Turning Archive 2005

Subject:
A Humbling Experience (long)

tek-Brunswick, Ohio
>Iíve been turning seriously for over a year now, and have had a lathe for over 20 yrs. I can turn decent bowls and platters. Iíve made boxes with nicely fitted lids and Iíve done the birdhouse and Christmas tree ornaments. Iíve been practicing my skew skills by doing exercises from the Lacer and Raffin videos. Iíve watched at least Ĺ dozen turning videos. I get my tools sharp. I was a carpenter for 30 years; I know what sharp tools are and how dull ones perform. OK! Here is the point, I thought my tool handling skills were getting pretty good. My wife, LOML, wants a shelf with shaker pegs made out of oak. No problem! I have shaker pegs in birch; Iíll just make 5 copies in oak on the lathe. Simple right? They are a simple shape; Iíll knock these out 1 Ė 2 Ė3. NOT! I can see why so many prominent turners came from production turning back rounds. The degree of tool control needed to match shapes is quite high. My turned pegs do turn out nicer than the store bought ones though. When you look at them side by side you realize how much torn grain the mass-produced pegs have. I had to turn about 10 to get 5 that matched well enough to use. It took me much longer than I thought it would also.

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