|Project by Spur||posted 03-01-2013 08:12 PM||729 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
I joined the local woodworkers guild about a year, and it has been a wonderful resource that I encourage everyone to try and find in their area. My guild has mentoring classes, one of which is pen turning, the other is woodturning, and cost is just for materials. I used a lathe for the first time in my life this week and, well, I need lotsa practice :-p but before I can use one of the lathes in the guild shop, I have to finish this 5 week turning course. I have to stress that the quality of my work is not to be used as a reflection on the 2 mentors for the class, they are doing a superb job, incredible patience, and the head instructor has an excellent teaching personality and delivery. The bowl is a green turning which apparently can not be completed until it sits in a paper bag for a few weeks and gets weighed until its weight stabilizes. The blank was a lot bigger. I couldn’t get a smooth cut. My walls have some work to go before they are of even thickness. The blank was considerably bigger than the result.
The pen turning, which was the day before, was likewise a disaster. I had found some scrap walnut in cutoff bins throughout the shop (I now dumpster dive all the cutoff containers around the shop whenever I go by). I ripped it down to blank size, enough for two blanks. The first, I turned all the way down to the brass insert tube. The second, I tried to speed up and ripped out a huge chink of walnut, again down to the tube. The last one, I had a piece of Chechen wood, and I quickly cut drilled and inserted the tube to get to turning so I had a chance to finish before the class ended. This one actually came out ok. I go to pressing everything together, and I had forgotten to ream it out. Ugh. So the pen is a little bit wonky.
So the last two nights of turning sound like they were a nightmare, and in a way, they maybe were, but I really enjoyed the heck out of it, and I am just dying to get to turning. I think the pen fiasco was a very valuable learning experience, and I am keeping that first pen as is (the finish really is nice), as a reminder to myself and my grandkids hopefully one day. We all start somewhere.
The undersized bowl will work well for holding peanuts or thumbtacks at work, a reminder to remember a little humility :) Hopefully it will have a good looking big brother beside it soon.
In the meantime, I have to wait a week between turnings until the class is over (Next week is either spindle or dry wood bowl turning), before I can use the shop lathes. Don’t have the means to just pick up a midi lathe to practice at home with, but by golly, I am going to be taking a lot of lunch breaks at the guild shop starting in April!!!!
-- Henryk, South Carolina