Before I roll into today's update please allow me to fill in the background story and update my tool list as per Mr John Morris' request.
I caught the woodworking bug back in 2014. I have always wanted to be creative, but in all honesty I do not have that gene. If you sat me in front of a canvas and asked me to create content I would fail. I simply do not have the ability to take something from imagination and turn it to reality. What I have found though it that I can reproduce things very well. There was an old commercial from many years ago whose logo was "we didn't invent the _______, we just made it better". BASF or 3M perhaps? Not sure. Anyway, I have found that I can watch a video or sit through a class or follow a decent set of instructions to reproduce quality items. So I started taking classes at the on base hobby shop in Pearl harbor. First was pen turning, then a cutting board, and finally keepsake boxes. Within a year I had picked up most of the essential tools for my garage and was in full blown addict mode. In April of 2016 I bought a house in Jacksonville FL and have been actively preparing to turn my hobby into a retirement project. I have 2 years of active duty time left, my kids are all grown and the last one is finishing her Junior year of HS. By the time I retire it will just be the wife and I. So the plan is to start a business, build up inventory, then get in the RV and drive from Craft Fair to Craft Fair for a few months selling our wares. Likely do that twice a year, fall and spring. Not looking to make millions, but if I can support the habit and pay for gas and food while we are out then I would feel it is a success.
My issue right now is I have to figure out what to sell. I enjoy making pens but not sure they sell well enough to rely on those alone. Same with cutting boards. So I am spending the next few months making new and different things to see what I can mass produce in good quantity, have them be useful and desirable, at a low cost. This week my focus is on Segmented turning and specifically making a soda (or beer) can koozie. I also want to try making a few resin cast spinning tops (cheap gift for kids trapped with parents at a craft fair). I have shifted focus in pen turning to making sets, a matching pen and pencil set for Father's Day and/ or Graduation. I have made some bottle stoppers and cheese knife sets, and I plan to knock out a few of the wine bottle/ glass carrier planks later this year for the holidays. I feel that right now is the best time to learn all of these techniques so that when we actually get rolling with sales it will not be bogged down with any kind of learning curve. I can just batch and go.
Second issue is finding a decent source of material. My parents were able to find a decent batch of walnut and cherry a few months ago but I cannot rely on that kind of luck. Woodcraft is too expensive for me to try and turn around any decent profit, but I have no where to dry wood on my own. Cypress seems abundant around my area so I think I will start there, but I think that means cutting boards are off the sales list.
As far as tools go, I think the list is better highlighted with what I still need (want) vice what I have. I am still trying to get either a decent sized drum sander or small jointer, preferably both. With what I have i am able to get from rough lumber to decent large dimensions, but I repeatedly run into times where I have pieces that need to be flattened but are not safe to run thru my planer. You will see later in the segmenting blog that I have strips of oak that are a perfect 1/2" on one side, and a variety of sizes on the other edge. The result is 18 wedges that make a perfect ring, flat on bottom and a stair case effect on the top. If I had either a jointer or sander I could flatten the stock to 1/2" square before cutting segments, but I am just to chicken to run something that thin thru my planer.
The foundation of my shop is the Delta 36-725 10" table saw. It is a workhorse and has done everything I have asked of it.
Turning will be done on the jet mini lathe, non-variable speed. I guess it would be nice to have VS, but I have never used it so I don't know to miss it. I have too many turning tools because I cannot decide what I like. I started with the generic small 3 piece set from PSI with the oval skew, gouge and parting tool. From there I found a Carbide cutter set on Amazon where you get 1 handle and 3 bars (round, square, and diamond). I like them but I think I am too aggressive with them. With the square cutter I blow out acrylic pens at the tip (about 15 seconds after I think that is close enough and should sand the rest), where the circle cutter does awesome on wood but is uncontrollable on acrylic resin. So for Chrismas I received a 3/4" Sorby roughing gouge and have used it extensively for all my turning work. So much so that I wanted to get back int skew work and bought the Harbor Freight $70 set. I cannot figure out why but this skew will not work for me. I think the grind is different from what I expect and is causing issues but it is likely operator error. I sharpen tools with the PSI knock off of the Wolverine sharpening system.
I purchased a Harbor Freight 14" Band Saw. I know many people dislike HF tools, but I could not afford big tools such as this without them. It does well for me, but it did take some time to iron out a few issues. I am not proficient at resawing but I am developing the skill as best I can.
I was able to get a steal on a Craftsman 13" planer from Sears. I happened to walk in and one was on the floor, open box for half off. Looks like someone used it for a weekend project and brought it back. It also has been a champ.
If I regret a major tool purchase it is probably the Harbor Freight 2HP dust collector. Don't get me wrong, it does a great job. However, it is big. Very big, and takes up more space when you add the second stage separator to it. I also did not realize that NOTHING in my shop has a 4" dust collection port. Not my table saw, band saw, planer, none of it.There was a period of time where I had tried to mount 4"adapters to everything so I could use the fancy 4" collapsible hose Rockler sells before it dawned on me I was wasting time and effort and ditched the 4" hose for a 2.5" hose.
Other than that, just your typical random tools to fit a specific need at some point. Ryobi combination sander, big HF air compressor, HF pressure pot, Ryobi router table and various plunge, fixed, and hand held routers.
Probably too much for this post, hope you enjoyed the read. I will get back to segmented turning in the next post.