First thing today, I wanted to show the thread adapter and live center that someone sent to me. These come from Penn State Industries. The reason I wanted these was that the Ridgid lathe has #1 morse taper, while my larger lathe has #2. On the headstock spindle, the Ridgid has 3/4”x16 threads, while my larger lathe, and most of my accessories, have 1”x8 thread. Someone had these shipped to me. Whoever it was apparantly did not wish for me to know who, but I do thank you, whoever you are, very much. These will be a big help for me.
Now I am able to put my favorite drive center on the Ridgid. I’ll be using this mostly for small spindle turning. So, I can now not have to constantly remove and replace my four jaw chuck on the larger lathe. The chuck will stay there pretty much full time. The reason I love this drive center is that it has the cone shape piece nearer the headstock. On the end of it, you can put any of six different drive centers on it. It has everything one could possiblyl wish for to do almost any project of any size.
One of my older sons visited yesterday and asked if I needed any help in the shop. I really didn’t, but since he seems to like helping me, I needed something to do. To be honest, I think he just like spending time with his old Dad, but is scared he may not seem as “manly” just to say that. So he always comes saying he’s only there to help the old man.
Anyway, I decided to use the time for something easy so we could visit more than work, and removed the old bent shaft lathe from it’s former home. Some of you may remember I had turned this into a buffing station. It was a good idea, but I found it just got in my way a lot. I have found it easier to chuck a buffing pad into my cordless drill and simply buff pieces while they are still on the lathe. That made this unneeded, and I was constantly having to reach over it for other accessories. So, since the spindle shaft was bent on it, and inferior quality made it not worth trying to fix, we disassembled it, saved any usable part, like motor and tool rests and such, and put the rest of the part in my scrap pile where it may be useful for some future adventure.
Ok, since few people are interested in all that, onto something a little more project related.
This is either going to turn out real nice, or a complete waste of time. Either way, I’m sure I’ll learn something. I set out today to make a bowl press. I want the ability to glue up boards for bowls, and also hope to one day try some segmented turning. I started considering my options though. Here are thoughts I’ve had on a bowl press.
1. A two by four frame using all thread and a shop made knob to press a secondary board straight down in the center. I’ve seen these that others have built and they seem to work well for them.
2. The same idea, but using a bottle jack. It seems a little more crude, but I have a good three ton bottle jack that I bought for a one time emergency and would love to find a use for. The jack would definately apply enough pressure. I may even have to be careful no to over pump the handle, and destroy my frame.
3. Simply use the bottle jack idea, but clear a spot on one of the shelves under a table and work it the same way. This would prevent me from having to build a frame, and find a spot to store it.
4. I’ve got a very large, very heavy duty, very unneeded C-clamp. I mean this things is huge. I got it in a bulk deal at a yard sale in a huge box of C-clamps. I thought, since I’ve never been able to imagine a use for such a large clamp, to grind off the end with the threaded part you tighten, and use this for a bowl press.
While drinking my coffee and considering all this, I had a final thought.
I’ve never glued up material for a bowl and don’t even know how well I’m going to be at this. It is after all a new learning experience for me. So how about I glue up a couple and see how it goes before I jump too deeply head first into this. So, since I do have a very large assortment of pipe and bar clamps, I decided I could very well glue up some bowl blanks using those.
All went well except for one thing. I was trying to be generous with the glue without putting too much. Yes, I know from experience, there is a such thing as too much glue. Anyway, I did what I thought was best based on my past experiences, but I have never had the experience of gluing up seven layers as I did on one blank, and it got messy before I had a chance to do much besides get happy about working with glooey fingers.
Here is the one I was talking about. It is seven layers of three quarter inch thick pecan. I could possibly have gotten it done with a little less mess, but I was trying to work quickly. I didn’t want glue setting up before I got it clamped. I considered afterwards that it may have been better to work with one layer at a time. It would have given me time to be more careful. It’ll all be turned down on the lathe though, so it doesn’t matter.
I understand I could have done this several different ways. Since I’m new to this technique though, I decided to use a compass, draw circles, cut them on a band saw, and glue up simple, solid block. This will of course cause more waste than necessary from the hollowing, but I could use the practice anyway.
This particular bowl, if successful, will be going to Doe.
This one was easier because I started with thicker material, and was only three layers. This one is sycamore.
This bowl, if successful, will be going to Grizzman.
That’s all I have for today. I wanted to do more today, but something else got me distracted. It was such a beautiful day, and I felt so good, that I done some spring cleaning. I cleaned up my shop. It needed it bad. I have been too lazy about sweeping sawdust and shavings into piles and leaving them lately. I try to keep a clean shop, but sometimes that sort of stuff just piles up until I’ve allowed it to get worse than I realize. I think it happens to the best of us.
I wound up getting these blanks glued up kind of late today. The glue, Titebond, has a label with instruction (yes, I read those from time to time) that says to let glue cure for twenty four hours. So, to be on the safe side, I think I’m going to leave them clamped until Monday. Then we’ll get to see if this turns out good, or a total failure. There aint but one way to find out!