Lathe work on a massive scale turning ironbark into bollards

A new observation deck on Oamaru’s Holmes Wharf is under way, and the Waitaki Woodturners Guild is on the job.

The deck was part of the Waitaki District Council’s $2.1million plan to renovate the wharf.

Using heritage hardwood bollards for its corners, the deck would be built on to the foundations and floor framing of an original structure, believed to be an old small building.

The woodturners would smooth down and round off four old power poles to make up the new deck posts.

Waitaki Woodturners Guild treasurer Bill Owen gets ready to reshape an old power pole, which will...
Waitaki Woodturners Guild treasurer Bill Owen gets ready to reshape an old power pole, which will be used for Holmes Wharf’s new and improved observatory deck in Oamaru. PHOTO:RUBY HEYWARD
Already having completed three of them, Waitaki Woodturners Guild treasurer Bill Owen said it was a tough job.

Not only were the 1.8m poles heavy, they were also very hard on the outside due to their age, which Mr Owen estimated at 100 years plus.

Riddled with cracks and dust, the hard ironbark was abrasive on his steel tools.

Mr Owen resharpened his chisel three times on one pole.

Long-time member Neville Daniel said although it was not a big job in terms of items, it was a big job in terms of work.

In the past the group had worked on other projects around the city.

The Waitaki District Council’s plans for a new observatory deck on Oamaru’s Holmes Wharf, as...
The Waitaki District Council’s plans for a new observatory deck on Oamaru’s Holmes Wharf, as pictured. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
It made the bollards near Oamaru’s heritage Red Sheds, and the posts and support chains in Centennial Park.

Mr Owen said commissions like these helped the guild pay for the space and the tools.

"We would be struggling without them," he said of the financial support.

The group had planned to have all four of the poles completed by yesterday evening.

Council property manager Renee Julius said the new lookout would improve the use of the wharf, encouraging the public to use it and enjoy the coastline.

Depending on weather, the new lookout would be completed by the end of May this year.

ruby.heyward@alliedpress.co.nz

Add a Comment

drivesouth-pow-generic-1.png

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter