Monday, 28 June 2010

Having a lathe is great... ...

As the title says " Having a lathe is great " it's not a fancy one, but it can handle large bits of wood and long ones as well, and it cost just £100, and I got a cheap set of chisels from Amazon to start off with, I intend to make and buy some other tools, mainly make, here is the lathe I have - Tooled-up.com it's pretty good and okay for a variety of things.
I didn't get a table for it as I bolted it to one of my work benches, as for the chisels, they aren't the best, but they do the job well, I got a set like this - lathe chisels now I should say that if you have more to spend on chisels, then do so, a good set of chisels, whether they are for wood turning or carving will last a lifetime.
As I said I intend to make some extra chisels for bowl making and such like.

The lathe also has some extras you can get for it, chucks and the like, I recently bought a screw chuck for it, so as I can make a greater range of things.

Here are a couple of things I made today, they are small things, and if I'm honest it's been a while since I last used a lathe (I think I was still at school ? many moons ago) and I have never turned a piece of green wood (newly chopped down)

The rolling pin is for use with play dough.

The rolling pin is for my 2 year old daughter to roll her play dough out with, and the pot was more of an experiment to see what a piece of eucalyptus would look like once it had been turned. The eucalyptus by the way came from our garden, we cut it down earlier this year with a view to coppice it, and it has started to grow quite vigorously, so we should get some good stuff of it for making trellis and other things for the garden, like pyramids to grow beans up and such like, it's actually quite flexible wood, and has a really nice smell to it.
The tree by the way is a little bit of an accident, we got it cheap from homebase, and it was meant to be a small variety, only it turned out to be one of these - eucalyptus gunnii as you can see they can get quite tall, and probably not the best idea in a garden such as ours, and the reason we cut it down.

All in all I think wood turning is very rewarding and well worth having a go at, either from buying a lathe and equipment for your shed or maybe a course at a college or perhaps even something like this - wood turning course I did a quick search for wood turning course using google and came up with loads all over the country.
Some of the equipment can be expensive, some chucks (for holding wood in different ways) for example can be £150 or more, but there are ways to make your own chucks that will do just as well and cost a lot less, and will also help you learn about how the lathe behaves with a chunk of wood in it.

I just thought that I would add a little to this post, it can also be good for your kids to have things like this  available to use, I'm not sure whether they let kids use lathes in schools these days ? but as long as your kids are old enough to use a tool like this, then why not show them how to make a candlestick or something ? or you can all go on a wood turning course ? just an idea.

Thanks for reading.

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