Techniques Learned

My techniques are driven by three concepts:

  • Safety is a personal responsibility
  • Use and adapt what you have or can get hold of - don't be constrained by the intended or traditional use of an item, many other things can be pressed into service for tools, holding devices etc.
  • If in doubt, cheat - any method or technique is legitimate, because it's the end result that's important

I was worried that when turning this square blank, made from American Black Walnut and Canadian Maple, that the exposed edges could separate as twice on each revolution the end grain would be expoxed to the gouge. As a precaution I wrapped the whole blank in scrap wood so that no endgrain was exposed. I subsequently cut the waste material off on a table saw

   The key to carving is to keep your tools
   really sharp. Once they have been
   ground to shape I sharpen them on a
   wet stone grinder. Then I hone the to
   provide the final finish. When carving
   I constantly re-hone them to maintain
   their edge. That way I spend more time
   carvng and less time sharpening

When I first installed my chip extractor
I found that it was fiddly to open and
shut the waste-gates. You had to fiddle
with a screw each time you wanted to
open or shut the 'gates'

The solution I came up with was to
dispense with the screw, and install a
strong magnet in a small hole I drilled
in the housing. The magnet is attracted
to the steel 'gate' and is simply held
captive by the housing

Now where ever you put the 'gate' it is
held securely by the magnet. No fiddling,
no fuss, just put it where you want it and
let go - it stays there automatically

   It would be nice if we all had all the
   tools we wanted. But some can serve
   a dual funciton if we have a little

   Here I am using a Pillar Drill as a glue
   press. By putting a weight on the drill
   handle it exerts sufficient pressure via
   the chuck to hold the stack of blanks
   whilst the gue sets

   An added advantage is that the chuck
   and table are parallel

If you need easier access to a small job, consider an engineering accessory - here a morse taper extension is used in the headstock to provide greater clearance around the headstock to enable access for the skew chisel

It's difficult to see to pick up a cut inside a bowl, and you have to hold the gouge out over the lathe bed

Just run the lathe backwards and you can see exactly where the gouge picks up the cut, also your stance is much more comfortable too