Turning Archive 2004

Subject:
Does this make me an apostate?

Bill Grumbine, Kutztown PA
>Good morning all

As many of you know, I have been turning and teaching for a number of years now, and like many others here, am very free with my advice. One bit of wisdom that I trot out from time to time as occasion warrants is that copying devices are not worth the money they cost with respect to the product they produce. As I have done in my own shop for many years, I advocate learning to turn and duplicate by hand and by eye. However....

A couple of weeks ago I was approached by the owner of a small shop, which is still much larger than mine, about making their table legs for them. They send lots of tables out the door, and they have been having trouble getting legs in the quantities they need. After meeting with the owner and the shop foreman, and spending some time with them discussing the situation, I started doing some research on, shall we say, ways to make things go faster. For the quantities I am facing, by hand and by eye just ain't a gonna do it - not with all the other requirements of my business.

So, I am here to announce this morning that I am purchasing a Mini Max T-124 copy lathe. I have done a fair amount of research on this lathe, including talking with several owners, and it looks like it will be a very nice solution for me. It also gets another lathe into the shop! Where it is going to go, I am not sure. I may have to leave some of the cosmoline on it to slide it in past everything else. It is going to have to live next to Big Blue in some way, but still leave room for students, etc. Ideally I will be able to have two lathes with two students running before long - maybe even three with my Vicmarc mini!

So on to my header. Am I cheating? Have I departed from the true faith of woodturning in the doctrine of duplicating? Actually, do I care? ;-) I still think that for one off sets, such as four legs for one table, hand and eye skills are important, and I will continue to advocate that. Truth be told, this lathe is way too expensive to use it for occasional work. It needs to be used and used hard to make it worth its cost and space on the floor, and I certainly hope that turns out to be the case. Pictures will follow as they become available.

Bill

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