Hello, folks. Allow me to introduce myself.
I’m a writer now. I write novels – murder mysteries set here in Florida. But I really miss working for a living. I’ve spent much of my life in workshops – gold and silver smithing, designing and building hardwood furniture and furnishings, ornamental turning and antique restoration. I love the smell of a busy workshop, and I even miss the sweating and swearing sometimes.
If you care to visit my web site www.garyshowalter.com, check out the Photo Gallery for some samples of the type of work I’ve done over the years.
So we just moved into a 3-bedroom home here in Orange Park, and it’s got a 2-car garage that will never see a car in it as long as I live here. It’s a workshop – not a big one, and nowhere near as well-equipped as I’d like, but then we just moved in. We’re still walking around boxes in the living room and kitchen, and a lot of the overflow is taking up valuable room in my workshop.
I put together a workbench about a week ago. 4×4 Pine legs with 2×4 and 2×6 stretchers and a 1 1/2” thick ply top. I used to European style cabinetmakers benches and know just how inadequate this workbench is, but right now it’s what I have to work with, and I’ll make the best of it.
One of my nephews lives in Deland and told me he’d just gotten an old DuraLast lathe, model WL 1236, and did I want it. And a Sears 16 gallon shop vac, and did I want that, too? I said yes to both, sight unseen. I picked them up this morning. The lath is covered in rust, and the tool roll was filled with rusted steel. Most of the tools will be either recycled into something useful – the steel is still good – or tossed, but a few of the gouges, skews and parting tools have another year or so of use in them.
This lath has a large 4-lug knuckle-buster chuck mounted on the headstock, and no tail center of any sort. I THINK it’s a #2 Morse taper – it’s certainly not a #4. Does anyone know for sure?
I’ll be cleaning and polishing this critter for another week or so, and haunting pawn shops and yard sales for an 8” dual wheel bench grinder.
Oddly enough, I don’t need a lathe. I’m going to be building 36-string lever harps starting next year, but I sure do miss turning for fun and profit.
Glad I found this site!