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As The Lathe Turns #15: Move Along, Nothing To See Here

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Blog entry by William posted 495 days ago 909 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 14: The Disappearing Pen Mystery Part 15 of As The Lathe Turns series Part 16: Gluing Up Bowl Blanks, And Some More Of My Ramblings »

I have to apologize. I have no new project or techinques or newly learned advice to share today. I just felt a need to post today about yesterday’s non-progress.

First of all, I did not make much yesterday. I did make my kids some sort of spinning top things. I call them “some sort of” because they weren’t great. They were just ideas I was working on as I went along. The kids liked them though. Before I could even think of whether I wished to snap a photo or not, they had broken one and spun the other one under a low lying heavy table where it may stay awhile before being retrieved. I may go back to this idea at a later day. I seen in the Penn State Catalogue where I can get ball bearing inserts for these and yo-yos. I think my kids would absolutely love those when I get to a point where I can afford to add that to an existing order.
On that note, the tops. While I seen them as an idea that I was kicking around, my kids seen them as fascinating new toys. The reason I bring this up is my evergrowing concerns about today’s youth. My kids are different than most these days. Yes they have video games, but I push them to work more than just their fingers on a game controller. They like simple toys, like jacks, marble, cards, and such. Watching them play with the spinning tops yesterday though reminded me that today’s kids aren’t much different than we were. Some of them just need to be introduced to simpler things earlier in life, while they are still young enough to enjoy them.
What I did do yesterday was mostly search and play. First, the search. I knew I had it, I just had to find it. I’ve been doing mostly flat work for so long that the highest grit sandpaper I had on hand was 400 grit, and seldom went that high. Now that I’ve started turning though, I’m finding myself more and more needed finer paper. I had stashed some away a long time ago. As usual though, when I put something where I’ll know where it’s at, I have troubles finding it when I need to know where it’s at. I found it, it is a box I had with a hoard of sandpaper I had bought a long time ago at a good deal. This is various grits all the way up to 2000 grit.
So I played around for a long time yesterday with sanding up higher on the lathe than what I’ve been doing. Boy does it make a difference. If you carefully sand up through the grits, and it doesn’t take long on a spinning lathe, you can get a sanded finish that looks almost like glass, and this is before you apply any type of finish. So now I can sand my turned projects to look better.

Some of you may remember my less than great opinion of the router bit tool I was recently given when I tried it on bowls. I told then that I would one day give it another go on spindle. Well, since I had messed up on one of the spinning top ideas yesterday, I took it as an opportunity to give that tool another try.
First all, you can see or order the tool here if you’d like. I did not put that in the original review of this item because, as it was a gift to me, I did not know exactly where to get one. It turns out it came from my favorite turning supplier, Penn State.
On spindles is where this tool shines. While I couldn’t do anything with it on bowls, it felt like there was little that I could NOT do with it on spindle stock. It cuts easier, with no sharpening so far, and leaves a finish that is ready for only the finer grits of sandpaper. The only drawback, and an expected one, was with the router bit that came in the tool. It seems to be kind of dull from the factory. Once I decided to try a better quality bit in it, it cut like hot butter.
My only gripe with this tool would be my percieved overall cost savings, which would be little to none. I learned the hard way long time ago not to mess with cheap router bits. The Freud bits that I buy locally run about thirty bucks a piece, so I only buy the ones I need. That being said, if I were to use one of these bits extensively in this lathe tool, I would worry about dulling one side more than the other, or messing with the balance of it. Therefore, if I was to use this tool much, I would lean towards buying bits just to be used in the lathe tool. At thirty bucks a piece, I can’t see the cost savings over prices I’ve seen for dedicated lathe tools.
So as usual, in my opinion, any tool that does many things, while it may do some well, usually does so with compromises. Even I sometimes decide to make those compromises if the cost savings are great enough to make it worth doing so. I still just don’t see that here. On the other hand, if you have many extra router bits that are not being used, such as when buying whole sets, then this tool may be just the perfect tool for you to finally put those extra bits to use.

.

The next thing I want to talk about is kindness. A fellow Lumberjock has given me an emial gift certificate. I am not at liberty at the moment to tell who or how much. I will say though that it was generous, and an unexpected act of kindness that left me speechless.
This person, although I’d seen and talked to (I think) a couple of times here on Lumberjocks, I really do not know on a personal level like I do some other jocks here. So to me, this person was pretty much a stranger. I’ve had friends do things for me before, and even those occassions kind of put me off guard. I’m just not the sort of man who’s used to people doing things for me. I do for myself with whatever I may or may not have left over after providing for my family. That’s just the way it’s always been. So, when someone I hardly know does something like this person has it just floors me.
Enough of that. I was speechless yesterday. Today I can go on and on about it. I just wish to say to this person, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It was extremely kind of you. I will be sending something your way as soon as I can as a token of my gratitude. Still though, it doesn’t repay the help you’ve provided to get me started with some proper pen making supplies. I pray that your kindness is returned upon you. If I lived closer to you I would come take care of your yard, do your dishes, or something.
Ok, I said enough of that didn’t I?
So, I had to figure out what to order with the gift certificate. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it? It is amazing though how many options there are in pen turning on the Penn State website.
I wound up ordering a mandrel, which I will have to have in order to make these proper pens. I ordered extra bushings because everywhere I read for advice says you need to have extras on hand. They are cheap too, so that wasn’t bad. Then, with bundle kits, I got a total of thirty eight pen kits. There isn’t a huge variety in what I ordered. The idea though, in my opinion, is to get started. These will give me the practice and then I can move up from there on trying different styles to see what I like best.
Again, thank you so much. I wish I could, but I can’t think of anything else to say on that matter that I haven’t already said. So on that note, I will end my rambling now for this entry.

Happy turnings everybody!

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/



12 comments so far

View stefang's profile

stefang

12537 posts in 1930 days


#1 posted 495 days ago

Hi william. It sounds like you are really enjoying your lathe and experimenting a lot. I got a little Swedish book with some traditional turnings, among them some old time tops. The design of one called for drilling a hole in the pointed end and gluing in a small brass round top nail. I turned some of these and the brass provided a great bearing for long lasting spins. Glad to hear that you are getting into pen turning. I’ve never turned one, but those who do seem to enjoy it a lot. The spontaneous gift you received says a lot about the guy who sent it. It’s good to know that such people are still around.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

12860 posts in 1271 days


#2 posted 495 days ago

William,
You provided a GREAT lesson today! That being, there are good people in this world, who would go out of their way, making a difference without regard or wanting any recognition!!!

Since I know you hate waiting….
Do you have a “tracker alert” set up for the delivery???

Have fun with your new pen turning adventure!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View Roger's profile

Roger

14096 posts in 1400 days


#3 posted 495 days ago

Git er done, William. You deserve it. Happy turning to you.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View William's profile

William

8884 posts in 1438 days


#4 posted 495 days ago

Stefang, I hadn’t thought of putting a metal tip on the tops. I will definately try that next time I turn one.
I do like experimenting a lot with different things. I look at everything I do on it as a chance to learn or improve upon a technique.

Randy, there are good people in the world, as a matter of fact, wait till you read all of this reply.

I would like to publicly thank Doe. She said it would be embarrassing but that it was alright anyway for me to tell publicly that she is the one who sent me the gift card. Since she said it may embarrass her, I thought about keeping it private, but after reading you guy’s replies, I couldn’t. I wanted to let ya’ll know who it was and that yes, she is proof that there are generous people out there who do nice things without thinking about what they get out of it. I will be making Doe a gift, but she didn’t ask for it. As a matter of fact, she didn’t ask for anything at all. I just want to show my appreciation with some small token. Thank you Doe. It was extremely generous the gift you gave to me.

Now, the reason I say Randy had to wait until reading this.

After finally accepting this gift as gracefully as my pride would allow me to do, I got another shocker today, and I may not even know who done this one. I hope to find out though. Few people have my actual address, so the circle of people who could be the guilty party is small.
I mentioned somewhere on this site that when I got the money I was going to get a thread adapter and new live center for my smaller, Ridgid lathe so I could do bowls on the larger lathe and small project exclusively on the smaller lathe. I hadn’t thought much else about it and knew it was something that could wait.
Well the mail ran today. In the mail was a small box from Penn State. This confused me greatly since I just placed the order for my pen kits and such last night. Someone paid for, and had shipped to me anonamously, the adapter and live center with #1 morse taper, the parts I needed for my smaller lathe.
Whoever done this, thank you. Please though, I beg of you, please let me know who done it. If you don’t want it known publicly who you are, I will keep it private. You can send me a private message. I would like to know though so I can at least thank you personally and send you some small token of my appreciation for this.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View William's profile

William

8884 posts in 1438 days


#5 posted 495 days ago

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10533 posts in 1286 days


#6 posted 495 days ago

William, I am so glad that you are the recipient of these “random acts of kindness”. You deserve them. I too have received gifts (wood) from people on this site that I have never met. It really touched me every time. There are some wonderful folks here! The advice I have received is priceless as well. Enjoy yer new “stuff”.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View William's profile

William

8884 posts in 1438 days


#7 posted 495 days ago

Thanks Andy.
It amazes me sometimes. From my experience personally, overall, wood workers are some of the most generous people in the world. Other hobbies I’ve seen carry deeply held secrets and groups that treat others like outsiders. Most wood workers though are happy to help and share as much as we can. I think it comes from a lot of us being older and understanding that if we don’t teach, this passion and what really is a dying art, will die with us.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10533 posts in 1286 days


#8 posted 495 days ago

That’s a noble explanation William but my take is that we’re a lot of old farts that enjoy the company of other old farts!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View lew's profile

lew

9937 posts in 2351 days


#9 posted 495 days ago

William,
Something I have found that greatly enhances the finish of my turnings is to burnish them with the shavings from the project. It adds a shine that rivals the finest sanding grits.
I just hold a handful of the shavings against the turning as the lathe is spinning at a moderate speed.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

12860 posts in 1271 days


#10 posted 495 days ago

WOW!!!
You clearly have done something “above & beyond” and it is coming full circle!!! All I can say is good for you!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View William's profile

William

8884 posts in 1438 days


#11 posted 494 days ago

Andy, I have to respectfully disagree as I have seen some young wood workers who are just as quick to jump to the aid of anyone they think they can help.
I have been a mechanic most of my life. It used to amaze me that while I would help anyone I could, I seen so many other mechanics who acted like there was some kind of CODE that said we were never to tell anyone who was not a long time mechanic the SECRETS of mechanical mysteries. My view was that there was no secret or mystery, just a bunch of people who were scared that if they helped someone they would no longer be needed. From my own experience though, helping people did not make me obsolete. It only made people respect me enough to be faithful customers.

Lew, I seen that suggestion somewhere else and haven’t tried it. I’ll be honest. I haven’t tried it because I have forgotten it while at the lathe. I need to make a mental note to do so. I’ll bet if I get good results I’ll remember it better.

Randy, I don’t know that I’ve ever done anything “above and beyond”. I’m just a little fish in a big pond trying to avoid a hook. I don’t remember doing anything in my life besides what I thought I should do. Thanks for the vote of confidence though.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10533 posts in 1286 days


#12 posted 494 days ago

William, Those great young woodworkers are really “old farts” at heart! I’m in a profession where “secrets” are considered unethical so sharing comes honestly to me.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

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