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Found 12 results

  1. The old Dogwood tree, outside my window, should be in full bloom tomorrow. Hard to believe when I transplanted it, from my parents mountain property, it was a single, spindly stick. That was 56 years ago! Our Patriot Turners- @RustyFN showed us a beautiful new turned lidded box he made. He said this one is made from Maple. He certainly has perfected the flocking technique, too! Our turners gave him lots of compliments in his post- @Gerald has been creating amazing designs with his JaHo jig. His most recent refrigerator magnet is a beauty! Check out this addition to his post- More activity on our two continuing posts of "What's On/Off the Lathe" From ON: @Gerald provide a closeup look at his JaHo jig in action- You can see how this jig can create some fantastic designs. Check out Gerald's post for additional images. From OFF: @kreisdorph turned a gnarly piece of mulberry into a beautiful bowl- Kent also finished these beauties. This spalted piece caught my eye because of the shape. Years ago, an artist friend sent me a picture from a magazine. He fell in love with the shape. I think it was a hint for me to turn one. Alas, I have not done it. New projects start here- @lew was looking for some input on design and proportions for turnings. He used miniature hollow turnings to get an idea of what had pleasing shapes and asked our turners their opinions. As always, our members provided some excellent advice and suggestions. What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for links to more information and registration- This is a replay of the most resent Tool Talk from Cindy Drozda For The Newbies- Thinking of design and proportions, Lyly Jamieson's turning tip discusses the design for bowls, Pen turning is a great way to get into turning. Kits can be inexpensive and provide amazing results. Tim Yoder shows us how it's done!! Now for a little more of a challenge, Jim Rodgers turns a segmented pen- Expand Your Horizons- Last week we posted a shop tour hosted by Mike Peace. The craftspeople were making Beads Of Courage boxes. Mike takes a segmented glue up and turns his own version of a Beads of Courage box- Sometimes the most beautiful turning is not the most perfect piece. Alan Stratton explains- https://youtu.be/hx1qGGVvU-g?si=mSuL1RJNLd0YDMOu EDIT: Cannot get this video to show in published post. Link seems to work. A short video from Richard Raffan demonstrating how he utilizes as much of a turning blank as possible. Check out the unique parting tool! New Turning Items- Been really difficult to find anything new on the market. Maybe by the time the income tax return is ready there will be some new toys to spend it on. Everything Else- An excerpt from Ron Brown's newsletter on advice for the new turner My advice for a new turner or a student would include the following: Find a turning club in your area and attend some meetings. These people are a tremendous resource and are always eager to help. Start with pens. Start by watching some YouTube videos for instructions. Get setup for basic pen turning, a 7mm mandrel, some slimline pen kits, proper sanding grits, CA glue, friction finish, etc. Pens are quick to make, easy to turn, and provide an immediate sense of accomplishment. If someone wanted to sell a few pens to pay for more turning stuff, many folks earn turning money this way. Then make some spinning tops for fun and give them away. Turn a few bottle stoppers and give them as gifts to friends and relatives. As soon as you can afford it, buy an inexpensive 4 jaw scroll chuck. Add more jaws down the road or buy a chuck with a few jaws included. Quality chucks with multiple jaw sets can be very expensive. Save that for later. For now, just get a serviceable chuck for around $100. Turn small plates from a 3/4" thick piece of wood using a recessed tenon in expansion mode for practice. A family member might even wish to add decorations or paint your masterpiece. Now that you have a scroll chuck, practice making turned lidded boxes, goblets, and soup ladles for the kitchen. Try turning a few small bowls from green wood. Turn the walls to 1/4" and watch them go oval. Turn a few 1/2" thick to let them dry in a paper bag for a few months, then re-turn them to 1/4" wall thickness once they’ve dried if they didn’t crack or explode. Once you've done all that, evaluate your interest in turning and if you love it, like most of us do, prepare to spend some money (easily $500) on High-Speed Steel lathe tools, a specialty grinder, and a sharpening jig. Next, set about learning to cut with traditional turning tools and learn to keep them sharp. Note: You only need a few HSS tools. In the beginning, don't buy more than 10 total, and never buy turning tools in a set. Always purchase the tool you need for the job at hand. After that, plan to take some full-day turning classes and plan to attend some turning symposiums in your area. From there, the sky is the limit. Turning can be as much or as little as you want. You can learn to make shavings in a couple of hours. It takes a lifetime to become a “Turner”. Did play a little at the lathe this week. The largest usable piece of that wind shake cherry was dry so I put it on the lathe. The more I turned, the more defects were uncovered. Filled the cracks with CA and sanding dust. The colors are nice but I don't like the tiny splits throughout the piece. Sanded to 600 and beeswax/mineral oil finish. Safe turning
  2. Spent the day rototilling our little garden and planted onions. Garlic has sprung up and looks like most of what I planted survived the winter. Harvest won't be until mid summer. Our Patriot Turners- @Gerald is turning some really neat refrigerator magnets! He has been practicing with his new JaHo jig to adding very interesting embellishments to some of these items. Please hop on over to his post and see what our turners thought of his work- Gerald also posted about these magnets in the "Monday Morning" forum We've had some additions to several of our continuing posts. From "What Lathe Are You Using"- @RustyFN, @HARO50 and @Steve Krumanaker From "Off The Lathe"- @kreisdorph- From "What's On Your Lathe"- @calabrese55- And, from "What's Your Favorite Wood..." @RustyFN, @keithlong and @Cal @keithlong is looking for a specific crafting item. He is making keychains and needs to find a part. Please check out his post and see if you can suggest a source for the part he needs- Keith also added to @Fred W. Hargis Jr's post about Easy Wood Tools rougher cutters. Looks like he found a pretty good price on cutters- What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for links to more information and registration- For The Newbies- Turners are always seeking new ways to amp up the visual effects of their turnings. In this video, Sam Angelo uses various tools to create interest on the turning's surface. He also adds some color to highlight the embellishments. Expand Your Horizons- Several of our members make "Beads of Courage" boxes for kids with cancer. Mike Peace recently did a short video spotlighting the Gwinnett Woodworkers as they prepare segmented blanks for their Beads of Courage Box initiative. A really worthwhile cause. Alan Stratton shared a video where he turned a bird's beak natural edge bowl. What I found interesting was his method of holding the turning when reversed chucking. New Turning Items- Not new but on sale from Woodturners Wonders- https://woodturnerswonders.com/collections/lathes?_kx=gV5SF2As_3IwtBi5TrpHVQGZ2p91Dzyb6Hq8u86HRP26F2J3AVp8xSSqd_hTF8cT.VJvU8R Everything Else- From Ron Brown's Newsletter, struck home with me as this was the way I was raised: I Can’t Because I Don’t . . . When someone says I can’t because I don’t have something I will need to do it, the money, the accessory, or just about anything else, I wonder how anything ever gets done. I grew up in a working-class poor family. We always had food, although a lot of the time it was because we had our own chickens, rabbits, and pigs. We were taught not to waste. I learned very early that you can almost always find a way if you want to make something happen. When we wanted to go fishing, we first dug the worms, caught the grasshoppers, or made our own doughballs. Bamboo fishing poles with a cork float and one old hook worked fine. We had hours of fun and usually came home with a basket of fish. Catch and release, what is that? You already have a lathe and a few tools, add wood from the firewood pile and you are in business! You can make anything if you want to. Use what you have on hand, until you get something better. Figure out how to use what you already have in new and creative ways. Lots of things will do double duty nicely. No matter how much stuff you have, you will always want something better. (I usually have the solution just so you know). My point is when you think you can’t because you need something else, the adventure has usually just begun, if you get creative and figure out how to accomplish the task by using something else in an unconventional way. Don’t spend your precious shop time being frustrated because of what you don’t have. Do something while you save up for the miracle tool, jig, or fixture that will make all the difference. I’ll be here when you are ready. How do I know this works? I learned how to write because I have never been able to pay someone else to write for me. I know how to publish mass emails because a publicist charges way more than I can afford. I know how to edit photos, drawings, and videos for the same reason; I can’t afford to pay someone else to do it for me. I know how to program all of my CNCs, my lasers, and my 3D printers myself because I’ve had to learn to do it if it is going to get done. I know how to upload my edited videos to YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram along with shorts and reels because I made myself learn to do it. My point is don’t be so eager to accept defeat. Use your God given talents to figure it out. You will surprise yourself when you make a second and third effort. One of the greatest forces in the world is persistence. I've been playing with shapes and proportions. None are finished, a couple need hollowed. This is some of that wind shake cherry. Safe turning
  3. Well, Al Jolson was certainly right about April showers! A little over 3" since Sunday evening and a little more yet to come Our Patriot Turners- Member @calabrese55 posted a great tip for protecting turnings when chucked to a set of Cole jaws. In his post, he shows us how he made these foam protectors. Thanks, Mike, for this great idea! @Fred W. Hargis Jr posted a question about the Easy Wood Tools square cutters. Our members offered lots of great information. Please check it out and share your experiences. ( @Jordan Martindale ) Member @User74 gave us a couple of interesting surveys this past week. Don is interested in our shops and our preferences for turning species. It is really nice to get to know our members on a more personal level. First off, Don inquired about the lathes we are using: LOTS of responses and we learned that @HandyDan wins first prize!! Secondly, he asked what our favorite wood to turn. Again, no one was shy about sharing their picks: We really appreciate having our members getting actively involved in these conversations. Lots of projects finished and OFF the lathe this week! @kreisdorph and @RustyFN gave us a peek at what they were up to The new posts start here- What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for links to registration and more information: For The Newbies- Sam Angelo continues to offer videos for the beginner interested in learning woodturning. This one is about considering grain direction when turning- Well, you found a nice size log along the road and you are thinking about turning it into a bowl(s). A couple of videos to get you started. First from Richard Raffan showing how to break down the log- And from Craft Supplies USA demonstrating the roughing out process- Expand Your Horizons- It is a new month and the 4 Ways collaboration group has posted a new project. Each of the turners creates a version of a mystical goblet. Another turning from the antiquities. From Craft Supplies USA, an artifacts pot. Check out the microwave tip at the end! A neat birdhouse from Carl Jacobson. Maybe @Steve Krumanaker could shape it a little more like a bee hive to add to his product line! New Turning Items- For our Canadian friends, Lee Valley is now carrying some additional Laguna equipment. Check their site at- https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/tools/laguna-tools?utm_campaign=485417_Apr3-ProdFeature-Wood-LagunaLaunch-CA&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Lee Valley&dm_i=6EER,AEJT,12YD53,1HQJS,1 Everything Else- This was originally posted in the Woodturner's Forum. In case you missed it- From Ron Brown's newsletter- Just A Few Things I’d like to talk to you about incrementalism for your turning journey. Let’s assume that you already have the basics; a lathe, chucks, spur centers, faceplate, etc. And that you have at least a basic set of turning tools including a few carbide-tipped tools. Also, that you have at least a basic sharpening station for your High-Speed Steel tools. You’ve made the major capital investment needed. Now let’s suppose you want to turn pens and pencils. You only need a few more things like a pen mandrel to hold the blanks, a drill bit to make the hole for the brass tubing, and bushings to help make the proper sizing easily. You might add a pen press and a drilling fixture if you really decide to make lots of pens, but that’s about it. What about threaded lidded boxes? There are two routes, hand chased threads, and a threading jig. A great set of thread chasers from Robert Sorby including a depth gauge is only $149.94 on Amazon. With that set you’ve expanded your repertoire to small turned lidded boxes, burial urns, hollow forms with threaded lids, etc. You can add different thread pitches for around $100 with the addition of new thread chasers. Threading jigs begin at around $250 and go up to over $500, but there is practically no learning curve and you seldom fail. Let’s say you become fascinated with turning salt and pepper mills. You need a couple of forstner bits and a drill chuck for the tailstock. A drill bit extension for the taller mills is handy along with a couple of mandrels to hold the blank between centers as you shape the body. Pepper Mill kits are inexpensive and now you have added salt and pepper mills to your arsenal for about $100. And my latest favorite, Bowls From A Board. For under $150 you can add a basic system to your collection and open a whole new world of fascinating possibilities limited only by your imagination. Think segmented turning with 90% less work. It turns out there are hundreds of YouTube videos on making “bowls from a board” so you are guaranteed a quick start. Turning wood can be daunting because there is so much to learn. Many folks claim this line, “by the yard it’s hard, by the inch it’s a cinch.” I recommend you add one skillset at a time and get the few things needed for that. Pretty soon, you will have to decide which of your passions you want to enjoy next! Safe turning
  4. A little early with Wednesday's post. 71° outside and I've just been informed I'll be cooking supper on the grill tonight Our Patriot Turners- @John Hechel posted in our Ringmaster Sub-Forum showing us an awesome bowl he fabricated from a neat glue-up. Check out his post for more information- We had activity on both our continuing posts about projects on and off the lathe! From "On" the lathe- From @calabrese55, @RustyFN, @Pauley and @kreisdorph showed us these beautiful pieces! Catch up on all the action and comments beginning here- From "Off" the lathe- Both @RustyFN and @Gerald shared their fantastic projects- More here with comments from our group- What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for links to more information and registration- For The Newbies- I always struggle with the concept of "Form vs. Function". Lyle Jamieson gives us his thoughts in this short video- Richard Raffan adds another chucking idea for hard to hold pieces- We sometimes post links to the Woodturners Wonders site for their products/sales. I found this link with videos about many of their products. (Full Disclosure- I am not affiliated with Woodturners Wonders. I do purchase some sanding supplies from them from time to time). https://woodturnerswonders.com/pages/videos?_kx=gV5SF2As_3IwtBi5TrpHVQGZ2p91Dzyb6Hq8u86HRP26F2J3AVp8xSSqd_hTF8cT.VJvU8R Expand Your Horizons- If you do the Craft Show circuit, Carl Jacobson shows us a project that might be an addition to your product line. This project from Mike Peace would make an awesome gift and could also be a craft show article. It lends itself to design customization- When I saw this from Alan Stratton, I thought of some of the embellishments done by @Gerald. New Turning Items- Couldn't find anything this week Everything Else- Something I need to learn more about, from Rom Brown's Newsletter- Technical Skills or Wisdom and Discernment? When you see a finished piece that is visually stunning, do you ever wonder what made it that way? Perhaps the end result was because the maker has superior technical skills with lathe chisels. It is much more likely they got the proportions just right, presented a balanced form, and knew when to stop and call it done. A great form can make even a bland piece of wood appear pleasing. If the material is ordinary, that is an opportunity to add embellishment such as painting, carving, or texturing to the great shape. Out of balance shapes, non-fair curves, sloppy transitions, deep sanding scratches, tool marks, and torn grain all contribute to a less pleasing finished piece. While technical skills go a long way toward reducing the time and energy needed to complete a project, I’ve seen many beautiful pieces completed by much less skilled turners who developed an eye for forms, paid attention to details and worked on the finish until they got it right. That means having the wisdom to know what shapes go together to make a pleasing finished item. A prime example where discernment is key might be a lidded hollow form, lidded small box, or Christmas ornament. Getting the finial in balance relative to the piece, or a lid and knob combination that compliments the box can be challenging. Discernment is knowing when to stop and move on to the next step. Those of us who have a loving partner will benefit mightily by asking their opinion on how a project can be improved. Ask for their honest observations and tell them you can only learn by seeing through someone else’s eyes. They won’t want to hurt your feelings, but this is a time for brutal honesty if you really want to improve. “Technical skills are important, but a discerning eye is importanter.” I would encourage you to develop your understanding for the things that result in a pleasing form along with your technical expertise. I studied shapes in other media including pottery and ancient vessels that survived the ages and it really helped. Don’t forget how important the Fibonacci formula is throughout nature. Safe turning
  5. Looks like things are picking up, now that the holidays are over. Let's get to this! Our Patriot Turners- @RustyFN is participating in his turning club's annual contest. He has posted a couple of images as he begins to create his entry. Rusty has more in his post at- @forty_caliber gave us a look at another one of his Hays County pecan bowls- Monty supplied some additional information about his drying process- There have been a couple of new entries on our "What's On Your Lathe" continuing thread. @calabrese55 added some process images of this - Also posted was a red oak platter- Check out all the comments starting at- @Gerald is making a design change on his little spinning tops. I really like the new design and the colors he uses. In his post, Gerald added a picture of his previous design for comparison- What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for more information and registration- Todd Raines continues his presentation on the spindle gouge- If you missed Cindy Drozda's live tool talk last week, here's the YouTube video- Also from Cindy- For The Newbies- The skew chisel is a powerful tool, once you have mastered it. Richard Raffan shows us how that done- Mr. Raffan goes further, in this video, demonstrating using the skew to turn finials- There are several ways to chuck mount a bowl. Two of the more popular ways are the Mortise and Tenon. I typically use the mortise because it allows me to finish the bowl bottom with my preferred method. The mortise, however, is not without pitfalls as Kent Weakley points out- Jim Rodgers demonstrates how to make a bottle stopper. Unlike the metal stopper kits, Mr. Rodgers uses corks to seal the bottle. Also check out the home made mandrel at the end of the video- Tim Yoder offers up a short video on turning a curve Although a chuck is a really nice piece of equipment to own, especially when making small items. Lyle Jamieson shows us the chuck is not the only way to to accomplish it. Expand Your Horizons- If you are ready to move up to bowl turning, Craft Supplies USA has a nice video illustrating the process step by step. The bowl blank in this demonstration was partially dried commercially- Never too early to start those ornaments for next Christmas! Here Alan Stratton creates an 8 point, 3 axis item! @Steve Krumanaker turns items for artisans in his area. Recently he started making "drop spindles" for a craftsperson who works with wool. I thought this might be another thing Steve could use as a money maker From Woodworker's Journal, a Three Winged Jewelry box. The how-to article is at- https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/project-three-winged-jewelry-box/ Check out what Tim Yoder does with a small 3 branch crotch piece- New Turning Items- A sale on Woodturners Wonders LED lights https://woodturnerswonders.com/ Everything Else- From Ron Brown's newsletter- You Are Called To Be A Mentor You have to know something about your subject. First-hand experience is helpful. If you can explain What, How, and Why so a 5th grader can understand it, you will be a good mentor. It only takes a very small portion of your time (15 minutes to 1 hour) here and there to show individuals or groups of folks what you are talking about. You might need to take an occasional phone call to clear up misunderstandings. In this day and age, you might need to answer a text message or send a YouTube link addressing the issue. Unless you are a paid demonstrator, you must accept that you most probably will receive nothing material in return from those you help so unselfishly. Some won’t even say thank you and some will argue that you are wrong. A few of the people you help will go on to accomplish even greater things than you did. Some of the students will indeed go on to become the teachers. You need to accept and appreciate that others gave of themselves to help you achieve the things you know. Even if you learned most of what you know by yourself (so-called self-taught), chances are that you watched YouTube videos, attended a trade show demonstration, or a club demonstration. Perhaps you were just a member of the crowd and not in a one-on-one situation. Someone took their time to show you something you didn’t know in a way that helped you be more successful. Sometimes folks will want to be paid for their advice. They are still exercising mentorship. I was very fortunate during my early turning career to encounter some very talented and generous mentors; Nick Cook was the very first and Don Russell gave of his time and energy unselfishly on numerous occasions. I hosted Chris Stott from England for a full week! That turned out to be a magnificent chapter in my turning career. Kirk Deheer of Craft Supplies in Utah gently guided me over a period of several years and I will be ever grateful for his wisdom. Mike Mahony offered guidance and freely answered my list of 20 questions over dinner many years ago. Others have given their time and energy and are wonderful examples of mentorship even when they didn’t realize it. Of course, it required me to put their advice into practice to make it my own, but, as they say, the way you get to Carnegie Hall is practice, practice, practice. A mentor simply guides someone willing to learn. It is really that simple and anyone can and should do it when given the opportunity. Safe turning
  6. Thanks, Mike, for reminding us of how we have the freedoms we enjoy today- Our Patriot Turners- @Roy gave us an update on how his sphere jig is working. In his post he explains the significance of the choice of spheres. I can't imagine how he did the glue-up! @forty_caliber posted another beautiful bowl he turned from pecan He answers questions about the awesome center medallion he uses to sign his work- check this post @Gerald gave us a look at his setup for turning spoons without the aid of special jigs- He received lots of comments about his setup- Gerald also posted some of the ornaments he turned using an idea from last week's "4 Ways" Here's more from Gerald- Gerald's post got me thinking about some of the ornaments our members turned in years gone by. We had links to lots of design for ideas. Thought it would be nice to bring back some of them to stir your imaginations- https://www.woodcraft.com/blog_entries/turn-a-terrific-tree-ornament http://www.crwoodturner.com/files/how-to/ornaments.pdf http://kurthertzog.com/articles/creatingshellornamentsrev3red.pdf https://blog.woodturnerscatalog.com/2012/12/turning-a-snowman-box/ What’s Coming Up- https://community.woodturner.org/events/event-description?CalendarEventKey=a2728bff-a39d-4375-adee-018b90a311c9&Home=%2fevents%2fird-demonstrations&_zs=ceDib&_zl=rpKp3 For The Newbies- Thinking about turning duplicate parts? The December/January 2024 issue of Woodcraft Magazine's "Top Tip" in Tips & Tricks (pp 16) has a really neat lathe duplication jig. It uses your own turning tools and all the parts can be located at the Borgs. Check it out!! Expand Your Horizons- Craft Supplies USA posted a video on using CA glue as a finish. Another option for finishing some of your turnings- A nice pendant turning article from the AAW- https://www.woodturner.org/Woodturner/Resources/AmericanWoodturner/Articles-of-the-Week/2023/Tapered_Pendants.aspx?fbclid=IwAR3-6_s7nGVLEWvSgj9xpaXmybwFANI6UeAqDATbON-6HZpEGIrlh_En8io New Turning Items- Couldn't find anything special but remember Woodturners Wonders is running a daily sale- see last weeks "Wednesday's" for the list. Everything Else- I finished up the height adjust table to help accurately focus my engraving laser. It does work. Had to add up/down arrows to the adjustment knob after the pictures were taken. Finished table- Laser setup. The drill press table adjustment crank handle is visible back behind the orange laser safety shield. Very difficult to access to make focus adjustments. In action- Last week, at the local turner's club, one member demonstrated making a Christmas tree from a fresh cut limb. Thought I'd give it a try. Took longer to do the star than to turn the tree. Turned completely with Easy Wood Tools- except the star which was formed from a ball integral to the top of the tree. Cut out with a sharp utility knife. Star has gold leaf. Gonna leave the tree natural. Sort of a "primitive" item. From Ron Brown's newsletter- Curiosity As a child, whenever my mother gave me a new toy, it always came with the strong admonition “Don’t take it apart.” I’ve always had an intense curiosity for how things work, and how they do what they do. I had to see inside to understand them. So, I took them apart. I’ve been like that for as long as I can remember. In high school, I excelled in my field of study not because I was a good student, but because I needed to know what they were talking about to satisfy my curiosity. I went to work with the Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe railroad at the age of 19 as a long-haul brakeman. I had endless hours sitting on a caboose, so I read Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines from front to back two or three times. Then I graduated to Family Handyman Encyclopedias, every volume, every page from cover to cover to satisfy my curiosity. Every new field I’ve entered is the same way; intense curiosity drives me to learn everything possible. Not because I want to be the best, but because I need to know everything there is to know to satisfy my curiosity. Enter the world of turning wood. There are so many different facets to learn that it seems almost endless and I love it! This is one field that I will never completely understand and that is why I’ve stuck with it for so many years. I would encourage you to venture out of your specialty and explore something you think you might not like or might be beyond your capability. I promise you will be surprised. Here are some areas to explore: • Bowls, Plates, and Platters o Kiln-dried wood, green wood, hybrid resin and wood, glued-up full-thickness blanks, segmented glue-ups, bowls from one flat board, bowls with defects left in, natural edge bowls, end-grain blanks, blanks from root balls, blanks from crotches, exotic species from far away countries, construction grade lumber, laminated beams, from tiny to enormous, just to name a few. • Hollow Forms o Tall and narrow, short and wide, small requiring special shop-made tools, large in diameter requiring captive hollowing rigs or specialty hollowing tools, vessels with openings so small that you have to hollow through the bottom, impossible hollow forms requiring trickery such as invisible glue lines to hide your methods, dyed and tinted finishes, hollow forms with lots of carving and texturing, you get the idea. • Spindles o Furniture legs and parts, wands and canes, pepper mills, fancy finials, mallets, gavels, gnomes, kitchen utensils, turned-lidded boxes, tool handles, lamps, Christmas ornaments, inside-out two-step globes, spheres, items with hand-chased threads or threads from a threading jig, baseball bats, I could go on. That should keep you busy for a while. Just when you were getting comfortable you discover there is so much more left to explore. You will never run out of new things to try. Every time I turn around, I find new challenges to solve and that is what keeps me fresh and drives me to invent and explore every new day God gives me to serve my fellow men and women. Thanks for your support and encouragement. Safe turning
  7. October is almost in the books! Our Patriot Turners- @Gerald was busy turning out some really neat projects- He posted these in "Friday's Weekend" thread. See his post for some other colorful items- He even managed to score some beautiful cherry over the weekend- There are more pictures at- And he managed to get at least one piece underway- Our resident Christmas ornament professional, @Ron Altier, posted some beautiful maple items. I think he used his patented epoxy finish on them. Check out his post for more about where he got the wood- What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for links to more information and registration- For The Newbies- New turners typically have difficulty getting proficient with the skew. I still haven't mastered it! Watch Richard Raffan make it look easy- Mike Peace demonstrated how to do some tool "makeovers" Woodturning Monthly was published by the Woodworker's Journal. Some nice projects and articles- https://www.woodworkersjournal.com/woodturning-monthly/?utm_medium=email Expand Your Horizons- Alan Stratton is always coming up with unusual turning ideas and this one is no exception- Wish you had a Genie? Well Carl Jacobson has turned a Genie Bottle in case you ever find one New Turning Items- Niles Bottle Stoppers has added a couple of new items- https://nilesbottlestoppers.com/product/artisan-coffee-scoop-kit/ https://nilesbottlestoppers.com/product/artisan-rasp-grater-kit/ Woodturners Wonders is having a sale on their lathe "Track System". Check their website at- https://woodturnerswonders.com/collections/lathe-track?_kx=gV5SF2As_3IwtBi5TrpHVQM0F3UvGVbQKzhWGippDlk%3D.VJvU8R Everything Else- From Ron Brown's newsletter- Side Gig – Sage Advice I had a long visit with a friend who will be retiring in 5-6 years and is thinking about starting a woodworking business to keep busy and generate some extra income. I have been hearing from more folks than usual about generating a little cash from a side hustle in view of the current economic situation with a dollar buying less every day. I’ve made extra income from my side hustle for the last 55 years. Even when I was in the corporate world, I still made and sold wooden items on the side. Sometimes for pocket change, sometimes as a second income when the first one wasn’t enough. I’ve picked up a few things along the way that you might be interested in or passing along to a friend. 1) Demand – don’t just make and try to sell what you love, make and sell what they want to buy (even if you don’t particularly like it). I tell my family that I would sell dried cow patties if that was what the demand called for. a. In general woodworking the good sellers might be cutting boards, stove top covers, 2x4 basic bunk beds, etc. b. For woodturners it could be pens, tops, pepper mills, salad bowls, etc. I’ve learned from experience that just because I’m wild about something, doesn’t mean it will sell. 2) If an item is in high demand and everyone else is doing it, don’t be afraid to make them also. a. A prime example of this is metal tumblers like the Yeti. In the laser engraving world, there are thousands of people making laser engraved tumblers, wrapped tumblers, or personalized tumblers. I know, my kids have given me several every Christmas for the past bunch of years. My church even gave me a pair. b. Hamburgers are another great example. If people were afraid of making something someone else made, there would only be one place to get a hamburger instead of a hamburger joint on every corner. 3) Don’t be the cheapest guy on the block. Find out what the market price is and be somewhere around there. You might have to be creative to make a profit. 4) If no one is doing it, there is probably a good reason. No demand, impossible to make a decent profit due to the material cost or excessive labor. Before you bring something totally new to the market, get half a dozen regular items well established and selling consistently before you attempt to blaze a totally new trail. 5) You might be a perfectionist, but your customers won’t pay for perfection. They will pay for great or even good, but perfect is in the eye of the beholder. You can be perfect if you don’t mind making $2/hr. But that is not how you make a profit in the real world. 6) Listen to your wife. She loves you and wants you to succeed. She will tell you things your friends won’t. There are many more tidbits of advice, based on years of experience, but these are some of the important ones. Safe turning
  8. Third day of May here in South Central PA- Sleet on the back deck this afternoon! Our Patriot Turners- @jthornton Is giving us a great tutorial on how he does his his "dizzy bowl". He has uploaded process shots, with explanations, in his post- @Headhunter got us caught up on some of the things he has been making. Make sure you see all his stuff by subscribing to our "Ringmaster Turning sub-forum". His work certainly has some gorgeous patterns! He posted lots mor pix here- @Fred W. Hargis Jr posed a question about lathe speed fastest rpm. Several of our members provided their thoughts. Why not hop on over to Fred's post and give him your thoughts- @Masonsailor is taking a little break from his laundry room project to make a bowl. Paul explains the materials and the purpose of the turning, in his post- We've had several additions to our "What's On Your Lathe"! This is where we left off last week- What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for links to more information and registration- For The Newbies- Richard Raffan explains the shear scraper- I think this happens to us all. Sometimes more than once. Whether you're a newbie or experienced turner- Expand Your Horizons- Something from Tim Yoder- In my own turning, it seems my bowls don't have much variation is shape/design. Ernie Conover shows us examples of different bowl shapes. Being the first of the month, Sam Angelo, Mike Peace, Richard Raffan and Tomislav Tomasic have put together the "4 Ways" videos. New Turning Items- This is not new but a chance to have input on the design of a relatively new product- If you would like to submit input, the email address is- nilesstopper@gmail.com Everything Else- An interesting read from Ron Brown's newsletter- “Dividing up the budget is a zero-sum game.” Don’t live your life like it is a zero-sum game. When you give encouragement to someone, your optimism bottle won’t run out. When you teach someone about lessons you’ve learned, your box of skills is just as full, and likely even more full. When you gift a nice piece of wood to someone, you can be sure there is another one headed your way, probably even nicer. I have a few special methods in my manufacturing processes, and the more I help others, the more I am helped. That is simply the law of sowing and reaping. If you want better tools, start giving some tools away! If you want to turn better pens, teach someone who wants to learn to turn pens; amazingly, you will begin to make better pens yourself. If you want more friends, be friendly; invite someone to coffee, breakfast, or lunch. Try hosting a small impromptu-turning get-together for 2 or 3 folks at your shop. One of the paradoxes in the life of a turner is how quickly turned items multiply! You make a few bowls, pens, or Christmas Ornaments, and the next thing you know they are everywhere. There is literally not room enough to contain them. You think about selling a few after you’ve given every relative, friend, and neighbor something you’ve turned, and still, the turnings keep multiplying. They are like Tribbles (Star Trek reference) only real. My encouragement today is to not be afraid to give to others. It really doesn’t mean you will have less, in fact, you will get more. Remember that wherever you go, there you are. A little lathe time for me. A couple of natural edge bowls from a flowering cherry tree limb. Not quite finished. Pulled the elm platters from the soapy water soak today and placed them in the drying box. Pretty ugly looking rite now. Probably take about a week to reach equilibrium. Safe turning
  9. More nice weather! Garden rototilled and fertilized. On to replanting grass over the dog's bathroom. Our Patriot Turners- @Steve Krumanaker posted a cedar bowl he finished up. Beautiful colors and grain patterns! Check out the comments from our turners at- @forty_caliber is still cranking out bowls from his dryer stash. This one has some gorgeous spalting- In his post, he tells us about the shape- @Gerald mentioned he did a presentation for the Magnolia Woodturners club. He demonstrated some of the tools and methods for embellishing a turning. This video picks up at his part of the presentation- Thanks, everyone for continuing to post in our thread on "What's On Your Lathe"! I think this is about where we left off last week- What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for links to more information and registration- Note: The Bowl turning class will also be on June17, 2023 For The Newbies- Put your spindle skills to work and turn a mixed media wine glass. Very informative video from Craft Supplies USA Mike peace demonstrates turning small square bowls. These can be made from scraps of even several boards glued together. Expand Your Horizons- Carl Jacobson turns, carves and adds color to a vase- I've seen this turning show up on several social media sites. Carl Jacobson explains how it is done- We pretty much know about scroll chucks and jam chucks but do you know about a "cup chuck"? Richard Raffan demonstrates- I'm not sure which I enjoy more- watching Alan Stratton turn objects or looking at the shop made jigs he uses. For a "jig junky" like me, it's a real treat. In this video, Alan adds Celtic Knots to Easter eggs- New Turning Items- Not new but on sale from Niles Bottle Stoppers- https://nilesbottlestoppers.com/product/tenderizer-set/ Everything Else- From Ron Brown's Newsletter- Difficult Things Why Is It Always So Hard The First Time You Try Something New? Do you remember the first time you tried to ride that bicycle? How about roller skates, ice skates, or a skateboard? And I hope trying that hoverboard didn’t send you to the emergency room. What about parallel parking or hooking up that trailer? Then there was your first time using a skew chisel, WOW! I’ll bet you didn’t even know catches that big were even possible. How about the first time you tried to get started hollowing the inside of a bowl? Did the gouge skate clear off the edge like mine did? The reason is that you don’t know what you don’t know. As we summon enough courage to try something new, we imagine how it is supposed to go and how we are supposed to react. It seldom goes as well or as badly as we imagined. We try again, but the second time around, we adjust from what we learned the first time. The third time it gets better and so on. When I demonstrated turning on the Woodworking Show Circuit, I would often hear the phrase “He’s done that before!”, or “I’ll bet that isn’t his first time!” I promise you, it gets better. If you have the courage and persistence to try and try again, you eventually figure it out. The secret is taking the time to understand what went wrong so you can make the small changes necessary for success. I deal with this scenario almost daily. I find it really helps if I limit my changes to only one or two things so I can narrow down the culprit and focus on those areas. As an example, if torn grain is my issue, I might change from a gouge to a scraper or a gouge with a different grind. If that doesn’t work, I might try shear scraping (holding the scraper at a 45-degree angle). You can shear scrape with both the scraper and the gouge. You just have to turn the gouge over. If that fails, I might cut from the inside out or the outside in using lighter cuts over the problem area. I’ll change up one thing before moving on to something else. Imagine trying to juggle the effects of speed, feed, tool geometry, cutting angles, grain orientation, and wood hardness all at once. My advice is to control what you can and understand that some things are out of your control. Make small changes slowly until it works like you want it to. Be careful not to tweak it so much that something that used to work, doesn’t work anymore. That is something I also have to guard against. It happens all too frequently when running complicated machinery like CNCs and Lasers. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you will be money ahead when you learn to make changes little by little. One day soon you will have figured it out and folks will marvel at your expertise. Zig Zigler often said, “Yard by yard it’s hard, but inch by inch it’s a cinch!” Remember that wherever you go, there you are. Safe turning
  10. Remembering all my Brothers and Sisters on this 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, Welcome Home. Our Patriot Turners- @Headhunter posted some of his Ringmaster turnings in our sub-forum. Thought it would be nice to share them with the entire group. He also posted an awesome open segment turning. Headhunter was kind enough to add a photo of how he created the blank to create this beauty. @forty_caliber Has bee working with some spalted pecan. I really like the way he embellished the rim of this bowl- Check out his post to see what our turners had to say- Forty also posted an inquiry asking if any of our members had any experience with a specific type of knot/gap filler. Please check out this post and offer any additional help- Can't express how happy I am to see everyone adding to our continuing thread of "What's On Your Lathe"! Some of the recent additions include- This is about where we left off last week- What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for links to more information and registration- For The Newbies- Found this article that compares these tools. https://turnawoodbowl.com/carbide-vs-traditional-hss-wood-turning-tools-high-speed-steel/ Alan Stratton's video on turning a box from tree to display. To add interest to the turning, Alan burns some detail lines. Check out his wire burning tool at 9 minutes- Expand Your Horizons- Carl Jacobson turned a small lidded box, and used the urn threaded rings. This was a live demonstration so it's a little long- Mike Waldt turns a hollow Mulberry hollow form- New Turning Items- Couldn't find anything new but checkout this week's Vendor Showcase (link above). Not sure what they will be doing. Everything Else- From Ron Brown's newsletter- Driving A Stake In The Ground Sometimes progress seems so slow that you have to drive a stake in the ground to see if you are moving. I first heard this phrase when I worked on the railroad as a long-haul trainman. The first half of our route took us from near sea level over a 4,000 foot high mountain range. Sometimes I could run alongside the train faster than it was moving! Developing our skills can be a lot like that. You want to be able to use a skew chisel like they do on YouTube and roll perfect beads, disks, and wonderfully symmetrical coves. But you get catch after catch and it seems like you are never going to figure it out. Or the grain tears on the outside of your bowl blank even with freshly sharpened tools. You wonder if you will ever be able to start sanding with 120 grit or higher rather than 60 or 80 grit. You look forward to the day you don’t have to spend so much time sanding. Practice makes perfect because each time you try, you get a little bit better. You develop muscle memory whether you know it or not. Suddenly, or so it would seem, you can roll a beautiful bead with that skew and not get a catch. Where is the stake now? I used spinning tops as my demonstration canvas on the Woodworking Show Circuit for 13 seasons. I glued up 1,200 top blanks at the beginning of each season and more when those ran out. All day long I would load a blank into the lathe’s collet chuck for my next demo. I used a skew to turn the disk to round in less than 3 seconds. Then I shaped the disk in preparation for texturing. That took another 10-15 seconds, one pass on the front, and one pass on the back. In one continuous motion, I shaped the stem using the same spindle gouge I had shaped the front and back of the disk. Then I made 3 cuts with the texturing tools and finished with various color combinations. I had developed so much muscle memory that I could carry on a lucid conversation and make the top at the same time. Elapsed time, less than 5 minutes including all of the decoration and coloring. It didn’t start out like that, but after the first thousand tops, it got easier. I’ve told you before that you don’t really know how to make something until you made 50 or 100 of the same thing. Then you begin to understand but still have much to learn. So, drive that stake in the ground, metaphorically, and watch as you get better each time you try again. Remember that wherever you go, there you are. Safe turning
  11. Hard to believe that March is half over already! Our Patriot Turners- @Steve Krumanaker posted some handles he turned for a friend! Steve says he did not use a duplicator but you sure could have fooled me! Check out Steve's post for more about this project- We continue to have more posts in our thread "What's On Your Lathe"! Check out what @forty_caliber is doing- @Smallpatch gave us a look at his setup for duplicating piece on the lathe. What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for links to more information and registration- For The Newbies- Carl Jacobson put together a short video on aligning the head and tail stock. From Kent Weakley "Turn A Wood Bowl", a checklist of things to do for lathe maintenance (click on the image)- Expand Your Horizons- If you don't have a steady rest, here's an instructional video where the author builds one patterned after one built by Mike Waldt Jim Rodgers makes a really interesting segmented vase- Alan Stratton turns a cool toothpick holder. Might make a nice craft show item- Easter is not far away and Mike Peace demonstrates how to turn some Bunnies! At the end of Mike's video, are some other Easter oriented turning ideas/links. New Turning Items- Not really a new item but some mods on an older device to hold odd shaped pieces- Available at- https://woodturningtoolstore.com/product/elio-dr-safe-drive-2-5/?receiptful=923&receiptfultype=reviewsadminfb&fbclid=IwAR0bWspnfZ-Tx5be43_wuR3mi0wfVQA1OB1GAg6HkS29Mx2qziuyjg9PFXY Everything Else- From Ron Brown's Newsletter It Works For Me When you work up the courage to demonstrate in front of your club or the public, someone will always ask, “Why do you do it that way?” The short answer is “it works for me.” Turning, apart from most other forms of woodworking, relies heavily on the skills of the turner. Cabinet-making, for example, relies more on design, careful measurements, and the ability to cut relatively large pieces of sheet goods perfectly square. Ask five woodturners the right way to do something, and you will likely get ten different answers. Do what works for you until it doesn’t, then do it another way until it does. Everyone’s shop is different; different lathes, sharpening setups, lathe chisels, people are different heights, ages, strengths, lighting, some are left-handed, etc. Yes, there are generally accepted “Best Practices”, but my encouragement is to use the method that works for you as long as it is safe. However, keep an open mind to different approaches. As I view different turners making shavings, I still notice little things that might just be a better way to do something I have been doing for many years. I try their way and sometimes it works better, sometimes not. Most of my shop time these days is spent making accessories for turners and for that we are very grateful. My production shop would make most woodturners see double. I have the quintessential 5-pounds of stuff in a 3-pound sack. I wouldn’t recommend anyone set up their shop like mine. But it works for me, for what I do with the equipment and space I have. And I love it! In case you’ve seen some of my YouTube videos filmed in a nice clean uncluttered perfectly lit woodturning shop, that is a purpose-built film studio in a whole separate building set up just for making videos. I never actually make shavings in that area. Why? Because it works for me. When it doesn’t, I’ll do something else. For now, remember that wherever you go, there you are. Safe turning
  12. First day of meteorological Spring and it felt like spring. Of course they are forecasting winter weather for the weekend. I apologize if I missed anyone's post for last week, wasn't receiving all of the notifications about your posts. I found at least one that will be in this weeks entry. If you see something I missed, please let me know. Our Patriot Turners- @RustyFN did some shop cleanup. He got a bit of razzing about how often he does this. It was all in good fun. Here's the post- Rusty also posted a turning he will enter in his clubs President's Challenge. Hope it gets first place Rusty was gifted some large pieces of a tree and asked our turners to help identify the species. He posted several pictures to help. Hop over to his post and see if you recognize what he has- @Smallpatch showed us a nice setup for serving sweets! He thought maybe it could spark someone's imagination to create something similar out of wood- Check his post. I think he is on to something! @forty_caliber turned a sweet carver's mallet from Osage orange. It's almost too pretty to use! Our turners had lots of positive comments- Our thread called "What's on Your Lathe" continues to generate interest. Here's the most recent entries- What’s Coming Up- Click on the images for links to registration and more information- For The Newbies- You pulled the trigger on your first lathe. Now What! Richard Raffan leads us through our first spindle turning operations- This also fits in the "What's Coming Up" department. From Cindy Drozda, a live event on sharpening scrapers. MARCH 2, 2023! Link to Facebook Live event- https://fb.me/e/2K3r2bBYI Link to Live Stream Registration- https://streamyard.com/watch/vYqnGQ8DMXD3 Expand Your Horizons- Watch Mike Waldt turn an English Walnut hollow form- Four YouTube turners worked together on a collaboration challenge demonstrating how we may do things differently but still come up with similar end results. Sam Angelo, Mike Peace, Tomislav Tomasic and Richard Raffan each turned a cross grained vessel and posted their process. New Turning Items- Received my order of Easy Wood Tools negative rake beading cutters late this afternoon. Haven't had a chance to try them but reports from other turners are positive. Everything Else- No YouTube video report from Rick Turns this week. From Ron Brown's newsletter Small Beginnings Might Have Seeds Of Greatness It is easy to look at someone with minimal shop equipment, a small or older lathe, and only a few tools, in the corner of a basement or garage and discount the kind of work they are capable of. I began with a 12” Jet lathe with an eight-piece high carbon steel set of lathe tools. There was no bowl gouge in my set! Sometime around the year 2000, I bought a 10” jet 5-speed mini lathe. It took a couple of years before I got my first 4 jaw chuck. Now, nearly a quarter century later, the equipment in my shop is pretty impressive by most standards. I’ve made many thousands of turned pieces and helped untold scores of turners to do things better, faster, and safer around the world. I have helped some folks in person at woodturning shows and symposiums, and many others around the world via my YouTube videos. None of this would have happened if no one had bothered to introduce me to how much fun our craft could be. I didn’t even want to be at the demonstration in the first place. I was there out of a sense of duty to my friends. You never know who is carrying the seeds of greatness within, so don’t prejudge your audience. Rather understand that there is unlimited potential within all of us, young, old, male, and female, regardless of occupation or background. No matter how humble your beginnings or how moderate your own skill level or equipment might be, you have the power to spark greatness in other people. We all start somewhere, so bloom where you are planted and use the gifts you currently have. I’ve never met a single turner that I couldn’t learn from. Look for opportunities to share what you know and bless others and you will soon find them everywhere. Remember that wherever you go, there you are. I thought I had found a small maple branch at the landfill. It was freshly cut and no checking. Sealed the ends until I had a chance to get it on the lathe. Cut it into two blanks and started on the first one, Rough turned it, soaked it for 3 days and got it into my little drying box. Came out with only a tiny crack. My intention was to make a calabash style little bowl. First thing I noticed was how light (in weight) the dried blank seemed to be. Anyway turned it to the final outside shape than started to hollow it out. Like an idiot, I didn't use the calipers- only my fingers for measuring thickness. (Which definitely need to be recalibrated!) I don't think this was maple. very soft. The dark spot on the side is where the material crumbled when hollowing. It was pretty thin but not as thin as some vessels I've turned. Anyway I can practice making a round bottom to see how it comes out. The other blank is in the drying box now. We'll see what that turns out to be in a few more days. Safe turning
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