Sunday, December 8, 2013

Anti-Hand Burning Device

As a spindle turner on occasion I have to turn something longer than should be turned between centers. This was the case last week when April made the spinning wheel and we had to turn a wool bar the was over 40'' long and only 1 1/2'' in diameter. Needless to say I almost burned up my hand trying to keep this thing from vibrating. It just flexed way too much.
 I am sure many of you have seen different ways to dampen vibration with a steady rest. There are several commercially made versions that cost more than I could rationalize. Making one seemed the only option. The first thing to come to mind is the old in-line skates that me and my wife purchased in the early 90's and no longer use. I can't believe we still had them. Gravity has made it unsafe for me to skate anymore and my hockey career never took off. So lets see what a steady rest looks like.
 The wheel come off easy with an allen wrench. I took off the spacers and a 5/16th bolt fits perfect. Next I mapped out my design on poster board and cut out the body out of 3/4 plywood.
 Some scrap wood and some hardware and I was in business.
 As you can see the adjustable wheel mounts are set in dados in the body. This keeps it lined up and strong. One wing nut to adjust and it stays very firm.
 I built the base so everything lines up with the drive centers on the lathe. One bolt to hold this in place.
 In use it works really well. I have several cant hook handles to turn which are 42'' long so now I won't burn my hand trying to hold out the vibrations.
 Last week I made a trip to Johnny Watson's farm in Dickson. He wanted to show me the wonderful hardwood forest he has. To my surprise it was covered up with these perfect white oaks. Johnny just became my best friend.
 Here is a shot of one of the sheds at Johnny's farm. He has lots of old tools that need handles. I guess that steady rest will come in handy.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Classes Offered for 2014

Here are the classes I will offer for this coming year. I may add to this later if needed. All chair classes are $1000 including materials unless otherwise noted. Turnings will be provided for every chair class. Lunch will be provided each day. Send an email to hold a class. I can take up to 4 students per class.

Jan and Feb classes are full.
March 10-15- Sack Back
May 5-10-Sack back
June 9-14 Continuous-Arm

July 7-9 Solid Wood Dovetailed Cabinet....$395   Cherry or Walnut included.
 August 8-10 Windsor Live Edge Bench.........$350 including materials
I will also be teaching this class at Marc Adams School of Woodworking  October 18-19
 November 9-16 Writing Arm (8 day class, longer if needed). $1650 including materials.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Spinning Out of Control

Everyone has probably heard of a spinning wheel but I bet few have used one and even fewer have made one. April asked me if I thought we could build this version of a spinning wheel. As usual without hesitation I agreed we could. I mean, why not? It's just wood, right? Right from the start I thought the biggest challenge would be this wheel but this proved to be one of the easier parts to this extremely advanced project. Don't get me wrong, I have really enjoyed this journey and have great appreciation to those that built these generations ago.
 Wheel assembled and cut out ready to be turned by my good friend Barry Werner(professional turner) who did a fantastic job. My lathe was too small and Barry is a perfectionist.
 Here is the grooves that Barry turned, sweet......
 I have to jump ahead because I did not take many pictures. April did an awesome job on the spindle turnings. There were lots of metal fabrication that we did. Nothing pre-fab here. Everything was made from scratch.This project has taught me a lot and I hope to make one for myself someday. I live next door to an alpaca farm so I could make my own socks.
 April seemed very happy with the results.Tonight  Ziggy and April have moved on to start their new life in Berea, Ky. I enjoyed having them in the shop again and look forward to seeing the finished spinning wheel on my next visit to Berea. Best of luck you two!