Prodigal Ponderings — woodturning RSS



Jet Lathe 1221VS Review

I’ve been a lathe owner for a little less than a year so I am in no way qualifying myself as an expert.  That said, I have created several salt and pepper mills and chess pieces that have received high compliments so I am an active lathe user.   Like many of my “turning” friends I started by purchasing a rather inexpensive 12” lathe from Harbor Freight.  If you have about $80 to spend (even less with a HF coupon) and want to see if turning is your thing, I highly recommend this route.  I burned this lathe out after a few months trying to drill center holes in my ginders.   So, after a few weeks of pondering and...

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Trying Something New

Once I began to hone my craft from hobbyist to woodworker, my friends began to take notice of the quality and creativity of my craftsmanship. With that came plenty of suggestions: "have you considered making.....?" Although flattered I have also become a realist who recognizes very quickly the limits of my skills or the time and effort that would be involved in trying certain things. As every woodworker advances we also become more aware of our own idiosyncrasies that we factor into any project.  I am one who gets distracted easily so simply making the same thing over and over again, no matter how good I've become at it, becomes less interesting let alone challenging. Enter new challenges worth tackling. One of...

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It's Not What You Make.....But How

I don’t subscribe to a lot of woodworking blogs because sometimes too much information makes matters more confusing rather than clearer. That said, I have subscribed to Paul Sellers blogs, as he is one of the real online pioneers (IMO) of woodworking. A recent blog post of Paul's called “Election Day” talked more about his woodworking ideology than about specific tools or products (https://paulsellers.com/2017/06/thursday-8th-june-2017/). In his blog Paul identified a certain passion that I immediately related to: the concept of “It’s not what you make but how.”  I don’t want to take credit for anyone else’s work so I encourage anyone reading this blog to check out his. That said, the concept of “how” over “what” is something that attracted me to...

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My Biggest Fan - Lessons of Life

Over the past several days I faced a familiar woodworker's crisis: one of my favorite tools, my lathe, quit working.  I had purchased an inexpensive starter lathe awhile back and put out several nice products including pepper grinders, salt shakers and French rolling pins. Now it was time for an upgrade.   Woodworkers love their tools and I’m no different. Many, like myself, also love the research involved before our next purchase; then there’s the weighing of price, practicality and performance.  This is where my #1 fan comes in.   My beautiful wife is not only my best friend but also my greatest encourager.  She knows me; she listens to me, and she pays attention.  As I was wrestling through my decision...

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