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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Latest Lathe Adventures

As some of you know, I have a few health issues. I have been down a lot lately. That has given me a lot of time though to read and watch videos about wood turning. Then, on the days I am able to get to the shop, I try to work on practicing the things I learn.
I also had a recent problem with equipment. The Central Machinery lathe my wife bought for me was working perfectly. Then, I was turning a bowl and it started bogging down a lot. I knew I was taking small cuts, so it shouldn't have been bogging down a three quarter horse motor. Then, it happened. The motor started having a burning smell. Luckily, we did get the better warranty on it when it was bought. So, Harbour Freight exchanged it with no problems at all. I don't think less of the lathe. It seems to be a good design. Even the best manufacturers have a defective motor from time to time, and with all the research I done before deciding on this one, this is the first I've heard of any issue with a motor on one of them. Only time will tell though.
What did make me sick about the whole deal though was this bowl. This was actually turning out to be a very nice bowl. Then, when the lathe started acting up, the tools wouldn't make a very clean cut because the speed went way down any time I tried a shearing cut. So, while trying to fix it up to save it, I went too deep.
I wound up going almost all the way through the bottom of the bowl.
Anyway, after my son helped me get the lathe loaded so it could be exchanged, then helped me get the new lathe setup, I did not make it back to the shop for a few days. When I did make it back, I was hurting too bad to even properly prepare blanks for working with. I was determined to do something though. So I found a small piece of a log in the wood pile and mounted the whole piece on the lathe. I wasn't sure what I was planning on doing. I just wanted to do something.
This is what I came up with, a live edge turning.
This is not the proper way to do it, even for a live edge turning. You see, because I used the whole piece of log, the pith runs right through the center of the bowl. That, and the fact that the wood is still green, there will be cracking around the pith as the bowl dries. It won't be able to hold anything water tight, but I think I may be able to save it as a decorative piece after it dries enough.
I'm hoping I can anyway. I love the grain pattern the inside of the bowl has because of that pith orientation.
That same day, because I was working while sitting on a stool and needed something else to do, I decided to make some more cube puzzles. I hadn't done these in a while and they were perfect for a day like that. I could do these while sitting in front of the drill press.
The middle one is a cube in a cube.
If you look closely, the other two are what you call a cube in a cube, in a cube.
Finally, this is what I done today.
Here is my first successful, completed and finished bowl. It is a winged design. It is made of sapelle and finished with two coats of Johnson's Past Wax.
It may not look like much, but it has been a lot of learning, making mistakes, and learning some more, to get even this far. I can only see me learning more from here.
This wood turning road I'm on is truly an adventure. It is just like when I first started scrolling. The more I learn and do with it, the more I want to learn and do. So I can see myself turning different woods into different creations for a long time to come.
Another added bonus to this aspect of wood work is that I can do this any time, even when hurting. As you can see from this blog entry, if I'm hurting bad enough, as long as I can get to the shop and sit, I can hold a tool and turn. Worst case scenario, if I'm down in my wheel chair, as long as I can get help preparing blanks from my family, I can sit in my chair and turn. With what seems to be my health that is slowly deteriorating as years go by, this will allow me to turn wood for many years to come, no matter what else is thrown at me.

1 comment:

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