Re:tooling

The gap in writing hasn’t really been a gap. Adopting wordpress, I find that I’m figuring out better “workflows” for getting things together. I’ve started writing several things now, but they aren’t ready for prime-time. I’ve also managed to talk myself into getting a new class of tool, something I’ve never used before: a lathe.

I blame it on the Shakers. They seemed to have a lathe in every shop, along with a scrollsaw. I’ve enjoyed my cheap grizzly scroll saw more than virtually any other power tool I own, and often wonder why this particular tool is in sort of a retiree ghetto. It seems to be mostly used by people who want to scroll out signs and eagles and flags and such. I have used mine mostly for bowls and occasionally through mortise joints and handles on the bookstands I’ve been building. It’s much easier and more precise than using a coping saw. Now, I think I want to figure out lathes– not because I want to make bowls or spindle based furniture, but rather because I want to make tool handles and dowels. Not all that exciting I suppose, but really useful.

Once I get all the parts together I’ll put up a picture I suppose. I’ve got the lathe and stand, but I’m waiting for wheels so I can move the thing before I can really put it together. I also now have to figure out a good arrangement for sharpening turning tools as well.

I’ve also been researching joinery on the Stickley #79 bookstand, and I need to write a post about that as well. I feel like I’m finding a lot more of interest from auction sites than woodworking magazines on some of these vintage pieces. I really wish there were more measured drawings of classic pieces and fewer “inspired by” articles where they push building things with pocket screws and biscuits. Not interested!

I think there are interesting things to say about tools and their histories, but I alway fight a battle between doing and writing. I do prefer doing, although writing is very seductive.

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