Lathe mistakes, and one success

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Project by JimmyT posted 05-10-2012 04:45 AM 1671 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

OK, so it’s all about showing off, but also about helping each other out, right? So I decided to share some of my mistakes, with the hope that others might learn from them.
The first 2 pictures are of a square bowl that I turned ever so slightly off-center. I let the wood get too thin and the next thing you know, oops!
The next pic is of a beautiful bowl that flew off the lathe and the top cracked, so I decided to make a handy dandy coin dish or whatever. I let this one get too thin, too, and oops! (again)
Both bowls were made from spalted maple blanks I got from an online wood merchant. I love the look of the spalted wood, and I didn’t have any trouble turning them. I’ll keep them both around as a reminder.
Now, the success story…
The fourth pic is a nice 4 inch pepper grinder that started out to be a 6 inch pepper grinder, but it kind of got shortened somehow. Luckily the hardware worked OK once I cut the center rod and peened it. This is made from a piece of spalted beech that a friend gave me. We’ve been using it for a couple of months now and it’s darkening and really showing the grain nicely.
Happy woodworking!

8 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2549 days

#1 posted 05-10-2012 10:23 AM

I think they are all good jobs. Mistakes are after all, the way we learn. LOL

Good Job!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View TrBlu's profile


386 posts in 2767 days

#2 posted 05-10-2012 11:19 AM

I don’t see any mistakes.

I see a few interesting design features.

Nice work.

-- The more I work with wood the more I recognize only God can make something as beautiful as a tree. I hope my humble attempts at this craft do justice by His masterpiece. -- Tim

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2447 days

#3 posted 05-10-2012 12:12 PM

Mistakes? Where? These look like beautifully designed turnings, that have a lot more character then some other turnings I’ve seen. Nicely done.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View IndianJoe's profile


425 posts in 2391 days

#4 posted 05-10-2012 01:16 PM

Making Mistakes are after all is the way we learn.
If we made none then we can say we are setting on are butts because the only ones that don’t make mistakes are the ones that sets on there butts
And I would put you mistakes on my table anyday of the week I love them nice work !!!

-- Nimkee** Joe

View RichardH's profile


295 posts in 3143 days

#5 posted 05-10-2012 10:39 PM

Enjoyed the post. I’ve posted a crash or two as well. Sometimes if you can find a couple of the larger pieces that fly off, you can do surprisingly good surgery to put it back together again…just use some sawdust from the same wood mixed with superglue or some powdered dye the same color as the spalt lines and you are off to the races again. Very pretty wood and good story.

-- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it...It's the hard that makes it great."

View HerbC's profile


1789 posts in 3000 days

#6 posted 05-10-2012 10:46 PM


You can send that first mistake down here to Panama City, Florida. I wouldn’t want you to have to torture yourself by keeping it around to remind you of your miscalculation…

Beautiful work.


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View woodtickgreg's profile


212 posts in 3259 days

#7 posted 05-10-2012 10:50 PM

I don’t know why everyone is so hung up on turning so darn thin? Ok i get, it’s nice to say you can do it, and it does look cool, but it’s not very practical or durable. If I have a very nice piece of wood I like to leave it a little thicker so I don’t even take the chance of an oops and wasting a piece of wood, but that’s just me. I also like the feel of a thick verses thin piece. Nice looking pieces though! And I make my share of oops too.

-- wood tick tools for turners by woodtickgreg @

View ShopWench's profile


71 posts in 2453 days

#8 posted 05-11-2012 12:49 AM

Herb C took the words out of my mouth! I would so leave that first piece, glue some colored sand or stone power around the edge and presto!
Thanks for showing it all. If somebody hasn’t busted something, they aren’t turning!

-- Nancy

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