First Day on the Lathe - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-18-2011, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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First Day on the Lathe

Okay boys, Today in tech, I'm working on this table. It's a 18 in. Dia. round table. I planned on either doing a curved apron, with curved drawers, or straight apron with straight drawers. Today I'm working on the legs. I ripped some 1 1/2" squares and jointed and planed them down to about 1 1/4". I asked the teacher if I could put them on the lathe and do a shaker style, square at the top and then after like 4 inches down from the top, it gets a tapered round all the way down. Having never even turned the lathe on, I walked over, marked my centers, and then put in into the lathe chuck. I gave it a few spins to see if it cleared the tool rest, and then turned the machine on. I put my gouge up to the wood and started rounding. The pine splintered a little bit (a lot actually haha), but I sanded the first leg down a little bit to see what it's going to turn out like. The legs are 24 inches long, so not too bad. Kind of just free handing them for the first time on this project. I started it in tech just to keep me busy for the last 18 days of school. But it should be a pretty nice finished project. So tell me gents?

What was your first time like? Nervous, Scared? Or did you Jump right into it like a champ like I did
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-18-2011, 09:23 PM
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Well I ruined a lot of wood on my first attemps. find some qualified instruction. It greatly helps reduce the learning curve and increases enjoyment of this great hobby. If the wood was splintering it sounds like you may have been scraping with the tool instead of cutting. Watch my video on using the spindle gouge to turn a wine stopper. It may help you understand how the cuts work. I'm going to make one using the spindle roughing gouge to turn a chair leg but haven't had time yet.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-19-2011, 08:59 AM
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Sharp tools and propper techinque are the cornerstones of woodturning, so like John Lucas said, try and learn both and you will be surpised at how little sanding you need to do on a piece when you are finished with the turning. What kind of tools to you have at your disposal to use? Youtube also has a ton of instructional videos you can look at to get a better idea of both sharpening tools and technique. Good luck, and post some pictures of the table when it's done!

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post #4 of 9 Old 05-19-2011, 10:07 AM
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I jumped right in as well ruining about 4' of a 4X4. It was fun. I did manage to get a couple little spin tops (can you still call them that if they dont spin?) and a weed vase. then I ruined 4 sticks of maple 5/4X5/4X12" well not ruined, but learned some stuff i guess. I love doing bowls and platters! I bought a chainsaw last week, One of my customers is a tree cutting service and he looks out for me and calls me up when he takes down stuff that I would like. the only problem is, is that everything he gives me is large and wet! I need to spend some more time researching slicing these logs up so I can use them. I hate buying blanks from $$woodcraft$$!!! I bought my lathe back in February and have turned some decent things thus far, but nothing I would put on display in a show.
Happy turning

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-19-2011, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slicksqueegie View Post
have turned some decent things thus far, but nothing I would put on display in a show.
Happy turning
You should post some pics of your stuff. I can tell you that the folks here are pretty supportive of newbies and their efforts.

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post #6 of 9 Old 05-19-2011, 10:26 AM
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You should post some pics of your stuff. I can tell you that the folks here are pretty supportive of newbies and their efforts.
I have and do, every time I make something I deem worthy of a shelf or mantle. lol
look in my pic section I think I posted some of them in there..

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post #7 of 9 Old 05-20-2011, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Well I just about finished my 3rd table leg today. The tools are really dull I can tell you what. I asked the teacher if he could sharpen one of the card scrapers in the tool cabinet once. I took it free hand on the grinder, eye'd it up, and said "mm, that's pretty good". Chisel sharpening in that class is just burning them up on the grinder, no sharpening stones or anything. A lot of the lathe tools are dull as well like I said. I'm learning a lot of out it, and having fun doing it. It's a nice break from making cabinets and cutting mouldings. When I get my own lathe I'm sure I'll be able to utilize these techniques a bit better. The lathe we have in class isn't so good either. The motor bounces around a lot and the whole thing vibrates. Yours looks like it's nice and smooth.. Not many kids in the class use it because apparently one kid is an ass and makes a club or something, and goes running around like a jerk swinging at people.. I was fortunate enough to use this piece..
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-21-2011, 03:15 PM
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Go to your firewood pile, grab some close to even pieces and make LOTS of shavings. You'll actually be surprised what some of the wood comes out looking like.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-21-2011, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locodcdude View Post
Well I just about finished my 3rd table leg today. The tools are really dull I can tell you what. I asked the teacher if he could sharpen one of the card scrapers in the tool cabinet once. I took it free hand on the grinder, eye'd it up, and said "mm, that's pretty good". Chisel sharpening in that class is just burning them up on the grinder, no sharpening stones or anything. A lot of the lathe tools are dull as well like I said. I'm learning a lot of out it, and having fun doing it. It's a nice break from making cabinets and cutting mouldings. When I get my own lathe I'm sure I'll be able to utilize these techniques a bit better. The lathe we have in class isn't so good either. The motor bounces around a lot and the whole thing vibrates. Yours looks like it's nice and smooth.. Not many kids in the class use it because apparently one kid is an ass and makes a club or something, and goes running around like a jerk swinging at people.. I was fortunate enough to use this piece..
How about some pictures?
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