Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Phototutorial ~ turning a bottlestopper on a lathe (for Dummies)

I spent most of yesterday afternoon turning stoppers, trying to get ready for a craft fair I'm attending on Saturday.

In the midst of it, I had the great idea (or maybe not) of taking some pics along my journey, to document how it goes.

1 ~ We start with a simple block of wood. In this case, Cocobolo, approximately 1.25" x 1.25" x 2".

2 ~ The block is screwed onto the lathe mount.

3 ~ Tighten carefully.

4 ~ Position of the tool.

5 ~ the lathe spins fast, don't forget to wear protective eyegear.

6 ~ Initial rounding with the large gouge. All flat surfaces from the block form should be gone, and the wood should look rounded now.

7 ~ Shaping with various sized gouges, this is the creative part of the journey.

8 ~ Final detailing - I generally use a small gouge to clean up the details.

9 ~ Sanding is one of the most time consuming, labor intensive parts of the process.

10 ~ I use a fourpack of ascending grits, and then finish up with 600 grit.

11 ~ Dry sanding in process looks like this.

12 ~ The pile of used sandpaper from this stopper, and the one I made just before.

13 ~ This is the end product after paper sanding.

14 ~ On to wet sanding. This stuff smells yummy to me. My kids hate it though.

15 ~ Slop it on. It melts like buttah when you apply it to the warm, freshly sanded wood.

16 ~ Make sure you get good coverage.

17 ~ Back to spinning, rubbing the wet sanding compound with the folded papertowel or cloth.

18 ~ At the end of the wet sanding, you have this look.

19 ~ Next, the polishing stage.

20 ~ And Voila! After polishing, a beautiful, shiny finish.

21 ~ The other sides are beautiful, also.

22 ~ So shiny.

23 ~ Attach to the stopper mount, thusly.

24 ~ And back to where the block started its humble journey to becoming a beautiful adornment for any bottle.

Remember the Before shot?

Oh, one final shot... the cleanup.

That missing wood from the original block? It's now dust. Not all of it ends up in my nose.

To be fair, that isn't from one turning, but several. Still. I wish I could think of something to make with the sawdust. Resin + sawdust = firestarter bricks? Hmm.