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  1. Well fall officially started a few hours ago. I'm really missing the longer days and then there'll be the loss of daylight saving time. Our Patriot Turners- @RustyFN gave us an update on his Record Power lathe. Looks like Record Power's customer service is top notch and they go above and beyond to make things right. A nice change in this day and age- @forty_caliber showed us some of the bowls he is turning. He posted these in the Patriot "What's on Your Weekend Agenda" forum- Last week we mentioned @Steve Krumanaker use of a laser to embellish his turning. While searching for information on lasers, I realized that @Gene Howe has also posted information on lasers and the software to use them. Sorry, Gene, I didn't me to exclude you from out pool of laser masters! What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for links to registration and more information. The AAW is hosting a live event for woodturners to enhance their skills and techniques- In the coming weeks, Cindy Drozda is holding online events. This Saturday is a free sharing session. You can sign up at- http://www.cindydrozda.com/html/Signup.html On October 2, 2021 Cindy is hosting work session on burls- For The Newbies- A few neat tips from Mike Peace that can solve some problems we all face- Looking for a practical project to show off your woodturning skills? Make a lamp! https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/project-firewood-table-lamp/ A lamp was the very first thing I ever turned. Senior high school Vocational Building Construction course. Made from a bowling pin. I think my Mom kept it forever. Expand Your Horizons- A nice little project that could easily solve some of our Christmas gift problems. Video by Kent Weakley, from Turn A Wood Bowl. After watching the video, I think the epoxy could be replace with casting resin. New Turning Items- Couple of items from Woodturners Wonders- Wen Grinders with CBN wheels- https://woodturnerswonders.com/collections/wen-grinders And CBN wheels for sharpening chain saw blades- https://woodturnerswonders.com/collections/chainsaw-sharpening Roth Niles published her latest newsletter for September. To get the scoop on her most recent items and see some awesome turnings by other woodturners, please consider subscribing- https://nilesbottlestoppers.com/ Everything Else- If you have ever checked out any of the videos from Rick Turns' weekly list, be aware he has made some changes to how he is posting. In addition, he has added some new "weekly" channels for other hobby type interests. New YouTube channels are difficult to get up and running and subscribers really help. The woodturning channel- Some new stuff- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6gkzcvQ3hf5UlKMtqMqh0w/videos @Gerald asked if I could take some progress shots when doing rolling pins. My Mom always said- "Be careful what you wish for..." This is the sequence for cutting the slots (dado) for the inserts. This blank here has already had 2 slots cut and inserts glued. The trimmed blank is positioned on the jig- First part of the slot cut- Unclamp the blank and add a spacer to widen the slot- Re-clamp and make the second pass. The spacer is designed to make the slot the final width. The second pass leaves a small amount of material in the slot and that is cleaned out using 2 additional spacers- After all 4 passes- Back to the gluing process- Clamp the blank down for stability- Glue in the slot Glue on all sides of the inserts- Inserts into slot- Pressed home- Lots of clamps for an hour- This is repeated until all 4 sides have been done- IMG_0213.MP4 At this point, the blank goes to the lathe- Rounding starts and the knot begins to appear- IMG_0220.MP4 Length and diameter dimensions are set- Once all the blanks reach this point, the tapering jig and cutter replace the tool rest. More images to follow. Safe turning and stay well
  2. The middle of September already. Felt more like July here today but a quick thunderstorm cooled things down with 3/4" of rain! Our Patriot Turners- @Gerald has gotten a head start on his Christmas turnings. These gorgeous items are sure to be a hit and a great seller! Gerald describes what he did and the finishes he used in his post- @Steve Krumanaker is our resident laser technician. Steve creates awesome designs for the honey dipper/lid he creates. I really need to invest in a laser setup! Steve received a lot of positive comments about these gems! A while back, @Gerald posted a topic on making a Jam Chuck, published by Woodcraft. @PostalTom was inquiring if any of our turners had made one- If you have one of these in your arsenal, give Tom a shout! We have a running discussion on High Speed Steel gouges. @AndrewB started the thread and recently updated us on his latest purchase. We had several turning related entries in the "What's On Your Weekend Agenda" forum. @forty_caliber Gave us a look at some bowls he turned- And this one- The pecan bowl was turned green and will need to be dried. @Gerald offered advice on the drying procedure- @forty_caliber Gave us a comparison of two sharpening systems- Tormek and Sorby Pro-Edge. Thanks ".40" for the information! What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for links to registration. From Cindy Drozda- From Simon Begg M. Saben-Smith is offering a free course on Hampshire Sheen Excellence in Finishing. The presentation is based around Hampshire products but the techniques are universal- https://www.msabansmith.com/finishing-course/ On Saturday, September 18, there is another Virtual Craft Festival on YouTube- Check this link for the videos on Saturday- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQBave9vnYL9L2Y08HZhy_Q/playlists For The Newbies- Mike Peace shows us how to add feet to a turned box- Expand Your Horizons- Carl Jacobson creates a beautiful natural edge bowl. The turning is enhanced by the accenting the natural defects. New Turning Items- Not a "new" product but one heck of a deal- $5.00 for 2 wheels!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Click on the image for the link!! Everything Else- Rick Turns YouTube woodturning videos from last week- I finally got all of the cherry and walnut inserts sized for the rolling pins. Mimi is happy that the drum sander is put away. The next steps involve gluing and slot cutting. Each maple blank needs a 3/8" diagonal slot cut for the inserts Next the 3 inserts are glued and clamped into the slot. An hour in the clamps and then I usually give each slot glue-up several more hours of drying time before moving on. Six blanks with the first set of inserts glued into place. The inserts are slightly oversized in both length and width. Being slightly wider than the maple blank makes for easier positioning/clamping in the slot. But, then that requires each glue-up to be trimmed before cutting the next slot. If left proud of the maple blank, it will not set accurately in the slot cutting jig. I used to do this trimming on the table saw but the band saw works just as well and there is no need to constantly reset the table saw blade between steps. Once all of the maple blanks are trimmed, it's back to the table saw to cut the next slot. These operations are repeated until the maple blanks have inserts glued in place in all 4 sides. Safe turning and stay well
  3. Just set up my new laser from Tim Yoder. And tests were in order on a piece of magnolia for a Beads of Courage Bowl. This laser is setup on the original Elbo hollowing rig. I did have to drill to mount the post but was a simple job. A friend just turned a 1 inch boring bar for me and it is much more stable than the 3/4. Laser is easy to adjust when changing cutters. I usually do not remember to take pics while on lathe but did on this one.
  4. Just a reminder that we are about 2 weeks into our summer raffle to help offset the costs of running the Patriot site. If you haven't already picked up your tickets for some awesome prizes, here's the scoop! Our Patriot Turners- Our turners were back at their lathes this week! @RustyFN posted his curly maple segmented bowl and it is a beauty! Rusty received lots of positive comments about it. Check out the post at- @AndrewB turned a slightly different style pepper mill. The grinding mechanism is different from his past turnings- Andrew shows us his progress from the rough blank to the finished mill- Andrew also gave us a review of his new buffing system He gave us the link to this product in his post- One of our long time members posted his first turning. @Ron showed us the beginnings of a cane he is making- He received lots of encouragement and some suggestions on this turning- @forty_caliber poste a question about using the parting tool. Check out his post and see if you can offer some suggestions or ideas- @Steve Krumanaker started turning a tall vase from flame box elder. Looks like this is going to be a beauty! More images in Steve's post- Just a note here, if you subscribe to the Woodworker's Journal, next issue has an article about flame box elder- https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/box-elder/ Steve has decided to up his game, when deep hollowing, and ditch the laser pointer for a more advance method of determining wall thickness. Check out his post on his most recent upgrade- @Gerald challenged us to post our Mother's Day turning gifts. Gerald's gift turning is fantastic! See additional images and our member's comments in his post- I need to start writing down the trails to some of the stuff for each weeks Wednesday's... I can't remember how I came across this video of Gerald's presentation to the Magnolia Woodturners- What’s Coming Up- A little something different from Cindy Drozda- Click on the above image to Cindy's site and registration information. From the AAW- Click on the above image for the link to more information and registration. For The Newbies- We have been linking videos from Record Power on lathe maintenance. Although aimed at a specific lathe model, the information can be pretty much applied to any lathe. Here is part# 3Part# 3 of Mike Waldt's beginner series for turners. Again this is a replay of a live session and is kind of long. From the World Wide Wood Turners, a nice demonstration on various methods of holding a turning. Expand Your Horizons- Mike Waldt has something for the more advanced turner in this video- Alan Stratton's take on chasing threads Mike Peace recently published a video on the various types of spiraling and texturing tools. Within the video, Mike refers to links for longer videos on each tool. He also has a PDF article that can be downloaded at- https://www.mikepeacewoodturning.com/2019/05/03/texturing-and-spiraling/ IMHO, there can be no greater honor than to be asked to create a burial urn. Sam Angelo has a video demonstrating how to calculate the internal volume using some easily made measuring devices. New Turning Items- Robert Sorby Brand Ambassador Darryl Jones introduces the Deluxe Sovereign TurnMaster Box Set- The folks at Woodturners Wonders have a heavy duty compass capable of drawing 28" circles. Check it out at- https://woodturnerswonders.com/products/12-inch-carpenters-compass Premier Gauges has some interestingly designed wall and bottom thickness gauges- More information can be found at- https://premiergauges.com/ Everything Else- Rick Turns list of YouTube woodturning videos from last week- I had one last piece of cherry but it had some pretty nasty cracks. Decided to see what could be found inside. I'm surprised that I could get this much. Sill a couple of cracks that will need taken care of At this point I normally submerge the piece in the soap and water solution for a couple of days and then on to drying in a paper bag with shavings. Turned out my pot is only 12" in diameter!. I CA'ed the cracks, wrapped the bowl in stretch wrap and put it in my little drying box (ala Rick Turns). Then for the cleanup! Safe turning and stay well
  5. Just a gentle reminder- When posting threads, PLEASE add tags to your posts. Our Patriot Turners- @Ron Altier asked us for ideas about modifications that could be made to make his lathe run slower. He received lots of comments and suggestions. If you have any recommendations, maybe you could help him out- Ron also posted a few more ornaments he finished and explained how he made some of the marvelous designs- @RustyFN Has been really busy this week! He started out showing us a bowl he turned- Rusty used his emblem on the bottom- Rusty has been able to score free wood from several places. He told us about his trip to the saw mill where he picked up a walnut log- Which yielded this fantastic looking bowl- Check this post for more details- Rusty has a really awesome neighbor. Told Rusty he could have wood from a recently felled tree. They think it's maple- Rusty posted more images in his post and has even started turning one of the blanks. In this particular thread, there are some interesting comments on which bowl gouge might be best. Rusty decided on the 1/2" Sorby- Since Rusty is working with "green" wood, he was curious about the drying procedures and at what point in the turning process should drying take place. Our members offered several options and ideas. Maybe you could add something to what has already posted Rusty adapted a bandsaw circle cutting jig to help him cut bowl blanks- he shows us more about it in his post- We are still getting additional input on a post from a couple of weeks back on the HSS subject. Our own @Steve Krumanaker added a link to a video he made on making handles for tools. Steve posted some images of the "tea lids" which he has been making. His little laser does a fantastic job of adding embellishments to the turnings. See Steve's post for more images- Steve had to create a jig to help hold these lids during the turning process. He shared the specifics of how he made a special expansion chuck- @AndrewBreally came out smelling like a rose! A while back he obtained a bunch of tool rests- but they didn't fit his lathe. Well all was not lost as he explains in this post- @Masonsailor is still learning about his new lathe. He posted an update on some of the features- What’s Coming Up- Carl Jacobson is offering a live online class https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fbit.ly%2F33zhDit%3Ffbclid%3DIwAR3dU9tbCT_bBqQRb1sbx_zaPwBi8cjcYINxqgdoYCW9EGG1zNPhckZVnII&h=AT2Nanrkmfka0_NeZU9kGjaoMGAAc7epV_E6YNxKr0sNUaSoh176gAi_5Vbc7-FG_c4rsQMCwZEZmlXk5kMhkNX9go3J_LhtqqvKbdOD488xsCVlU-JJ74id60MR01EPnA&__tn__=-UK-R&c[0]=AT0fR3DEM_uFCeZT6ING_O0GgL370DBA4CMApwnPii3gw_5CpEr0xzJg_dtKTyKgAEVOj4c1b1shbErx0WkfdpkSvv5TnUVtkgXVZhdNrboxD1S6bJznZUcPPStOa2JWTblHc8Ruit_BBPvDhTRKLtiSKEg For The Newbies- A lot of turners use the "OneWay Wolverine" sharpening system. Ron Brown shows an eas to set it up for sharpening gouges- In addition to the previous jig, Ron Brown has another jig for setting up the grinder for sharpening other tool. To get the best cuts and safest operation, we need to have the lathe running at the proper speed. In this video, Mike Peace, provides insights on when to change the lathe speed- Expand Your Horizons- Here is an interesting process for turning and coloring a "wet" blank by Alan Stratton- In the video I was intrigued by the steady rest that Mr. Stratton used. I liked the idea of being able to mount/unmount the steady rest without having to remove the turning. Here's the link to more information- https://www.aswoodturns.com/2014/09/steady-update/ New Turning Items- Ruth Niles has some new mandrel adapters for her newer stoppers- You can get more information from Ruth's site- https://nilesbottlestoppers.com/product/mandrel-adapters/?fbclid=IwAR2UmPqFG7zD_zUZhlxTuw_iK69I2_FDvVVScOJOPWna1XEncD8GX403ksw Everything Else- Rick Turns YouTube video listing from last week- Back in the summer, the tree guys dropped off some cherry. I've been making stuff from the log. Some of the pieces I rough turned, soaked in the soap solutions and then stored them in shavings. Had this shape kicking around in my head for a while. Took it out of the shavings and began working on it a week or so ago. Got it cleaned up- Started to refine the hollowing. The little shop made laser device to check the thickness- Finalizing the shape- Chuck for holding it to finish off the bottom- Mounted and secured- It was going to be pretty plain so I decided to add some detail. Hindsight is 20/20. Not sure gold leaf was the best color. More hindsite- I really don't like the glossy finish. Maybe it will darken over time- Safe turning and stay well
  6. Just about to wrap up on the first of these. I did several several searches with different phrases and eventually found some quotes that I thought would work. Some of the lids have knobs and some don't so I wrote two versions of each quote for the engraver. These have two coats of spray can shellac on them. They'll get sanded and finish coated in the morning. "Sereni-tea" for a lid with a knob. Liked this quote when I found it. "Sereni-tea" for a lid with no knob. This one I made up. Can't see it because of the knob but the last word at the top is "me" Wife liked this one too. 21 of them starters, actually did four more but didn't have metal lids for them. They'll go in the kitty for next batch if there is a next batch. Also did 25 honey dipper lids. I came up with a new look for the knobs on a few of them. If you notice there is a little "tail" at some of the intersections on the honeycomb. I was also getting that on my lettering. Replaced the belts on the Y axis and that fixed it. The belts didn't appear to be worn but apparently they were.
  7. Our Adopted Family Christmas Project was a complete success. Thanks to all who participated and congratulations to the raffle winners! Our Patriot Turners- Lots of great projects and discussions this past week! @Ron Altier started us off with a sweet little birdhouse ornament! Ron tells us a little about this turning and the little additions he added- @Steve Krumanaker embellishes some of his orders with an inexpensive laser. Steve shows us just how versatile one of these machines can be- Check out the comments in his post- Steve was a very good boy this this year and Santa rewarded his behaviour with an awesome new toy. We all can't wait to see what Steve does with it! @RustyFN showed us a new bowl he is making and wondering about what type of finish might be possible. Rusty received lots of great comments and suggestions. Head on over to his post and see what you think- Rusty also asked us our opinion on a new emblem he is designing to identify his work. He posted three different ideas and wondered which one we liked best. Why not add your input to help Rusty? Rusty looking for a new bowl gouge and saw several at Woodcraft. Rusty asked us which one(s) would be best. Our turners offer lots of suggestions and which one might be best. Rusty is our big winner this week for the number of posts! When you have HSS tools, you need to sharpen them, so Rusty is replacing his standard bench grinder. His question was centered on what to look for in a grinder for turning tools. We were able to help him with his purchase. Check his post to see which grinder he bought! @AndrewB was also looking for new HSS gouges and inquired about sharpening. Andrew's post generated a lot of conversation on sharpening and our members even provided some additional advice on jigs. This is a great conversation on sharpening- What’s Coming Up- Two on-line events events in the next couple of weeks- January 9- Click on the above image for the link to more details and registration On January 23- Click on the above image for the link to more information and registration. For The Newbies- There was lots of discussion this week on HSS turning tools. To get the absolute best finish from these types of tools, they must be sharp- and kept sharp. Here are two videos from well known turning experts. See how they keep their tools sharp Expand Your Horizons- Mike Peace decided to expand his horizons and give carbide tools a try. See his impressions in this video- Now if he would have just bought the Easy Wood Tools!! New Turning Items- Gauging the thickness of a turning can be challenging. There are all sorts of jigs, devices and tools you can make or buy. This one adds the digital function to the mix. It probably will not work for small opening hollow vessels but for bowls it will do the trick. More information and a video of the operation is here- https://segmentedturning.org/product/digital-wall-thickness-gauge/ Everything Else- Rick Turns list of You Tube turning videos from last week- ...and somedays the Dragon wins... At least the new dust collection setup works! Safe turning and stay well
  8. Everyone here knows, when I'm making honey dipper lids for mason jars I use a cheap laser to embellish the lids. Everyone always asks, how big of a piece can you do? No one ever asks how small. I had an idea today to embellish a knob or two to see if it would work. So, here is the result, toothpick on top for scale. Keep in mind this is done with cheapo machine that's probably 4 years old now, not sure about that anymore. I'm still amazed at what it will do. They actually look much better in reality, picture is blown up enough to show the imperfections pretty good. Still, I think the "honey lady" is going to like them.
  9. Hard to believe that on Friday we will have put 2020 behind us. Let's hope 2021 will see the end of the pandemic! Our Patriot Turners- @PostalTom finished up his Christmas stocking tree. It turned out fantastic and can be seen in his update to a previous post- @RustyFN has a laser and he has combined it with his CNC machine to design some emblems to finish off his turned bowls. Check out his post to read more about what he is doing and the comments from our members. @HandyDan gave us a Christmas eve peek at some of the ornaments and displays he made- He received lots of positive comments in his post and he gave us a source for some of the embellishments. @AndrewB is looking for some ideas on reverse chucking a bowl. Our members came through with flying colors! They offered techniques, sources and photos to help Andrew figure out the best way- What’s Coming Up- Cindy Drozda Has a live online demonstration/class coming up in January- Click on the above image for the link to her site and more information. For The Newbies- It's a little late for this year but a great time to get a jump on next year's ornaments and gifts! Here's Carl Jacobson creating a Christmas Gnome! If that's not your cup of tea, how about Mike Peace turning a nativity scene. A two video set turning all of the pieces- Part 2 is linked from this video. Expand Your Horizons- We all have turned small lidded boxes. Most of them have had slip fit type lids. Here, Sam Angelo demonstrates how to add threads to the box and lid. This is a two part video set. Part 2 is linked from Sam's YouTube channel. Tim Yoder always brings something new to the plate. In this video he demonstrates how to turn a beautiful Christmas ornament using a cardboard mailing tube. Several months ago we were discussing ways to liquid proof turned vessels. The use of epoxy seemed to to be the preferred material but the trouble was in how to apply it evenly. Zac Higgins shows what he did with a rotisserie motor. Zac provides sources for all the items he used. New Turning Items- I copied this from Ruth Niles' latest newsletter- Click on the above image for the link to Ruth's site. Everything Else- Last week's YouTube woodturning videos from Rick Turns- I am always mesmerized by the work of Frank Howarth. His video style, the projects and the detail are top notch. This one is no exception- I finally finished up the lathe dust collection modifications. The PVC elbow sat a little high. The replacement is made of wood and turned pretty thin. Hope it is strong enough- It's hard to get the light just right to see the dust movement but it does work a lot better than the old hose mount. This was softwood and 80 grit but you get the idea- Safe turning and stay well
  10. RustyFN

    Emblem

    I finally got my laser working. It mounts into the router on my cnc and the cnc controls the laser. I made these to cut out and glue into the mortise on my bowls. I will probably change it and add to it.
  11. I guess most of us are getting a little more shop time with the current health situations. Please stay home and away from crowds. Wash those hands and TURN OFF THE TV! Our Patriot Turners- @Gerald put the finishing touches on the embellished platter he showed us recently- In this post, he describes what he did- @Masonsailor continues his work on his Lazy Susan tulip. Paul has prepared the location for it. Paul tells us about this space as well as showing us a beautiful chandelier he restored/modified- What’s Coming Up- Almost all workshops/symposiums/shows have been cancelled until further notice. For The Newbies- Mike Peace posted a neat little project. A different type of door stop. Mike uses several methods of chucking the piece. Another simple, but useful, turning is from an article in Woodworker's Journal. If you are into espresso, check this out- https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/project-classy-espresso-tamper/ Expand Your Horizons- Carl Jacobson put up a video of turning epoxy and aluminum shavings. Carl has done several videos using Alumilite but in this one he tries a different casting material. Check out those Easy Wood Tools ( @Jim from Easy Wood Tools ) negative rake cutters in action!!! Here is a very short video from Lyle Jamieson. Lyle uses a laser pointer help get the most out of a piece turned between centers- New Turning Items- I recently received my latest Woodcraft magazine (Vol. 16/No. 94). There is a super review of the new Easy Wood Tools mini hollowers. The author discovered what we already knew- they are awesome!!! Also in that issue is a Turned Table project. Measured drawings and step by step pictures makes this a project any turner can complete. The folks at Woodturners Wonders have a "new" product- at least from them- Turner's Calipers. At first glance, they appear to be similar to any other but as you check the spec, you'll find these are not your run-of-the-mill pieces. Check them out at- https://woodturnerswonders.com/products/calipers?variant=32660532363395 Everything Else- Woodturning Monthly from Woodworker's Journal is available at- http:// https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/woodturning-monthly/?utm_medium=email I finished up the hollow vessel. Used mineral oil and beeswax as a finish The knot area was way softer than the rest of the wood. There is a little indentation but all in all it's OK. I'm still not happy with my ability to make things look graceful and elegant. Maybe that will come with practice. Safe turning and stay healthy.
  12. One of my favorite sites is You Tube where I can see everything, whether I like it or not. I see a lot of woodworking and turning videos, etc. Tonight I saw one tititled Laser wood turning. I didn't watch it. NOW anyone can turn beautiful things by pushing a button. I don't like the idea. If you use a programmable machine or laser, Why bother? Go buy it. Skills not needed, art not appreciated. Of course I am old school and always will be. How do you feel about products like that?
  13. After reading @Steve Krumanaker blog on his laser, it has interested me greatly, but on the cnc router level. But Steve's blog really got me thinking on this. Been looking at CNC Router home made plans and there is a whole community out there for this type of do-it-yourself and they are very supportive of one another, very open source, free plans, open source software, and just a neat community altogether. Thanks Steve for showing me.
  14. Here we are the weekend before tax deadline. Thankfully mine are done and been done. Hope you aren't spending the weekend with taxes and get to spend some time in the shop. Wow we had temps here yesterday in the upper 80's. Seems like we are going from frost a few weeks ago to summer and skipping over spring. I desperately needed to spend some time with John Deere today but it looked like rain when I got home and didn't jump on. That may be a job for tomorrow afternoon. This week I got the laser hooked up and working on the CNC machine and can now put my logo on my cutting boards and other items without having to use the branding iron. I was pretty amazed at how well this worked and it's only a 2.5 watt laser. I have a 40 watt one, but it is in a cabinet and is so limited by what size you can put in and it will only allow an inch thickness. So having this one on the CNC gives me much more room and height. It did equally well on the end grain boards as it did on the edge grain. Now I have a stack that will need to be done this weekend so they will be ready to go. We are full go right now on cutting boards, cheese boards and Bread boards. We also finished a nice set of custom Cornhole Boards today. They will go out tomorrow. Plans are to shoot in another GSSF match tomorrow and I'm doing the scoring so middle of the day will be taken. So what's your plans for this mid-April weekend? We always love to see the projects you are working on and pictures of the progress. Share your weekend agenda with us. Whatever you do this weekend, be safe and have fun!
  15. Got these done. On to boxes.
  16. OK, gang, the Bassett family needs to have a super Christmas this year. We are barely over half way to our goal for providing them with a Christmas to remember. Our site has pledged $1500 for the family so let's not make @John Morris have to give up all of his lunch money to make up the difference. Please see this post for more information- Our Patriot Turners- Member @DuckSoup gave us a heads up on a lathe chuck recall from PSI. Here is a link to the information about the recall- https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2019/Penn-State-Industries-Recalls-Woodworking-Jaw-Chuck-Systems-Due-to-Laceration-Hazard Big thanks for the information! @hawkeye10 posted a question on how to hold a piece while turning. To me, this is a very frustrating part of lathe work. Some pieces seem to defy a good way to securely and safely hold the work. Please check out his post and offer up any suggestions you might have- In last week's "Wednesday's...", member @DAB posted a couple of fantastic segmented bowls he had turned- The color combinations really go nicely with the counter top! What’s Coming Up- Oregon Woodturning Symposium Linn County Expo Center 3700 Knox Butte Rd E Albany, Oregon 97322 United States 3/15/2019 to 3/17/2019 More information can be found at their website- http://oregonwoodturningsymposium.com/ For The Newbies- New turners usually start turning "spindle" type object. It is a great way to learn to use the tools and the techniques of turning. When you want to explore other types of turnings, many try their hand at turning a bowl. Tim Yoder has a nice video on creating the basic bowl. Tim's videos are always interesting and informative. Expand Your Horizons- Carl Jacobson creates a beautiful hollow "natural edge" christmas ornament. Notice his use of the Easy Wood Tools hollowing tools ( @Jim from Easy Wood Tools )! New Turning Items- A couple of weeks ago, we featured a new hollowing system/tool from Tim Yoder. Tim has added a laser guide for that tool. More information is available at- http://wtwtim.com/elbotoolaccessories.htm Everything Else- Rick Turns posted his summary of woodturning videos for November- If you check out Rick's list, please leave a note thanking him for his hard work. The Woodturning OnLine newsletter came this past week. A timely project was turning a snowman. The tutorial can be downloaded at- http://www.dmwoodturners.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/snowman_plans.pdf The entire newsletter is at- https://www.woodturningonline.com/ Life here has resembled a fusion of the Marx Brothers' movie "Monkey Business" and the W.C. Fields movie "It's a Gift". The only shop time I had was to replace the lathe drive belt- Old: New: I have a pen to turn for a Christmas present and I have yet to try the new Wonder Weave sandpaper. Maybe this coming week. Safe turning
  17. This is a piece for the project that lead to me first considering if I could build something like this to begin with. A rough guess would put this at probably 3 or 4 years from idea to this point. The rings will be for a project I've wanted to do for a long time but just didn't like any of the available options for the lettering. My hand wood burning skills are not up to the task for sure. Anyway, my plan is to make several of the project for Grand kid Christmas presents this year, each one will take six identical rings. That means I'll need close to 50 of these rings made. The one in the machine is a test/setup piece. The little laser is doing exactly what I envisioned. You may notice the "A" looks blurry, that's because I re targeted the laser to center the script. Now, I have a benchmark and subsequent rings will be right. The rings are about 2 1/2" in diameter and the burn area is 1/2" wide. Has everyone figured out what is the project? Steve
  18. Last week, I received my order of a little GearBest 1.6 w. Laser engraver. Friday, my son and I....actually my son and 12 Y.O. grandson...assembled it. I watched. My son is a robot tech and assembly was easy for him. I would still be arranging the parts. I left it at his house in Tucson and he's going to going to get it up and running. He's somewhat of an Arduino freak and wants to play around with getting the laser to interface with a Raspberry Pi instead of a computer. All, way above my pay grade. So, I guess I've stuck my toe .... barely... into the CNC world. My son is a busy guy so, it may be a while before we'll have an operational machine. But, I've got plenty of other toys to keep me out of trouble.
  19. Finally got the walnut hollow form off the lathe, actually, it's been "off" the lathe several times over the past couple of weeks. Gerald had mentioned in another thread I might have problems with my laser and he was right, it was too heavy and wanted to move all over the place. Had to address that. Had some other issues and some other projects got in the way. This is my second attempt at hollowing something deep and it was probably a little too ambitious for me. Have to keep telling myself, this is a learning process and that was the main purpose for this piece. Next one will probably be smaller. Anyway, here's a pic, it's about 16" tall and about 14" major diameter. It will go in a sack to dry and then get remounted for turning off the tenon and sanding. Close to 1/4" through out, a little thicker here, a little thinner there. Still learning you see. Steve
  20. The laser on my Ron Brown rig has stopped working bright enough to see. Looking for a replacement pen (about 0.4 inch) or a good laser diode. I looked on Amazon and found lots of diodes which I now have narrowed to 3 possible. 1.Question is what do you have? 2.Where can I get it? 3.Would you recommend it?
  21. I've mentioned that to take advantage of the potential of one of these little laser engravers there are some software programs to know. One of these is an open source program called "inkscape". To someone who has never used it, inkscape can be intimidating as there are so many menus, options, controls, etc. etc. With a little effort it all starts to make sense and a person begins to understand what is going on. This is a little step-by-step to create a name tag file that can be used with a cnc laser or cnc engraver. Once the main template is created it's a simple matter to change the name to rout or engrave several different tags. The picture above is the main screen from inkscape. As you can see there are menus and tool bars all over the place. The only one that concerns us just now is the one on the right of that picture and the close up just to the right of this text. This dialogue defines the size of the document we're creating. One of nice things about inkscape is the ability to create a working page whatever size is needed. For a name tag that's about 3.5"X 2.4". The laser software is written in millimeters so the document will be created in millimeters. In this case, 90X58 millimeters. Inkscape will work in mm, inches, feet, or even pixels. The document page is outlined in the above picture. After creating the page three items were added to it. First, a rectangle slightly smaller than the document. This defines the actual size of the name tag as the laser will engrave this box and provide a guide for cutting out the tag. These small lasers aren't powerful enough for actually cutting wood, not even thin veneer. By engraving the rectangle I don't have to measure to cut but can just follow the line inscribed by the laser. Then, two decorative ovals were drawn. There are menu boxes to size, position, and manipulate the ovals or any other object. A person can even determine how thick the drawing line is. At this point the file is saved in inkscape as an SVG file. That is the inkscape default format. SVG stands for scale-able vector graphic. That type of graphic can be made larger or smaller without losing detail or resolution. This is now my master template, From now on the only design changes will be different names as required. When a name is added it probably won't be exactly where you want it. For this example I'm going to center it on the page which is also the center point of the ovals. Incidentally, the rectangle and the ovals were centered on the page using the same method. Notice in the example the "name" is selected. It can be moved around, rotated, enlarged, or made smaller. Centering an object on a page couldn't be easier with inkscape. Simply open the "alignment menu and choose what you want to do. Again, only because the program is so powerful there are many options. Looking at the menu to the right you can see I've chosen to align my name relative to the page. The two symbols I've pointed out represent vertical centering and horizontal centering. Simply clicking on those center the name perfectly on the page. A person can also choose to center items relative to each other or a dozen other options. At this point it does get a little tricky. Its important to keep in mind a laser engraver is basically a plotter and not a printer. A printer moves the print head back and forth. As the paper advances the printer makes a dot in the right place, connect the dots and you get a picture or text. A plotter actually follows a path, much like writing in cursive. So, a path must be created that the plotter can follow. Two more steps and the file will be ready to send to the laser. First, all four objects, the rectangle, the two ovals, and the name must be selected. You can see a selection box around all four objects and I've chosen the option "group" in the drop down menu. That will make all of the objects one entity as far as inkscape is concerned. If I enlarge one, they will all be enlarged the same amount. After grouping them the selection boxes morph into one box as there is now only one object. At this point there is one more operation before the file can be saved and that is to add the object to the "path" After, the file is saved in "DXF" format which is a "desktop cutting plotter" file. This may seem a lot of steps but in reality it takes about five minutes to do this start to finish. Once the master template is created the name can edited in about a minute. This is a very simple example of creating a file that a laser or cnc engraver can read. The next step is to open the laser software and load the dxf file for engraving.
  22. Thought hard about this segment and came up with all sorts of reasons and justifications for even wanting a laser engraver. The honest truth is, I've just always liked gadgets. Never mind I intend to use it for embellishing some of my turnings if and when I figure out how to use it. There are some youtube videos with turners using small machines to make “signature disks” they let into the bottoms of their bowls or vessels. The machines cost about $90.00 and do a surprisingly good job. The down side is they will only do an area about 3” square and are limited in height. I thought if I ever got one I would like more capacity and flexibility so I spent a little more and bought a machine that will etch an area about 11”X14” There are several vendors that sell these machines, banggood.com, gearbest.com, aliexpress.com, to name a few. I suspect they are all made in the same factory. At any rate I bought this machine from banggood.com. One thing I will say, if, and when a person may decide to purchase one of these, be patient and watch for price fluctuations. The price will change almost daily and move as much as a hundred dollars one way or the other. So, what do you get for, in my case, about $200.00? Basically, a box of parts. I have to to admit, the parts were packaged very nicely. Everything was organized and easy to get to. All of the necessary hardware and tool are included in a little plastic compartmentalized plastic case. One thing to note about these kits, they don't come with printed instructions. I imagine that's to save expense as they are shipped all over the world. There is a video of a machine being assembled on the banggood website and there are "assembly" pictures as well. When you get right down to it, there really isn't a lot to one of these machines. The little box at the top right contains the power supply and the laser. Next to it is a pile of plexiglass parts that are machined to hold the motors and for the aluminum extrusions to fasten to. Four corner brackets to assemble the frame, a "gift" pack of small wood test pieces. 5 pieces of aluminum extrusion and the controller board next to that. And, of course, the little box of hardware and tools. The three stepper motors and various cables are not in this picture. That's about it. So, I watched the video several times and looked at the assembly illustrations. For some reason Banggood.com has made the video and pictures so a person can't save them to a computer. Seems crazy to me, but whatever. My shop is about 90 feet from our house and surprisingly, I can access our home network in the shop, if, and only if, my computer is next to the wall closest to the house. My workbench is near the opposite end of the shop and trust me, it's no small feat to change that. So, I would go to one end of my shop, watch a little of the video and run back to my bench to assemble the part I could remember. Being in my 60's that wasn't a lot. Back and forth and back and forth. The assembly starts with putting together the frame which is aluminum channel fastened together with corner brackets. I did that on my router table surface so everything would be nice and flat. The extrusions that make up the frame are two 1" X 1" and two 1" X 2" channels. I don't know if they are real 8020 or a knockoff but those aluminum channels have changed how we do so many things. The next step is to assemble the motors and bearings to the machined plexiglass components. Fortunately, this is all pretty straightforward stuff as the online "instructions", if they can be called that are not the best. I knew that before hand though so I can't complain. The bearings ride in the groove in the aluminum channel and it's actually quite smooth. I should probably note that this is not meant to be a "how-to" as far assembly goes. There are a few third party videos on youtube which are better than a series of pictures showing how it all goes together. Once a person gets into the project a little it all starts to make sense. After the motors and the bearings are attached the gantry supports are put on the channel and the feet are attached. I would guess by this point I'm about two or three hours into it. A good part of that time is watching video to make sure it's put together correctly. As wood workers, we joke about our toys when we get a new tool for the shop. Most of us know that these "toys" can hurt a person. Something like this may seem a little less risky. The opposite is true. A person doesn't even have to be near one of these to suffer eye damage as just the reflected light from one of them can be harmful. The most important safety rule with one of these is; "Don't look into the laser with your remaining eye." After the feet are attached the laser is installed and the gantry assembly is mounted. After that, the wiring begins and its all plug in connectors so that's not a big deal. After several hours of studying video, restudying video, hard work, and paying close attention to detail I'm done except for putting on some wire wraps to tidy everything up. Once I get the software loaded I'll be ready to do some laser engraving........... on the ceiling, doh, mounted the laser upside down. Thankfully it's a simple of flipping the gantry channel over as it will mount either way. Now, on to loading the software and doing some world class etching!
  23. Not strictly about woodworking but definitely wood working related. A forum about building and using a laser engraver on various materials including wood. A great resource for anyone who has purchased, or is considering a laser engraver for wood working. Steve
  24. A couple decorative mason jar lids. These are embellished using a cheap Chinese laser engraving machine. No finish on them as they are basically learning pieces. Anyway, I have blog going on purchasing and learning to use one of these machines if anyone is interested. Steve
  25. After assembling the machine it's time to install the software. I have to say before I get into that, assembling the machine is well within the scope of most any wood workers ability. It's kind of like Lincoln logs. If a person takes it in small steps and doesn't look at the overall picture, it's not too daunting. Like my brother's wife always says, "it's hard by the yard, but it's a cinch by the inch" she is right. Now, what can I say about the software? A lot, and not much. It's important to keep in mind, for myself, as much as anyone. This is a bare bones, entry level, hobby machine. It will engrave an area approximately 11" X 14" and will cost 2-300 dollars depending on the time of day, literally. Any of the name brand machines, like Epilog, will cost a few thousand for their entry level machine. I'm not comparing my machine to those at all, they are more refined, more powerful, more capable, etc. etc. Like the instructions, the software must be downloaded from the banggood website. Its kind of confusing just what to do once it's downloaded and there is zero technical support. Once again, I knew that going in. And like before, I spent several hours googling, researching, watching video, reading instructables and struggling to install the software and get it working. One big problem is that most virus software doesn't like it, so it won't allow the package to install. A person basically has to disable virus protection during the install process, something I didn't care to do. After the software is installed, the computer must be configured to communicate with the laser, guess what? Back to youtube, google, instructables, etc. etc. to find out how to do that. Again, hours were spent figuring it out. In fact, I never did get that first software package to work but downloaded a different package from gearbest.com and finally I could communicate with my machine. The engraving program included with the software is called "benbox". It is a very, very basic setup. To give an idea how basic, it always loads in Chinese, so every time a person starts the program they must choose a different language, unless of course, they speak Chinese. Basic settings must be restored every time the program is started, such as laser speed, power, etc. etc. You can't save a profile, like if you find settings that work well with maple, they must be written in a notebook and re-entered each time a person would burn maple. A person must also go through the steps to connect with the machine every time it starts. None of this is a big deal but it's not what most of us are used to with a program. Even so, eventually I was ready to try to engrave something. The first several times I tried, mostly what I made was a black hole in whatever I was using, It seemed no matter what, that was the result. At the risk of repeating myself, once more, google, youtube, etc. etc. etc. After much research, tweaking, setting up and testing I got to where I could get the black hole to move slightly and make little square boxes that kind of resembled charcoal, frustration was beginning to set in and I began to wonder if I'd wasted both time and money. Back to the web, finally I thought, maybe there was a benbox forum? Guess what, there is. benboxlaser forum All I can say is, forums are a gift, in only an hour or so I had learned enough on the benbox forum I was able to engrave a simple gif of a horse. Not the most impressive bit of laser engraving but hey, it was a start. The next few days I spent a lot of time on that forum. I have to say it again, a good forum, like this one, and from my limited experience, the benbox forum is one of the best things about the net. In just a short time, I learned much about the capabilities of the software and the machine. I also saw, there are people who own this machine doing some very nice work with it. I also learned the machine is capable of much but is limited severely by the included software. For instance, with benbox, the laser itself only knows on or off, there are no degrees of power. In a nutshell, what that means a person can etch dark or not at all. There is no gray scale. That's kind of a big deal. For outlines, silhouettes, or something like a Celtic knot, black or white is just fine. For a picture of any kind, gray scale is a must. As I was browsing the forum one thing I noticed was many of the members weren't using the benbox program but instead a program called "t2laser". As I started reading more I discovered one of members had gotten frustrated with benbox and was smart enough to develop t2laser, which according to many who post there is a much better option. It didn't take much to convince to download a trial version and after a few tests, buy and install the registered version which he sells for $39.00. At this point I have about $250.00 in this venture. Well, after using the new software I am seriously impressed with it. Very user friendly, easy to configure and the gentleman responds to questions in a few minutes most of the time. I am still very early in the learning curve with this machine and this software but also very encouraged with recent results. One of the items I make quite a few of, are decorative lids for mason jars, and/or honey dippers for mason jars. One of the main things I wanted to do with this machine was to embellish the lids to increase the value of them. I did a couple test lids today using the t2laser software and I'm really pretty happy with the results. One of these is maple and the other is walnut, same settings on both. The nice thing is, once the setup is made, the little laser can work on it's own while I'm doing something else. So, that's where I am at this point, still lots to learn but that's part of the fun isn't it? If someone were to ask me if the machine is worth the cost, I would say it is to me without doubt, just for the learning experience, the rest is all gravy.
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