Mounting the Longworth

Despite knowing the Nova DVR XP is a pretty substantial lathe, I was still a bit iffy whether the Longworth chuck I had picked up at the wood show would actually fit.  It wasn’t whether it would fit and be able to be spun up – being able to turn the DVR head outboard means the lathe can mount a huge turning.  The question was whether the outboard tool rest would clear the chuck sufficiently so I didn’t have to find an alternate tool rest.

disk-1

I needed have worried.  A 24″ chuck fits just fine on the DVR.  It is too large for me to be able to use the tailstock, but that is just the price I have to pay for such capacity.

The Longworth chuck design was inspired by Mr. Longworth from the Hunter Valley Woodturning Club, NSW, Australia in 1989.  One of those simple yet cool concepts (or applications of a concept) that makes you wonder why it took so long for someone to think of it.

disk-2

Still, turning a bowl that then justifies having it reverse-mounted in this Longworth (at maximum capacity) would be quite an experience.  Or should I say will be!

disk-3On the back is a simple metal disk to be held in the jaws of a chuck.  In this case, nothing beats the power of the Titan II chuck, with the power jaws to boot.  Seems fitting to use the most powerful Nova chuck to hold such a large aftermarket chuck on the lathe.

Looking forward to giving it a workout!  Will need the room of the new shed however – the chuck may fit the lathe, but the combination is too tight for the current space.

 

In the Buff

Polishing can be a real time-consuming process, especially for unusually shaped items (or at least items that are not flat).  You can resort to the old elbow grease and a cloth, but many solutions offer a mechanical way to move the cloth against the work.

Mounting a swansdown mop in a hand drill certainly works, and allows you to get into all sorts of places, or bring the mop to bear against a piece turning on the lathe.

What would be useful, is having a set of cloth wheels, each with a differing amount of softness so as you get softer and softer, and charging the cloth with finer and finer particles you can achieve a superb finish, irrespective of the shape or complexity.

And that is what I saw when I visited the Roving Reporter recently.  And so I ordered one of my own from McJing Tools, for a whole $80.

The contraption consists of a bar with a MT2 taper at one end (compatible with most lathes and drill presses), and a dimpled end at the other that can engage with a live centre.

Photo 13-08-13 8 43 52

Very easy to mount and remove as required, or left set up if you have a spare old lathe lying around. (No, I don’t mean to say I have a DVR sitting around spare!)  When I have the new shed up and running, this will likely be found mounted on a Jet mini lathe I have.

Each wheel is marked for the compound that should be used on it, and from left to right is tripoli, white diamond, and wax.  (In the picture below the white diamond and the wax have been swapped).  I suspect that white diamond doesn’t contain diamonds, but is a finer grade than tripoli, which makes it pretty fine!

Photo 13-08-13 8 44 09 Photo 13-08-13 8 45 33There is no speed rating supplied for the wheels, but I”d tend to say anything over about 1000RPM is starting to push it.  I tested it up to 2000RPM, and although it was fine, I suspect it would significantly shorten the life of the wheels.

There is a lock nut on one side (seen in the photo above) to stop the direction of the lathe loosening off the nut.  I tried the contraption spinning backwards (reverse on the lathe), and that worked well – might source another nut so I can have a lock nut on either end, so I can go forward or reverse as a please.

I didn’t have anything particular to test it on, so I used the underside of one of my scrapers.  Now I have a very shiny scraper!

Shed Archaeology

I couldn’t progress the pen making very far without the pen mill, and my scrounging didn’t turn it up anywhere.  Probably easier just to get another, and at the same time get one that actually works well.  The designs typically sold I find to be pretty ordinary – they are either blunt and cut so painfully slowly you are tempted to use extra pressure (which can result in chipping and/or burning), flop around inside the brass tube (despite apparently being designed for that pen type), and I can’t think of what other combinations of issues I have dealt with over the years.  Has anyone found a good one?

Heard of sandpaper versions, but not sure where they are sourced from (and what issues they have).  Think there is a definite market for a better way to square off the ends of a pen blank in line with the brass insert.

Standing at the lathe a bit later, in contemplation mode, and heard a familiar tick, tock.  The shed clock.  It was in another stack of crates nearby that I hadn’t looked through, so did the balancing act with them and went for a bit of a look.  Didn’t find the mill (but wasn’t really looking for it) – was hoping to find the tailstock of the Comet II (but it wasn’t there), but did find the other thing I was hoping to uncover: the Nova Titan II Chuck.

I previously thought I had found it, but that turned out to be a SuperNova2 chuck – fooled by the size for a second.  Once I saw the Titan, there was no possible mistake – it is bloody massive!  Will have a look around to find a suitable blank to mount up.

153659

Can’t wait for the day when I can start unpacking these boxes and crates properly, and rediscovering things.

While looking for a better mill, I did find this mandrel saver at Carroll’s Woodcraft.

planetmandrelsaverIt is specifically for pen turning, and doesn’t push on the end of the pen mandrel (which can cause it to bend slightly if too tight, causing an off-centre oscillation).  Instead, the mandrel feeds through the mandrel saver, which instead pushes directly on the bushings.  This means there is no need for the knurled knob either, and therefore no slippage caused by it being slightly loose, and no distortion of the mandrel.  Very interesting.  If the ends of the blank were milled correctly, getting the mandrel saver a bit tight shouldn’t be an issue, as the load passes through the first bush, through the brass centre, through the second bush and into the headstock.

There is a MT1 and MT2 version (both pictured).  Again, if anyone has used this and has an opinion, I’d be interested to hear.  I’m quite tempted to try it out myself in any case.  To now I have used a live centre with a very blunt point with which to engage the hollow end of the mandrel (a sharp point tends to wander, causing a similar issue as if the live centre was pushing too hard).

Wonder what other developments are out there?

Barley Twist

After finding a natural barley twist while holidaying in Queensland, Geoff has sent a couple of photos in of a barley twist lathe that he has acquired (but yet to use).

It is interesting to study, just to see how simple an arrangement it is, and with a little bit of work, pretty easy to duplicate – especially (but not limited to) those with Torque Workcentres.

It would be pretty easy to add this functionality to a real lathe (but NOT switching the lathe on!!!) A lathe with an indexing ring would be excellent for this

Barley Twist Lathe

Barley Twist Lathe

Barley Twist Lathe detail

Barley Twist Lathe detail

I’m not sure the drive mechanism for this lathe – it may be from pushing the router sideways, but I suspect you manually turn the black winder in the second photo.  In that photo, you can also see an indexing ring, which is essential for setting the workpiece to the next start location.  Depending on the combination of how far around the workpiece is indexed, the router bit chosen, and the setting for how fast the router moves relative to each rotation of the workpiece will dictate resulting effect.

A barley twist lathe can be regarded as a glorified Beall Pen Wizard (or is it the other way around – the Beall is a miniature barley twist lathe?!)

Beall Pen Wizard

Beall Pen Wizard

Back to Geoff’s lathe – I can’t see how the gearing is regulated, but I assume it can be changed.

So that is a barley twist lathe.  Do an image-search on Google for Barley Twist will reveal over a million examples of this ornamental feature being used in different projects, with varying degrees of success!  In some instances it is beautifully complementary to the overall object.  In some other cases, it has obviously been included without any understanding of how such an ornate feature should be used.

Wizards and Fairies

My little princess fairy was off at her weekly ballet/tap class on Saturday, so I got an hour or so to head down to the shed for a tinker.  Wasn’t enough time to start anything serious, but I did feel like making some sawdust and the tool that is most suited to that task is the lathe.  You can be standing knee deep in shavings in no time flat!

On this day, I also wanted to do some spindle work, seeing as I had been turning a few bowls recently, so looking around I spied an offcut of Purple-heart I had kept for just an occasion.  It was about 15mm x 20mm x 400mm or so.  Squared it up on the tablesaw, then mounted it in the pin jaws of a Nova chuck, then onto the DVR with the Nova Livecentre in the tailstock.

Running the lathe at 1000RPM for a quick rough to round, then at 3000RPM for the remainder of the time, I turned something all good little wizards and princess fairies needs.

A wand.

Purpleheart Wand

Not a particularly complicated design, nor even particularly fine on the shaft (has to survive a 5 year old’s use)  Gave a little texture to the handle with a skew chisel, and used a cloth to friction-burn some details.

Interestingly, and perhaps Larry may have some more information on this point:  The timber is currently not purple (it is straight off the lathe, and yet to see sunlight to change its colour), yet where I did a light friction burn (and before the wood went black), it has come up with the distinctive purple of purpleheart.

So what is the mechanism that changes purpleheart’s colour?  Is it sunlight, or UV or similar, or is it simply the temperature?

I know it isn’t very clear here – shot on an iPhone in bad lighting.

And the reaction from the recipient?  “Wow” “A fairy wand?”  (a rather confused look appeared on her face). “Where is its star?”

Guess I should have anticipated that question from the shows she watches 🙂

Be some time before she starts watching something with a bit more punch!

 

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