Woodworking And The Wood Lathe




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When moving from flat style woodworking like cabinet work and jewelry boxes to round work like bowls and pens, it appears that all that is needed will be a wood lathe and a few cutting tools. While there are many wood turning tools that could be gotten over the years, there are many other tools that are needed in order to explore the world of wood turning. Thankfully, many of these tools are already owned by the typical woodworker as are the skills to use them.
Wood needs to be prepared for the wood lathe. This begins for many projects with a log. One of the things that the typical woodworker needs to do when changing to work with the wood lathe is alter the way he or she thinks of getting wood. Instead of beginning with a nice, flat board from the local lumber dealer, a wood turner often starts with a felled log from the local tree surgeon or firewood supplier. The principle tool for beginning this procedure is a chain saw. Many woodworkers will have one of these for rough work and if not, an electric one will suffice for most needs.
Following the roughing of wood with the chain saw, there is the need to get it into reasonable shape for the lathe. This often means cutting it round or into long squares. One of the best tools for this is the band saw, owned by many woodworkers. It is also regarded as one of the safest saws in the shop and some would consider it one of the safest tools generally. It excels at long, circular cuts and with a bit of practice will do an admirable job at straight cuts as well. The fourteen inch band saw which will generally cut to a depth of six inches through hardwood, is a common feature in many woodworking shops. It is seldom that a wood turner will need a greater depth of cut but risers can be obtained for most fourteen inch saws on the market and they can be retrofitted to cut to depth of up to twelve inches.
Lathe tools need to be frequently sharpened. Some of the wood that turners like to work with will have lots of knots, included bark or grit from the felling of the tree. These conditions combined with the high speeds of the moving wood tend to quickly dull a tool. Most woodworking shops have a grinder used to remove nicks from plane blades and chisels and to reshape an edge before using whet stones to fine tune the cutting edge. Replacing one of the wheels with a fine grit aluminum oxide wheel and adding a sharpening jig quickly and simply turns the the grinder into a lathe tool sharpener and also allows its original use at the other wheel. The sharpening jig is not necessary but very nice and can be easily made in the home woodworking shop.
So the need for wood lathe tools for the home woodworker quickly becomes reduced to the lathe itself and the various cutting tools that may be needed. Many if not all of the other tools will be found already in the home woodworking shop. Of course, this is all followed by the enjoyment of learning new woodworking skills at the wood lathe and the continued pleasure of making new works in wood.

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1 comment:

  1. I liked this blog
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