Each month I make something and then give it away to my patrons over on Patreon. This month the project was a walnut vase that I turned on my lathe. I’m not a super experienced turner so this is a great way for me to get some practice and another upside is that turnings shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg to ship.
If you’d like to get in on the giveaway action consider becoming a Patron!
If that isn’t your thing check out the video below to see how I made the vase. Thanks for watching!
For a long time I’ve wanted to turn a Christmas ornament for our tree. Each year the holidays come and pass and I never have the time to make it happen. This year was different.
I grabbed some walnut and mahogany I had laying around the shop and got to work. This was my first attempt at doing an income out turning. It’s not perfect but it is certainly acceptable for a first go. If you’d like to see how I made it check out the video below.
We have a hairbrush and the handle broke off of it. So instead of throwing it out I turned a new one for it from a walnut scrap.
This was a really easy and simple project and I debated about whether or not to film it at all. However, it afforded me the opportunity to begin to get used to using my traditional turning tools instead of the carbide tools that I typically use.
If you’d like to see how I fixed the brush, check out the video below.
The bench measures 6′ long by 24″ wide and 34.75″ high. The top and base are made from SPF construction lumber. The leg vise chop, wagon vise and sliding deadman are mahogany and the planing stop is walnut. The bench has other walnut accents as well such as the vise handles and hubs.
Having a real workbench in the shop is a real game changer. I can’t believe I waited so long to build one. Check the videos below to see the build process.
Recently I had to opportunity to make a gift for someone. I decided to turn to my lathe and give a segmented bowl a try. I’ve never done any segmented turning so this was a bit of a gamble but it actually turned out far better than I expected. Check it out in the video below.
I recently cut my first set of hand cut dovetails. In the process I realized that I needed a proper mallet, among other tools. I decided that I’ve been woodworking for too long not to have a mallet so it was off to the lathe to turn a carver’s mallet.
I make the mallet from a glued up blank of walnut and maple. If you’d like to see how I did it check out the video below.
I love being a woodworker. Primarily because it allows me to make things. This morning my Son asked me if I’d make a Harry Potter wand for him. He is very interested in making movies and he is always trying to come up with different props for his films. Personally I think he is more interested in collecting the props (read: toys) than he is actually making the movies. He has only completed a few stop motion Lego movies.
At any rate, I knew that I had a scrap piece of Walnut in the shop that would be perfect for this quick project. So I went down to my shop, chucked the wood in my lathe and turned out this wand.
I get a great sense of pride knowing that I can whip something up really quickly that my children will have fun playing with for a long time. Even if he breaks it tomorrow, I can always build a new one and the new one will probably be better than the last. It makes me wonder if Makers had the same sense of pride when they made something 100 years ago, when most kid’s toys were made at home. Perhaps it was so common that they thought nothing of it. Now it might be more of a novelty sensation. We live in a “throw away” society. Most people buy furniture designed to last 2 years at best that is made from particle board and screws. In my house that stuff is luck to last 6 months. I’m pretty happy knowing that this wand will be around long after he has lost interest in playing with it.
This post contains an image which depicts a woodworking injury.
In the spirit of posting something safety related on this day, May 15, 2015 dubbed safety day I’d like to share a close call I had in my shop last summer.
I was learning to use my lathe. I had turned a spindle or two as well as a Harry Potter wand for my son. Naturally I figured I’d try turning a bowl. The result left me with a bloody forehead.
This happened because I wasn’t using my lathe safely. I wasn’t supporting the bowl with the tail stock and my tools weren’t sharp. Mostly because I didn’t have a grinder to sharpen them with. Additionally I wasn’t wearing a face mask. Also leading to the injury, I hadn’t properly formed the mortise in the bottom of the bowl for my chuck grab.
Long story short, my gouge caught the work and it flew off the lathe and hit me in the forehead. You can see in the photo where the bowl was ripped out of the chuck and the catch that caused it.
It was nearly a year before I touched my lathe again. I regained my confidence after making some carbide lathe tools. After the accident, I still wanted to learn to turn but I needed better quality tools than my harbor freight chisels and something that was easily sharpened. I didn’t want to purchase carbide tools so I made my own. Here is a video I made of the process. My first YouTube video. Check it out if you’re interested in doing the same.
Since making the tools I’ve learned proper safety technique and how to safely use my lathe. As a result I’ve turned a few more bowls. These ones didn’t leave me with a bloody forehead!
The moral of this story? Be safe in your shop, know what you’re doing when you use a new tool. Most importantly, don’t let an accident stop you from getting back into your shop!