May 2011


David O’Neill from the Ulster Chapter was our guest for the May meeting and he shared his skills in demonstrating the techniques of Therming.  


His own Therming Carrier has a capacity to hold 16 spindles which is mounted between centers, and each workpiece gets cut only on one face for each positional setting. This carrier can be used to turn 2, 3 or 4 sided spindles.  



Dave O'Neill Therming Carrier

David O'Neill's Therming Carrier



This project started by taking three 1.5” square Sycamore spindles which were split from opposite corners at 60 degrees on a table saw to give six triangular lengths. These were then tightly tied together at each end with plastic tie bands, and mounted between steb drive centers.  


The unit was roughed down to a cylinder, leaving 1” at each end for the tie bands. A fine bead was created at each end marginally below the surface of the cylinder. Using a skew chisel David tapered from the centre of the cylinder to each end, leaving the bead sitting proud, and he sanded as required. Each section was then turned in sequence in the same direction by 60 degrees, and tie bands refitted. The same turning procedure was repeated for each side.  


Next each spindle was mounted between centers and dowels turned at each end. David had a homemade jig into which he positioned a triangular base with one edge slightly protruding. This edge was turned to a slight curve, before being repositioned to turn similar curves on the other two sides. The same procedures were repeated for the top section of the unit. The base and top can be drilled at the appropriate position to accept the three spindles, depending on the unit’s intended usage.  


David concluded this excellent demonstration by creating a cove with the skew chisel, before making a classical spinning top which he presented to the youngest member of his audience; Ramona Denine, age 4. 



tn_David O'Neill presenting spinning top to Ramona Denine (age 4)

David O'Neill presenting spinning top to Ramona Denine


The monthly critique session is proving to be very beneficial, and if we can implement the evaluations, it has to be a positive step for the continuous improvement in our woodturning development. Participants included: 

Noel Byrne – Cherry bowl, 

Richard Coyle – Ash bowl and figured Ash bowl,  

Cecil Barron – Set of 4 Laburnum rotating croquet balls fitted in custom made bowl,  

Bob Dier – Lavender double eggcup and eggs,  

Dave Carroll – Yew bowl with 4 apples. 


 Laburnum rotating croquet balls - Cecil Barron tn_Yew bowl with 4 apples - Dave Carroll 

Laburnum rotating croquet balls - Cecil Barron

Yew bowl with 4 apples - Dave Carroll


ash  tn_Cherry bowl - Noel Byrne

Figured Ash bowl + Ash bowl - Richard Coyle

Cherry bowl - Noel Byrne



Thanks to Cecil Barron for generously sharing a supply of off-cuts of various timbers.