without my drum sander I have nothing left to do for the two Ukuleles I am building, so today I decided to finish the bowl I had promised to a charity auction.
When i say finish, I mean finish turning this big maple bowl round. I initially turned it from green wood perhaps 8 years ago. As they dry they change shape and become no longer round. When you want to finish the bowl you must put it back on the lathe and turn it round once more. Here, held tightly by the chuck, I have begun the process.
Because it is not yet round you must turn it quite slowly. Is it dangerous?, well, it is pretty heavy, and you sure would not want it to jump off the lathe and hit you. I wear a face mask and try to stay out of the line of its rotation. Once you get it turned round you can speed it up, and it gets much safer.
Now it is getting rounder, but wow, what a pile of sawdust I have accumulated. I stopped to sweep the floor so I wouldn't track the shavings all over the shop and house.
This picture shows you the expanding chuck that holds this big chunk of wood to the lathe. Also hints at how un round the bowl was at first.
And here, as the bowl spins, is how you hold the tool firmly against the bar and address the wood.
Now for the sanding. I start with a 60 grit sanding disk. Lots of sawdust, but most of it gets sucked into my homemade sanding hood and into my dust collection system. Still a boring and messy job. I would rather make ukuleles! This is a 16 inch diameter bowl. I can turn a 20 inches on this great lathe. There is 400 pounds of sand in the wooden box that holds the lathe. Sitting on a concrete floor, there is no vibration.