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Port au Choix machinist displays a variety of skills and projects

With growing vines, flowers and lobster pots, the relic of a ship on Frank Noseworthy’s lawn is just one of a variety of projects for the multi-skilled machinist.
With growing vines, flowers and lobster pots, the relic of a ship on Frank Noseworthy’s lawn is just one of a variety of projects for the multi-skilled machinist.

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.

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


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 home-based 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.

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.


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.

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.


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.


kyle.greenham@northernpen.ca

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