Turning Archive 2005

unsafe practices....o boy!

Keith Tompkins
>I missed the deleted photos of unsafe turning practices..... so let me qualify my following statement by saying I believe in working safely, and don't usually do foolish things at the lathe.

I may be getting into some hot water here, but I steady my spindles by wrapping my fingers around the piece as I am turning it...even with the dreaded skew. I was taught that way by the old-timers in the furniture shop I "apprenticed" in. It was common practice to work that way.

I would imagine the look of shock on many turner's faces, but I have been doing in that way for many years. For example, on a long finial that's 1/4" diameter in places, a steady rest is impractical it would be in the way. A finger wrapped around the piece works well for me.

I teach spindle turning, but this isn't a method I teach for obvious reasons. AND anyone who isn't an experienced turner shouldn't attempt it.

Anyone else at WC steady their spindles that way? I would be curious about the deleted techniques; what they were, and better alternatives to those techniques, as this may be a good learning experience.

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