Sunday, February 5, 2012

Small diameter turnings-part 1

Hi Everyone,
Well, since everyone seems preoccupied with the SuperBowl today I thought I'd do a little work in the wood shop and get away from it all for a while.

One of my goals for this year is to develop a method for making small diameter boxes (<1" in diameter) and now that I have a drill press,  I can do more precise drilling so I thought I'd give that a whirl today.

I had a small piece of 2x2 red oak and I cut off two pieces, the top and the bottom sections and I also decided to cut off a small piece of copper pipe to use both as a sleeve and as a method for keeping the two pieces together while I turned the whole unit on the lathe:

Next, I marked the centers on each end of each piece of wood:

Then I drilled a hole in each piece with the new drill press:

Then I tapped the copper sleeve into what would become the bottom piece and proceeded to put them together--if the top and bottom match up, I'm declaring a major victory...

...and viola!! They don't match up at all...sigh...

I tried to make each piece match up  and I turned the top around but no luck. The wretched thing isn't going to work.

But I decided to try and turn it anyway, both to see if the top and bottom would hold together while I turned it and simply out of a forlorn hope that the project might still work out.

Here is the top and bottom on the lathe between centers. You can really see how the pieces don't match up:

Here is the box after it's been turned for a few minutes:

And here are the finished pieces off the lathe. Another potential addition to the firewood box:


While I have made a number of large diameter items on the wood lathe, small diameter turning are still something I haven't much experience with and as precision becomes more of an issue with small turnings, I am going to need to do more measuring and stop relying on doing this type of thing "by eye." And the drill press and I need a lot more practice (and a drilling vice wouldn't hurt either) in order to precisely center the holes.

Ok, we'll chuck this one up to absent wood angels who are probably getting ready for the Super Bowl instead of watching over me in the wood shop.

Next project: salt and pepper shakers.

Thanks for dropping by and I don't know about you but I'm watching Downton Abbey tonight!!!


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