Acquire tools over time is a way to increase you abilities to turn. Not all equipment is necessary, but many tools and pieces of equipment will improve you abilities as a turner.
Economical Ways to Expand Your Chisel Collection
Even general woodworking tool companies, such as Woodworker’s Supply have over 100 different turning chisels. Suppliers which specialize in turning tools, such as Packard Woodwork, or Craft Supplies each have over 300 different chisels! Why are there so many types of chisels? Which ones do you really need? Last time, I wrote about tools for getting started in spindle turning. I mentioned that there are five chisels that you need. Remember that in spindle turning, the grain of the wood is always parallel to the axis, and its orientation does not change as the work turns. The attack is always downhill, and the cutting action is always across the grain. This dictates that we use shallow gouges to scoop out material across the grain, and skew chisels to slice the end grain off cleanly.
Making a tool rest
Most turners make do with a limited number of tool rest because of the expense. Once you start making your own you discover the proper tool rest can make life a lot easier. Actually it is not a difficult or expensive venture. It is not necessary to have a welder as you can take the pieces to a welding shop or muffler shop and they will do it at a reasonable price. Since I do professional turning I often need special fixtures and tool rests so I used these needs as an excuse to take a welding course at the local junior college for $60 and buy a very nice stick welder from a neighbor for $200. After the wife spent $1500 at the vet I bought a Lincoln 195 MIG welder as a consolation prize. Now I wonder how I lived without a welder. With all the different tool rests I have made over the last four years even with buying the welders it is cheaper than having them made.
Getting Started with Turning - The Equipment
In the last couple of issues of WPP, we've had a couple of projects from Kevin Ley that required a lot of turning. Now, if any of you are tempted to try the art for the first time, you might be wondering what you need to get started. So, ever helpful as we are here at WPP, we are putting together a series of articles on how to start turning, the equipment you need, how you sharpen it and how you use it. This will then lead nicely into a series of small projects which we will introduce you to called Turning by Numbers.
Grinding the Fingernail Grind on the One-way Wolverine System
I was amazed at how clean of a cut they were able to accomplish with just a gouge, no scraping or sanding. Well after extensive research and years of training, I can confirm they can still accomplish the same with just a gouge. Since I wanted to learn how t use the fingernail grind in my woodturning, I needed to learn how to grind this profile. After all, if the grind isn't consistent, you will have great difficulty in learning to use it. What we are here to talk about is how to grind the fingernail gouge and how to do it consistently. I am going to assume that you know how to use a grinder, and that you have properly installed a One-way Wolverine grinding system and that your grinding wheels are true, faced and in good working order.
We built the pictured drum sander for about $44 in parts. The unit is operated by the lathe motor, can be removed easily and is quite compact. The specifications we give are for a sanding unit to fit a Jet midi lathe. You will have to modify the dimensions to fit your particular lathe and the diameter and length of your drum. The base plate, tilt board, and side plates are all made from ¾ plywood—Home Depot sells ¼ sheets at a reasonable price, and one quarter sheet was enough for our unit. A 9 inch width for the sander frame was about max for our lathe.
Turning wooden bottles/boxes just got way easier. The Beall Treen Mandrel is ingenious in the simplicity of its design. That design, executed with high-end materials and super precise machining makes turning small, thin-walled boxes simple and safe. Even intricate, snug-fitting lids suddenly became easy to create with turning tools I already had. The Beall Treen Mandrel works equally well on full-sized of mini lathes. I turned nearly all of the bottles/boxes during the evaluation on my JET Mini Lathe. I turned one bottle/box on my full-sized lathe just to be sure there were no problems there and there were none.
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