Tuesday, July 28, 2015

One Good Turn

Today, I was able to turn the machine on and make a test cut. I haven't added the sand ballast yet, so I thought there would be a lot of vibration. It runs pretty smooth as is. With the ballast it should be rock solid. One thing that I discovered was that the tool rest needs some fine tuning. I am not able to get it close enough to the work when doing smaller diameter turnings. I will bend an offset on the steel rest or make another, if I have enough 3/4 bar stock. I am sure I will be making additional rests, as time goes on, for bowls and other special jobs. As it is, I am quite pleased with the lathe. Tomorrow, I will finish the cover for the sand box with some oak trim and fill it with sand. First, I have to clear out a semi permanent home for it as it will be too heavy to move with the ballast. I still have to make the spindle lock but I am waiting to see how well the wooden handles work on the tail stock lock and the tool rest. I've cinched them down pretty good and there doesn't seem to be any danger of them breaking. The handle that I made to lock the tool rest to the bed proved to be too bulky. It was clumsy and the long handle made it very hard to  adjust the rest and lock it down. I replaced it with a large knob. I made it by taking a piece of oak and scribing a circle. I laid out for 8 holes on the outer edge. Using a 3/4 hole saw, I cut the holes. The blank was rough cut on the band saw by cutting from the center of one hole to the next. I put it between centers on the small lathe and formed it to the finished shape. I whacked the handle off of the old lock down and glued the knob to the remaining stub. Much better. While I was at it, I made two brass strips for the tool rest base so it doesn't get scarred up. The brass against the oak really looks nice. I wish I had bought brass for the ways after seeing how pretty it looks. My anal self says, "Do it." My practical self says, "It looks fine, leave it alone."

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