Turning Archive 2007

Lurker has turning weekend

Joe in a Cleveland suburb

Yeah. It's Joe Lurker from the flat side coming over again uninvited. :)

Just wanted to let you turning folks know I had a pretty good turning related weekend. Thursday my Nova G3 arrived - not sure what to do with it yet, but it looks nice in the box and I have one now... And, I went to visit Doug Thompson. That was pretty neat. Doug invited me over as a result to my post last week about what beginner gouge to get (I already have one of those cheapo HF sets-works fine enough but I was looking for a purpose made gouge I guess-now I know).

Doug showed me some of the things he's made including a Maloof style rocker. Pretty impressive workmanship. Also, he showed me hats that he turns(!). Yes, hats. That's pretty amazing. Hats from a lathe! These are real wearable hats too, not just amazing art and/or workmanship. All different styles as well. I also got to see a lot of the different tools he makes. Pretty impressive stuff. Got a sharpening lesson too.

Then we went to the shop. Waded through piles, no, mounds of shavings and made our way to a mound he identified as his lathe; a rather large PowerMatic. :) Doug took the time to show me a lot of techniques and how-to's. Not only was the wood spinning, but my brain too. OMG. Roughing cuts. Scraping cuts. Hollowing cuts. All kinds of cuts and approaches. Uhg. My brain still hurts.

Doug rummaged around through a pile of shavings and picked out a chunk of oak that I think came out of the center of something much larger - a soon-to-be hat as I recall? He used that to show me bowl turning techniques. I got to make some shaving too using some of his tools. The chunk of wood we were using was starting to look like it would be a nice looking oak bowl. Nice figure. Nice shape. Spalting. Started to look pretty nice. Then Doug showed me how he gets the walls so thin for hats. So much for that wannabe oak bowl... :)

Then Doug went outside and came back in with a monster piece of wet maple. I don't know how he even picked it up. It was pretty big in my book. He put it on the lathe. That's when I stepped back a bit (you know how you do when you ring a door bell and a barking rottweiler charges the door). Shavings really started flying at this point! It was a constant stream of shaving just shooting out everywhere. Wish I had my camera. It was the beginnings of a hat.

I was amazed at how Doug went at it so aggressively. His gouges just slicing off wood like butter. Just went right at it. That huge chunk of maple spinning looked rather intimidating if you ask me. I didn't want to stand behind it. He asked my if I wanted to try. Uh. No. With my few attempts in the past at making little knobs (and one tool handle for a marking gauge) on my little mini I approach my lathe like it's gonna kill me with some horrible kick back or something. :)

So I learned a lot and all I need now is a piece of wood (I know where our city dumps tree's) and some gouges. I will have a couple of nice gouges in another week or so. I also have tons of walnut and cherry scraps to play/learn with.

When I went home and started making some saw dust from flat work, I'm pretty sure I heard voices saying "you must resist. you must resist" over and over. I think the voice was coming from my table saw. I think I heard my planes whimpering too. When I was using my Adria DT saw, it jumped out of the kerf and attacked my finger! It never did that before! Coincidence? Scary. :)

Thanks for your time Doug. Thanks Ellis for WC, and thanks all for reading.


hmmm. I wonder what a bigger lathe would cost... yeah. That's what I really need... Dear, can we talk a minute... :)

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