I love my Shopsmith|I hate my Shopsmith. It’s a couplet familiar to any owner of that beguiling piece of machinery. When they work, they’re a great tool. When they break, they’re rather annoying. My Shopsmith’s particular failing is in the alignment of its pulley sheaves. They tend to become misaligned at high speed, which is no great issue when I’m using the table saw. But, when I need to slow it down the sheaves don’t mesh and I end up pushing out the thrust bearing. Quite annoying. I thought I’d fixed this gremlin the last time I took it apart, but alas no.
The pipe making started well. I had some leftover cherry from when I made some table legs which would make a nice stummel, and for the stem I had some 4/4 jatoba scraps. I cut the cherry to length in table saw mode, and cut one end at an angle to tilt the stem up towards the mouth. This is where the problems started.
I have the bandsaw accessory for the Shopsmith, and in order to use it safely you have to turn the speed down to around 800rpm. For reference, you use the table saw at about 2400rpm. Unfortunately, this is where those misaligned pulley sheaves reared their ugly heads. I couldn’t get the speed low enough, so I decided to cross my fingers and run the bandsaw faster than recommended. I’d done it before, and while it makes an almighty shriek and dulls the blade, you can make short cuts.
I managed to get the stummel pretty well shaped, although the bowl ended up being more ovoid than I’d intended. While I’m foolish enough to run a bandsaw at 2x recommended speed, I’m not crazy enough to try to use a lathe at that speed. At this point I kissed goodbye any dreams of a perfectly symmetrical and beautifully rounded stem. Oh well, I doubt hobbits would have worried much.