Today I turned a 3" pepper or salt shaker in the end of a 15" piece of Butternut. Everything went marvellously until I went to part it off. I had mismeasured the depth of the hole for the salt container, and cut into it with the parting tool, with dramatic effect. The shaker bounced off my shoulder and disappeared, and the long part of the workpiece scurried under the frame of the lathe and hid in a corner. The shaker itself cracked and a chunk came off the base, and it fell, appropriately, into my firewood box.
Now, I know the mistake I made with the measurement, and I won't do it again. I've parted off a number of things in my short turning life, but I'm wondering with a piece like this, which has a long straight span beneath the piece, couldn't I just take it off the lathe when I am finished shaping the end piece, put it into my table saw and cut it off at right angles? This is what I did to remove the stub from the long part, and it is perfectly at right angles. It would have saved me a lot of trouble if I did, and I would actually have a salt/pepper shaker to show off to my friends and adoring relatives.
Parting definitely makes me nervous, although I do it with an appearance of professionalism and insouciance. When I part things with my Benjamin's Best parting tool, it cuts nicely through the piece, but usually leaves me with a nub that I have to trim off. Is this normal?
OH, BTW, my sharpening must be OK, because I am definitely getting shavings from my tools, and not dust.