Friday, June 1, 2012

PE Pen

Polyethylene (HDPE) Pen.  Since I've worked in PE manufacturing for years, I wanted to try this.  The PE is much softer than most turning materials.  The sanding was tough and took a LONG time.  The best I could do, at least the first time is more of a matte finish.  Pen

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Went to the Clinton Sawmill museum yesterday.

They had rough cut wood for sale for $1.50 a BF.  I ended up with three slabs, 5' x 2" x 12" for $24.  They said it was hickory and maple.  Looking at it under the lens, I'd say all three are white oak.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

December 2011 Turnings

Clock in Oak
Potpourri Holder in Ambrosia Maple
Winestopper in ?? wood (got to start taking notes during wood buying)
Piano Pen (Kallenshaan kit)
Winestopper in Purpleheart
Wine bottle keeper/coaster in Walnut
Mirror frame in Oak

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Oak and Walnut earrings.  Oak turned, then band-sawn to shape.  Walnut turned, then woodburned.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New Lathe

I'm looking pretty seriously at the Delta 46-460 to replace my Jet 1014VS.  I'd like the 12" swing, as I'd like to go up a bit in plate/bowl size.  The reviews are quite good.  Woodcraft has a sale going that'll drop the price nearly $100. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Walnut, Cherry, and Oak.  Created using eccentric adapter for chuck.  Lots of fun, quick and relatively easy, once you get a system worked out.   Now I need some type of string/leather for the necklace. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More Turnings

After Kay saw the bracelet box article in American Woodturner, she decided I needed to make this.  I decided I better tackle a few bracelets first.   Clockwise from the top - Cherry, two Walnut, an Oak with a charred surface finish, and plain Oak. 

Trivet.  This was made from bowl blank offcuts.  It turned out nicely, although a bit small.

Box Elder Burl Wine Stopper.  I was disappointed with the size of this blank, it really seemed small.  The stopper turned out OK, although much smaller than I usually do. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Recent Turnings

SInce the shop is done, I'll use this to post some new turnings. 

Oak wine stopper with metal inlay

Oak clock - I thought this turned out quite nicely. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Window Protection and Chop Saw Storage

I added a sheet of acrylic in front of the window.  This'll protect it in the likely event that something comes loose from the lathe.  I hadn't though if this, but thankfully someone from Woodturner's Resource suggested it. 

All I could find was 1/8" acrylic.  The polycarbonate was WAY too expensive.  I stiffened the acrylic with some 1x.  I ripped a groove in it and glued the acrylic in place. 

After struggling for a few weeks with shop saw storage, here's my solution.  First I fabricated a plywood base and "hood" to keep the sawdust contained and allow me to attach the shop vac hose.  Then I noticed that my table saw had 3/8" holes predrilled and tapped on the right side.  I'd guess it's for a table extension.  I mounted a piece of 3x3 (where did that come from?), then added a couple of bicycle hooks.  Finally, two 1" holes in the base and the saw can hange her.  This gets it off the floor and it can be moved to the top of the table saw when needed.   

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Finishing up some inside items

Here's the shop vac, dust deputy and grinder in their new home.  It's on rollers, so I can move it around. 

That's the first time I every made a face frame.  I used the Kreg pocket jig, worked like a champ.  Good thing I don't have to make a living as a cabinetmaker.  Lots of errors and gaps that the picture doesn't show.

The dust deputy work great!  All the hype is well deserved.  It's catching most of the dust, with little making it to the Shop Vac.

The Fein shop vac is also working well.  It is extremely quiet compared to the old vac.  I've added the HEPA filter, I used the "Red Stripe" big box version.  Needed a 3/8" carriage bolt to attach it. 

I tore apart the old air filter.  I couldn't get a decent, ie - less than 5 micron filter for it.  I installed the guts into a plywood box.  Added a big box filter, I have a MERV 13 (0.3 micron filter) on the way.  With these stacked, I should be in good shape.   I need to add a grille on the exhouast end.  The old housing is ready for the trash. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Drywall is done

The drywall is done, other than the final sanding.  We put the door and window in yesterday.   It looks pretty good, with some trim and paint, I'm hoping it looks like it was part of the original house.

I had a half sheet of pegboard and it fit perfectly between the door (when open) and the window.  Pegboard can be a real dust collector in a shop, but ut is handy.

Radiant heater is in.  Preliminary tests show it will work VERY well in this small space.  That'll be nice when we hit the dead of winter.


Now, it's off to Home Depot for more 1x6 to rip into trim. Then priming and painting.

I've moved a lot of my turning supplies and still have a lot of extra room. I'm sure I'll put it to good use.

I hope to move the lathe up this week.  I added wheels to one end of the lathe bench, so they'll engage if I pick the other end up.  I've already used this to clear the center of the room for other work.

I'm in a quandry over my Air Filtration.  I'm finding an awful lot of dust on the shelves in my old turning room and I ran this thing religiously.  It does have a bag filter in it, but I can't find any specifications on it.  I'm not sure it's doing much good with the fine (ie - hazardous) dust.  I'm trying to decide if I should tear it apart and scavage the motor and build something with a HEPA filter.   

Friday, November 5, 2010

Shop Vac

The new shop vac and dust deputy are on order.  Once they're here, I'll fab a plywood case for the vac.  Then mount my grinder on top.  Then I'll hang the dust deputy on the back and add rollers.  Rolling dust machine and grinder station! 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Band Saw Home

The band saw is set up in it's new spot.  I made a base by glued two layers of 3/8" plywood scraps together, then ripped strips of pine to fit the table saw slots.  This'll keep the band saw from shifting during use.  Further, since I rarely use the table saw, the band saw will be handy, without taking up more (limited) floor space. 


We finished planking the top of the room with plywood yesterday.  No fun, but the storage space will be handy.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cabinets and Shelves

The cabinets and most of the shelves are installed.  I forgot to pick up the end panels for the cabinets.  For a countertop, I glued up three layers of leftover 3/8" plywood.  It's plenty sturdy and with a primer coat, not too bad looking.  Certainly can't beat the price. 

The drywall for the outside of the shop will be delivered today.  The drywall installer will start Wednesday.   I hope to get the door and window installed next weekend.  It's really cooled off here.  I'm anxious to get the room sealed up, I'm sure hoping it'll really help with the cold. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010


We came home from Lowe's in the Quad Cities with four cabinets.  I'll have 54" of base and 54" of wall cabinets.  They're unfinished oak.  Not exactly heirloom quality, but the oak face frames look nice.  I've just completed a coat of BLO on them.  Once they're dry, we'll hang them and reattach  the doors and drawers. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Primed and mostly trimmed.

The primer is done.  I decided not to mud the screws, thanks to the crew at Woodturning Resource for the tip.  Saved me some work.  The primer definitely lightened the room up.  I don't have a topcoat planned.   It's fine for a shop.

After looking over the trim at Home Depot, I decided to rip 1x6 pine down to approximately 1.5" for the walls and approximately 2.25" for the windows and doors.   Saved me some $$, besides the 1x2 and 1x3 at the store are just atrocious, unless you pay for the hardwood.

Now, prime the trim, find and install cabinets, hang shelves.  I've found a pretty good deal on unfinished cabinets at Lowe's.  I was surprised that the ReStore didn't have kitchen cabinets to speak of. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Plywood finished, subpanel installed

The electricians ran the cable and installed the subpanel Wednesday.  30a breaker in the main box, two 20a breakers in the subpanel.   Since the new turning room and the main panel share the same exterior wall, they trenched outside and ran the cable in conduit. 

I finished the plywood yesterday, thank goodness, I'm sick of man-handling the sheets.   It's all screwed down.  I'll have to go back and reset probably half the screws to get the heads low enough.  I didn't deal with it at the time, as I was working alone and didn't want to break a sheet.

After changing my mind several times, I've decided to paint the plywood.  If I put shelves up etc., then I'll never paint and I'm afraid I'll regret it if I don't.  Besides, it'll brighten the room up considerably.  It adds more work, as I'll need to set all the screw heads, then mud them and finally paint.   

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ceiling Installed

We got the ceiling installed yesterday afternoon.  Renting the PanelLift was a smart move.  It really made the installation easier, plus at $15 from Sat noon to Mon 9am, you can't beat the price.

I used B/C plywood.  The B side has the voids filled and sanded.  It was $5 more a sheet than the sheathing grade, but if I decide to paint, it'll be much easier and look better.

I decided to go with plywood instead of drywall for several reasons.  It should take an errant strike from a tool or a launched turning without serious damage.  Price-wise, it's probably a wash compared to paying someone to hang, tape and float the drywall.  Finally, it'll sure be easier when I need to mount something to the wall.  

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Framing Started, Electrical and Insulating almost done

Lots of good work this weekend.  Walls completed, ceiling joists in place.  Most of the electrical is done, although the electrician won't be in until Wednesday to install the sub-panel. 

Most of the insulation done (R-13 wall, R-19 ceiling).  Since we're already inside the insulated garage, that should be good.  I'm hoping I won't need much additional heat in the winter. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Framing almost done.

A good day's work yesterday.  Lots more fun than watching the Longhorns lose (ugh).  Kay was a big help.

View from just outside the room. 

View from just inside,  where I'm standing will be the location of the cabinets/workbench.  You can just see the new window, directly opposite the existing one.  This'll let me ventilate through the garage and out the exterior window on nice days. 

View from the opposite direction, toward the door. 

Finally, the best picture.  The lathe will be directly in front of the window, so this'll be my normal view.  Note - it's a great day to lay in the sun, especially if you're Katie!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Framing Started

I got the first two walls framed up this weekend.  It went well, a bit quicker than expected.  I trimmed the studs down to fit on the foundation wall so I'd end up with a 8' finished wall height.  Had to get a bit creative and rip treated 2x4s in half lengthwise for the bottom plate, as the existing bottom plate is a 2x6 with 2x4 framing.  

Here's Katie, the wonder dog, helping.  Right now, she's "wondering" what's going on in her garage!  The lathe will go right in front of the window.  The bench/cabinets will go to the right of the lathe, near what will be the door.  That's it for this week.  Hopefully the other two walls will get framed up next weekend.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I met with the electrician today.  They'll run a new 30A 220v circuit out to a new subpanel for my room.  Then I can branch off for the lights and the outlets.  I'm currently using one 20A circuit in my basement turning room for both the outlets and the lights.  I'd like to have more power in case I upgrade from my Jet Mini.

Current Amp Load:
  • Ridgid AF2100 Air FIltration 0.9a
  • Ryobi BS903 Band Saw 2.5a
  • Ryobi TS1350 Miter Saw 15a
  • Ridgid WD0625 Shop Vac (Dust Collection) 7.3 a
  • Jet 1014 Mini Lathe 3a
I don't believe the 15a listed on the Internet for the Jet.  It has a 8 amp overload breaker built in, so obviously, it's lower than that.  Using this, I calculate the Jet amperage at 3.

Only the air filtration, lathe and shop vac are used continuously.  That's a total of 11.2a.  The rest are used intermittently.

The new shop vac (Festool) will draw 8 amps, so that's not significantly different than the Ridgid.

The Nova 1624, that I may upgrade to, will draw approximately 10 amps.  So, 30 amps spread about the shop in two circuits should be fine.

I'll may run the shop lights off one of the garage outlets that'll be covered up in the remodel.   Since I'll only have 2-3 fluorescent fixtures, it won't be much load.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Building Permit

Since we have a new building code here, I have my permit ($50).  I've spoken with the building inspector and he's OK with my plans.  I was concerned that I wouldn't be allowed to use plywood on the interior, due to the one hour fire rating requirement.  Since the garage already has a fire wall separating it from the house, I can use plywood.  This will make hanging shelves etc. much easier, plus it's a more rugged material.  


Here's the floor plan of the garage, with the shop added.  The large dotted rectangles are the cars.  We only have two, but I want to leave space for three.  Not really space for three Suburbans (!), but space for one and two smaller vehicles. 

Here's a rough shop plan, I've changed a few things since this was drawn, but it's close. 

Since the room is so narrow, all the tools and bench will go on the North wall.  I'll add a second window into the garage directly across from the "real" window", so I can ventilate on nice days.  The lathe sits directly in front of the north window.  This'll be nice. 

Cabinets - I'll look at ReStore for used cabinets.  I don't want anything 'open' as the shavings and dust create too much mess.   ReStore is a fun place to look around.

I'll build a wood base for my small bandsaw, so it'll sit on top of the small tablesaw.  I rarely use the tablesaw, so this should work well.

I'm planning to purchase a nice, ie- QUIET, dust collector, either a Fein or Festool.  I'll build a small rolling cart for it and add a Dust Deputy .  Finally, I'll mount my grinder on top of this cart.  Everything has to do multiple duty with my limited space.

Old Shop

Here's the old shop.  You can see the shop vac hose running outside the room.  This was done to reduce the noise a bit.  Not ideal, as it then carries the dust outside the shop and the shop air filtration.  You can just see the shop filtration (Ridgid) hanging from the ceiling. 

The grinder for sharpening sits just outside this room.


I started woodturning three years ago, and have thoroughly enjoyed it.  After one year of turning in the unheated garage, I moved into a small 6x8' room in the basement.  This worked, but it added dust to the house.  Further, my chopsaw and bandsaw remained in the garage, due to space limitations.   This led to a lot of walking through the house, changing shoes each time (trying to keep the shavings out of the main house).

We've decided to add a room in the garage for my turning.   It won't be huge, but it'll be better than 6 x 8!