The Day I Became a Woodturner

Oh, it was a happy day!

My instructor is Skip Ingley, also known as my DH, AKA University of Florida College of Engineering 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year (I mention this so that through my filial bias I do not appear to be the only one who believes he is an awesome teacher). Leading up to this hands-on adventure, we watched LOTS of DVD’s featuring great woodworkers like Jimmy Clewes, Alan Lacer, Paul Sellers, and other masters who make it look so easy and fun!

We began with terminology: I must learn to identify the names of the tools and parts of the machines and their functions.

The Jet Lathe, DH’s Father’s Day present

The tailstock

The headstock

The Banjo and Tool Rest

Now, I am going to get one of these wood remnants, which are pieces of what used to be a 2×4.

Poplar or birch wood remnants

Next, I attach it to the spindle by pricking a little hole in the center of both ends of the block with an awl so the drive center mechanism can grab it and turn it.

This is another block he’d been working on, shown “speared” by the tailstock revolving center for a tight hold

The headstock drive center has a little tooth on it to attach the other end of the block.

To make this square peg a round one, I will use the Roughing Gouge.

roughing gouge

skew

I liked using the skew chisel most of all. I learned to use it for planing cuts and peeling cuts.

planing with a skew chisel

peeling cut in between two parting cuts

In planing, I am moving the skew down an area of the block, evening out the rounded surface. In peeling, I am digging into the block to cut out a portion of the wood. Cool as heck! The smell of wood is invigorating. The hum of the spinning spindle is an agreeable one. I can see why the wood shop can be an enchanting place to hang out. Before I became a woodturner, it just seemed like a large, disorderly storage area.

Now I try out the parting tool. It makes a straight (if you don’t tilt it) deep (if you dig in far enough) cut, the width of your blade. You can make two parting cuts and then peel or plane between the two.

parting tool

Or you can make a parting cut with the intent of severing one part of the piece from the rest of it.

contentedly rough-gouging

I will probably practice on that pile of 2×4 remnants before I take on a real project. We have discussed a honey dipper (definition #1, lol), a spirtle, a candlestick, or a little vase for dried flowers (weed pot) as a possible first project. Which of these, or another project, would you choose?

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ethgran
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 17:54:58

    Love the wee weed pot on the right – cool piece of wood. With all this new found talent, are you up for a bit of knitting tonight?

    Reply

  2. jenyjenny
    Jun 21, 2012 @ 06:54:03

    Hopefully next week!

    Reply

  3. Tina Hutchins
    Jun 21, 2012 @ 16:27:16

    Looks like great fun. As the “wo-man of the house now” I recently had to get out the chain saw and take care of a downed limb – all by myself. I saved you/Skip an approx 18″ section of oak – if you want it.

    Reply

  4. Stephen Hughes
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 11:03:26

    I can understand the addiction!

    http://woodworkshop.wordpress.com/

    Reply

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