So, Friday I had to drive my in-laws to Hamilton, which is right next to Burlington, which is where the Lee Valley store is. After I dropped off the in-laws, I went to Lee Valley with a shopping list. I got four Forstner bits, in the sizes needed to make a pepper mill, either the shafted or shaftless model. I bought a shaftless pepper mill mechanism, and a #2MT Jacobs chuck, as well as some candle holder rings.
So, I got home and opened the instructions for the shaftless pepper mill. First thing it tells me is that this requires a high degree of turning skill, which I don't have and forgot to buy at LV. I looked at the diagram, and figured I could make the cuts required, and even make a jam chuck to hold the body, etc. etc., but how do I cut the small rectangular groove in the inside of the body to snap in the 'legs of the mechanism? It looks like I would have to make my own scraper, as none of my tools, or the ones I see in the catalogue, will to the job. Maybe I should have bought the shafted mechanism.
So, today I turned a simple candlestick, 6" tall, on the lathe in cherry. Looks fine, but shows some evidence of a beginning woodturner. I parted off the top of the piece, and then put the Jacobs chuck in the tailpiece, and put a 7/8" forstner bit in the chuck. This I tightened into the top of the candlestick, and turned on the lathe. The drive spur turned, but the piece didn't. (I am stuck with using a Steb centre because of the type of HF lathe arrangement I have.) I stopped the lathe, and tighterned the tailstock. Now the lathe spun, turning the piece half-heartedly, and making some weak grooves in the top of the piece..I tightened the tailstock a little more. Now the darned thing wouldn't turn at all (on lowest speed.) With all this fiddling about, the steb centre made a neat, polished concentric circle at the bottom of the candlestick. I have decided to keep this as a feature.
I took the piece off the lathe, put the forstner bit in a hand drill and drilled the hole for the candle in the end of the piece. For some reason this took a long time. The 7/8" bit I was using was part of a set I bought in almost new condition for $20 last week. I don't think the quality on these bits is as high as I might like, but I did get a slightly off-centre hole drilled. I'll just tell my friends that my work is a little eccentric, like me.
Oh, the #2MT shaft was a pain to get out of the HF tailstock.
Now, is it most likely the lathe (not enough power) the spur centre (not enough grip) or the Forstner bit (not sharp enough?) Or some thing else. This whole experience is encouraging me to get another lathe. I have a #2MT four blade spur centre lying aroung that I would use in a lathe with a morse taper in the headstock.
Thanks for any advice!