One of those never ending jobs…

And that’s what it’s turning out to be. Move this to move that. Put this here because I might need it. Put this here because there’s nowhere else for it to go. What’s this rack for? Do these fit in it? So it’s been a long day and it’s not over yet. But getting there! Most of the “extras” with the lathe came with custom racks, but it wasn’t always immediately obvious what some were for. It was like a huge jigsaw puzzle. But most are up on the wall now, and it’s looking a little tidier…don’t worry, it won’t last!

And while I’m here I thought I’d better upload the platter film to youtube…I got carried away at several points, and so it’s a flip book of related video clips rather than a continuous film. But then I couldn’t have uploaded a continuous film, so no harm done.

(may not be available for an hour or so…)

What a day…

Today was a real toil. The big lathe is far bigger than the pictures I posted a few days ago suggest. It’s monstrous.

Here she is still on the truck…

There were crates and crates of accessories and special tools developed by Bill for use with the lathe…a frame with a router for surface work, and things I haven’t the faintest idea what they do – he’ll tell me when he comes down to spend a day showing me what the lathe can do – and some of the largest turning tools I’ve ever seen. Most are 6ft long, and built to last. A ten foot extension bed which makes it into a between centres lathe…the mind boggles. There is also a specially made four-jaw scroll chuck which I bought along with the lathe. Here it is sitting next to an Axminster Super Precision chuck…

That should hold a blank!

The size of the lathe resulted in most of the day being taken up with a total re-think of the workshop, and moving things from A to B and back again. In order to get it in the workshop a little judicious removal of fittings, doors, parts of partitions, and skin was required. But I got there in the end by jacking it onto a dolly and slowly inching it into place. Here’s a shot of my eight-year-old daughter, Ellie, standing next to the lathe, holding one of the deep hollowing tools…

Sorry it’s bit blurry. I was balancing on a pile of burrs in order to get the whole lathe in shot.

And the burrs! Jarrah, Oak, Elm, and another Auzzie burr of unknown type, each so large I need a trolly to move them.

All that’s left to do now is find an inverter, put in a dedicated supply from the distribution board, wire it up, and stand back.

Oh…and sort the gallery and workshop out as they are both currently in such a state, filled as they are with crates, wood, and displaced equipment. Mount all the tool holders and custom brackets for all the peripherals, figure out what belongs where and why, and clear a space to the kettle. Another two days work I think. But I know it will all be worthwhile.

Last job…give it a name! Suggestions that do not include Bertha or Betty are welcomed!

AWGB AGM, toys & big lathe…

The big lathe is loaded on a 3.5T truck and is on its way as we speak. ETA 11pm! A friend is delivering it, hence the late arrival. He’ll stay overnight and we’ll unload tomorrow morning. As the load also includes 5 crates of accessories, a pile of giant tools, a 12″ four jaw scroll chuck, and a mountain of huge burrs and other assorted timbers, it’ll be like christmas. Can I hold off sneaking a peek under the covers before morning? We’ll see.

On Sunday I was at the AWGB AGM in Stow On The Wold. It’s a long drive from Suffolk, and a long day by the time I got home, but the AGM went very well, and I even came back with a new toy! Reg Hawthorne, AWGB Chairman, had had a Dave Reeks hollowing rig under a bench for ages and decided it could go on the tool sale stall at the AGM.

It never made it that far!

I didn’t really have time today, but whilst waiting for the glue on some gavels to cure I couldn’t resist having a quick go.

First impression after a five minute trial…it seems great. Easy to set up, use, and should be a boon.

It will take a scraper cutter at one end, and a ring cutter at the other, so should be adaptable. The build quality is excellent, and it seems robust and positive in use.

No more toys for a while now!

Lacewood Platter 2…

I couldn’t stand not seeing the big lacewood platter in the gallery; the space it left looked barren. So I made another from the same plank, although the design is slightly different, and it’s only 27″ as opposed to 31″. It’s only had one coat of oil as yet, and is still on the lathe, but you’ll get the idea.

I made a short series of videos as I was making this, and have now stiched them together. After a little editing for length and file size I’ll try and upload tomorrow evening.

You can see the dramatic colour variation that three years and many coats of oil made to the older version (see below in older post). Same plank, same oil…just three years on a shelf and more coats.

On the BIG LATHE front…transport is now organised and I expect it to arrive on Tuesday. All I have to do now is make room in the next few days! With commissions to complete, the AWGB AGM in Gloucestershire to attend on Sunday, that doesn’t leave me much time. But never mind.

All I need now is an 4HP/3KW inverter and I’m there…if you have one under a bench doing nothing, give me a call !

New (old) Lathe…

So here’s the spec…

can turn up to 2200mm dia, up to about 750mm thick. far bigger capability than VB36. will run from 80 rpm
 
4 hp, 3 phase. Runs through a 3 phase converter
 
Can turn on both ends of mainshaft, one end is 1 1/4″ BSW. the other end is 2 1/2 BSW, both r/h thread. Polarity change through main switch.
Loads and loads of special tools, jigs etc,.
And a tiny picture…

 And another…

All I need to do now is collect it!!! It’s mine!!!

But only thanks to Bill Harrison who designed and built the lathe, and offered me an incredible deal that was beyond generous.

And one last picture…

Can you tell i’m excited…?

And it’s over !…

Well it’s done. The tri-bowl in burr Oak was a challenge to say the least. The last bowl, obviously, being the most tricky to complete. But it is completed. It’s only had one coat of oil so far, and will have many more, but here’s a picture of the completed tri-bowl…

And because I now somebody will ask about holding it, and how much of the base was taken off to accomodate the holding points…

None of the base was removed! Well…it looks better that way, doesn’t it?

The bark is as it was. Brushed within an inch of its life to remove any loose pieces of bark, and then oiled repeatedly.

There was a range of opinion at the Craft Centre as to how it should sit. Naturally it drops at the end with the smallest bowl, and sits at an angle. I quite like it this way. Others thought it should sit with the upper surface flat. I decided on a compromise and turned a dome of burr oak, like a round-bottomed bowl sitting on its rim, which sits under the “thin” end and supports the tri-bowl. This way you have a choice…angled and natural, or supported and conformist.

These bowls are an enjoyable object to turn, but take time, a strong lathe with a low start speed on variable control, a safe counter-balance system, very sharp tools, and a patient approach (not someting I’m known for). If you intend to try one of these…start small, think about it for longer than you’ll turn, double all safety measures, and take your time. This bowl has taken two days to make, and will need to repay the effort and time. But if it doesn’t go immediately, that’s fine; it’s good to have at least one piece which sparks a conversation.