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Father’s Day Turnings

I was able to get on the lathe this weekend.  I had a couple of chunks of mystery wood my dad gave me, so I thought I’d try turning a couple of things.

Unfortunately, my turning setup isn’t very good yet.  I basically have the lathe, some turning tools, and a jacob’s chuck.  So I’m somewhat limited on what I could do.  I also have to sharpen my lathe tools by hand, which doesn’t work as well as I’d like.  So there’s a lot of sanding involved in the end.

The first project I wanted to turn a goblet.  I screwed the block of wood to the faceplate that came with the lathe.  Then I turned it round between centers before removing the tailstock.  I rough shaped the outside of the cup to get the general shape.  I wanted a round shape with some beads and coves for the stem.  Unfortunately, my gouge kept catching and putting huge cuts into the piece.  It was rather frustrating.  I figured it was either because my tools arn’t sharp enough, or I was turning at too low of a speed.  I’m thinking the speed was a major factor, though.

Anyway, once I got all the gouges out and shaped, I hollowed out the center of the cup.  I used my new Jacob’s chuck to drill out the center and establish the depth.  I wasn’t quite sure which tool I’m suppose to use for the inside, so I pretty much stuck with the round scraper.  It took awhile, but I had very little problems and it created a great surface.

I finish-sanded all the way to 600 grit, then used wipe-on poly for the finish.  Since I don’t have a chuck to clean up the bottom of the cup, I just parted it off with my parting tool, trying to undercut a little bit so the cup sits flat.  The bottom is a bit ugly.  But at least it’s facing down so you wont’ see it much.  🙂

My second project was a weed pot (not that kind of weed or pot…I guess a weedpot is a wood vase that isn’t suppose to hold water, but rather hold dried flowers/weeds).  My wife needed a small vase to hold dandelion bouquets my son picks for her.

Again, I screwed the faceplate to the wood block, then turned between centers until round.  Then I shaped the vase.  I wanted the bottom to be really round and the neck long and thin.  Again, I had problems with the gouge catching and seriously marring my workpiece.  So I had to alter the design to cover those mistakes.  The shaping went pretty quickly.  For the inside, I just used my Jacob’s chuck and a Forsner’s bit to drill out the center.  I sanded the entire piece to 600 grit.  Then I used a wire to burn a couple lines in the vase.

This time I wanted to stain it.  I wanted to use the same staining process I used on my tobacco pipe.  I added black alcohol based stain to the whole project.  Then I sanded it with 600 grit to remove most of the stain.  This leaves the black stain in the pores of the wood.  Then I followed it with 2 coats of cherry stain, which gave it a deep merlot color.  Then I used several coats of wipe-on poly, lightly sanding between coats.

I was really happy with this.  I like how the black dye really pops the grain.  I’ll have to experiment with it a bit more.  It seems some areas, the dye is removed more than other areas.  Either with too aggressive sanding, or the wipe-on poly is removing some color.  I don’t know.

Anyway, two relatively quick projects and a whole lot of fun.  Oh, BTW…the mystery wood turned out to be oak.

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