Friday, December 1, 2017

New Lathe

I spent all my meagre savings on a small wood-turning lathe for myself. It's pretty good for the price; a decently solid cast-iron construction that gives minimal vibration, and a 5-speed pulley system. The maximum distance between centres is about 420mm, so maybe just long enough to turn a chair leg on — there's an extension available for the bed though, which I may invest in at a later date if I find I need it. The only thing about it that I'm not that impressed with is the tool rest, which is very short, only 150mm (6") long. That will need to be addressed at some stage.

I enjoyed turning when I did it at 'tech, but I've done very little of it, and none at all for years, so what skills I had are now very, very rusty. It's going to take a bit of practice to get my hand back in.

My first very modest practice piece is this awl handle, made from a scrap of oak. The blade is an old 3mm drill bit shank.

Oak is a bit mixed as a turning wood. It's hard enough to cut crisply, but it has a fairly open grain, so the surface never looks as smooth and clean from the knife as fruit woods like apple or cherry. However, that's what I've got, so that's what I'm practicing on.

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