North East Chapter – Irish Woodturners Guild


  September 2013


Michael Fay, Dublin Chapter, was our guest demonstrator at Seamus Cassidy’s Woodturning Studio, where he showed us how he makes a toothpick holder with a gravity self closing energy. Combining the Newtonian laws of gravity with his precision measurements and woodturning finesse - the self closing procedure surpassed any automatic activated closing device with a captivating smoothness.


tn_Toothpick holder - Michael Fay

Toothpick holder - Michael Fay


Thanks to Peter Davis, Craobh Cuig Deag, for recording the sequenced and detailed turning procedure in the last edition of the Journal, so this is a good opportunity to share some of the valuable tips which were shared on the day. 


  • As Danish Oil is used from the tin it is replaced with air, which in turn activates the process of solidification.  To avoid this chemical process, top up the oil tin with ball bearings as the oil is used.
  • When transferring a diameter measurement from calipers to the rotating work piece on the lathe - mark diameter on left hand side slightly below centre using one point only with wood spinning down from the point.
  • A disused kitchen knife is ideal for conversion to a mini parting off tool.
  • To avoid dust while sanding apply lemon oil to sand paper.
  • Sharpen spindle gouge with diamond file on inside of bevel.
  • Keep tool as close as possible over centre of tool post to minimize vibration.
  • Measure once, curse twice.


Thanks Michael for a great presentation. 


Congratulations to Seamus Cassidy on winning 1st prize in the Professional Woodturners Category at the IWG National Seminar in Rosses Point, and also thanks for providing the critique on a variety of turnings which were prepared for Cecil Barron’s sale to raise funds for the Alzheimers Society.


tn_Cherry carved bowl - Peter Donagh

Cherry carved and decorated bowls – Peter Donagh.



tn_Burr Ash Bleached bowl - Cecil Barron

Bleached burr Ash bowl – Cecil Barron.



tn_Burr Elm vase - Cecil Barron


 Burr Elm vase – Cecil Barron.



tn_Pitch Pine night light holder - Gerard Corrigan


Pitch Pine night light holder – Gerard Corrigan.


tn_Bob Dier Collection

Mahogany bowl, Iroko vase, Mahogany trivet, and a pair of fly agaric mushrooms – Bob Dier.



tn_Ash bowl - Eamon McKelvey


Ash bowl – Eamon McKelvey.   





tn_Yew goblet - Eamon McKelvey1



 Yew mini goblet – Eamon McKelvey.