Turning Archive 2005
>Had a really nice piece of clear mahogany on the lathe today. It was the last I had of several pieces a guy from Wood Craft gave me. It was already cut into a round blank so I thought, no problem. The blank was too big to put on my mini, so I mounted it up on the ShopSmith. Been a while since I used this beast so it took my nearly 2 hours to get it turned and sanded. Had forgotten how jumpy the ShopSmith is.
Anyway, got to a pretty nice point and sanded it to a point I felt ok giving it as a Christmas present. So, I reverse the piece using a jam chuck and turn the tenion down to a point that I'm just about to quit and cut the rest off when the screw in the screw chuck I'm using for the jam chuck breaks off. No harm, no foul I'm thinking. Lay the bowl upside down on the saw table and begin to trim off the nub. I give the carving knife a couple of taps with the dead blow hammer. All is well. Turn the bowl around and give it a couple more taps. Yep, bottom gives way just before the nub comes off. I now have a dime sized hole in the bottom of a very smooth piece of mahogany.
So, I set it aside and pull up the next victum. This time I'm turning a piece of walnut, some green stuff that a friend brought over last week. I cut it round with the band saw and get it mounted up, again on the ShopSmith because of the size. Turned out the sahpe I was wanting and did a much quicker job of it. About an hour of turning and sanding and I've pretty well got it. A couple of torn grain areas so I do a bit more sanding. Oops, there is a thin spot on the rim. That's ok. At least it's still all together.
I've pretty well got the torn grain taken care of. I've turn this piece between centers so I don't have the reverse turn it. I trim down the bottom stub. All is well. My wife is going to love me for getting one of these done for her. Now don't get ahead of me here. I start turning down the inside stub. Oh man, this is going well. Just as I had planned and done before. I'm so exci...... BAMM. Hey, where did my bowl go. There it is, rolling across the floor. Did it mention that there was a thin spot in the rim? Didn't just break there, but two other places as well.
Two up, two down.
I accomplished 4 things tonight. I made a lot of shavings. Compost pile is going to love that. I made 1 very fancy funnel. May have to find a way to salvage it one of these days. I made one walnut bowl with a busted up rim. I may be able to turn off the rim and salvage it for something. And finally, I remembered why I stopped turning on the ShopSmith.
It is great for a lot of things, especially for those who have little room. At the same time, the motor is not smooth. It is loud. It is underpowered. I've turned some nice stuff on the ShopSmith in days gone by, but I think I've cured myself from turning on it again.
Turn 'em round,