The Wood Lathe

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What an amazing tool. The lathe was pure fun. My hands were shaking once I finished for some time after turning two dowels. There was certainly a difference between the pine and oak wood. Every time I thought I had something smooth to work with on the pine it ended up looking really jagged along the grain. And it didn’t turn into butter like the oak did once you smoothed and rounded off everything.

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I started under the assumption that I wanted to technically follow the turning chisel layout and found the center of the wood using the center finder.

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Then, I hammered the drive center into the wood, and attached the live center, aligning everything by tightening the bolt on the left end of the lathe.

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Once everything seemed sturdy I attached the tool rest approximately to the middle of the material and in pretty close proximity.

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Because I assumed following the diagram would be the best way to start, I marked the parts I needed to lathe accordingly…

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only to quickly notice I wanted to experiment with shapes and see what happened. I liked the outcome. It sort of reminds me of a huge honey dipper.

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After using two grades of sandpaper, 400 and 220, I had a pretty smooth piece of lathed wood — and I was ready to see what oak felt like.

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Muscle memory helped me quickly place a new piece of dowel.

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And after about 25 minutes, I had something interesting I liked to use for a handle.

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The two pieces, unfinished, but taken off the lathe and ready to be varnished.

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