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post #1 of 13 Old 02-12-2009, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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Howdy! I just probably spent 6 hours trying to join woodturnersresource.com and failed the whole process. I even created 4 new email acounts because they rejected 7 email domains. Then I registered here, and ...well...here I am! It took less than 6 minutes! I love you people already. I just found out I am losing my very, very good paying job and now have to return home to New Mexico, so I am going to start working on my art again until the economy picks up, I find another job, or my art starts doing well again.
Now the good stuff. After research and pondering I have decided to buy a machine. I will be taking logs from wherever and puting them on the lathe and turning them down into very beautiful lamp bases. They will range in length or height from 14 inches table top to 50 inch tall behemoth floor lamps. I will need to drill a hole through the core as well for wiring, or more likely running an 1/8 inch npt pipe (3/8 hole) through it for hardware connections and conduit. Of course bowls and other things will be made as well, but the lamps are the focus.
All indications are leading me to the Jet 1642 with a 20inch extentsion. I need to run 120v because of wiring limitations and it made the most sense for my needs. What I really need help with is tool selection, and maybe some other tips on actual turning, but right now I just need to get the basics going. I know nothing about the knives or gouges out there. I do know I will need one or two monster rough gouges for basics. The rest I just don't know about, like what other chucks and stuff will I love having?
Someday soon I will be passing on this advice I seek, but for now how about it? Any input? What are the essentials?
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-12-2009, 11:28 PM
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Welcome to the forum Jerry Nelson. Sounds like you are going to a busy man. We love pictures on this forum.

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post #3 of 13 Old 02-13-2009, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the welcome Handyman, I will certainly get pics once I move back to NM. In the meantime I am reading up on and asking for help with selecting tools.
Geat threads here, particularly the one on making tools that includes the great toolmakers! First thought I had reading was about what to do with the big rasps I have for shoeing horses. I have a feeling I will be hand-forging sone basic tools out of them.
I have so much to learn...
Jerry
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-13-2009, 07:39 AM
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Welcome Jerry! You'll find that this is a great forum and it's full of varying opinions and advice . It's all very helpful whether it's good or bad. You'll also get good info on ("How too" questions)and where to buy tools and supplies for your woodturning needs. So welcome and good luck.
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-13-2009, 07:49 AM
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Jerry Welcome. I would also recommend 2 other sites to answer your question. www.woodcentral.com go to the turning community, http://www.aawforum.org/vbforum/index.php This is the American Association of Woodturners forum. These two sites have a ton of knowledgeable people and won't take any time to join.
If your planning to turn the lamps from logs you need to read up and learn a lot about working with green wood. You can't just put them on the lathe and turn them or your customers will be very upset with all the cracking as they dry. Do a search on Amazon. com for green woodturning or green woodworking and you will find some information.
When I started turning lamps I used dry wood and glued it up to get the thickness. This lets you cut a groove for the wire instead of boring the hole. You will find drilling holes longer than 36" is really difficult.
Good luck with your endeavor. By the way therea are some really good turing clubs out there who are more than willing to help you out. Go here and look up a club and visit.
http://www.woodturner.org/community/...alChapters.asp
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-13-2009, 07:58 AM
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Oh, I meant to add, you are lucky. I have a job but it doesn't pay much. They are discussing possible layoffs and my position is one being considered. I don't have enough money in the bank to last more than a few months, moving isn't an option because my house would probably not sell and don't really have anyone I can move in with so I'm sweating a little. I think I'm secure for now but if the economy stays down they will have to get more aggressive with cutting staff. So even though you have lost your job it sounds like you still may be able to make ends meet. many people aren't that lucky.
The are talking about privatizing the custodial staff at our school. That would mean laying of the custodians. They are worse off financially than I am and it will destroy some of them. Why is it the administrators can make such a callous choice. They all live in comfortable homes and all this recession means to them is not buying a new Mercedes this year. I can't believe it would save enough money by privatizing when you still have to pay a company to do this. Lay off a few administrators and vice presidents and put their salaries toward this.
Sorry, I'll get off my soap box. I need to get back to what I do best which is woodturning.
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post #7 of 13 Old 02-13-2009, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much. I really appreciate the welcome and tips.

The wood I use for lamps have been downed and dead mesquite found in and along the washes in southern Arizona, and I have a small pile of them stacked up in a friends yard. They all have worm holes and gnarly grain and are just beautiful once into the heartwood. I will have issues with sand grains here and there, but usually a good blow from the air hose helps a lot. Before I was using a 4 1/2 inch grinder with a chainsaw wheel to debark and shape them, then a 40 grit disc, then finer...finally using the da sander to get it smooth. I was also drilling 35 to 40'" through them with little problem using a 3/8 bit welded to 1/8" (3/8 od) pipe. not the most accurate, but as long as it is centered on top and doesnt come out the side I was happy. I now have a drill press that will get me started so the hole will be better in the future. I know, pictures help. Once I get back to NMex I will get this all going and pics will be on their way, 2-3 weeks.
Finding the wood is probably my favorite part of the whole process. I take my horses out and explore national forests and ranches and wherever its legal to ride and look for the wood. I either drag what I find with a horse, or come back to it later with the truck and a chainsaw. I also use old/antique barbwire to weld lampshade frames together and lace leather to them. I promise I will get pics later.
Money...I'll be out of it in 4-5 months I think, so I am motivated to do something productive. Lets pray the fuel prices dont skyrocket. The lamps are unique and the designs will dramatically improve from what I was doing before.
Thanks everyone, Jerry
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post #8 of 13 Old 02-13-2009, 11:41 AM
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Welcome to the madhouse..

Looking forward to your projects.


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post #9 of 13 Old 02-13-2009, 12:48 PM
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Jerry Sounds like your headed in the right direction. A lathe would speed up the process but only if you want basically round columns. The angle grinder allows you the freedom to shape them anyway you want. The biggest problem will be marketing them. You need to find a niche and fill it. In my area there is only one guy selling lamps. They are short squatty things turned out of burl or wood with other unique character marks.
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-13-2009, 11:25 PM
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Jerry,
Welcome to the forum. Hope everything goes well with your move. The lamps sound interesting. I would check out the sites John gave you, that is good advice. Have you done any turning prior to this? I have a jet 1642, no extension. I also run it on 110v and have no problem with doing that. It is a good machine and should do what you want. My only comment at this time would be that if you haven't done any turning, I would try and find a local turning club when you move and get hooked up with them. Even if you have turned before, the clubs are a good hands on, in person type resource that tends to shorten the learning curve.
Mike Hawkins
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post #11 of 13 Old 02-14-2009, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks boys, I did look up the local groups and found one that meets at Albuquerque Woodworker's Supply the first Saturday of each month. I hope to catch the next meeting if I am able to. It is an hour and a half drive from home but well worth it and I have a sister in town.
Nice to hear about the Jet lathe, Mike. I am not completely sold on the extension yet, but found one for less than $200. I am looking forward to turning some pieces and will find a bunch of scraps at a buddies shop for practice bowls and vases. As far as turning tools I have been finding info on the "Doug Thompson's" and seem to be the best as far as steel and longevity. Any thoughts?
It has been a couple decades since I have turned anything but remember the touch and of course the safety factors. I enjoyed it very much.
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post #12 of 13 Old 02-14-2009, 06:17 PM
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Jerry I own a half dozen Thompson tools now. I hardly use my other tools now. I think his tools are a best buy right now.
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post #13 of 13 Old 02-15-2009, 12:13 AM
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The AAW national symposium is Albuquerque this June... be sure you see this 3 day event.
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