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A Small “between projects” Project

I have been lucky to acquire a wood turning lathe for very small money at an auction; almost new, very little used.             Yes, believe it or not I have never owned a wood lathe; I’ve had a metal working lathe for years but not a wood lathe. Consequently I have never turned a bowl before, not in my whole life! Hard to believe perhaps but true.  Anyway, having got the lathe home I decided to give it a run; this is the result:

IMG_5152[1]                       IMG_5151[1]

Marble wood with a segmented rosewood rim and artificial ivory band. I don’t have a scroll chuck yet so the bowl was held by screwing to a face plate. I had to make a Donut chuck to work the bottom of the bowl:

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Introducing the Sky Road Chess Set

This chess set is now complete and can be seen in detail on my sister blog, House of Brendon Chess.


A Preview of Latest Project!

Here is a preview of my latest project; a stunning new Chess Set. The set is still in the making and will take some time to finish. It will be detailed in full on my other blog, . See link.  I will post more pictures shortly.

IMG_4953[1]                                  IMG_4937[1]

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Chess Board

Finally, I have had the time to complete the board for my chess set.


As you will see, it is a little different than the usual checkerboard design.

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Solid Brass Contemporary Chess Set


IMG_4659[1]   This is my latest creation. A solid brass, contemporary style chess set

with Padauk and artificial ivory inlay. Each piece was individually turned on the lathe  (no CNC machines allowed in my shop!) and yes, it was somewhat of a painstaking undertaking. You only begin to appreciate how many pieces there are in a chess set when you go about making one. Turning the pawns seems to go on forever.

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Old Style Smoothing Plane


This is the first of the three “new design” hand planes I have been working on.

In keeping with my practice of naming my hand planes after Irish geographical features, this one is called The Mannin Bay. At under 7″ in length it is a neat, sweet plane with some interesting features. Not least among these is the Oak Leaf detail on the front.

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New Hand Plane Designs

I am in the process of drafting designs for three new hand planes; one small smoother and two mitre planes.


I am finding my new work station (see previous post) very useful for this as the large flat surface is ideal for doing drafting work. Another use for the station that I hadn’t thought of when I posted it last Monday.

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Complete Work Station in Less Than 3 Sq. Metres

Tool of the Week Winner
This project won Tool of the Week at


The footprint of this set-up is 1m x 2.8m.

It comprises of

  • a saw table,
  • a router table,
  • a reversible fence (one side for saw and one for router),
  • an outfeed table which doubles as a work surface and assembly table,
  • an overhead router gantry for flattening large boards or slabs,
  • a 9 drawer tool storage facility.

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Brand New Lough Sheelin Smoothing Plane

I have just finished a new Lough Sheelin Smoother to replace the last one I made which was given to friends of the family as a gift. If anything, this one is even nicer.

IMG_4244   IMG_4286

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Shop Built Slot Mortising Machine

Tool of the Week Winner
This project won Tool of the Week at


Here is a Slot Mortising Machine I made mostly from bits and pieces that I had lying about the shop. It is therefore, by far the cheapest machine I have and a very handy addition to my workshop.

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