Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Woodworking And The Wood Lathe

Make A Clock With Hidden Storage

When moving from flat style woodworking like cabinet work and jewelry boxes to round work like bowls and pens, it appears that all that is needed will be a wood lathe and a few cutting tools. While there are many wood turning tools that could be gotten over the years, there are many other tools that are needed in order to explore the world of wood turning. Thankfully, many of these tools are already owned by the typical woodworker as are the skills to use them.Wood needs to be prepared for the wood lathe. This begins for many projects with a log. One of the things that the typical woodworker needs to do when changing to work with the wood lathe is alter the way he or she thinks of getting wood. Instead of beginning with a nice, flat board from the local lumber dealer, a wood turner often starts with a felled log from the local tree surgeon or firewood supplier. The principle tool for beginning this procedure is a chain saw. Many woodworkers will have one of these for rough work and if not, an electric one will suffice for most needs.Following the roughing of wood with the chain saw, there is the need to get it into reasonable shape for the lathe. This often means cutting it round or into long squares. One of the best tools for this is the band saw, owned by many woodworkers. It is also regarded as one of the safest saws in the shop and some would consider it one of the safest tools generally. It excels at long, circular cuts and with a bit of practice will do an admirable job at straight cuts as well. The fourteen inch band saw which will generally cut to a depth of six inches through hardwood, is a common feature in many woodworking shops. It is seldom that a wood turner will need a greater depth of cut but risers can be obtained for most fourteen inch saws on the market and they can be retrofitted to cut to depth of up to twelve inches.Lathe tools need to be frequently sharpened. Some of the wood that turners like to work with will have lots of knots, included bark or grit from the felling of the tree. These conditions combined with the high speeds of the moving wood tend to quickly dull a tool. Most woodworking shops have a grinder used to remove nicks from plane blades and chisels and to reshape an edge before using whet stones to fine tune the cutting edge. Replacing one of the wheels with a fine grit aluminum oxide wheel and adding a sharpening jig quickly and simply turns the the grinder into a lathe tool sharpener and also allows its original use at the other wheel. The sharpening jig is not necessary but very nice and can be easily made in the home woodworking shop.So the need for wood lathe tools for the home woodworker quickly becomes reduced to the lathe itself and the various cutting tools that may be needed. Many if not all of the other tools will be found already in the home woodworking shop. Of course, this is all followed by the enjoyment of learning new woodworking skills at the wood lathe and the continued pleasure of making new works in wood.
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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Wood Lathe Safety Tips

The wood lathe is a powerful woodworking tool, and one that requires users to adhere to all safety procedures for injury-free operation. If you're not operating a wood lathe safely, it's not a question of if you'll have an accident, but when.Start with Safety GlassesAt the bare minimum, you must wear safety glasses to protect your eyes when working with a wood lathe or any woodworking tool. Wood chips have a tendency to fly around unpredictably, so eye protection is vital. For an extra layer of protection, don't stop at safety glasses; wear a face shield to protect your exposed skin from flying wood shards. You can get a face shield from any shop that sells wood lathe supplies. You may find that you have more fun using your lathe with a face shield, since you won't be swatting sawdust and chips away from your nose and mouth.
No Loose ClothingDon't wear loose clothing or jewelry when working on a wood lathe. These items can catch on woodworking tools and cause serious injury.
Wear a Dust MaskDuring operations that generate a lot of dust or wood particles, such as sanding, wear a dust mask to protect your respiratory system. For added protection, consider a respirator.
Check Your LatheBefore you turn your wood lathe on, you should examine it thoroughly to be sure all equipment is in good working order. Are all clamps secure? Is the wood lathe chuck properly seated? Consult your owner's manual for a list of safety checks to perform before using your lathe.
Be Selective with StockThe wood you choose can make a big difference in your safety. Avoid using stock with knots or obvious defects. Knots in the wood can jar your woodworking tools and potentially cause damage to the piece or to you as you work with the wood. Certain types of wood, particularly black walnut and mahogany, will dull blades on cutting tools quickly. Be sure to keep your blades sharp so that you're not forcing tools into the wood; this can cause serious injury if the lathe jams.
Rotate the wood by hand before you turn on the wood lathe to be sure it moves freely. If the stock is catching on the tool rest or isn't turning properly, don't engage the lathe until you've corrected the problem.Adjust the Tool RestMake sure the tool rest is in the proper position before engaging the lathe. The tool rest should be approximately 1/8 inch from the piece of wood that you're working. If the tool rest is too close, it can cause the stock to hang up; too far, and the tool can get ripped out of your hand and damage you or your shop.
Check Your SpeedLathe speed is dictated by the size of your stock and what you're doing with it. Larger stock should rotate more slowly, while smaller stock can rotate faster. Select the proper speed before turning on your lathe, and don't adjust the speed after the lathe is engaged.

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Introduction to the Wood Lathe Chuck

A wood lathe chuck can be an excellent addition to any wood lathe. A chuck allows one to turn smaller pieces of wood with a high degree of flexibility while avoiding the inconvenience supporting the wood with the tailstock.Many people use wood lathe chucks for smaller projects. They are an absolutely necessary tool for anyone who would like to turn wooden bowls or similar items.You can choose your wood lathe chuck from two different options. Three-jaw chucks center the wood in the lathe automatically and are well suited for symmetrical projects. That is because these chucks basically immobilize the wood, which means all rounding will be toward the true center of the wood. These are the lathe chucks with which most woodworkers first experiment. They produce great results, even though they are somewhat limited in what they can do.A four-jaw wood lathe chuck offers more flexibility. These chucks allow the lathe user to move the wood during the turning process. This allows the operator to create rounded pieces that are not necessarily symmetrical or centered. These chucks are ideal for those who are handling very specialized aspects of custom projects and for artists who do not want to find themselves limited any more than necessary.Suppliers provide three-jaw and four-jaw chucks in multiple sizes. A jewelry maker may find himself using a tiny, one-inch chuck. Meanwhile, a turner of a large wooden bowl may work with a chuck with a full two-foot diameter! There is a chuck for every project and every preference.Your choice of a chuck size must be governed by two factors: the size of the lathe upon which the chuck will be used and the size of the wood pieces you plan to turn. Before you purchase a wood lathe chuck, double check your lathe's capacity and determine the chuck's intended use. That will help you to secure the right tool for your specific needs.Lathe chucks can produce some amazing effects. Any lathe-using woodworker will be able to find a number of uses for these tools.At the same time, it is important to note that these devices are best managed by experienced lathe users. That is particularly true of the manually manipulate four-jaw chuck. Additionally, numerous accidents occur when chucks become stuck. Anyone using a wood lathe chuck should make safety a top priority and should know the proper procedure for handling a stuck chuck.If you are serious about woodworking and love your lathe, you can make it even more valuable, flexible and enjoyable by adding a three-jaw or four-jaw chuck to the mix. These

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Wood Lathes? - A Couple of Things to Think About When Buying a Used One

Wood lathes come on the used market in a fairly regular fashion and can be a great way to get a good wood lathe for the money. On the other hand some of the used lathes are lemons. Here are a few suggestions for the shopping trip.First of all have some idea of what you want to do with a wood lathe in your shop. If you are upgrading from your present machine then you have some opinions as to what things are needed. The novice buyer has a harder road to follow.There are two main ways to turn wood, spindle and face plate  Spindle turning includes such things and chair and table legs and is normal way to general woodworkers to enter the wood turning world. Making turned legs for a table eventually leads to making a table as an excuse for turning legs. Face plate work includes pieces such as round table tops, bowls and vases. Most people who take up face plate work desire to turn bowls and go from there.Most beginner lathes will be suitable for spindles and bowls. Older wood lathes used a system of working over the bed of the lathe for spindles and at the other end of the head stock worked "offside" for bowls and such. This required face plates and other materials to have "left handed" threads. In effect, the bother of setting up for outboard turning meant that most wood turners could not be bothered and settled for making the largest bowl that would fit over the lathe bed. Today's manufacturers often compromise with a head stock that rotates and allows for bigger pieces using the same holding equipment as over the bed.The problem that arises with this setup comes from lathe speeds. Generally spindles are turned much faster than face plate work. Large bowl blanks, if unbalanced as most are, can at high speeds shake a lathe apart; cause the lathe to walk across the floor; or turn the wood into a projectile. At slow speeds none of these occur. Six hundred rpm is just slow enough for a twelve inch bowl, but slower is better.So when looking for a lathe, get one that fits your preferred style of turning. For spindles a solid set of ways making up the lathe bed are important. Face plate lathes should be very sturdy at the head stock  handle a large piece of wood, and have a low speed. Remember that a wood lathe is a basic power tool and look for the finish and quality you would normally desire in a good tool.Wood lathes are a lot of fun in the woodworking shop. There are some great bargains on the used market and with a bit of insight, a used lathe is a wonderful way to get started in the wood turning craft.Darrell Feltmate is a juried wood turner whose web site, Around the Woods, contains detailed

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Wood Turning Natural Edge Bowl "Maple Burl"

Wood turning tips and projects and plans with Carl Jacobson. Wood turning basics on a Lathe with basic wood turning tools. Taking you from start to finish with a ruff piece of wood to your sanded and finished project with paste wax and mineral oil for a superb finish. Turning a natural edge bowl on the lathe.

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