My little princess fairy was off at her weekly ballet/tap class on Saturday, so I got an hour or so to head down to the shed for a tinker. Wasn’t enough time to start anything serious, but I did feel like making some sawdust and the tool that is most suited to that task is the lathe. You can be standing knee deep in shavings in no time flat!
On this day, I also wanted to do some spindle work, seeing as I had been turning a few bowls recently, so looking around I spied an offcut of Purple-heart I had kept for just an occasion. It was about 15mm x 20mm x 400mm or so. Squared it up on the tablesaw, then mounted it in the pin jaws of a Nova chuck, then onto the DVR with the Nova Livecentre in the tailstock.
Running the lathe at 1000RPM for a quick rough to round, then at 3000RPM for the remainder of the time, I turned something all good little wizards and princess fairies needs.
Not a particularly complicated design, nor even particularly fine on the shaft (has to survive a 5 year old’s use) Gave a little texture to the handle with a skew chisel, and used a cloth to friction-burn some details.
Interestingly, and perhaps Larry may have some more information on this point: The timber is currently not purple (it is straight off the lathe, and yet to see sunlight to change its colour), yet where I did a light friction burn (and before the wood went black), it has come up with the distinctive purple of purpleheart.
So what is the mechanism that changes purpleheart’s colour? Is it sunlight, or UV or similar, or is it simply the temperature?
And the reaction from the recipient? “Wow” “A fairy wand?” (a rather confused look appeared on her face). “Where is its star?”
Guess I should have anticipated that question from the shows she watches