Yesterday Mrs. TT and I traveled to the big city to finally get the stuff to get her lathe running. We spent about 2 hours in Woodcraft in Addison - a DFW burb - and that's a hard place to leave (with your wallet). The guys there were awesome. They said it's good we came on a Sunday, because if on a Saturday we wouldn't have got 2 hours of uninterrupted attention.
We also got all the stuff she needs to turn pens. At least that's what the guy told us. They were out of those pen presses but maybe I can come up with something for that.
Last night we both spun our first wood just to get used to using the tools. Man it is a pretty potentially dangerous undertaking. These are the two pieces we gingerly played with. I went first and spun that taller piece and she the shorter (and better looking) one.
So then I decided to throw a piece in to turn a bowl. The chuck I bought last year on sale did not fit on the lathe, so I have to get one of those. Since I couldn't turn a bowl I decided the piece would become a candle holder and she can throw some potpourri in the bowl part maybe. She liked that idea. I got too confident roughing out the bowl and snapped the rough gouge like a twig.
I figure I can take the gouge to a machine shop and have another tang cut into it, remove the broken tang from the handle and reinsert. I don't think I can cut that HSS with my bits or I'd chuck it in the CNC and do it myself. Better left to the metal spinner dudes I think.
This practice piece had a lot of pith and cracked so bad that I wouldn't sell it, so I figured this would be a good piece to see if I have any turning blood. It was a bad idea I soon found out. It's not a good idea to learn on defective wood. As I was turning out the hollow, the pithy wood gave way and dropped off the centers. I had reclamped it in this pic and was pushing the envelope (for a newbie). I eventually got the middle portion of the wall to the point I could see daylight through the pith cracks and figured I'd got lucky to get that far and better stop. The base had started to separate also.
You can't see it clearly, but I turned a fairly decent hollow on the underside of the top rim. I'm not going to chuck up a practice piece ever again. Too dangerous. Plus, knwoing my luck the best pieces would be the ones I cut out of a junky blank. I have a lot of questions but I'll save them for later. I think Mrs. TT will be trying a pen tomorrow. This turning thing is very addicting I can tell already.