North East Chapter – Irish Woodturners Guild

July 2015


Traditionally July is earmarked for our BBQ with a full day’s turning, and we were privileged to have had Robert O’Connor and Seamus Cassidy as demonstrators for the day, together with Des Harborne from The Hut with a great selection and display of turning materials. 


Thanks to Seamus for providing facilities, not only for turning, but also providing his timber shed for the BBQ and seating arrangements.


tn_Seamus Cassidy & Peter Donagh preparing BBQ P1030899

Seamus Cassidy & Peter Donagh preparing BBQ



Robert started with 5 pieces of Yew, and set out to turn a standard lamp with the following timbers, and working from a prepared plan drawn on the back of a circus poster:-  


Three feet pieces:       .25” sq. x 1” for each foot 

Base:                          13” x 3” 

Bottom section:              4” sq. x 21” 

Centre section:               3” sq. x 19.5” 

Top section:              2.25” sq. x 9.25” 



tn_Standard Lamp Plan P1030894

The Plan


The base was mounted on a homemade extended face plate to facilitate additional screws.  The bottom of the base was dished after marking the position of the 3 feet, and a recess cut for rechecking.  Using the spindle gouge drill the central hole for the cable.  Reverse chuck, and with a 1.75” drill create a recess 1.5” deep to support the bottom section.  Turn the base to an ogee shape and sheer scrape finish using scraper at 45 degrees.  Finish with a cellulose sanding sealer.  Next, mount the 2.25” blank for the feet between centres, bring to round and mount in chuck to turn the 3 feet before parting off each foot. 



tn_Robert O'ConnorP1030888

Robert O'Connor at work on the base




tn_Robert O'Connor & Michael Clarke P1030886

Robert O'Connor & Michael Clarke


Mount 4” sq. section between centres, cut spigot at tailstock end to fit into base.  Shape the bottom section, finishing with a half bead at drive end.  Bore recess in top for holding the centre section using the 4 prong drive centre.  Repeat the process for the centre and top sections.  In each case cut a slight recess to accommodate any excess glue at the upper end of the spigot.  Assemble components and apply two coats of Trade Lacquer.   


tn_After applying spray lacquer to standard lamp P1030895

 After applying spray lacquer to standard lamp



Robert's second project was a classic kiln dried 14” Maple bowl.  The technique used when cutting the inside of the bowl was to present the bowl gouge at 3 o’clock and cutting at 2 o’clock. 


tn_Robert O'Connor's Maple bowlP1030911

Robert O'Connor's Maple bowl


Finish with Hardwax Oil – first coat in the morning, and denibbing before the final coat in the evening.  Thanks Robert for two captivating projects. 


tn_Michael Clarke on Button Accordian, BBQ 2015 P1030913

Michael Clarke on Button Accordian


Seamus gave his constructive critique on the following exhibits:-




tn_Laburnum goblet Cecil Barron P1030902

 Laburnum goblet with captive rings – Cecil Barron: 




tn_Yew Vase, John Conneff P1030904

Yew deep hollowed vase – John Conneff: 




tn_Oak Bowl Dave Carroll P1030905

Oak stained and limed bowl – Dave Carroll:






tn_wine table & tools made on homemade lathe 1971 Eamonn McKelvey P1030909

1971 Mahogany wine table made on homemade lathe, with original skew & roughing gouge – Eamonn McKelvey: 




tn_Poplar, Beech, Mahogany tea stands, Gerard Corrigan P1030908

Pair of ornamental tea stands, Poplar/Beech/Mahogany – Gerard Corrigan: 




tn_Burr Elm Pen, Bob Dier P1030918

Burr Elm pen – Bob Dier: 




tn_Ash & Mahogany box, Eamonn McKelvey P1030903

Ash/Mahogany box – Eamonn McKelvey. 



Seamus continued by giving us an insight into the planning and preparation, and demonstrating the techniques and jigs involved in turning his unique winning entry “Orbital” in last year’s RDS National Craft competition.  Joe Laird, Chairman of the IWG Executive Committee, described the competition as “a showcase for the best of the best in Irish craft” – thank you Seamus for sharing your inventiveness in this work of art.