Friday, March 26, 2010

One of my dream tools...

My most sincere apologies for not posting lately but life has a way of happening. I find myself having more of a social life and as a direct result, I neglected a few things in return. My bad. But today I am making a come back and will endeavour to blog at least twice a month, if not more, on things touching my passion for crafting...

"One of these days, I'll buy myself a good lathe..." is what Wifey hears from me quite a lot. I am a dreamer. A BIG dreamer. I want to try everything that has to do with woodworking. Ok, almost everything. As much as I'd love to make my own lumber, I am not sure if I actually want to go down that route. Mind you, if I want to pick up wood turning as a skill, it might come in handy after all.

Old fashion pole lathe, made from what was available from the land.

A lathe is a tool that has been in existence for quite a while and can be used to make many things. The first thing people think of when I mention a lathe is furniture. Sure, you can make furniture with a lathe and I would like (eventually, one day, soon I hope!) to make our own dining set. But there are so many more possibilities. Let me give you a list of things that can be made with a lathe and hopfully this will give you an insight into the world of wood turning...

Boxes.
Round boxes available from Lee Valley. Made with a mechanical lathe

With the right amount of skill, round boxes can be made. I have seen them made out of pine, birch maple, walnut, even various plastic and metals. The great thing is you can make the boxes to suit your needs, meaning you can make them as big or as small as required. Or even go as far as making them stack on top of each other... You get the idea!

But better then that, you can combine various colors or materials and obtain some very unique results. Or you could go the traditional (some say purist!) route and use wood that has a very pronounced grain and let the wood speak for itself.

Candle holders


The possibilities are endless when it comes to candle holders. You can find (read make in my case, once properly equipped, of course) a multitude of them online, of various styles and materials. Some of them are made with multiple joined sections and reach over 6 feet in height!

ToysLathe made Wooden tops

A lot of folks forget that back in the old days (older then I am is what is implied here), all toys were handmade. Many of them had turned parts like car wheels and headlights. Others were completely turned, like tops shown above.

Tools

Many a tool requires a handle. Files, screwdrivers, chisels but to name a few. Handle making was a skill considered to be invaluable by many people who lacked the time or the right tools to do so.

Kitchen

The list goes on here: bowls & plates of all sizes, salt and pepper shakers, butter containers, etc... Too many things to enumerate really!

Furniture

Legs for tables and chairs were made in various size and shapes, but most required a turned component. From sophisticated to rustic green wood pieces, a lathe can be a very valuable tool from which to make the lowly milking stool to the rocking chair as seen in the movie the Patriot.

Everything else you can think of!

There are so many things possible to be done with a lathe, I can't even think of them all!

But one thing I know: One day, hopefully sooner then later, we will have our very own Magical Cottage and when that happens, I'll start making things to decorate our place and things to use around the place....

One day!

Marc