laminations on the lathe

I managed to fit in about an hour or so at the lathe between work and dinner last night. Was going to try to whip up a couple Christmas ornaments. Was pleased to find my chisels waiting for me all nice and sharp.

I had some pretty grand ambitions for the weekend, but should have know better. I haven’t turned in a  while, and need to get back into the groove. Last time I found myself at the lathe I was experimenting with things off the firewood pile that seemed to good to burn. These almost always ended up splitting or checking – So I decided to try my hand at some scraps left over from stair spindles. All were primed a gloss white finish, but the cross section revealed that some were made up of 1/8″ plys of pine, while others were solid maple? (I think. They are similar to what is sold as craft hardwood at the local arts and craft stores). The wood was totally dry, so I was sure that whatever I made wouldn’t later break on me -(at least not from natural causes.

The first attempt was a chrismas tree shape out of laminated stock, turned well, fairly smooth, but tore out, and all but popped off, when I cut too narrow at the top. There was a hole drilled up trough the center deeper than I thought. I could probably salvage the piece with some creative patchwork or design change…

My second attempt was from a longer, thinner piece. Also laminated. I wasn’t really aiming to make anything, just see what this piece would allow. (Ended up making a short spurtle.) Surprisingly the glue lines seem to blend with the grain and the effect belied the man-made composition of the lumber. I’m anxious to play around with some design variations and see what else I can come up with. – if anything I might get some use out of all those pallets and other scrap lumber I cut up today for kindling.

I’ve already glued up a block of cedar clapboard scraps. Not sure what will come of it, but I’m sure it’ll smell fantastic while I’m working on it!


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