Poor Retired Plumbers Take on Bowl Turning
Iím boredÖÖ nothing.
Iím really boredÖ..something.
As her I pad was ever so slowly lowered into her lap, eyes closed.
Ok she said, did you not bring back half of Home Depot in our suitcases from Texas. Bit of an exaggeration I offered, but point taken.
I noticed her eyes was still closed, not sure if that was a good thing or not, never been one for reading the opposite sex signals, probably why I was on my own a lot in my earlier years.
Did you not spend half of our childrenís inheritance on a Chucky thing? Yes, well, she asked whatís the Chucky for. Itís for my wood lathey thing I countered with a snigger.
Eyes popped wide open at my last statement. What do you do with it she asked? Turning I offered. Right. Go and turn me something. A bowl I suggested. Yes, came the exasperated reply.
Wait, she said as I made to leave. How long she asked, how wide you mean. No, how long to make it. I donít know. Guess she said, guess now. A couple of days, Maybe, I donít know, never made one.
Thatís not long enough she muttered to herself. I could see her mind working franticly.
I will need something to show it off she said at last. How about the dining table? No, no Iíll need something new. It would look good on a coffee table in here. We donít have a coffee table in here. I know but I know someone who could make one. How long she asked. I figured out it wasnít the length of table.
Something simple, a week I suppose, I offered. Oh no, no, no, she countered, something complicated, really complicated. Well that could take a lot longer. Now we are getting somewhere she again mused. Guess again she asked. Not sure if I liked the way this guessing game was heading, apart from me heading out to the workshop for a considerable amount of time.
A couple of minutes later as I stood in the workshop trying to reflect on the difference between my childhood guessing game compared to my wifeís rendition of that edition, I decided to call on my armour.
Yes, lads you have it. My armour is my male intuition, never lets me down, and didnít on this occasion. I now realised what my devious wife was up to.
First, she asks me to make a bowl, knowing well she didnít have anything to show it off on and knew I would have to produce a suitable platform to showcase it. Yes, what in fact she wanted was a new coffee table. My intuition never lets me down.
Well as you know I can read my good wife like an Amazon Kindle.
So, this is my plan. Firstly, yes, I am going to produce a number of bowls until I get it right. Secondly, no I am not going to make a coffee table, and thirdly, yes, I am going to stay in the workshop for a couple of weeks to fool her into thinking she has got the better of me. I love it when a plan comes together. One up for the routing forum.
Boy is she going to be surprised with not seeing me for three weeks and only a bowl to show for it.
Now to more serious matters. To use an analogy, I remember being on a holiday in Florida when my body wasnít wrinkled and was keen to have a go at water skiing. It looked so easy and I was so confident.
An hour later I gave up when my skin was red raw from being pulled horizontally like a torpedo. I remember as my head cut a trough through the oncoming waves, catching a glimpse of my good wife on the shore doubled up with what I assumed was the pain of being concerned at my predicament.
Now many years later and a few wrinkles I adopted the same confidence to the simple art of turning a bowl.
Watched a few videos, bought the gear and plunged in literally. On my first attempt I plunged in the chisel and hit what I now know is termed a catch, a millisecond later that very same chisel plunged itself into my forearm. I took what was left of my arm into my wife for some well-deserved sympathy.
Now usually when bring in my assortment of workshop injuries to my wife they are centred around the digits and when I offered her my elbow for inspection, she looked at me trying to comprehend this latest misadventure. How she asked. A chisel I answered. You stuck a chisel into your elbow, she again asked. Yes, I again answered. At this point a pool was forming on the kitchen floor and I was feeling a little light headed. I think I need a tournet. You mean a tourniquet, yes one of these. Do we have one I asked. Yes, she said I keep it in the broom cupboard next to splints for broken legs.
Even in my weakened state I sensed sarcasm. Ten minutes later and a plaster pressed into my major jugular injury I was declared for work.
Now I had never ever heard of a catch at this point, but certainly learned the meaning of the term and to be honest it scared the life out of me to such an extent I never went near the lathe again until I brought a new Nova chuck back from the states last month, and decided to have another go.
U tube was invaluable. I scoured every upload I could, not just on turning but on the dangers of catches. And you can see the results of my first tentative endeavours.
As you can see, I had originally decided to turn a bowl, but as I progressed, I decided to reach into my inner design skills and form a cheese platter and a napkin ring, which I thought turned out quite pleasing to the eye as you can see from the photo.
On my second attempt I found out that a gouge is not recommended for forming the innards and after a humongous amount of catches I found out I in fact needed a bowl gouge with is V shaped rather than U shaped and has no wings to catch. So, bought one for my next project along with a full-face mask.
So, lads thatís it to date. They say you canít teach an old dog new tricks, but this old mutt has found out that like water skiing, bowl turning is an art that requires a long apprenticeship.
Last edited by Coleve; 03-06-2019 at 09:20 AM.