Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Second Turn

After recently exposing myself to the risk of a bite from the infection woodturning bug; shortly after completing the first repair job, I was contacted again by the same customer, with a request to return to my lathe and produce a second strut for his chair repair. You see, while attempting to fit the replacement, he somehow, inadvertently managed to break another strut!

Screw Thread?

Looking closely at the broken end, you can see what  appears to be a thread cut from a screw… I haven’t seen the rest of the chair wit my own eyes but, as most woodworkers know; screwing directly in to end-grain (following the long grain of the wood) doesn’t offer the strongest of bonds and can lead to the separation of the fibres.

If someone was looking to reinforce a loose mortise and tenon joint, I would advocate the use of a dowel pin; through the side of the leg and in to the side or edge of a tenon. However, that’s not for me to debate in this instance. My primary concern this time around was sourcing the blank from which to turn the replacement…

...Is this blank big enough?!?

Last time, I happened to have a single offcut of sufficient diameter and of a reasonable length. However, they never come in pairs! The only other I could find this time was less in thickness than the finished diameter or the old spindle I was to replicate. I didn’t fancy trying to glue two pieces and so, not without great hesitation, was left with the option of cutting in to this great lump; over three-times the length of the original. At the time, it seemed more convenient than going off somewhere to try and find some more beech; on a weekend, as well.

In the end, I removed 500mm from the length and then, over on the bandsaw, sliced off a 45mm blank from the edge closest to the heart. It came from the end closest to the camera above; avoiding the bark and sapwood visible on the left-hand edge.

Removing the corners (arrisses).

This time, as opposed to the last; I chose to knock the four corners off (arrisses) on my newly-positioned planer (jointer). With the fence titled at 45°, you can see a large gap below that and the lowered infeed table. It is possible that I could still have set the fence lower than how you see it above; this machine’s still quite new to me. For a wide board, this wouldn’t be a problem but, for something narrow, it was difficult to get a positive registration… Not that the bevel angles are critical at this point; my only intention here is to save some time and effort on the lathe.

Old and New - for the second time!

I don’t recall any major mis-haps on the lathe. It seemed to take less time than the last one, which is good. My tools were still sharp enough from before and my only minor error was that I perhaps spent a little too much time sanding over the V-grooves, as they’re now not quite as deep as they were when I cut them with the skew chisel. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this until after I’ve parted the blank from the lathe. At which point, it’s rather difficult to refine them any further… I did attempt it using the corner of a card scraper but, I soon realised that I wasn’t getting anywhere very fast with that thought.

This one was also damaged at the other end. So, where the tenon was still in tact, a failure elsewhere in the construction of this ‘mystery’ chair resulted in the large gouge that you can see above. I guess glue can work too well, at times!

I’m sure I’ll get back on the lathe again at some point. After all, I do have plenty of ‘turning blanks’ in the ceiling joints overhead! More immediately though, I must press on and get a router table back in to my workshop so that I can get back to working with wood in the familiar flat and square. Less of the round, for the time being at least! 😛

Thanks for reading.

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One response to “Second Turn

  1. Sarah 25/04/2012 at 10:35

    I’m so glad your submitting to the ‘dark side’ (woodturning!)… it’s obviously strong with you if you felt obliged to dig in to that great chunk of Beech.. I say give in to the dark side and get nice plates and bowls to eat from….!

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