sand, and apply a coat of sand & sealer followed by carnauba wax buffed to a high shine.  Sandpaper glued around a 1” cylinder proved useful for sanding the inside of the ring. 


The base of the stand was prepared with the aid of the forstner drill to create a socket for mounting in chuck in expansion mode.  The base was shaped with a socket for fitting the central shaft.  Next the ring holder was mounted between centers and turned to fit the rings.  A useful guide here is to mount a finished ring on the tailstock as a handy method for checking a smooth fit.  Turn a spigot to fit the base and shape a decorative finial at the top.  Apply sand & sealer and finish with microcrystalline wax to safeguard against finger marks when handled. 


tn_Pamela McMahon trying on serviette rings

Pamela McMahon trying on serviette rings


Cecil raffled the finished project which was won by Gerard Corrigan, and he also provided a large bag of ring blanks together with a variety of blanks for the base and central holder.  Thanks Cecil for a well structured demonstration. 


tn_Mahogany Deal barley twist goblet – Bob Dier

Mahogany Deal barley twist goblet – Bob Dier


tn_Burr Elm Bowl – Cecil Barron

Burr Elm Bowl – Cecil Barron


tn_Cherry bowl – Peter Donagh

Cherry bowl – Peter Donagh


tn_Spalted Beech sugar bowl & scoop – Patrick Mc Kevett

Spalted Beech sugar bowl & scoop – Patrick Mc Kevett



tn_Mahogany Lamp – Kevin Milton

Mahogany Lamp – Kevin Milton


tn_Iroko Ash rolling pin - Cecil Barron

Iroko Ash rolling pin  - Cecil Barron


tn_Walnut cake stand – Gene McConnell

Walnut cake stand – Gene McConnell


tn_Laburnum Grecian Urn – Ger Corrigan

Laburnum Grecian Urn – Ger Corrigan