It’s funny to me. I’ve had several larger bowls thrown at me. I’ve had heavy pieces of wet wood drop on me. I’ve hurt my back trying to lift a piece. Then, after all that, today a small piece of dry wood spinning on the lathe brought blood from me for the first time since I started down this road learning to turn.
Don’t worry. It’s nothing serious. It’s just a small nick. I will tell ya’ll more about that later. First, on to today’s adventures.
This tool was dropped shipped to me. It was a gift from a friend. I was told that the friend’s friend swore by it and wanted my opinion on it. It is twenty-two inches long. It has a five eighths inch shaft. Set screws in the end allow you to put whatever router bit you want in it to have different profile cutters. It sounded like a good idea, so I said I’d give it a shot.
The tools works, but I wouldn’t buy it myself. I tried it in different applications. I tried presenting it with the carbide edge at different angles to the wood to see how it would act. Here is how I feel about it.
It does a good job on spindle work, but doesn’t work as good as my regular high speed steele tools. It would get the job done, but you’ll have to do more sanding than you would if you just used high speed steele gounges and skew chisels.
For bowls, trying to make sheat cuts with it is asking for a catch. If you very carefully present the edge at just the right angle, it will make shear cuts, but leaves an edge more like you used a dull scraper than a gounge.
It works better if you present the edge like a scraper. However, the finish it leaves is rougher than my high speed steele scrapers, requiring extra sanding or having to go back over it with a sharp high speed steele tool.
I have tried it more on bowls than spindle work. I may have a different opinion after trying it more with spindles. At this time though, I immediately pass over this tool to reach for a high speed steele tool. So, even though I may find uses for it in the future, I don’t think it’s worth the money.
I am proud of myself. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but I cut a good recess today to mount onto my four jaw chuck. I’d been having problems with this task. My chuck doesn’t hold well unless you have a square shoulder inside the recess. I was getting catches while trying to do this. I had been trying to do it with a gouge like I’ve seen other people do it. Today, I decided to try and finish up that shoulder with a skew just to see how it worked out. It worked perfectly. I’m learning more and more every day in turning that one shoe does not fit all when it comes to technique. What works for some may not work for others.
Now onto my accomplishment of the day.
I actually felt worse today than I did yesterday. I didn’t even feel up to lifting a small piece of log as I done yesterday. I was going to have to figure out something else if I was to accomplish anything at all. I looked around the shop for a bit while waiting on the coffee to brew. I have numerous small blocks of sapelle on a shelf like table in one corner. I thought about more cube in a cubes, but those get boring after doing several. What else could I do with small blocks of wood?
Ya’ll may have noticed that a lot of my ideas are simply versions of other things I see online. Well, this is another one of those versions of something I’ve seen somewhere else. It is dry wood though. So I was able to actually make a finished project today!
This is not actually how I pictured it when I started. By the time I realized it was not working as planned though, I’d already taken too much off the sides and there was no going back. I still think it turned out nice though for someone with my limited experience.
It is made out of a 6×6x2.5 inch block of sapelle. It has two coats of Johnson’s Paste Wax. It isn’t a great finish, but it’s what I had immediately on hand. I enjoyed this project and plan on making more versions of this design. Next time though, I will plan on curving those wings down, as I originally planned, before I get to having too much fun and take away too much material.
Now, about the nick on my little finger that brought blood, and it is my lesson of the day.
When turning something like this, remember that just because the lathe is spinning so fast that you can’t see those little square wings hanging out there, they are still there. If you forget that little fact, even for a split second, it will bite you.