Sunday, February 03, 2013

Woodturning Workshop

Last night and today (uh, well, now yesterday) I was at a woodturning workshop at Lee Valley, and it was *awesome*. I've never turned before. Friday night, I created a somewhat uneven dowel from a chunk of wood rough-cut from a 2x4:
(We were learning how to go from square to round, and handle two of the tools.)

This morning we continued by learning coves and beads. My practice piece started to look like a spurtle, so I practiced more even cutting to make it into one (well, it needs some pretty major sanding, plus the end trimmed off):
I was still pretty proud of it, though.

I started a second chunk of former 2x4 practice, but only got it mostly rounded by the time we switched over to working with wet poplar to make a "weed pot" (it won't hold water, but you can stick a few dried weeds in it for decoration). Here's my chunk of poplar after I took it from square to round:
And here's my bud vase / weed pot:
I was very proud of my "spurtle" and weed pot, until I got to make a second weed pot out of a Manitoba maple burl (on the left in this photo, center shows the bit of burl left over after I parted the pot from it):
Other side:
This makes my first projects look like junk. I'm exceedingly proud of this little creation! (It's sanded, but I still need to apply a finish.)

There's a lathe in the workshop in my mom's garage, but it's a metal lathe. Bummer. (Until I decide I want to do something that needs a metal lathe, of course.) I either need to figure out how to convert it, or buy myself a wood lathe... and the tools too, of course. Or find somewhere where I can use a wood lathe for a drop-in fee.

Friday night I googled lathes, to find out the difference between wood and metal lathes. The main difference is that a wood lathe has a tool rest that allows you to work freehand. The lathe in the shop also has a "dead end" rather than a "live end" (live is better, dead needs oil), and the chucks aren't spiral (according to the instructor), so it's harder to get things centered properly.

I'd like to do more of this wood turning stuff. Spindles, bowls, nostepinnes, bobbin lace bobbins...


aniexma said...

Nice! I've always wanted to learn to turn.

noricum said...

I highly recommend Herman de Vries, who was highly recommended to me. :) Both Lee Valley and Canadian Woodworker offer courses. (I was on their site today looking up whether they had drop-in times to use their lathes.)