Turning Archive 2005

My New Laser Rig

Bill Grumbine, Kutztown PA
>Greetings all

I have had this thing in the shop for a while now, but a steady progression of students and production jobs kept me away from playing with it until last weekend. I will be writing a detailed report on it later on, but I wanted to post some pictures, which I had promised a while ago.

This hollowing system comes from Randy Prevett at www.monster-wood-tool.com. It is a super deluxe setup here, with torque arrested, laser guided hollowing capabilities. I apologize for the distracting background, but that is what my shop looks like.

Here is a shot looking in the other direction. If you look in the background, you can see there is a lot of stuff being ignored so that I can play with this. You can only see one tip in the picture, but there are several tips of varying sizes and angles.

But what a blast it was! It was very relaxing on several levels. One, I was not holding onto the bar to make sure it was in the right position, and that the wood was not twisting it out of that position. That was good news for the tendonitis in my right elbow. Second, when I had to stop or start the machine, I was not holding the tool in position while I contorted myself to reach the switch, all the while hoping not to bump the interior with the tool with the lathe running. I just had to back it off let go, and then find the switch. Finally, the laser itself was very steady in its beam. I expected more vibration and jumping around, but I was able to move the whole thing around like a giant joystick.

Now, I will say that this does not make the process foolproof. It does go a long way towards making the process much more fun, relaxing, and allows the artiste to concentrate on form. As far as that goes, below is a very poor picture of my efforts.

This is a piece of cherry, no finish yet. It is approximately 8" in diameter and 3 1/2" high. I know there are others who are doing this shape, and maybe one of them will want to accuse me of plagiarism! I researched this all the way back to the very first one to do this shape, and it turns out that there is reference to it in a very old book - in the first chapter of that book as a matter of fact. There are no pictures, but the book definitely states that this Person created everything in the heavens and the earth, and I stand by that. In fact, this thing looks rather like an onion - at least to me! But then, I am always thinking about food.


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