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  1. I roughed this bowl last fall or early in the spring, really don't remember which. It's about 8" diameter so I left it about an inch thick figuring to turn it to about 1/2" or so after it dried. I thought it was ready to finish and started to mount it on the lathe but the more I handled it, the more I liked the feel and heft of it. To be honest, after roughing it I didn't much to this bowl but sand it a bit and remove the bottom. I guess it just spoke to me. It's so much thicker than what I would usually do but for me, with this bowl, with this piece of wood, it just works. About 8" diameter, a couple or three inches deep and about 1" thick. Finished with gloss wipe on poly applied while spinning.
  2. Just finished the 2nd flame box elder vase, there is some pretty grain in this one too. Decided to do a zentangle on the bottom of this one. This is one of my favorite patterns, "Phicops in a cirlce" Have no idea where the name comes from.
  3. but I'm liking the way this is looking. Fourth coat of gloss wipe on poly, still wet. Probably will get two more coats. Flame box elder about 8.5" tall and hollowed to about 1/4" box elder vase.mp4
  4. We've got sycamore trees in our yard, beautiful trees but they drop a lot of limbs. Now and then a limb is big enough to play with. Did some garden whimsy today. First day it's been cool enough to get in the shop for a while. They are a take off on some ornaments I did last year. I knew then I wanted to do some of these for the garden.
  5. We went to the Springfield OH "extravaganza" this weekend. If you've never heard of it, it's one of the biggest antique, flea markets in the country. It happens twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. I believe there were over 1500 vendors this weekend. We drove about 300 mile round trip to attend, walked and walked for hours and I spent five bucks. I bought a tiny calipers. I told myself it will be great for when I turn finials but really I just thought it was cute. Nickel is for scale.
  6. Didn't do any turning today but I tackled a project I've been contemplating for a good while. Many who turn deeper vessels use a laser setup to help them determine how deep the cutter is cutting. It also helps determine wall thickness and total depth. That is the method I've used for a few years. I've been wanting to upgrade to a camera setup and decided today to "git-er-done". I had pretty much everything on hand and it went fairly quickly. I haven't had a chance to test it out yet but I believe it will be a much better setup. camera project.mp4 It's kind of hard to get your head around exactly how it works until a person sees it in action, or at least it was for me. It's an amazing idea really, don't know who thought of it first but it's a real game changer. It offers a few advantages over a laser setup. With a laser, every time the cutter is adjusted, the laser must also be adjusted and it's guess work sometimes to get it just right. Also, due to vibration the laser can move off location and there is no good way to tell without pulling the cutter out of the piece and checking, the alternative is possibly cutting too deep or going through the side. Very time consuming. With a camera, when the cutter is moved it's a simple matter of erasing and redrawing the position on the screen with a dry erase marker. Also, it's very obvious if the camera vibrates off location. Hoping to test it out tomorrow.
  7. I've got a pretty special piece of wood on my lathe this morning. Funny, it's been laying outside my shop since last fall and I almost threw in the fire pit. Cut a chunk off this morning and decided to do a little hollow form. Was very surprised by the ambrosia. It's near final shape but not quite there. I had stepped back several times and thought it was pretty good. But there is nothing like a picture to let a person really see. I can see it's a little fat at about center and I'll address that for sure. If I don't blow this up or go through the side it's going to be special I think. About 9" tall and around 6" major diameter. I'll leave as much bark as I can, I think it'll be a nice contrast to the color.
  8. I got into some spalted cherry on the my latest batch of decorative tea jar lids. Unfortunately I only had enough for 8 or 10 lids. Would like to find a whole log of this, it's some pretty wood.
  9. Okay so I picked up some poplar this morning I wanted to make two poplar bowls. I bought a 4 1/2 ' x 8" x 3/4" board of poplar this morning. I was able to get two bowl blanks out of it. I'm decisive on what to make out of the scrap. I've got the left over pieces that I haven't thrown out because I knew I could make something out of them either way any suggestions from you guys on what I should do with the scraps. I've got enough to either turn a mug or a goblet not sure on what I should create. I also got my shop area organized a lot better so its not an absolute mess so that's a good feeling.
  10. So this morning I've started on the second of the canary bowls. How ever I decided to try something new with the bottom. Not sure if it was a wise move. Not sure if it was even think able or I just wasted my time. I am not exactly sure how much room this will leave me for hollowing out the inside. But I guess we shall see. If you guys have any thoughts on this one I'm all ears. I'm just about finished with shaping the outside of the bowl.
  11. Not sure what's starting to happen here. Maybe I'm being over ambitious here on what I'm trying to get done. But hollowing has been becoming some what of a chore. I did put on order for a bowl gouge that should hopefully be coming soon ordered from Penn State Industries (HSS). Seems that in most cases the hollowing tools I do have that are carbide tipped are not doing the job either they are tearing chunks out and catching. Just not sure what to think at this point so I am stuck on this one in a head lock sort to say. It's honestly rather annoying. Either way for the time being since I do not have a proper bowl gouge so it seems even though one is on the way I'm wondering if I should use this chisel for any type of hollowing but the way it looks seems to be a bad idea. Forgive me because I cant for the life of me remember what this one is called. Chisel first picture. Yep I'm also trying to use the HSS chisels more often as well.
  12. All this talk about Carbide Wood Lathe Tools I thought I needed to try one. Prices are high so i made my own. I used 4140 tool steel for the shaft. I almost messed up when milling the flat. The steel started to work hard from the heat of the mill. The mill made the cut but drilling and taping was tough. Ash handle with brass ferrule. I have 100's of different carbide tips to try. I snapped the first tip when I tightened the screw. I then put a brass washer under the screw and that seemed to fix that problem. It's not been tested yet. I'll keep you up to date.
  13. Here are some pictures of my deep hollowing set up. I have about 22" reach with it. It's built around an inch and one quarter diameter bar. The bar is 4140 prehard steel. That should be stiff enough to reach out about 20" or so. I have about 22" of reach from the cutting tip to the torque arrestor that is welded to the round bar. There is a threaded stud in the front corner for attaching the laser pointer post. This picture shows the threaded stud a little better. The trap that holds the boring bar is made from two 1" diameter black iron pipes. The top pipe is adjustable so the trap can accept larger or smaller diameter boring bars. Eventually I may add a 1 1/2" bar but I have no immediate plans to do so. If/when I do it will be a simple matter to use the same trap for either bar by loosening one bolt on either end and repositioning. This is the "business end" of the hollower. The boring bar came from Grizzly as a set of five double ended bars. In addition to the angle slot the other end has a straight slot. I have both a 3/4" set and a 1" set of bars. The order from Grizzly also included 1/2" 3/8" and 1/4" boring bars. I could see no use to keep those so I gave them to my brother to use in his shop. This is just a view from the tail stock end of the lathe. I figure I have probably less than $150.00 in this rig. For one this heavy duty, retail would be in the $500.00 range. With that said, I don't believe the retail ones are over priced at all. It's easy to look at material cost only and think they are charging too much for something like this. In addition to my material cost there are several hours of machining that went into making this. My brother is no slouch at metal work. His normal shop rate would've pushed the cost of this well over what I would pay retail. Add to that, the cost of welding and there is no way it could be done for less. I'm blessed to have had someone to help me for hanging out together and a bowl or two. Several times I showed my brother how others had made theirs. Always his response, well we're going to do it better than that. As an example, the trap on others I've seen simply used machine bolts and a bunch of nuts to make the assembly. Adjusting the size would involve tedious loosening and tightening several nuts. Either that or they were welded to fit one size only. It will be a couple weeks before I get to try my hand at a deep vessel. I still have to make my steady rest and laser assembly. When I do get it all together you've got to know, I'll post pics!! Steve
  14. Finally got to try a deep hollow form, not real deep, about 13". First time I've tried something like this and there is lots to learn. The laser diode I was using wasn't the best choice and it wouldn't stay in one spot. Because of that and my own inexperience this piece is just too thin in a couple areas. It won't get much sanding because there is a very real possibility of sanding through. Still, for a first effort, I've got to be happy with the results. I also know there is a lot of room for improvement, especially in the form and getting a consistent thickness. Anyway, here is my first effort and a short video of the hollowing process. The base could be a little smaller and the funnel could also be smaller I think. I was surprised how difficult the big cove was to do and I can see there is room for improvement there as well. Wife says she loves it and I have to finish it but you know how they are. Thanks for looking Steve
  15. I've got a beautiful piece of walnut on the lathe, trying to do a hollow form about 14" deep and about the same major diameter. Drilling to start hollowing this morning and when I backed out to clear chips this is what I saw. No drill bit, this is a bad thing. At this point I'm over 10" deep with this bit. Fortunately I was drilling in steps and had made a good portion of the hole larger already. What now? Couldn't reach it with anything and there are chips packed tight around it. My first thought was, no way to save this. Still, I started picking at the shavings and blowing them out until they were pretty well clear, that took about an hour. After several failed attempts with rare earth magnets, screw drivers, etc. etc. I got the idea to make a loop in a piece of tie wire and slip it over the shaft. Held the wire with a pair of vice grips and ran the lathe slow. With a little help, the wire wound tight enough I could wiggle the drill bit a little using the wire and a screw driver. After about two hours I was able to get a purchase on the bit with a pair of deep reach needle nose and worked it the rest of way out. Next time, I'll be sure to clear chips more often and make doubly sure the set screws in my extension are tight. I think it will be faster that way. Steve
  16. I've got the demo for February for our club. Can't complain, several other members have really stepped up and covered the last few months. That makes it so much easier. Anyway, the Feb. demo will be two parts. The first half hour or so I'll be doing some sharpening on, and talking about the Tormek sharpener. I've allotted a half hour but if there are a few questions it could go longer. With that in mind I need a relatively quick project for the turning portion of the demo. Have decided to make a "Knitting Nancy" or French Knitter. A simple spindle project which will be a good skill builder and something I believe hasn't been done before. Even though it's a fairly simple thing to make I will still make several before I'm done. At the top beside the yarn is my first effort. I saw one that looked like they used paper clips to hold the yarn but that didn't work well for me, that and I had the diameter too large to make a good stitch. I saw one someone made that used cotter keys as shown in the walnut one to the left. Cotter keys actually worked pretty well, but, they're cotter keys. I then decided to just make the pins to hold the yarn and they are pretty easy to do and look a lot better IMO. The one in the middle is my last effort and has the wooden pins. The little yarn rope is what a person makes with one of these and is called an "Icord", although, our two year old grand daughter calls it a "snake". From what I read, an icord is a basic knitting or crochet stitch and is used as a border or foundation for other stitches. There are three parts to one of these, the body, which is basically just a tube, the pins, and the hook, or pic. My first thought was to make a hook but after experimenting a little bit I realized the pic type actually is easier to use. The pic is a nice little skew project all by itself. Will probably do five or six more of these, last couple I will record and work out of my tool bags to make sure I don't forget anything. Steve
  17. There is a first time for everything they say. Today, for me, that "first time thing" was turning a cowboy hat. About six hours from mounting the blank to putting it in the bending jig. I could never have turned this without the guidance, the encouragement, the tutelage, and did I mention the encouragement? Of my good friend and mentor, Bob Lipp, who is Vice President of our local wood turning club. We started with a bradford pear blank, about 20" diameter and 8" thick or so. The first thing he told me to do was to true it up for a tenon and then he showed me how to shape the outside. I did all the cuts but it was his express instructions that allowed me to do them. After the shaping is all done on the outside it's time to form the brim. The red dots are led lights shining through from the other side. The brim is about as thick as a credit card. After the brim is completed the hollowing is done for the rest of the hat. It also ends up being about the thickness of a credit card, although I think mine may be a little thicker. After the turning is done the hat is put in a bending jig. I'm excited to see how this bends and looking forward to trying on my own.
  18. Have a current order for honey dippers, this is the first batch of 20 finished. Some of the these have some really nice grain in the lids. Steve
  19. Several years ago, WOOD magazine did a project, a "wood turned walking stick". It didn't happen very often but this particular project just spoke to me and I had to make it. That's kind of funny because at the time, if I'm being honest, I couldn't really call myself a wood turner. My lathe was a shopsmith and I turned a spindle if I just had to. Anyway, I ended up making several of those walking sticks for gifts or personal use. I have decided to revisit the project and hit the highlights of it for the May demo for our club. It's a very straight forward thing to make except for the handle. I have a handle on the lathe, have turned it and done some shaping. Still a little more to do but it's coming along. Two things are different this time around. In the article, a compass is let into the handle with a cavity under it for matches, a map, or whatever. Those compasses are no longer available and I haven't been able to find a substitute so I'll just round the top. The other thing that's different is the EWT negative rake insert I now have in my arsenal. They are perfect for shaping the finger slots. Here's a WIP picture. Still some tweaking to do on this one but I'm happy with it to this point. The neat thing about this walking stick is, it's made in four pieces so a person doesn't need a real long bed to do it. One of the best WOOD projects ever IMO. Steve
  20. Anyone can join in to this fantastic tradition since 2004. Walk into any Woodcraft Store and turn pens for our troops!
  21. My wife says these are called Russian Dolls. Maybe better known where they are maid, made, Matryoshka or Babushka. They are made of wood turned on a lathe and they all stack into each other...A good project for you real turners!!!!! I know you guys with some Russian heritage just has to make a few sets of these for Christmas or the 4th of June ?
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