David O’Neill

Born and raised in beautiful Co Antrim Northern Ireland and still living in it.

Having served my apprenticeship in carpentry and joinery with a building and civil engineering contractor working on building projects from ground breaking to completion, I then moved to working in education as a Technician and remained there in various roles for 33 years taking voluntary redundancy some years back to concentrate on working full time as a woodturner.

In 1985 I helped a good friend who is in the joinery trade to finish off building his house, when this was completed he encouraged me to set up my own workshop and to specialise in woodturning. I did this in 1986 purchasing my first lathe and taking a course at craft supplies at millers dale which was tutored by Stewart Batty, I will be forever grateful for his expert help encouragement and guidance with all the problems I was encountering with my woodturning at this time.

In my spare time I then started to work for my friend who I have mentioned previously with many others producing newel posts stair spindles table legs etc for the furniture joinery trades.

In 1989 I got married and moved to the house and workshop I still work in.

These days my work is a little different and yet quite similar to when I started, different in that my work goes far and wide and also in the type of turning, I still make newel posts etc but now work for interior designers product designers mould makers lighting designers film makers and a few top end London shops, yet similar from the point of putting a piece of wood in the lathe and creating a functional item or a thing of beauty. I have also embraced the online world and run an online shop on Etsy.

One of the jobs I am proudest of was being asked by a sculptor architect to undertake the production of seven spun heads of various well-known figures from Northern Ireland involved in the transport industry, these are now on permanent display at the Northern Ireland transport museum at Cultra Co Down.

On the 3rd of March 2023 I was accessed and accepted as a member of the register of Professional Woodturners something that I am very proud of.

I now own three lathes, a 1954 Wadkin RS 8, Vicmarc VL 300 and a Vicmarc VL100 for small work.

Over the years I have demonstrated my skill in woodturning to various woodturning clubs to international seminars to vintage clubs and to mental health organisations etc, and all being well look forward to doing so in the future.

My motto is “if its wood, I turn it!”