Guys in the Woodshop

I struggling at times with what to work on over at Brad’s. Its not for lack of projects, in fact its more like the opposite, so many to choose from. So before I left, I grabbed the turning saw parts in hopes that maybe I would actually work on it. Once there we discussed how things went for the Girl Scout demo from the previous weekend and he talked about the hinge experiments he was doing for the display cases that have been in the shop for a while.

Indy showed up shortly after I got there and came in with a chair, or rather part of a chair that was missing a leg. The back story on the chair is that his father made it out of mahogany and found a guy to drill the leg holes and did a horrible hack job. The one that he had there had a split leg, he planned on completely rebuilding the leg from scratch and we talked him into a repair job. So we grabbed a double screw wood clamp, the kind that you can get good pressure with and not have parallel jaws. A couple of tests and finally found a good way to clamp it. He slopped on some Tite Bond III and set the clamp, but needed to add another smaller one to get it as tight as practical. After the glue set, Brad and Indy did a bit of cleanup on both parts of the joint. I think the plan is to do one last test fit and glue it up next week.

Turning Saw

Onto my turning saw, I figured I could easily glue up the pins into the handle blank that I found. So I double checked measurements on the blanks and split it in half on the table saw. Over at the drill press, I chucked up a 1/4 inch Forstner bit. I drew lines to get the center of the blanks and drilled the hole. I checked depth several times so as to not go to deep. Once that was done I mixed up some epoxy and dribbled it into both holes and set the pins in place, with a little twist as they went in. Apparently I had plenty of epoxy, it oozed out quite a bit and created a pool at the base of the pin. Even when I left at the end of the evening, it was still tacky.

With plenty of time left, I looked through the papers again and determined that I could get quite a ways on the toggle at the top that is used to tighten the string. I double checked measurements and the small pieces that I had wont work. So I grabbed a bit longer one, it was approximately 3/4 inch square which was plenty oversized, only needed 1/2 inch once rounded. Although it was 1/4 inch shorter than what I needed for two, I think it will be close enough. I drew lines to roughly center it, and put it in the lathe with a normal spur and a live center. I take my time to experiment with the curly maple to see how it cuts and select my tools after trying several different ones to at least get it round. Due to length and me being overly cautious with the squirrely wood it took the rest of the evening to get it where I wanted it. I had a goal to do it without sandpaper, and well that just didn’t happen. The grain ripped more than I thought acceptable so once close I grabbed some 80 grit paper and with the lathe on a fairly slow setting I finished up the final shaping. Onto 120, then 150, and then 220, even ran it backward. It was smooth, consistent and quite beautiful. I needed to put a couple of grooves in it so the string has a spot to rest when tightening. I grabbed a couple of tools and attempted to put the grooves in. They just wouldn’t cut, scratched my head a couple of times, tried the rounded termite tool and got the same result, they were just burnishing the wood. Well then it hit me, duh, lathe needs to be running forward! Once it was going the right direction I used the rounded termite tool and within seconds it was to a depth that I was comfortable with. With a little bit of sanding in the grooves they became smooth. I was reasonably comfortable with the smoothness but I know I could do better. I grabbed a piece of fairly used 220 and went with the grain, that took out any minor imperfections that I could feel. I then grabbed a very soft scrubby pad and turned the lathe up, in short order it was really smooth! It also made the grain pop quite a bit. This put me at the end of the night, even though I wasn’t done with the piece, it was at least close.

I still need to round the ends, cut it in half and then flat taper opposing sides. I would like to raise the grain slightly and give it one more buff on the lathe with the scrubby. I will have to work on that another night. I had to bring it home to show the wife, we were all very surprised at how smooth it ended up.

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