Starting out on a lathe

This is a comment I made on the Australian Woodworking BB in reference to giving turning a try- thought it would be good recording it here as well.

You can still do some pretty acceptable work on a $99 GMC lathe. May not be the highest quality lathe, but for the occasional turning job for toymaking, it may be all that you need, and isn’t a large outlay.

If you find that the bug then really grabs, no real loss if you upgrade.

Grab a (small) lump of wood, jamb it on the lathe, grab a chisel and give it a try. (The U shaped one ) 5 minutes (literally), and you’ll start to see how it can aid your toy making ventures. Do a little more practice each time – even if it is just turning a block to round.

You will discover what not to do very quickly, but also find that there is success pretty quickly as well. (Then years to master it, but the rest of us can still get something useful out of it, even without really knowing what we are doing).

Borrow some books from the library, perhaps a DVD or two.

In the end, like all our tools – you don’t learn by having it sit in the corner gathering dust.

Episode 26 Safety Week 2008 Introduction

Introduction to Safety Week on the Wood Whisperer Network 2008

A quick introduction and discussion about personal safety equipment, not only using it, but ensuring that the solution actually works for you so that you actually use the equipment when needed, rather than leaving it sitting on the shelf as being too cumbersome or uncomfortable to bother using.

Also too – the first (brief) look inside Stu’s Shed 1.7 as it continues to undergo its physical transformation.

Episode 25 Sharpening Series Watercooled Grinding Stone

This episode looks at watercooled grinding stones, such as the Triton, Scheppach and Tormek. In this instance, a $A199 Triton Wetstone Sharpener is used to produce an edge on a plane blade of HSS.

It also happens to be the last video shot in the old shed, so a bit of nostalgia there!

 

Sharpening demo at Carbatec

Carbatec are going to be running a sharpening demonstration morning on Saturday April 5 from 9:00AM until 1:00PM.

They’ll be demonstrating a a number of different sharpening products and methods, including

Tormek, Veritas, Japanese waterstones , DMT diamond sharpening tools to name a few.  The demo morning is free btw.

If I have a chance, I’ll definitely be heading along.

Anatomy of a Saw Blade

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The saw blade – irrespective of how good the saw is, how flat the table, how rigid the fence, if your saw blade is substandard, everything else is cheapened. The blade tends to be somewhat overlooked (ok a bit of a generalisation), as it just seems to keep going and going and going. What it is however, is a series of tiny chisels. A hand chisel gets looked after, cleaned, sharpened and stored correctly, and the saw blade should receive the same attention.

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These days, the blade is often laser cut from high carbon alloyed steel, with the cutting edge being a Tungsten Carbide Tip (often a Tungsten-Cobalt alloy) The tip is very hard, but brittle, and is brazed onto the body of the blade. It is used because it will retain its edge for about 10 times longer than steel. The width of cut (the kerf) is primarily the width of the Carbide Tip, although there are other factors that come into play. In general, the kerf is 3mm, but there are also thin-kerf blades which are good for minimising wastage, and to get better performance out of lower-powered saws.

Click here to read full article

Today’s the Day on Ebay

A bit of an era draws to a close today (although it is a bit of a soft ending). My Triton 2000 Workcentre and 2400W Triton saw will sell in a couple of hours time. Feeling a bit nostalgic about it.

Back in Christmas 2001 when my wife and I were married, I had a lathe on the wedding registry (little thing, but unbeknownst to me at the time, it was the key to a massive door that had been there in my periphery since almost forever). So I had this lathe, and I needed a bench to mount it to. Around our new property (bought 6 months earlier) there were a number of redgum sleepers, and I thought a couple of them would make a great lathe stand. I did have a handsaw, but no circular saw, and this was the justification I needed to head down to Bunnings and get one.

In Bunnings, I had long admired (from a distance) these amazing orange tools that looked to be for the professionals – workbenches that I hardly recognised what they were for (in hindsight, they would have been a Triton 2000, a router table, superjaws etc). But they looked GOOD.

So I went to get a saw. Dad’s had an Hitashi for a long time – serious looking tool, and so I had an idea of what I was wanting. While there, going through all the models, one that stood out was an orange beast – 2400W, 9 1/4″ blade (price tag to match), but it dawned on me that one day, I might, just might get one of those cool looking workbenches, so I might as well have the saw that matches. Boy, was that a good call.

Got home with this thing, and if you know me, you know I love toys (uh…..tools), and this thing looked mean. When I took it to the sleepers, I was in shock – it sliced the sleeper like butter, and that was it, I was hook line and sinker into Triton at that point.

Click here to read full article

Finishing

After spending time planning the job, spending good money purchasing the wood, etc etc, why would you then not spend the time getting the finish right?

A bad piece can’t be made good by getting the finish right, but a good piece can be wrecked with a bad finish.

I tend to find that you need to spend as much time on finishing (sanding, polishing etc), as you do on the construction of the project. And unfortunately, some areas of the project have to be bought to a reasonable degree of finishing before assembly, as it becomes very difficult to reach some places after assembly.

If you want a woodworkers ‘Bible’ on finishing, get “A Polishers Handbook”, by Neil Ellis. Read it cover to cover, twice, then keep referring back to it- there’s heaps to learn, and it is chock full of information

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