Turning Archive

long thin spindles *PIC*

john lucas
I was spurred on to do this by John K Jordan. He turns long thin spindles better than anyone I know. I made a rolling cart for my 91 year old friend. He wanted to be able to pull it or push it a fairly long distance from his desk to his recliner. He's going through Chemo right now and gets around pretty good but it's still a struggle. Anyway I was going to modify a broom stick but what's the fun in that. I had this 43" x 1" piece of pine that I ripped from a 2x4 laying around so decided it was time to work on my skills for turning long spindles without a steady rest. Took all the skill I had. It's hard to describe how gently I was on the bevel. If you apply any pressure at all yo get chatter or it grabs the tool and takes a bigger bite than you want. Roughed it out with my 3/4" spindle roughing gouge and then used the skew to clean it up. Turned some beads on the far end and you could really tell when you pushed on the bevel too hard with that tool. Sometimes I felt like I wasn't even touching the wood but it was cutting. Razor sharp tools made the job easier. I ended up shortening it a little because there were bad knots toward each end. I can remember when I couldn't turn a 1" spindle that was 12" long without getting massive chatter. I tried all the tricks and then one day I could do it. You know what made the difference. Practice. You just gotta make them to learn how much pressure you put on the bevel, the angle of the tool and how to counter that pressure with your fingers.
Now I've got to come up with a sort of push pull hook for the end.

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