|Project by Ethan Sincox||posted 01-11-2007 12:24 AM||3513 views||1 time favorited||14 comments|
This was my very first experience at turning something on the lathe. When I decided I wanted to get a little more into woodworking, I contacted Pops, who is a bit of a second father to my younger brother, Noah. Pops had helped Noah with tool-buying decisions and instructional lessons over the years, and he also made a carving mallet for him out of some Osage Orange. So I called Pops and asked him if he would make me a mallet.
He said no.
But then he said he would be more than happy to help me make my own if I could swing by some weekend night.
It was my first turning experience, so I was obviously just a bit nervous. But he helped me the entire way, through roughing it into a cylinder to marking the divisions for mallet head and mallet handle. He pretty much let me do the rest on my own, though he did offer some advice on such things as the thickness of the grip and the transition between handle and mallet. As you can see, there is a smooth transition, with a small cove just at the base of the head, which lends itself to a great thumb position for better striking control. To get the perfectly straight face on the head, we used a large, extra-thick card scraper (i.e. a piece of flat steel with a perfectly straight edge).
After we were done, he gave me a small coffee can ½ filled with boiled linseed oil. I let it sit in the BLO in the coffee can for a full week. I then followed his treatment of sticking it back in that can once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, and then once a year from then on.
Learning to turn on osage orange was a great experience. Most things I turn now are nothing compared to that – rosewood, for example, is like having a stick of warm butter chucked into the lathe.
Sorry I only have one picture of it, but… it’s just a mallet. There really aren’t any more interesting angles…
-- Ethan, http://thekiltedwoodworker.com