I bugged the boys to get their butts over here early. We replaced the MDF top on the stand and mounted the new (to me) lathe. In case any of you don’t know, fellow Lumberjock, Eddie, gave me the lathe after mine bit the dust. Thank you so much Eddie. You have no idea how much this means to me.
So I checked everything out on the lathe. Everything seems to be in good working order. My only complaint with it was the tailstock center. It has the type that does not turn. I do not like that type because of a past experience. That was no problem though. I just took the bearing type out of the old lathe and put in this one and I was back in business.
And I wasted no time getting down to business. This is my third lathe. My first one came from Harbor Freight. It lasted for all of a total of about two hours of practice before it just fell apart. My second lathe I bought used from a fellow Lumberjock. It was a decent lathe, but I think my iniexperience and gung ho attitude quickly ruined the cheaply made lathe before I got too far on it. That lathe always had a vibration to it that I never could figure out though.
Now I come to this lathe. It’s like a whole new world has opened up to me. This lathe is almost identical in design to the last one, but just the look and feel of the parts and you can tell there is more quality in it. Another thing I like about this lathe is, being a Ridgid, I am sure I can find parts for it should anything happen to it. So far though, everything seems to be working flawlessly on this lathe.
Someone’s who’s advice has helped me greatly in this turning adventure is Bearpie. Upon that advice I also have recently took another look at my method of sharpening lathe tools. Between the better sharpening, and the lathe that actually runs true, I now am getting shavings instead of chips once my wood is rounded out. I have NEVER gotten this from any lathe. It was such a great feeling.
Being the stubborn mule I am, the first thing I done was went back to that pecan bowl I was trying to turn for Grizz. I actually done a good job on it too. My only problem was getting rid of those lines that Bearpie told me about. That was when I considered another piece of wisdom Bearpie mentioned. Maybe I am getting a tad bit ambitious with my early bowll turnings. I’m doing a good job in my opinion. However, pecan is some very hard wood. I already knew that, but it was the only thing I could find that was large enough to start with for me to turn a bowl out of. Yes, I know I could glue up material for it, but let me get used to actually turning bowls first before I dive off into segmented stuff.
I got the bowl done though, and it went well. I ran into no more problems. I think that is because of the lathe the Eddie gave me (which is of better quality than I’ve been trying to use) and the advice of Bearpie (which I’ve never had anyone help me with besides just generalized hints). So thank you guys very much.
I had to get the thank you’s out of the way before I tell ya’ll how I screwed up the bowl.
When I started this bowl, I left a round piece sticking out of the bottom as a means to hold it in my four jaw chuck. After turning the bowl down till I was happy with it, I needed to remove this circle. I considered different ways of doing this and thought I could do it on my band saw. Things were going good with that until I was almost through it. Then, I’m not sure, but I think the waste side of the wood closed up on the blade and wreaked havoc. The blade snatched the whole bowl out of my hands, up into the upper blade guide, bent the blade, then shot it back towards me forcefully, and bending the blade in the process. So I wound up ruining a thirty dollar band saw blade, ruining the bowl, and leaving myself with a sore spot on my stomach. It must have really done a number because it chewed the bowl up pretty good. So, something tells me that this is not the proper way to remove that ring of wood that I’m talking about.
Bearpie, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. So I am hoping you’ll chime in and help me again. I need to know the proper method of removing that ring of wood without damaging equipment or causing bodily harm to myself.
So here’s where I’m at now.
I have really enjoyed this little adventure in wood turning. It is something you all will be seeing me do more of. I plan to learn a lot more and turn a lot more. However, this all started with me wanting to take one day and turn a bowl. It has lasted for the better part of a week instead though. I am desperately wanting to get to a project I was planning starting on days ago. So I have to bring this lathe adventure to a close for the time being. I couldn’t just yet though.
You see, one thing that kept me on this road this week was the fact that I told another friend, Grizz, that I would do something for him. When I say I’m going to do something, by God, I do it.
Going back and taking Bearpie’s advice (been all good advice so far) I decided that I do need to not be so darn stubborn about taking on too much in an area of woodworking that I’m just learning in. Part of that I believe is, I need to find some softer wood than pecan to turn bowl with for now. That leaves me a problem with getting Grizz’s gift. So I thought about this.
A hammer. What woodworker does not need a wooden hammer? I have made several wooden hammers for myself. I’m sure some people use them for other things, but I use my wooden hammers, the style I’ve made, for hammering on my chisels. So, since I had one more log of pecan, and I knew I could make a hammer, that is what In decided to make him.
So Grizz, I apologize, but I so broke I can’t pay attention. I spent what little money I had left going to Eddie’s yesterday to get a lathe. It will be early February before I can ship you your package. Since I have to wait though, I won’t keep you wondering. Here’s a photo of what I’m sending.