May 2024 Meeting

The May meeting of the CraobhEo 2023/24 year took place on Thursday the 9th May in the CraobhEo Centre in Aghamore.

Our demonstrator for the evening was Tom Dunlop from the South East Chapter.

 We were very fortunate to have  Tom Dunlop as our guest demonstrator at our May workshop. Most of you will know him best as the booking administrator for the IWG national seminars, a role which he has filled with great efficiency for the past 40 years! He  is also a fine, mainly self-taught woodturner and demonstrator.

Tom is a native of Kilkenny where he received his primary and secondary education up to age 16. On leaving Kilkenny City Technical School he served his time in the carpentry and joinery trade for 6 years before returning to education and qualifying as a woodwork teacher in 1972. His first teaching post was in New Ross Technical School where he taught for 35 years until retirement in 2007.

He had become interested in Woodturning in 1980 and attended a seminar in Shannon in 1982 the year before the IWG was formed. The first national seminar was held in 1984. Although a qualified joiner and woodwork teacher Tom had no practical knowledge of the craft of woodturning and so set about learning it  through practice, patience and reference to books such as Peter Child’s Woodturning.

He began demonstrating in 1988 and has since demonstrated  for many groups and chapters nationwide including demonstrating at the IWG national seminar a number of times during its 40-year history, as well as fulfilling his role as booking administrator every year.

His work has been exhibited throughout Ireland and he was joint 1st prize winner in the woodturning category at the RDS Craft competition in 1984.

Tom’s demonstration for us on the night was all about Spindle Turning.

He mounted a 300mmX50mm piece of a branch of a shrub from his own garden on the lathe while explaining how to maintain the bed and tool rest.The first tool he used was the roughing down gouge, explaining how to keep it clean and rust free and equally with all other tools .He went on to turn a perfect cylinder from the branch. The finish was excellent, requiring no sandpapering!

Next Tom had 4 templates prepared for marking out the next 4 items explaining how to use them for all the different cuts in  Spindle Turning. He then went on to cutting a series of beads and coves on the turned cylinder. He also explained the use of the parting tool. All the tools used were razor sharp as Tom explained. He then finished the piece with 320 grit sandpaper explaining that using a rougher paper would remove some of fine details.

Next, he put up a square piece 300mm X 50mm and showed how to cut a pummel with the skew chisel.

Finally, he treated us to a display of his work in spindle turning .

All in all, it was an excellent and enjoyable evening.

A big thank you to Tom and we hope he and his wife Jane enjoyed their time and bicycle trips around Mayo. It would be great to have him back at CraobhEo for a full day workshop sometime in the future.


Willie Creighton.

Chapter Competition

Competition for May was an off centre piece.

There was advanced competition and an intermediate competition for turners up to three years experience.

Tom Dunlop judged the competition and gave a critique afterwards. He commented on the standard on display and the turnout. Thanks to Tom and to all who took part in the competition.

Competition for June is a hollow form.




 Monthly Chapter Competition Winners


Winner –   Ian McDougall

Second –  Louise Wilde

Third –      Denis O’Donnell


Winner –   Eltin Moran