New Toy!! – Lathe

img_20161208_2342021I have been wanting a lathe for a very long time.  In fact since I started working on wood projects a couple years ago I have been looking into finding a cheap way to get or build one.  I really didn’t want to pick up a broken one on Craigslist to rebuild and I also didn’t want to make one out of a drill like I have seen others do on Youtube.  There really is nothing wrong with either of those options but I wanted my first lathe to be new, pretty, and powerful.  The wait was TOTALLY worth it!  My parents got me this one for Christmas this year and I absolutely LOVE it!  They went above and beyond also.  I got the biggest (12in x 33in) lathe with the reversible head stock.  My list of projects I want to do have just tripled!

As much as I want to jump right into making large and complicated stuff, I decided to start with the smaller things like pens.  One thing I was warned about when starting pen turning is that it can get a bit expensive just to start.  This is absolutely true.  Even with the cost of the lathe aside the additional tools and parts that you need can quickly add up.  I probably spent more than I should have to get started on this but I was just too excited to wait.  Also I figure I can probably sell some pens to make up some of the cost.  Even if I don’t sell any I can make some pretty cool gifts.

img_20161209_0136511I picked up most of my starting tools and materials from Woodcraft.  They had a pack of really nice wood blanks on sale also.  I also picked up a pen kit.  I wanted to start with something simple so I chose the slimline series but I didn’t want it to be too plain so I grabbed the stylus one.  For my first pen it turned out pretty darn good!  There are a few flaws and things I could have done if I were going to sell it but I never intended on selling my first one anyway. The  flaws are very minor but I just want the pens I sell to be as close to perfect as possible. When I was turning it I didn’t make it completely flush to the other parts.  I also didn’t sand and seal it as much as I could have.  Again these are all very minor and I still love the pen.  I also learned from it so the next ones I make will be a lot better.

img_20161211_2101021A couple days later I went to Rockler to pick up some more exotic woods and pen kits.  I also picked up a mesh sanding kit along with some CA Glue to get a better finish on my pens.  When I came home I turned another slimline pen to give to my dad.  That one turned out a lot better when it comes to making the parts all flush.  I still had a little trouble with the shine but I really like how it turned out and my dad loves it!


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