Friday, February 24, 2012

Back in the saddle again...

Last night, I was able to go back to my woodworking class!  Hooray!!

And, this is what I did.

Are you stumped?  Well, let me explain - I "turned" wood.  Isn't that exciting?!!!! These started out as blocks of wood that were about 1.5 x 2 x 6 inches.  I attached them to a small lathe that looks something like this:

TurnCrafterPlus Pen Turning Lathe

Those pointy things in the open space in the middle hold the block of wood.  You have to try to center the ends of the block as you tighten it.  When you turn it on, the block spins.  Then, using  different shaped chisels to scrape wood off the block, you shape the cylinder.  The chisels looked something like this:

Mini 5 pc HSS Wood Turning Chisels Set

In case you're interested, here's a link to a YouTube video showing a large piece of wood being turned to make a candle holder.

It was really fun, and frustrating, too!  I did the piece with all the "beads" first.  The instructor had set everything up for me and then just let me practice using the chisels of varying widths and depths.  I set up the second piece - and then spent a really long time trying to get the block into a cylindrical shape.  Finally, I asked the assistant in the class if I was doing something wrong.  He worked with it and had the same problem I'd had.  Then he realized that the block wasn't stuck tightly enough onto one of those pointy things and it wasn't revolving like it should!  Once he fixed that, it was quick work to scrape off the hard, flat edges and get the cylinder.  By that time though it was time to clean up and head home.

So, I know you're asking "And, just what does she plan to do with this new knowledge?"  Well, even if you're not asking that question, here's what I'm planning.  I think it would be really exciting to be able to turn big, chunky blocks of wood into beautiful bowls and candle holders.  But, I'm going to start off on a much smaller scale.  Next week I hope to make a pen!  You've seen them, I'm sure.  Beautiful, hand-crafted writing pens.  

Can't wait to try it!

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