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post #1 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Cheap easy projects for practice?

What are some cheap and easy projects that donít require too much wood that I could do to practice? I was thinking something like bracelets, or rings, but I will just end up putting them in a jar and never use them, except maybe for a gift or something. Pens will get expensive, buying the kit for each one, and I only need one pen really.
What are some projects you guys like to make as practice, that you can use, or sell really well (I figure I could just keep them and sell them if/when I go to an art fair near me)?
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 09:07 PM
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I don't know about selling practice pieces, but I've been practicing a lot lately trying to get a feel for how all my chisels cut. I've made a bat, some twig pots, a shop mallet, working on a bowl, but that keeps exploding with some knots in the log I had. Pretty much everything is practice right now. One video I watched was a guy who glued two 2 x 4's together and then just practiced the skew. Planed it, beaded it, planed it again, etc until it was gone. Just practice.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 09:21 PM
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USAwood, take a look at these projects, I'm sure you can find something to try.. http://www.woodturningonline.com/Tur..._projects.html

Jeff,

"Just because your not bleeding, don't mean your turning safely"..
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 09:23 PM
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Working with natural shapes is good practice. Mushrooms, apples and pears were simple items I like to make.

Tim
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-29-2010, 11:49 PM
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I started by cutting down some crappy old pine 2x4s (or chunks of cedar limb that I found on the side of the road) and turning some of the basic woodturning shapes - coves, beads, bevels, w/e. When I was done butchering a blank, I tossed it in the burn bucket. When my confidence was higher, I glued up some scraps of oak and took a stab at something that was worth keeping, like small lidded jars, candle sticks, tops, etc. When my confidence was even higher than that, I drove 45 min out of town, bought some over priced exotic wood, and started turning things to sell.

By far, I think the most important thing that you can make in woodturning is shavings. Get out there and let your hands learn how to do it. :)
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-30-2010, 11:44 AM
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Cheap easy practice projects

Hey Jeff,glad you posted that site,I used to have it,but then lost it when I upgraded the puter and hadn't been able to find it.Time to make some ity bitty stuff now.

God Bless all
Ken Ward
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-30-2010, 12:07 PM
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How about some spinning tops. They are fast to turn and fun to make. They don't take much material and you can sell them for $1 each. $1 for practicing and using scrap instead of throwing it out or burning it is better than a kick in the pants. Try em out!!

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-31-2010, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.
I think I will just take some firewood from last year I never burned (store bought) and I also balanced it a little with a cold chisel, and hammer, a hand planer, and just turn it until it is shavings. Its not very pretty wood I don’t think so its not a big loss. Also I will have lots of practice sharpening the tools

Oh and I haven’t bought the lathe yet (will soon though) and just wondering which tools should I be getting, what brands are great what are junkers? I’m getting a Jet mini or midi.

Last edited by USAwood; 10-31-2010 at 10:06 AM.
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-02-2010, 04:28 AM
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File handles.........and not fancy.I use 1/2" elect. EMT for ferruls.Just a nice eliptical curve,and make 30 or 40.Take 10 or so down to local HVAC joint,welding shop,machine shop,or anywhere that isn't a wood facility and trade for goods.Need to find shop manager,you're building a friendship that will come in useful...........need some dust collection ports?.....A quick weld/machine job?And be straight up with the guy,tell him you don't need anything right now but that you might in the future.It's bloomin AMAZING what some of these shops discard that have application to homeboy shop efforts.A nice footlong pc of I-beam makes a dandy anvil.BW
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-04-2010, 02:45 PM
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eggcups,candlesticks,small bowls

Are you interested in becoming a professional woodworker? Why not check out our 30-week woodworking courses at the Chippendale School of Furniture?
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-04-2010, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Have any of you tired to turn store bought firewood? It is just plain maple, and definitely solid, no cracks at all. And dry so it wonít warp on me.
Anything wrong with it Iím overlooking?
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-04-2010, 06:16 PM
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I've never used store bought wood but I don't see why you couldn't use it. As long as it's solid go for it. You never know what you may find in there.

Tim
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post #13 of 14 Old 11-04-2010, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Ill post some pics tomorrow of a few pieces sanded down. It may be really nice, and cheap wood, who knows! If it is it will be a good constant and cheap supply of wood. If not I could probably get a Ĺ cord of just an assortment of NE hardwoods, which will last me until I get good enough to put out real money for wood, or spend an effort to do some ďurban loggingĒ.
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post #14 of 14 Old 11-06-2010, 11:12 PM
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when i started out i used pieces of old wall studs and ceiling joists i got from a demo ( white pine?) anywho that stuff is nice and soft and FREE but it does tend to blow out if you try to get fancy with the desighn but that just adds to your experience as far as what certain types of woods can and cannot do .........at first i just practiced different cuts and turning something square round all by eye of course then moved on from there ........
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