Dark side of the faceplate

It was never like this with the pole lathe.

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Bought it … how the heck do I get the faceplate off?

When the East wind blows, the lazy wind that can’t be bothered to go around you so it goes through you, it can get a bit chilly in the woods where the sun doesn’t shine.  We had the old garage taken down

SAMSUNG CSCand rebuilt

SAMSUNG CSCI’ve bought an old Sheffield-built power lathe so I can spend some time in the warm in Winter and turn some of the things I can’t turn on the pole lathe.  Bowls are for you men to make with younger legs than mine.  Tiny thin treen is impossible on a pole lathe – honey drippers, lace bobbins and such.

I took my newly recovered trailer to near Chorley, Lancashire and collected the lathe, a Myford ML8.  Also collected a new chunky hitch lock from a trailer dealer nearby so I wouldn’t be needing to recover stolen trailers anytime soon.

I sent off for a four jaw chuck for turning bowls.  It’s also made in Sheffield, we can still make good stuff in Yorkshire.  Trouble was I then found the faceplate where I needed to install the new jaws was firmly fast.  With the help of friends I tried a few different ways to get it off.  I needed to hold the spindle locked still and then turn the faceplate clockwise.  I de-threaded the aluminium outboard faceplate trying to use it as the lock.  Then, after reading up internet fora, I engaged a low gear and turning the belt in reverse I hammered a board locked onto the stuck faceplate against the wall.  Still stuck.  Heated it up lightly and gradually with a paint stripper gun … still stuck. Made lunch, had an idea.

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This might work…

Two levers, one oak lath against the pulleys to lock them, and the ply board to turn the faceplate.  What a feeling when it just unscrewed!

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Off

The cause was mistreatment by person(s) unknown.

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Dinged

Can you see the damage to the last thread?  No wonder it was stuck.  I used some anti-seize grease with added flake copper during installation of the Sorby Patriot chuck, that should make life easier in future, and the added electricity will too …

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Hello world, my first powered wooden treen – test piece only, or do I spy a mustard pot in there?

Safety mortising

I have always rather struggled with making mortices. Tenons are less of a problem.  Getting the waste out of the mortice hole and avoiding bruising the shoulders was always a challenge. Having made a couple of handfuls of M&T joints on the joined stool following P Folansbee Esq’s advice, I have more confidence in setting out and bashing away at the chisel, and now I can produce a reasonably sharp mortice chisel.  However, I have refined my own technique a little.  Following an expensive break out of the side of a stool leg mortice I now cramp the sides to avoid accidents.

SAMSUNG CSCLooks a little industrial I realise, but essentially the wooden screw cramp is holding the sides of the stool leg in its grip.  Because the leg is pentagonal (more later) I need a V-block (thanks David) in the cramp as well.  Then one holdfast is pinning the cramp to the bench.  Just to make sure everything is good and solid I have another holdfast pinning down the leg itself. (Blimey!  That chisel edge looks rather close to the holdfast – Ed).

Now then (as we like to say in Yorkshire), the softener under the second holdfast comes in very handy as a sacrificial fulcrum for the chisel, thus saving the edge of the mortice.

SAMSUNG CSCThis gives me leave to get some muscle into the mallet and extract large amounts of waste in one go and speed the whole process up.

SAMSUNG CSCOK that’s actually the top end of the mortice which is not seen as it will be inside the joint.  I now also appreciate how important it is to start off using the chisel with the bevel facing the ends of the mortice, makes levering out the waste much easier, and then using the flat side when approaching the shoulders and then turning it round again to lever out the waste at the ends, so the fulcrum is the top end of the bevel which is down in the hole, not at the shoulder.

I have also filed a mark on the chisel at 1 and 3/8ths for 1 and 1/4 inch tenons.  This makes getting the correct depth much easier.

SAMSUNG CSCSeems to work.

SAMSUNG CSCIt was quite a worry working out what the shape of the legs should be for a joined three-legger.  I did lots of drawing on charcoal bags and test leg end grain, but finally reverted to schoolboy geometry, or what I remembered of it.

SAMSUNG CSCThe angle of the nose is very off-putting when starting from square timber and using one only of the square corners.  I have about 2 weeks to finish this stool for a competition, but at the end of today I have all the aprons fitting properly  and the top nearly done, and the rails ready for making the second tenons.  Phew.

It was Harlow Carr‘s Taste of Autumn last weekend, which was a really good event, lots of visitors and fine weather (apart from a little rain on the Saturday morning, which we won’t mention).

Owen Jones MBE was there making his beautiful and very practical swill baskets.  I must say his shelter is very enviable for its small size (mind you he doesn’t have to accommodate a flippin’ pole lathe).

SAMSUNG CSCWe were also delightfully entertained by the Barrow Band singing their hearts out about fruit and veg.

SAMSUNG CSCIt was a grand taste of Autumn (even tastier if I can get the Shitake inoculated log to bear fruit).

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Planing riven green oak

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I’m getting to the smaller components for the shepherd’s chair now.  This will be the front under-seat framing rail.  The dogs in the bench top are great for this, half the battle is holding the stuff still to plane, the other half is stance and sweat.  It was very warm yesterday, for Yorkshire, and the next two days are forecast to be hot too (read ‘too hot’).  I’ll be milling out a coupe of larger items – crest rail and seat slabs and maybe the wings .  I’m milling them on the quarter so they will be as good as riven.  The oak butt I’m getting these from has some rather large limb junctions and riving could turn out to be too wasteful.

You can see end on how the above rail follows the rays on the finished face:

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The back will be left as is because, being under the seat, it will not be seen, and the extra weight will add to my desired bottom-heavy balance to avoid tipping over.

The ray patterns are looking pretty good though:

SAMSUNG CSCThe aroma of this brown stuff is almost intoxicating, it just reminds me of whisky maturation warehouses in Scotland where I used to work.