Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pretend Projects

I have two little helpers who come out to the shop some and they come up with all sorts of ideas of what we should make while they are out there. Unfortunately most their ideas are bigger than our time allows, or would require way more planning than is possible while the helpers are around. They have some good ideas and it is a lot of fun to listen to them explaining their ideas.

Recently one morning my daughter came out to the shop and wanted to make a wand. So we found a small piece of maple and she helped me turn the main part of the wand. We sized the handle to her hand. She likes to catch the chips as they some off the lathe. While she was napping I finished sanding the handle and applied a finish. She wanted a star on the end but I thought a star would be to good a weapon. So I cut a heart out of cherry and glued it to the wand.

Little brother has been playing knight and pirates lately and his favorite sword was a pastry brush. I found some thin (3/8") cherry and glued some walnut on to build up a the handle and then roughed out a sword shape. The shape of the sword could use some refining but it sure made a little buys day when I brought it in from the shop for him, I need to steal sometime when he is asleep and give it a finish.
Cutting vines
After getting the sword he asked "where's my shield?"

Both toys were made with the stipulation that if it was used as a weapon it would be destroyed in the wood stove.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Green Bowl Turning

Late last summer I cut down a cherry and an apple tree in the yard, I cut some bowl blanks as I was cutting up the trees.

While hauling some firewood to the shop I got distracted by the bowl blanks and brought a couple of them to the shop. I used the band saw to cut a rough circle and then mounted the bowl to the lathe using a lag screw as a screw chuck.
I then turned then outside of the bowl and glued my glue block I've used with my other bowls on to turn the inside. The blanks weren't all the way dry and the "green" wood was fantastic to turn. Since the wood was green I could either leave the bowl thick and let it dry slowly in a bag of shavings and then true up the bowl and finish it once it was dry. Or I could make the bowl thin and allow the bowl to warp and dry on its own. I didn't want to have to wait so I chose the second option. I used mineral oil to finish the bowl, which is a food safe finish. Here is the finished Apple bowl. It has already warped and has became oval shaped.

I am looking forward to making more bowl like this one.
Snack time
I am working on a big project and I am going to make one blog post about it when it is done instead of several post along the way.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

More pens and videos

I've been turning some more pens again when I don't have a lot of shop time. I've also been making some videos while in the shop.

One of the recent pens I made was made from purple heart. Purple heart is brown after cutting or sanding, the purple will return on its own with time and exposure to sunlight. But it's possible to speed this process up by heating the wood.
Here the color change is noticeable
It is amazing how quickly the color changes. I have some other ideas I want to try on my next purple heart pen.

I also turned my first antler pen recently. It was difficult to find a piece that was straight enough, I had some difficulty drilling straight through the antler. But the end result was good.


Here are a few of the other pens I've made recently
Hickory pen and pencil set
 While making the above hickory pen I attached a Go Pro camera to my roughing gouge for a interesting perspective.


Birds eye maple

Birds eye maple

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Walnut Candle Stick Holder

After I completed the repairs to the lathe tail stock I wanted to try turning something.  I've turned most the bigger pieces of wood in the shop already so I had to go to the barn in search of turnable pieces. I found a piece of walnut I had salvaged from our old house when the power company cut down the tree. I started by making a cylinder and then had to decide what I was going to make. I choose a candle stick holder, not exactly the most useful item but was still something I could learn by making. I cut a tenon on one end so I could attach it to a base.
After I had the stick done I found a piece of wood from the same tree that I attempted to mill into lumber.  I glued the base to the stick and then remounted it all in the lathe to shape the base and apply a finish.

I am going to have to turn a cup to attach to the top that can actually hold a candle because I made the top to narrow to hold a candle stick.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Maple bowl

I had some off cuts from the maple lamination from the Maple Mania project I did last year. I cut a circle from one of them and glue it to my bowl turning glue block. The glue block/bolt assembly can bee seen in the picture below. The finished bowl is 6.5" wide and 1" deep. I finished it with a friction polish.


I really like the colors of the different maple piece.  I am looking forward to making more bowls.

Lathe Repair

Back in December I mentioned how I was having some trouble with the tailstock on the lathe and how I wanted to have it machined to take a Morse taper (MT). I ended up ordering a drill chuck that fits on the lathe and the reamers to cut a No.1 Morse Taper. I also order No.1 MT live center and mandrel saver for turning pens. All the parts finally came in so it was time to make the repairs.

I started by drilling a 3/8" hole in the tailstock, and then used the course and finish reamers to form the Morse taper. The process went good for the most part, with only a few hiccups.

Here is a video I made of the process.
I've used the live center to turn a few items and it work so much better than the dead center. This was not just a repair but an upgrade. As a bonus the drill chuck is allowing me to give bowl turning a try as was seen in my previous post.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Walnut Bowl

I recently bought a drill chuck that will fit on the head and tail stock on my lathe. I bought it in order to make some repairs to the lathe but wanted to try and use it for work holding. I made a glue block using a carriage bolt and some cherry scraps. I then rough cut a circle from a walnut off cut. Then I glued the walnut circle to the cherry glue block. I think chucked the carriage bolt in the drill chuck and turned the walnut into a small bowl. It was my first attempt at a bowl and it came out pretty good. I finished the bowl with a friction polish on the lathe.
part way through the sanding process

The finished bowl


I will get a picture of the carriage bolt glue block when I make the next bowl.

I've delivered the large counter top I had been working on and need to clean up the shop now. We all ended up with the flu and the weather has been miserable so there hasn't been much going on in the shop. The next big project is going to be some book cases for the kid's rooms.