‘I treat this place like a trea­sure’

Port au Choix ma­chin­ist dis­plays a va­ri­ety of skills and projects

Northern Pen - - FRONT PAGE - BY KYLE GREENHAM PORT AU CHOIX, NL

As a blue jay glides through a lawn filled with bread ovens, vin­tage cars, a ship gar­den and old wa­ter hy­drants, Frank Nose­wor­thy and his wife Mar­jorie show­case a unique prop­erty in the small out­port of Port au Choix.

Known for his sundry tal­ents, the Nose­wor­thy house­hold is fre­quented by lo­cals in need of nearly any kind of re­pair or fix-up.

A ma­chin­ist by trade, Nose­wor­thy has a de­vo­tional skill to build­ing and restor­ing what is shown not only in his vast work­shop, but in the plen­ti­ful woods and wildlife that sur­round his home.

“I make sure these trees are pre­served, and with Parks Canada right be­side me I have no con­cerns now,” said Nose­wor­thy.

“I treat this place like a trea­sure.”

Nose­wor­thy even built a look­out point on the house’s roof that of­fers a scenic view over the town. He says they’ve caught some amaz­ing sights of whales spout­ing through­out the sum­mer.

Ma­chine work

When he moved to Port au Choix, Nose­wor­thy brought two trans­port truck­loads of ma­chin­ery and tools he had kept and worked with over the years.

For three decades Nose­wor­thy gave up his work as a ma­chin­ist and brought his skills to the con­struc­tion in­dus­try. He worked as a project man­ager for banks, a bot­tling plant, and even de­signed planes.

But when lo­cals be­gan see­ing his work on old en­gines and ve­hi­cles, he soon be­came the talk of the town for ma­chine main­te­nance. Af­ter con­tin­ual re­quests of ‘can you do this or that,’ he ended a six-month con­tract and went back to his old trade as a ma­chin­ist, now work­ing out of his own home­based shop.

Among his di­ver­sity of ap­pa­ra­tuses is a bolt cut­ter specif­i­cally de­signed for cut­ting the most mi­cro­scopic and pre­cise of threads. Many lo­cals have asked Nose­wor­thy to re­pair their ri­fles with this rare rig.

“These ma­chines aren’t built now, so I was very lucky to find it,” Nose­wor­thy said.

“It serves only one pur­pose – for very, very pre­cise work.”

He also has a set of weld­ing equip­ment, mostly used today for re-work­ing boat parts.

“I took my trade at Gen­eral Mo­tors as a ma­chin­ist, and in those days, you had to have other skills,” he said. “One of them was weld­ing, and I also be­came a pat­tern maker at Gen­eral Mo­tors. That’s where a lot of this stuff came from.”

A va­ri­ety of projects Align­ing with his many skills, Nose­wor­thy has a con­tin­ual line of projects on the go.

He’s had a long fas­ci­na­tion with old ve­hi­cles. A Ford Model T snow­mo­bile he spent the past two years re­con­struct­ing to its orig­i­nal state re­mains in his garage await­ing ship­ment to Nain, where it will be put on dis­play.

Restor­ing old en­gines is com­mon­place in Nose­wor­thy’s shop. If the en­gine can’t be put back to work­ing or­der, he en­sures it can at least be made to look good.

“It’s bet­ter than throw­ing it away – now the fam­ily can keep pop’s old en­gine,” said Nose­wor­thy.

He also re­paired a foghorn for the Cana­dian Coast Guard to be put on mu­seum dis­play. Most re­cently, a child’s pedal car found in a fam­ily at­tic was brought to Nose­wor­thy to re­fur­bish for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.

Nose­wor­thy has also brought his ma­chin­ist tal­ents to the world of drones.

“Well, count­ing the ones I’ve de­stroyed,” Nose­wor­thy said with a laugh. “I’ve got six or seven of all dif­fer­ent types – from fixed wing to multi-copter.”

Liv­ing in an ocean­side com­mu­nity like Port au Choix, high and heavy winds are plen­ti­ful. New­found­land’s coastal winds are also known to change speed and di­rec­tion at any mo­ment.

To com­bat the forces of na­ture, Nose­wor­thy cre­ated Sty­ro­foam wings with ad­justable skids and guards to keep his drone in steady flight, no mat­ter the wind pat­tern.

“I’ve set the com­puter con­trols to au­to­mat­i­cally ad­just the wings,” he said. “I can fly steady, man­age the cam­era and still do pho­to­graphs.” Pre­serv­ing the trea­sure While dec­o­rated with a va­ri­ety of knick-knacks and rare sights, the most eye-catch­ing piece on Nose­wor­thy’s lawn is its boat gar­den.

The relic of a ship sits ti­tled on its side with vines and flow­ers grow­ing through­out. Nose­wor­thy orig­i­nally brought the boat home with plans to re­design it as a cruiser.

But his wife Mar­jorie soon talked him out of it.

“She said, ‘you’re go­ing to have it sit in the wa­ter and drift around and then pay to get it out ev­ery year,’ and she was right,” Nose­wor­thy said. “Mar­jorie said to just cut it up – easy to say but harder to do, of course.”

When Nose­wor­thy dropped the large boat to the ground and watched it lay to its side, he in­stantly en­vi­sioned it as a great gar­den­ing piece for the prop­erty.

As soon as he sug­gested this to Mar­jorie, he knew she would think he was just try­ing to find a lazy way out of the stren­u­ous task of cut­ting the boat up.

Thank­fully for Nose­wor­thy, a friend of his wife would en­sure the ship’s fate for him.

“A friend of hers came by, and said ‘Mar­jorie, that would be a beau­ti­ful gar­den­ing piece.’ I thought, ‘Thank God.’

“I for­get her name but she’s now my best friend,” Nose­wor­thy said with a laugh.

Through a short trek in the woods of his home, Nose­wor­thy built an en­closed swing gar­den. Shel­tered by trees, it re­mains a sanc­tu­ary for the cou­ple dur­ing the cooler months.

“You can come here on a windy day and it’s still quite warm and calm,” said Nose­wor­thy.

A rusted gate taken from a ceme­tery marks an en­trance to the gar­den, as well as a pet ceme­tery for the pair’s de­ceased an­i­mals.

The var­i­ous work and ex­hi­bi­tions of the Nose­wor­thy house­hold of­fer only a glimpse into the mul­ti­ple tal­ents and in­ter­ests of the ma­chin­ist. Frank Nose­wor­thy re­mains con­tin­u­ally in­volved with projects and re­pairs of all kinds, like a mas­ter of all trades and jack of none.

To see an ad­di­tional photo of the gar­den boat, turn to A12.

PHO­TOS BY KYLE GREENHAM/THE NORTH­ERN PEN

One of Frank Nose­wor­thy’s most re­cent projects is the restora­tion of a child’s pedal car found in a fam­ily at­tic.

For three decades Frank Nose­wor­thy gave up his work as a ma­chin­ist and brought his skills to the con­struc­tion in­dus­try. He worked as a project man­ager for banks, a bot­tling plant, and even de­signed planes.

Frank Nose­wor­thy has brought his tal­ents as a ma­chin­ist into the world of drones. To com­bat the forces of na­ture, Nose­wor­thy cre­ated Sty­ro­foam wings with ad­justable skids and guards to keep his drone in steady flight, no mat­ter the wind pat­tern.

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