Almost time to get turning!

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by KenM posted 11-26-2008 06:31 AM 1185 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been hanging around LJ’s for a while now, enjoying all of the projects that people are posting. A lot of the work is truly magnificent, and is certainly inspirational. While I’m in the process of finishing up a set of 8 dining room chairs (finally!), I’ve developed an interest in turning, especially segmented bowls and the like. However, while I have a pretty complete woodshop (ok, it’s a garage with wood working tools in it), there are a few of the bigger tools I don’t have, such as a panel sander, a spindle sander, and a lathe.

Well, as of today, I can take the lathe off the list. I purchased a General International 16” x 42” VS lathe today, along with a set of turning tools, and a Oneway chuck. The lathe will be delivered tomorrow (couldn’t carry it on my back!), and with the help of a couple of neighbors, I’ll put it into it’s new place in the shop.

It’s been a long time since I’ve turned anything (probably close to 27 years, believe it or not), but I do remember that I really enjoyed it. I’ve been reading everything I can find on turning segmented bowls (and boy, is there a lot) – while I don’t expect that my first project will be anything ambitious, I don’t think it’ll be long before I’ll be gluing up rings…..

I’ve made a bunch of furniture around the house, mostly out of oak and maple. The recent set of chairs was made from cherry, which was my first project with that wonderfully frustrating wood. I’ll be sure to spend some time taking some photographs, and posting them here on LJ.

6 comments so far

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3796 days

#1 posted 11-26-2008 06:36 AM

Congratulations on your new lathe. If you are anything like me, the rest of your tools will either be used to prepare something for the lathe, or a shelf to hold something coming off the lathe. I look forward to seeing your projects.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4275 days

#2 posted 11-26-2008 02:15 PM

You sound like me. I am 58 and started using a lathe again about 5 years ago and I had’nt touched one since high school. But it was like falling off a bike. I had pieces flying out of the chuck, pinching my fingers, splattering stain all over myself, did I say pinching my fingers. Seriously it is a gas. I have so much fun and satisfaction, I think everyone in the family has a bowl or two, and my wife picks and choses who gets what. But remember all your safety rules and you’ll do OK. Don’t forget a respirator, a face shield, and just be careful, they are dangerous. Have fun. Welcome to LJs.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3903 days

#3 posted 11-26-2008 02:19 PM

Turning wood (or a few other materials) is a gas. Like Mike says, be careful and you will love it.

View Keith Cruickshank's profile

Keith Cruickshank

41 posts in 3673 days

#4 posted 11-26-2008 04:26 PM

I’m glad to hear you’re on your way and ready to go. So many people seem put-off by the detail involved in the process, but I’ve come to think that segmenting is a skill that is more accessible than most folks think.

Sounds like you’ve done a ton of reading, but I refer you to this set of videos for inspiration if you are so inclined: Don is a fantastic segmented turner. This link is to one of four videos which take a close-up look at various aspects of segmenting. Good luck!

-- Keith Cruickshank, - on-demand woodworking videos

View StevenAntonucci's profile


355 posts in 3967 days

#5 posted 11-26-2008 04:44 PM

I know a bunch of woodworkers that used to do flatwork, but I don’t know any that “used to turn”...

-- Steven

View KenM's profile


10 posts in 3565 days

#6 posted 11-27-2008 05:28 AM

Well, the lathe was delivered today. Took a couple of hours to unbox and assemble it. Needed to grab my neighbor to help me lift the bed onto the stand (go figure), but it’s all together now. Ran a sample piece, and I quickly found that my skills are, shall we say, a little rusty? :-) Just means I’ll have to practice a bunch to get back up to speed (ha).

In case anyone is wondering, here are the specs.

Once I get everything squared away, I’ll post a few pics. I’ll have to dust it first, since it was just so darn shiny out of the box…..

Interesting thing is that it appears I need to purchase an adapter to mount my Oneway scroll chuck – guy at the store said I didn’t need one, but it appears that I do. Bummer. Means another trip to the store. Best leave the credit cards at home…...

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics