Friday, March 13, 2009

Baby Rattle from Start to Finish

Sorry for the washed-out quality of some of the photos; it was dark in the shop! This is some scavenged wood that we think is Southern Red Oak.

Rounded and starting on the captive rings.

One captive ring done and one halfway there! I tried some new tools - a $1.50 package of tools that look like those scrapers dentists use to get the plaque off your teeth. I had heard somewhere that dentist's scrapers were decent tools for parting the last little bit of a captive ring. Well, I'm not a big fan. My tools were very soft and they are rather misshapen now after the beating I gave them on the lathe. Apparently cheap tools really don't work all that well ;)

Now I have three captive rings and am shaping the top and bottom of the rattle. I caught my skew in the top when it was nearly finished, so I had to take off quite a bit of wood to get it right again. Bah. I still like the way it turned out.

And done! I finished it by sanding to 220, burnishing it with shavings, and then coconut oil while it was still on the lathe. It is very pretty, very smooth, and perfectly safe for my friend's baby to stick in her mouth.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

From start to finish: Bump hairstick

This is how the wood started: As, well, wood! My husband and I asked our neighbor if he wanted the giant log in his front yard gone, he said yes, and we took it. I believe this type of wood is Southern Live Oak, though it's hard to tell without any leaves to go by. At any rate, it's white, hard, and still somewhat wet, which makes it easier to turn.

This piece I have here was chopped by the chainsaw and then ripped by the table saw. I didn't do this part; my husband did. He likes making blanks, and I like turning them!

Appropriate safety gear is a must! Safety glasses to keep my eyes safe, a dust mask to keep my lungs healthy, and a do-rag to keep the dust out of my hair.

Then the blank is mounted on the lathe. I am going to make it round with this roughing gouge.

Ok, it's been rounded!

Now I take my measuring tape (which is ever so conveniently stuck to my cast iron lathe by the magic of magnetism) and mark off one-inch segments. These will be the bumps.

With my skew chisel I go and take out the material I don't need between the bumps, then make sure the bumps are fairly good-looking. I'm not going for perfection; just something consistent.

The unexpected figure in this wood really highlights the bumps!

The bumps are done; now to sand. I started with 150 grit, then moved to 220 and finally 400 before I parted the tip.

If I had a chuck I would stick the tip back in and part off the other end, but as I don't, the hacksaw works just fine - and then I smooth off any imperfections on the grinder you see next to my wrist.

And done! I made two today - the one under my thumb is the live oak one and the other, I believe, is cedar. Then I went to put sealer on them - I used a nontoxic waterproofing sealer.

But alas, I poked a hole in my hand when trying to put the lid back on and decided that was enough picture taking for now!