New pole lathe up and running

discussion of the niceties of turning on a bow, bungee or pole lathe.

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New pole lathe up and running

Postby rogerspianocat » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:30 pm

I finished my first pole lathe a couple of weeks ago and have found time to turn a few legs. Here's a pic of my first turnings. Right to left (for a change) the first thing I turned on a pole lathe was this dibber at the BB this year, under the guidance of Mike, or was it Mick? Next was a bit of chestnut I had lying around, just to try out all my new tools. That seemed to go ok, so I had a go at making a replacement leg for my sister's chair. Then two legs for a stool - ran out of time for the third, so I'll finish next week.

Image

The ash I used for these was felled about 18 months ago and has been lying in the wood since, but seems to turn ok, though it did feel quite dry when using the draw knife. Shaping those beads is rather fiddly, I think it'll come with practice!
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Re: New pole lathe up and running

Postby SeanHellman » Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:46 pm

Looking good, far better than my first attempts! The only difference between dry wood and green wood is the time it takes to turn anything. Beads just take practice, I found, at first, that if I fiddle to much trying to make them perfect all goes pear shaped and the dreaded dig in occurs.
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Re: New pole lathe up and running

Postby rogerspianocat » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:26 pm

Thanks Sean. I've certainly had a few digs, hence the beads are different diameters. Is the skew or flat better for rounding the beads? I found today the flat was slightly easier, but perhaps slightly more likely to dig in.
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Re: New pole lathe up and running

Postby jrccaim » Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:33 am

rogerspianocat wrote:Thanks Sean. I've certainly had a few digs, hence the beads are different diameters. Is the skew or flat better for rounding the beads? I found today the flat was slightly easier, but perhaps slightly more likely to dig in.


OK, heresy perhaps. Do a sacrificial piece. Or two or three. Use the tool that seems to do the best job. I find the skew marginally best, myself. But that's just me. If you want to do this for a living, consider grinding up a form tool. A form tool is just the negative of the pattern that you wish. If you are doing this (as I do) for its own sake, just experiment with what you have. I know. It hurts to throw a piece into the firewood pile. But if you don't experiment you don't learn :)

You can buy form tools (called sometimes beading tools). I wouldn't bother. They are made for the power lathe persuasion. Get a Dremel type tool and grind your own. As raw stock you can use a cheap asiatic tool. It will do for this purpose, especially if you hone it. Or even an old file. The file actually may be better steel. Roulette. Quite accidentally I found out that the screw-cutting chases I made for thread cutting are excellent beading tools! Old files strike again.
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Re: New pole lathe up and running

Postby rogerspianocat » Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:14 pm

Right now I consider all my pieces to be sacrificial! Or at least that they don't matter much - I rather expect them to go wrong in one way or another. Also, I don't mind too much if I make interesting looking firewood! I'll get lots of fun practice and then make a chair or 2.
Thanks for the tips.
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Re: New pole lathe up and running

Postby Susan Green » Mon Jun 27, 2011 10:42 pm

Hi, I'm very impressed with these first attempts, but I think you must have tried turning before coming over to the light as opposed to the dark side! i.e. powered turning. I spent months making decorative firewood, before daring to go on a course. Just did a demo all day at a church fair after 6 years and remembered what an attraction a pole lathe can be to the uninitiated. Quite a few did know about Bodgers, but some also thought I had a catapult!
Good luck with your new lathe, but tell me your secret.
Sue
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Re: New pole lathe up and running

Postby rogerspianocat » Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:37 pm

Thanks Sue. 30 years ago (Oh Godddd!!!) I did A level woodwork, and I turned 2 bowls then, but haven't done any turning since. I studied loads of utubes abd tips on this forum and watched people at the BB before I started and I've been doing some spoon making for a few months, but that's all. Just enjoying it - going back to the wood tomorrow, so I'll do some more. Can't wait!
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Re: New pole lathe up and running

Postby rogerspianocat » Fri Jul 01, 2011 7:47 am

Been practicing my beads. Image
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Re: New pole lathe up and running

Postby rogerspianocat » Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:35 am

And now I've started on a new bowl lathe. Pics here http://www.flickr.com/photos/rogerspian ... 508738869/ and I'll add to the set as I progress. I've got as far as the bed so far, legs next then poppets, I think. Sharif let me have a go on his bowl lathe with his home made hooks and a lump of cherry a few weeks ago and I can't wait to turn some more - I've ordered some steel to make some hooks. Here's the cherry bowl I made at Sharif's place Image
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