For this week’s assignment we used the wooden lathe. It was my first time using it. I had bumps and frustrations with it at first, but eventually came to enjoy using it.
I bought a long dowel/closet rod from the hardware store. I then measured 10 and a half inches to make sure it would fit on the lathe.
I then cut the dowel according to the measurement using the miter saw.
I then put the dowel into the lathe and started turning it. When I attempted to use the chisel on the wood, the dowel came out and hit me in the chest. This happened a couple of times so then I asked Jim, my classmate for help. He told me that when using the lathe, the dowel needed to be strongly indented into the metal piece that turns, otherwise the metal has nothing to hold onto. So I hammered the metal piece into the wood very strongly and this made a huge difference. I noticed that the deeper the indent, the better it turned. however, I will say I was a bit spazzy and that indent is not quite centered…oops.
While I was turning this time, it was a lot better but every so often the dowel would come out again and wack me in the chest. I started to get a bit frustrated but remained patient in trying to figure out what was going on. After being wacked a few more times, I remembered that in class, Ben said to have your finger on the control jig. I realized that with my hand far away from the turning wood, I was essentially poking the wood with my chisel, causing it to pop out, rather than carving it with my chisel. Once I did that, I had more control of the chisel and it worked! The dowel didn’t wack me in the chest anymore!
The Final Result, Pre-Sanding
Final Result Post- Sanding
I decided to finally try the wax lathe for the first time.
The Incorrect Way
When I first tried using the wax lathe, I had a feeling I put it in incorrectly because it was making weird noises. I then called John and he looked at it and it seemed fine to him. So I took this picture to make sure I put the lathe in the same way the next time. However, as I was turning it, Ben was in the shop and he told me it was the wrong way, and because it was backwards, the screws were actually coming out, and that was what was making the weird noise. Not only was it backwards, but the metal piece in the left picture, while used for the wooden lathe, needs to be taken out for the wax lathe to work.
The Correct Way
I then took a picture of the correct way so for next time, I know what not to do, and what to do.
Overall, I am happy how it came out. I wasn’t going to include the tip at the end of the handle, and to be honest I wasn’t quite sure how I would chisel that, but I followed my instincts, and the feel of the lathe, and it worked! I had fun maneuvering the chisel and playing with it to get my desired shape.
However, there were a few things that I wish were better . First, the metal piece of the lathe drilled deep into the top of my handle and so that is why it is a bit chipped. Ben said that perhaps if I would have used stronger wood, this wouldn’t be the case. Second, there is a section on the handle that wasn’t absorbing the wax from the wax lathe. Ben said that it looks like it needed to be sanded better and if I did that perhaps the surface would be smoother and more able to absorb the wax, and better wood quality would have helped too. Last, I notice some uneven parts of the handle, closer to the top area. I’m not sure how to make it more even. Perhaps measuring would help and maybe once I become more familiar with the lathe I will learn how to prevent bumps or uneven chisels.