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long woodturning tool handle

Making a Woodturning Tool Handle Using a Jimmy Clewes Quick Release Adapter

Tod Raines with a woodturning tool handle

I have made several woodturning tool handles for my tools over the years, most of which use the Jimmy Clewes Quick Release adapters. I needed a long woodturning tool handle to use with the new TOD RAINES TOOLS tool bars – the Hook Tool Bar and the Half Round Tool Bar. The photo to the above shows a long woodturning tool handle with the Jimmy Clewes 1/2″ Quick Release Adapter. The new woodturning tool handle will be equipped with the Jimmy Clewes 5/8″ Quick Release Adapter. I will probably make another using the Jimmy Clewes 5/8″Set Screw Adapter.

  

spindle blank on the lathe

I used a 26″ stick of red oak that was just under 2″ inches in diameter. This is what I had in the shop that was an open grained wood.

With this method I drill the hole for the woodturning tool handle adapter first, using the drill bit in a Jacobs chuck in the headstock. The only way I recommend doing this is with the security of a drawbar. My Jacobs chuck has 1/4″-20 tpi threading in the end of the Morse taper so I use my drawbar through the headstock to secure the chuck to prevent it from being pulled out of the spindle as I retract the wood from the drill bit.

5/8" Quick Release adapter

I am going to install a Jimmy Clewes 5/8″Quick Release Handle Adapter, so here I am measuring the depth to drill. A mark on the drill bit indicates the depth. Use a drill bit sized for the diameter of the Quick Release Handle adapter.

drilling on the lathe

The tool rest is set parallel and close to the square blank to prevent the wood from spinning as I drill. I first saw this method done by Cindy Drozda. I am sure others have used this method before.

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Off Center Box

Off Center Box Turning Project

This off center turned box was made for a Hunt County Woodturners club quarterly challenge.  The night before I turned this off center box I got inspired by the possibility of having a sense of movement in a box. I wanted the box to look like it was on the move and for the shape to evoke a sense of action. Let me know if you get this feeling or sense from this off center box.

Oak blank on lathe

I started with a blank of oak about 3″ square and 5″ long.                          

cutting a tenon

Turn the blank to round between centers and cut a tenon on both ends.

off center mounting


I failed to show this process clearly but I essentially created three center points on each end. All the center points are in line with each other, which means one in the center and two about 1/2″ off-set at 0 degrees and 180 degrees. The horizontal line across the cylinder face is to align the center points on the other side.The three center points reside within the tenon area.

turning with 1/2" spindle gouge


I use a cup drive center in the headstock and the cup live center in the tail stock. The cup centers allow for very easy re-registration of the center. 
I started turning at relatively high speed (around 1800 – 2000 rpm) but use your own judgement when turning. I am using a 1/2″ spindle gouge.

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Small bud vase

Small Bud Vase

This is a quick little spindle project that is fun and easy to do. It makes a great little show piece or gift. You can even make a few for your table center piece for holidays or everyday.

Here is a reference dimensional drawing that I created. It shows the dimensions of all the relevant elements. Use this as a reference and make changes as you see fit.

Small Bud Vase reference drawing

Here is my YouTube video of this little project.

How to Make a Turned and Painted Pine Tree

Decorate for the holidays with these small Christmas trees.

This is a simple turning best done with pine. This is an Eli Avisera design that I learned from his DVD which I watched a few years ago.

 

Simply use a piece of pine about 3/4 to 1-1/2 inch in diameter and 4 to 5 inches long. Mount it in a chuck and turn it round.

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Texas ebony bowl

Texas Ebony Bowl

Texas ebony bowl
Texas ebony bowl
Texas ebony bowl
Texas ebony bowl

This project was a challenge in more ways than one. First of all, Texas Ebony is very hard and will be a challenge to turn in any case. But this piece came as a crotch log section that I have to figure out how to mill. On top of that there is insect damage and rot in the heart of the pith areas on both branches of the crotch. Once I had the bowl blank milled then I had to figure out how to hold the piece on the lathe.

The inside of the bowl blank had cavernous voids like the Grand Canyon running through the heart of the crotch grain pattern. Last, but not least, was the horrid stench that I had to live with in my shop for a couple of days during this project. Keep the air freshener handy, folks.

Despite all of the challenges this is a beautiful bowl and one of my favorites. Actually, my wife has claimed it and she likes it even more.

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Small Ash Bowls

This is a little project using some fresh Ash that I harvested from the streets of Dallas. Curbside finds you might say. It is beautiful wood but I am not sure I did it justice. But this was more of an experiment or more precisely a comparison of several things: 1) work holding methods, 2) bowl orientation, 3) bowl form, and 4) colors on Ash.

Log sections

This is a little project using some fresh Ash that I harvested from the streets of Dallas. Curbside finds you might say. It is beautiful wood but I am not sure I did it justice. But this was more of an experiment or more precisely a comparison of several things: 1) work holding methods, 2) bowl orientation, 3) bowl form, and 4) colors on Ash.

Both bowls were made from the same log but in different orientations. One was made as a natural edge bowl and the other as a traditional bowl. In the pictures below you see the ash log cut into two sections. This is fresh, wet wood with the bark intact. I simple sawed the log section in half lengthwise on my bandsaw. The second picture shows the two finished bowls held in the orientation as they came from the log - the top one with the natural edge rim and the foot is from the middle of the half log section whereas the bottom bowl is traditionally turned with the foot at the outside of the log section and the rim coming from the interior of the log section. A traditional bowl cut this way utilizes the log section more efficiently since its curve mimic the log shape more so than a natural edge bowl.

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Ring Turned Flags

What do I mean by 'ring' turning? I am not turning rings for your finger. This technique refers to turning shapes in a ring form on the lathe and then cutting them out on a bandsaw.  I have done some ring turning previously and this idea came to me after reading a bit more about it.

As you can see if the photo above there are many flags. In fact, I got about 80 usable flags from this one turning. I decided to add magnets in the back so that they could be used as a fridge magnet or using a small strip of metal you can wear them as lapel pins. 

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Spindle turned Pod covers

This project, although relatively simple, is vital to my woodturning career. Why you ask? Because it is on the “honey do” list. You know the list of things your wife or partner asks you to do. The result of letting this list get to long is a not healthy. I am of course joking about the health risks but there are consequences to not supporting your partner.

I have been happily married for 25 years and my wife has been very supportive of my hobby for many years. Now that my hobby is morphing into a real business, I cannot lose sight of the fact that she is still supporting me, literally. So I have always tried to ensure there is headway made on the ‘honey-do” list.

My wife has been a little obsessed with hydroponic gardening. I know the first thing you may think about but it is not that. A couple of Christmas’s ago she got two small Aerogardens which are LED based hydroponic gardens systems. My wife now has nine systems and grows tomatoes, chives, arugula, basil, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, jalapenos, and probably something else I am forgetting. These are great systems and produce lots of edible veggies and herbs for us. Since we live in Texas with unbearably hot summers these systems make it easy and comfortable for growing a small amount of plants.

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Rough Turning (or Step 1 in Twice Turning)

This article is a continuation of the previous post – Harvesting a Silver Maple – Issue #68 of ‘The “Lathest” News’, in that we are turning the wood we just harvested but now we are inside the shop. There will be a follow-up article to this where I finish the second step in the Twice Turning which will be a few months away – stay tuned.

So the first stop is the bandsaw. I got this circle cutting jig from the “Tips & Jigs page of the South Auckland Woodturners Guild Inc. website. I am not sure how I found this site; I was probably directed there by one of the woodturning forums. Either way thanks to the Kiwis, although I am sure there are many variations of this jig all over the place. I drilled the wood bowl blank with a 5/16” hole about an inch deep. I use this diameter of drilled hole because it will work with the wood worm screws of wither the Oneway or Vicmarc chucks.

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Harvesting a silver maple tree

I am a member of the Dallas Area Woodturners (DAW) club and being in a large metropolitan area we get a good number of calls from folks announcing that they have free wood available from urban tree harvesting. The club webpage and Facebook page are good contact points for folks to find one of the club board members. Then our communication director sends out an email containing all the particulars of the free wood or urban tree harvest to all club members.

In late March, one such email hit my inbox. There was a silver maple tree that was being taken down in Bedford, TX. From where I live it is about a 45 minute drive one way. I contacted the tree owner directly and he sent an image of the tree and what was already on the ground. I believe the tree was suffering from the start of a disease and some root rot so it was necessary to take it down. You can see in the photo above that more than 90% of this large silver maple has no buds or green and yet in the background every other tree is flourishing – this is a sure sign that this tree was not healthy. Continue reading “Harvesting a silver maple tree”