Checks and Reveals

It may seem like only a few hours ago that I started the article, transforming some firewood into potential turning blanks. However, for me it has been quite a bit longer, so it is time to finish the article, part 2!

My plan for one of the blanks is a bit of a vase shape. How it finally ends up is still to be determined, in part when the wood tells me what it wants to become.

Step one is to mount the blank between centres. It isn’t ideal, but there is little option until I can get a chuck on it. I could have drilled a hole with a forstner bit, then used a chuck in expansion mode to lock onto it. However, whichever method is chosen, it is time to turn the tenon to mount into contracting chuck jaws.

Hard going- no matter how tight I wound in the tailstock- lots of slippage. A spur drive would have been good, but I needed a bigger one than my current offering. However by using sharp chisels and taking it slow, I was able to get to a point that I had a tenon that the 130mm jaw could lock onto, and from that point things became significantly easier.


I didn’t want to turn the final shape using the 130mm jaws – not powerful enough for the size of vase I was planning, so I used the 130mm jaws to drive the work while I turned a second tenon on the other end for the 75mm PowerJaws.

One thing turning does in spades, and that is generating sawdust – great mountains of it. Now I have easy access to the dust collector controller, I am much more likely to use it, and so what I have done is rig up the “Big Gulp” under the lathe. It doesn’t catch much at all (most shavings fly back at me, rather than conveniently towards the collector). However, by having it on the ground still means that as the sawdust pile grows, I can kick it towards the collector.

Once the 75mm tenon was turned, I mounted the PowerJaws on a second SuperNova2, and spun it by hand to ensure it was inline. Satisfied with that, the piece was reversed and the 130mm jaws removed. The tailstock then bought up to provide additional support. This is a perfect example where the new chuck aligning insert by Teknatool would have been perfect.

I took a parting tool and defined the limits for the turning, taking into account the checking from uncontrolled drying. The piece was then shaped, sanded, and finished (I will probably do a bit more to the outside, so ‘finishing’ was as much to do with seeing what the timber was going to come up like as it was about making the job easier at the end.


Once it became a problem, it was time for the tailstock to be removed, so the piece next to the tailstock was also pared away.


Rather than try to chisel out all the core, I decided to drill out a significiant portion of it. I had trouble holding the work strongly enough with the PowerJaw on its own, so this was really the only way.


After boring the very core, it was time change up to the forstner bits. I had to choose a bit with a larger diameter than the headstock, so the drill chuck could fit inside the hole so I could get a decent depth of cut.


So that is where it is at the moment- with a decent hole cut, ready for the next stage.

2 Responses

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