My lathe journeys. #3: Oh man. I'm really diggin' this

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Blog entry by JoeinGa posted 11-29-2014 11:19 PM 1505 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Bowl #2, much improvement Part 3 of My lathe journeys. series Part 4: Bowl #3 ... Gimmie some lip »

This lathe work is GREAT FUN! I dont know WHY I waited so long to get into it!

My daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter are here for the holidays and today was a sort of ”rest up from all the eating, shopping, eating, cooking for the men’s breakfast at church this morning, eating Thanksgiving leftovers, hanging out in front of the TV and eating some more, and just generally enjoying our granddaughter” kind of a day.

About mid-day they all wanted to take a nap, but I never have been one who could sleep in the middle of the day. So I spent a few hours in the shop. Finally decided where I wanted the lathe to be, so I bolted it to the floor and I also threw together a 3-lamp fixture and added some more lighting directly above the lathe. The sun was coming directly into that side of the building, and even with the blinds closed it was difficult to get a decent pic.

The immediate improvements I notice are …

1. I can SEE a WHOLE LOT better with those 3 CFLs directly above me. This building came with fluorescent fixtures built in and even though I put in all new 40watt bulbs, the light from them still has a sort of “yellow” glow. I’ve been considering taking the plastic lenses out of the fixtures, but I’m not certain how much dust will get up in there. You cant see it in this pic but I also added a second 3-lamp CFL fixture directly above my workbench, which is to the left as viewed in this shot.

2. With the lathe bolted to the floor, I’m still getting a pretty good bit of chatter, but at least the lathe STAYS PUT and doesn’t dance across the floor like before. I’m sure with practice the chatter will get less and less, as I learn how to better control the tools while I turn.
So yeah BAAY-BEE…. THIS BOY is makin’ some SHAVINGS!
My daughter came out and snapped a few shots of me at the lathe. I haven’t had this much fun since I got my first car!



I have noticed that when the turning is going smoothly, the chips really do fly. Rather than order a new face shield I took the headgear out of an old welding helmet that I no longer use and mounted a face shield from my old motorcycle helmet to it. Works like a charm.



Oh yeah, what I’m turning here is going to be bowl #4. I’ll be posting bowl #3 which I finished up and took pics of the final project. I’m pretty proud of the improvement in my work.
And that stack of lumber you can see up there in the top picture? Yeah, that’s my ”Wood Gloat” that I’ll have to tell y’all about :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

4 comments so far

View Todd Swartwood's profile

Todd Swartwood

257 posts in 1145 days

#1 posted 11-30-2014 12:40 AM

Hi Joe,
For me it has been close to 40 years since I did much turning. I have been enjoying the turning I have made the time for. I want to make a bunch of 6 way screwdrivers with scrap wood and screwdriver kits.I think they will make some nice quick Gifts, and everyone can use a screwdriver.
Anyway Nice Turning.
Have a blessed evening, Todd

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

View doubleDD's profile


5056 posts in 1462 days

#2 posted 11-30-2014 01:15 AM

The lathe gives the best of both worlds, power tools and hand tools with a touch of shavings on the side. Good improvement with the CFL’s and a cool face mask.
Keep those bowls coming. Give yourself a treat and make a ornament for the tree.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2754 days

#3 posted 11-30-2014 02:34 PM

Hi Joe. Your enjoyment of the new lathe reminds me of when I started. It was hard to stay away from it! I hope you will try turning some green wood. The shavings come off like apple peelings and there is no dust or chips flying all over the place. Green turning is especially nice for end grain turning because you can turn to the finished size and it won’t crack or distort as long as you keep the walls and bottom at equal thickness. Some wet woods will crack anyway, but many won’t. I’ve had especially good luck with birch and I sure there are many more species which would work equally well. Turning wet wood is also a lot kinder to your tools and you won’t be sharpening near as often. Have fun!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View NormG's profile


5424 posts in 2423 days

#4 posted 11-30-2014 09:41 PM

Congrats on the Lathe work. Maybe sand bags will assist with the elimination of the chatter issue. If you do not have a shelf you can build one and put sand bangs and/or just dump sand into it if you make a box

-- Norman

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