Monday, June 20, 2011

New methods for fast drying green bowls for turning.

                I started an experiment today. While getting ready to start my own shop one thing I keep reading in forums is how to dry green bowl blanks. These methods by some turners can get very strange indeed. The one account of a turner sacrificing a chicken to the turning gods and doing a dance was real weird. Ok so that one is just a joke. We do have everything from the bag and wait a year method to soaking in a soap solution overnight. You have 50 ways to just bag a green bowl and another 50 ways to guess when the piece is ready for turning. Then we can also make a kiln of sorts or just stick them on a shelf. The one that interests me the most is the Denatured Alcohol method and the soap method. I will be dealing with the DNA(Denatured Alcohol) one for now.
                DNA has properties which remove and shed water from wood. The issue with DNA soaking is that first off is the price per gallon of about $15 to $25 a gallon. The price is not a huge problem if it was not for the fact that we have to replace every so often. So in my experiments I will be trying different chemicals to achieve the same results for under 5 dollars a gallon. That is my goal anyway. I set up 6 large mason jars one with DNA in it and the other five with different combination of chemicals that I feel will do the same job. I have placed pieces of wood from the same tree in the jars. I will allow them to soak for 24 hours and then remove and then document over a week what each piece of wood does. Please feel free to leave comments and HAPPY TURNING.

Friday, June 17, 2011

JET 1642

               The Jet JWL-1642EVS appears to be a awesome lathe for the hobbyist or even for the professional turner. Woodworkers love to have the biggest and the best tool for the job. The JET 1642 looks like it can do the job without breaking the bank.
                Lets look at some of its features. It comes in 2 different models. One has a 1 1/2 hp motor and runs on 110v. The other has a 2 hp motor and runs on 220v. They both weigh in at over 400 lbs which will greatly reduce vibration. With a swing of 16" and 42" between centers it will handle most turnings. The 3 phase motors gives it the ability to have variable speeds from 0 to 3,200 RPM. The low RPM of this machine is a most if you are wanting to turn large out of round blanks.
                I would like to hear from people who have this lathe or who have used one. HAPPY TURNING 

Spot for woodturning shop.

           Ok I have picked a spot to build my woodturning shop. I will be adding onto a little shed I already have. I then will enclose this. I will add my rough draft in a day or so.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grizzly G0698

            For my shop I have decided to get a Grizzly G0698 18" X 47" wood lathe. Through my search for a lathe I started looking at the Jet 1642 and I liked the features of the lathe but I was having a real hard time justifying the cost of one for my first lathe. I ran across the Grizzly and the specs match the Jet 1642 almost perfectly but its bigger.
                The Grizzly has a 2hp motor and electronic variable speed control. It weighs a massive 547 lbs so hopefully it will not be bouncing all over my shop. I can't wait to be able to review it in person.
                If anyone has one can you please leave a comment about it for me thanks. HAPPY TURNING.

Types of lathes

               Picking out my lathe has been one hard decision. I would find a lathe model then pick it apart on the forums. During this time I  still had not figured out what type of woodturning I wanted to do. Was I going to do spindles, bowls, pens, pepper grinders, ect... Since I am setting the shop up for this to be a hobby I will try them all at least once. Now to the different types of lathes out there.
                Pen lathe is usually pretty portable and has a swing of around 2 inches. This type of lathe is very specialized since it is ideal for turning pens(hence the name pen lathe).
                Mini lathe these usually have a 1/2 to 1 hp and a swing of 6 to 12 inches. Most of these lathes can only turn a spindle 16 to 20 inches long but most can have a bed extension added so you can do most anything with them.
                Floor lathe  are your big boys with a 1 to 3 hp motor, a 10 to 20 inch swing, and can turn a 33 to 60 inch spindle. These units weigh a lot more than the mini's and have a much more rigid tool bed for the more serious turners.
                In each type of lathe you have a wide variety of lathes and features which I will talk about later on. You will have to also keep in mind to your budget. HAPPY TURNING.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Beginning woodturning budget.

Woodturning on a budget can be frustrating but with some planning and bargain hunting you can get what you need to get the job done. We will be looking at all aspects of setting up a shop and the tools we want to put in the shop.
                Lets start with our budget. I am going to build my own shop but if you have a garage or a basement to work in you are already on your way to getting started. I am going to get my shop started for under $8000. I already have an assortment of tools so I do not have to buy everything but we will get to tools later own. First I had to decide what type of turning I am going to do in my shop. Now this is a loaded question but there is a simple answer(I want to turn everything). I want to turn pens, 3 foot tale vases and round table tops. So now that we have that straight let's move on and plan our budget.
                I have decided on a lathe that will cost me about $1500. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is that your lathe will only be half of what you will need to get started. So I will figure in another $1500 for accessories for the lathe. That leaves me with $5000 that sounds great but now let's go through a quick list of other tools I will need. Chainsaw because I do not want to buy blanks $350 for a gas powered one and $100 for an electric one that want wake neighbors. Table saw so I can do segmented woodturning and no shop would be complete without a table saw $500. Band saw is on my wish list, for now I will be looking for a good used one of these that can cut at least a 16 inch blank. Then we come to all the little stuff, screws, sand paper, finishes, wax, hot glue gun, straps,  ect......... $500. $3550 left to build a shop, I wish it was that easy. I am going to give myself $3000 to build my shop. I am sure that $550 extra in my budget will find a home somewhere else before I get done.
                Keep in mind that this is my budget and yours can be extremely different than mine. I am trying to get tools that may not be the best but should get the job done and should be big enough that I will not want to replace them the next day. HAPPY TURNING!