A bright turning – A Table Lamp

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The lamp is yet another turning as my lathe addiction grows.  🙂  This was a challenging, but fun project.  There are actually three turnings total for this project.  The first is the main body, the next one is the base, and finally a small turning that is used to attach the electrical components.  All components were made from maple that has some (but not much) ambrosia figure in it.  The finish is boiled linseed oil and a furniture paste wax.

The lamp’s main body was made for four 3/4″ boards laminated together.  The two middle boards had a groove routed down the middle of them stopping an inch from each end.  The idea being that after turning the main body, that I could drill a hole from either end that would allow the wire to run through, and attach the electrical components.  The BIG mistake I made was I didn’t mark on the boards where the grooves were so that I could see where they were.  I just assumed they would stay center enough for this.  However, after glueing up the four boards, then jointing the edges, as well as trimming the ends, some how those groves became off center.  Not enough to ruin the final turning, but just enough that they weren’t useable.  Luckily  I was able to find a drill bit that I already had that was long enough to meet in the middle, and was able to finish the drilling on the drill press.

The base of the lamp was turned from a rough 4/4 piece of maple.  I flattened it on one face with the jointer, then straightened one edge.  I wasn’t concern about squaring up the piece, just so I had a good edge to cut it to length on the miter saw and attach to the face plate.  I roughed out the round pattern on the bandsaw.  Once on the lathe, it was no problem getting the piece perfectly round and getting the face opposite to the faceplate parallel.  Since this was a flat piece, with grain running perpendicular to the lathe, using spindle gouges was out of the question.  The only turning tool I was able to use for this was my scraper.  The main body had a large tenon, so I drilled mortise into the the base to accept the main body.  Then I drilled a hole through the side of the base to allow for the electrical wire.

The hole at the top (and bottom for that matter) of the lamp body was 5/8″ in diameter.  I needed a reducer peg so that I could put a threaded nipple into it.  So I turned one to 5/8″ then drilled a hole just over a 3/8″ in diameter.  The 5/8″ main hole was big enough to allow the nut and washer to fit, so it made attaching the threaded nipple a breeze.  Before I glued in the reducer peg I attached the nipple to it.  I SHOULD have ran the electrical wire through it first, as it would have been much easier to get pushed through.  I didn’t but after a bit of rigging, I was able to get the wire pulled through.

The electrical components were for the most part were taken from an old lamp that was falling apart, though I had to buy a couple pieces from Lowes.  The lampshade was bought from Target.

My wife is delighted to have it now.  The room we have it was always a dark room because of the large brick wall for the fireplace.  Having the additional light in the room makes a big difference for the overall lighting in the room.



Turnings 3, 4, & 5 – Marking Knives

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I am getting ready to take a class at my local Woodcraft to learn to how to make hand cut dovetails.  Most of the tool requirements listed I already owned.  One of the exceptions was a marking knife.  I decided to give it a try at making one.  I bought a couple pen blanks of Brazilian Cherry as I really liked how the finish came out on the hand plane tote and knob.  Alas the first attempt at the first knife ended in disaster.  When I went to drill the hole for the blade tang, the piece split all the way down.  Bummer!  So I started over, and once I got the handle turned, I drilled progressively larger until I got to the size hole needed.  After epoxying in the blade and playing around with it, I realized the blade was too short and way too wide to be practical for marking dovetail cut lines.  I decided to try again, but this time used some scrap cherry left over from the chisel rack.  This is a much narrower handle, for a much narrower and longer blade.  This should be much better suited for cutting dovetails.  The last one was made as I had made an experimental blade before doing anything for real.  Even the it is beveled for a lefty and I am right handed (oops) I decided to make one more handle for this one.

Also, I made the blades from a demolition reciprocating saw blade, which is about 1/16″ thick piece of metal.  I used my Dremel to cut the metal, and grind and belt sander to do the shaping and beveling.  I then sharpened them like I would any other blade.

Turning #2 – Hand Plane Knob

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This was for a plane restore that I discuss in an earlier blog post, which can be found here.  I actually bought a bowl turning blank that if I recall correctly was a 6″x6″x2″ piece of Brazilian Cherry.  The purpose of using a big piece like that was so I could get both the tote and knob from the same piece of wood.  I cut a 2″x2″x6″ piece with my band saw.  Had I done this today, I would have cut that piece in half for another turning project.  But I still was real confident about getting the sizing right so I used the hole piece.  The finish on this is boiled linseed oil and several coats of shellac.  I was MUCH happier with the finish on this piece then I was on the last one.

My First “Practical Turning” – A mallet

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About this time last year my Dad gave me vintage Delta lathe, that I have figured out to be the Delta Double Duty 955.  It came with a lot of worn out turning tool, all of which were too small to be practical.  I still have them, but they do not get used much.  So that I could start the process of learning how to turn, and learning how to sharpen turning tools properly, I went against my rule of not buying cheap tools and bought a very cheap set from Harbor Freight.  I still take much flak for this today.  🙂  The sad thing is, they work better than even I thought they would, and I am still using them today!

After turning several pieces of wood into saw dust, I decided I would try something small, but potentially practical.  I had just completed the purchase of my chisels and decided I could use a good chisel/carving mallet.  I wasn’t really ready yet to try spinning a big piece of wood, so I made a small one.  A very small one.  🙂  So in reality it is too small to be practical, but someday I may have a use for it.  It was turned from a 1.5″ x 1.5″ x 12″ piece of maple turning stock.  It was my first attempt at finishing on the lathe, and I had not yet found the joy of using boiled linseed oil with shellac.  I ended up staining and putting a poly finish on it.  The finish ended up burning on the piece.  If any thing, it made a neat effect.  🙂