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Thread: Big Blue's Last Job

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Kutztown PA

    Big Blue's Last Job

    Greetings all

    Some of you know, after eight years of faithful service, my Poolewood lathe is leaving for a new home. The new owner is picking it up on Saturday. I turned my last job on it this morning, a job that literally let the lathe go out with a bang!

    I had a customer call me earlier this week to ask if I could turn some 8" x 8" Douglas fir posts. They were short pieces, finishing out to 15" long, but he wanted some extra left on them for affixing them to the beams where they would be installed. I told him it was either now or the end of September, since that is when the Robust is due to arrive. He told me he wanted them round. How hard could that be?

    When he arrived with a measured drawing from the architect, I saw how hard it could be. The shape was simple enough, but they weren't exactly round. They had to have a square to round transition, requiring a pommel cut. Now, I have made pommel cuts by the thousand, and teach and demo them on a regular basis. But this was going to be the mother of all pommel cuts! The architect had specified a transition from the 8" square (7 1/2" actually, since this is dimensional lumber) to 5" round! Fortunately for me, he brought spares.

    The total reach for this cut was 3 1/2", accounting for the slight curvature. I got two done with my wee little 1 1/4" skew with the short handle I keep meaning to lengthen. But I blew two up as well, and of course, it was on the finishing cut for that very part, that cut where you look at the thing and say to yourself, "I'm going to take just one more cut and it will be perfect!"

    This is what perfect looks like when you don't quite get it. So, off to Woodcraft I went, and returned home with the biggest skew they had, an Alan Lacer model. I don't care much for the curved edge, but that is easy enough to fix. At any rate, a little honing, and I was able to complete the last post without any more bone jarring, blood pressure raising catches. I had these things on a faceplate, and the catch in the picture above was enough to bend every single screw holding the thing on. I was very happy that no damage was done to the lathe, only the wood and my ego.

    Thanks for taking a look.

    Bill Grumbine

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    Boy that does look like a lot of work!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Grumbine
    ..........."it was on the finishing cut for that very part, that cut where you look at the thing and say to yourself, "I'm going to take just one more cut and it will be perfect!"
    Boy ain't that the truth!

    Sorry to see the Poolewood go, but I'll enjoy watching you get acquainted with the Robust!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ain`t no skewin` around with that catch
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  4. #4
    OUCH! I just about scared myself looking at the picture. I'm sure I would have needed to change my shorts if I had been there!


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Kutztown PA
    Well the biggest scare was the fear of breaking something on the lathe just three days before the new owner comes to get it. I have had no reason to curse this machine, and it has always performed well for me, but the opportunity to move "up" to the Robust was too good to pass up. I will have more swing, more HP, more bed length, and a few other goodies which I am eagerly anticipating. You should have seen the look on my customer's face when I told him I was selling the lathe for a bigger one!
    Bill Grumbine

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Wisconsin Dells, WI
    I'll be waiting to hear all about the Robust.

    I've been looking in that direction also and have been wanting to take a ride to Barneveld to see one in person. It's only about 60 miles. If I do get one I can at least save shipping charges.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Central CA
    Bill....just how big of pens ARE you going to turn on your new lathe, hmmmm?

    That "catch" thing.........That's why I don't turn. I'm positive that I would end up with a lathe tool jabbed into some part of my body and end up with a dislocated shoulder, a broken bone or two and maybe even a new ear hole.

    Glad you're okay Bill.
    Thanks, Mark.

    Custom Bonehead.

    My diet is working good. I'm down to needing just one chair now.

    "Just think how stupid the average person is, and then realize that half of them are even stupider!" --George Carlin

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    Bill the catch looks like a one big'un. Sorry to see old blue go but happy you got the robust
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Bill, sorry to see the pictures of the catch, but on the other hand, it's reassuring to know it doesn't only happen to us amateurs. Congrats on a great new lathe, too. I'm jealous already, and you don't even have in in hand yet.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  10. #10
    Just curious, Bill, why don't you like the round edge on the Alan Lacer skew?

    Is a straight edge better somehow? or just personal taste?

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