Turning and Turning
In a previous post I mentioned that I had started working on this year’s Christmas gifts. I don’t want to say WHAT they are because recipients read my blog and I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Perhaps my first blog post of 2010 will be pictures of these gifts.
But I will say that I am making 20 of these things. Each thing is 2 parts, so that is 40 parts total. Each part is made on the lathe. Because of the size requirements, I need to glue up wood to make the raw material to mount on the lathe. That requires a lot of machining of flat boards, which involves several steps of cutting, planning, sanding, gluing, and clamping.
The A parts, once the blocks are cut to size, require 4 holes to be drilled before mounting on the lathe. To do that I need to measure and make several pencil marks. The pencil lines come right off when the tool touches the wood on the lathe. The A parts are a pain in the butt to turn because they need to be “mostly” shaped, removed from the lathe, turned around and re-mounted in a special way, and finished.
The B parts are MUCH simpler, just 2 holes to drill and no special mounting on the lathe. Although sometimes, the holes strip out and I have to plug them with glue and dowels, then redrill.
When all the parts are made, there are still several things involved, such as gluing the parts together and adding 3 different embellishments. A little sanding may be required so that part A fits into part B. A “tenon” on part A fits into the bigger hole of part B. These final assembly details are much easier and most can be done sitting at the dining room table.
So, where am I, you ask? In the past 2 days I was able to complete 7 parts. That makes 25 parts complete and 15 to go. 5 parts are ready to go on the lathe and then I will have to make up more raw material.
I wish I had kept all the sawdust, for pictures. There is actually more sawdust than there is finished material, but that is the nature of working with a lathe.
Anyway, I am pretty tired of lathe work and am looking forward to finishing these and moving on to another project. For those of you that are recipients, you will get a unique gift that took a lot of time and patience. I hope you like it, use it, and one day hand it down to your kids or grandkids.