As some of you know, my brother-in-law is seriously into Viking re-enactment. He heads a pretty large group of folks with the same interest, and they're getting ready for a big event next weekend in Solvang, CA. Saturday I spent most of the afternoon and into the evening helping him and one of his Viking friends with a some last minute cutting and drilling for a couple of their tents. The friend brought along his eighth grade daughter, Sutton. She was a great kid...polite and genuinely interested in what we were doing in the shop. Not long after they got to my place, Sutton mentioned that they had a bandsaw like mine in the shop class she'd taken last year. (Which was a surprise, since I didn't know there were any schools remaining out here with woodshops. Apparently, her school is the lone holdout in their district.)
While my BIL and Sutton's dad were busy sanding on separate projects, my task was to make some tapered dowels to be used as pins for the tent frames. It's easy lathe work and I've made a bunch of these in the past...I simply chuck up a short (8" or so) length of dowel, support the end with the tailstock, and taper it from both ends toward the center. Cut in half, and I've got two tapered pegs. Anyway, after I got things set up, I asked Sutton if she'd ever used a lathe. No, but she said she hoped to get a chance to use the mini lathes in woodshop this year. You all can probably figure out the rest of the story. I'm pretty sure it's the first Hello Kitty shirt that's been worn in my shop.
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Since she's also a part of the Viking re-enactment group, Sutton was pretty happy about being able to actually make some things that will be used in their encampment.
And here's a couple shots showing what her dad did with a spalted alder turning blank I gave him a few months ago. This wolf head will be on a ridge pole above the door of one of the tents.
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The wood really came alive with a coat of BLO on it. I failed to get the "after" pics, but I'll get some next weekend in Solvang.