It’s kind of nice to be able to make tooling for the Craftsman monotube lathe I picked up last year for $100 (yep, a hundred bucks…AND it came with faceplates, extra centers, and a four-jaw Craftsman lathe chuck!!!). A Web site I’d previously used described a bowl turning tool that was well within my capabilities, and I made the parts I could in my home shop, turning the handle from red heart and making a shaft from 1/2” cold rolled steel.
On Saturday I went to a local blacksmith shop to forge the concrete nail bits for this tool, and discovered that there were some blacksmithing tongs available for purchase. Many of these were “Tom Tongs,” which to a blacksmith is like saying “Leigh Nielsen” to a woodworker. These tongs were $20 a piece, which I didn’t have on me. However, the fella selling the tongs liked my bowl tool, and since he’s a woodturner as well…
I came home with four new pairs of tongs, several hook bits, and the need to build a new handle and shank before I can actually turn any bowls! >.<
But it was a good swap!
-- Leland, OC Calif., www.safetyshowerbars.com