This is pretty simple stuff for experienced turners, but for the beginners it is an easy project that can teach the use of a couple basic tools and only requires some scrap pieces of wood. I made this in the garage this evening from a piece of Rock Maple left over from a baseball bat turn. Total time from first pic to sanded piece is 16 minutes and that includes taking the pics. I will admit though that this piece will be painted so the sanding isn't near what I do on my other pieces you have seen on the forum. Plus Rock Maple is so nice to turn, nothing like the large Honey Locust one I did right before this that took some skin off my knuckle on it's way to shroomdon.
I always cut the corners off my blanks to save time, wear and tear on the equipment and occasionally on my fingers. The starting size is just over 3 inches diameter.
At this point the only tool used was a roughing gouge specially ground to my preference. This could also be achieved with a skew, good practice for newbies. I don't normally mark my shrooms but have here to give an idea of where I will use the parting tool to define the cap, stem and base.
Here you can start to see the basic shape of the mushroom, proportion is important but remember real mushrooms can be found in all shapes and sizes so don't get overly concerned about it. All cuts here were done with a parting tool as wide as the center cut.
Here I have defined the rough shape of the cap with the roughing gouge. Again this will be painted so I am not concerned about the tailstock stub since it can be sanded off with the belt sander and final sanded by hand. I will trim it down more though before removing the shroom from the lathe.
Once again the roughing gouge was used to define the stalk. I also have undercut the bottom with a thinner parting tool to make sure the shroom has a level bottom to sit on later.
I have four different skews I use for final shaping and smoothing, three of which I have ground to differing angles to facilitate certain details. As you can see the tailstock stub has been cut down and the cap has been undercut and the cap edge reshaped. Although you can't see it, the base at this point has been turned to about 3/16 to 1/4 inch in the recess, it will be trimmed off with a carving gouge later.
This is the finished piece, trimmed and sanded, ready for my wife to paint. I'll get a pic of the completed shroom up when she gets done with it.
Hopefully you have enjoyed a peak into my daily therapy sessions and might have an idea what to do with those scraps of wood that usually end up in the wood burner. I must warn you though that these little buggers can be very addicting, it's how I have gotten the moniker Pa Mushroom Guy.