More Adventures into Woodturning

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by MrWolfe posted 02-27-2021 10:37 PM 301 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is an update on some of my woodturning adventures.

I had not heard of the term “Flatwork” until I started posting on a woodturning forum. Its what we all do here on LumberJocks (except for the woodturners).

I felt I was carving a niche of my own in my flatwork so its different to set that aside for the time being and to just embrace being an absolute beginner. Well, almost absolute beginner. I played around with an old Sears 12 inch lathe about fifteen years ago. I made 2 pieces, the anatomically correct mesquite heart with turquoise inlay and the mesquite turned box with turquoise inlay.

I picked up that Rikon 70-100 back in December and I’ve been playing around with it. I knew immediately I wanted to get a larger lathe and make larger pieces. I’ve finally decided on a PowerMatic 2014 and it should arrive in a couple of months. In the meantime I am really getting into turning on the Rikon and trying to learn as much as I can.

Each piece I’ve made in the last couple of months is a first attempt at a technique or tool or a second attempt trying to fix what I got wrong the first time.

My direction for now is learning techniques and processes and making bowls and hollow forms. Eventually I will do some mixed media pieces incorporating “flatwork” and mixed media.

Here are some pics…

and this is a new jam chuck I made…

Its a 1 inch chair leg tip replacement and a plunger (new of course) over a Live Tailstock adapter (1” x 8tpi Thread with #2 MT).

I got to use it today and I really like it.

I will post more pics in my blogs as I create more pieces.
Thanks for reading.

7 comments so far

View leafherder's profile


1978 posts in 3003 days

#1 posted 02-28-2021 12:03 AM

So it looks like you’re adding Native American and Pre-Columbian influences to your multi-cultural multi-temporal stylings. (That includes the anatomically correct heart which appeared in Aztec art.) Can’t wait to see your fusion of turnings and flatwork. Good luck, keep up the good work, and take care.

-- Leafherder

View splintergroup's profile (online now)


4969 posts in 2274 days

#2 posted 02-28-2021 12:11 AM

To think you ripped that still sap-oozing mesquite heart from the naked trunk of a former tree, You cruel man!

Funny how is seems everyone is bailing on the flatwork and jumping on the turning bandwagon, I feel lonely 8^)

Looking forward to what you create, please make some removable lids and multi-legged versions to ease our transition while we peruse your project library 8^)

View pottz's profile


16135 posts in 2036 days

#3 posted 02-28-2021 12:16 AM

your turnings really inspire me jon you do some really nice that plunger technique gotta remember that.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7235 posts in 1634 days

#4 posted 02-28-2021 02:04 AM

Got some nice stuff there, Jon. Doesn’t look like you’re a rookie to me…

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MrWolfe's profile


1514 posts in 1175 days

#5 posted 02-28-2021 04:07 PM

Thanks everyone!
Its fun to have such a huge learning curve in front of you. There really are so many aspects to turning I never considered. I thought “instant gratification” and it is but you never really hear about all the prep time and waiting for the first turning to dry enough to remount and turn again. I am also trying to harvest green wood so there is another huge aspect of it.

Thanks for making some of the connections like you always do. Its a little disheartening to set aside my “Adventures into Shape” series but soon this will be an extension of that.

Jump on in, the water’s fine. But it isn’t just another tool in the shop. It’s another shop in and of itself. Expect to spend much more on the accessories and the tools and wood if you buy it in blanks. It is fun though. Look for some strange hybrid pieces soon. I can’t help myself =)

Thanks for the kind words.
The plunger technique is a nifty tool to have in your kit but I will try to turn my own jamb chucks soon.

I have been spending 6 to 8 hours on a session so if I am a rookie I am trying hard to put in lots of hours. What I haven’t posted are the absolute disasters and they are probably the best learning pieces.

For every hour at the lathe there is probably a 1/2 hour watching videos or reading forums for tips and techniques.
I really like that you can speed up youtube videos for playback. A 30 minute video can be watched in 15 minutes. I subscribe to a few turning channels and they will have live events online (oxymoron). My local club Alamo Woodturning Association just meets once a month on Zoom (not a huge fan of Zoom) so I will wait until they meet in person before I join.

I just put out these pics of groupings because most of the pieces have little issues I didn’t notice until I put the finish on or were just “good enough” at the time. Lots of little grooves, chip outs, splits, wormholes, a funnel or two, warping, closed forms that turned into bowls, issues with pieces flying off the lathe, a funnel or two or sanding and finishing issues. Some of these I am learning how to fix, others I want to learn how to prevent. I am trying to learn how to sharpen gouges at the moment.

There is really a huge learning curve in front of me.

Thanks again everyone!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7235 posts in 1634 days

#6 posted 02-28-2021 09:45 PM

I learn fastest by making mistakes, Jon. So far, I’ve only had two turning attempts that didn’t end up becoming something, but one attempted leg for my forge table ended up becoming a handle and feet for my water heater cabinet in the shop…

But it looks like you’ve been making great strides. Well done!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MrWolfe's profile


1514 posts in 1175 days

#7 posted 03-01-2021 12:06 AM

Yes… it all changes on the fly for me right now.
I keep trying to make closed bowls/hollow forms that become wide mouth bowls instead. That little live edge bowl blew up into 4 pieces because I didn’t notice how thin the walls and bottom were.

I made a cool mallet ( I thought it was a good save) from a piece of hickory that was going to be a vase but I started chasing down wormholes. I finally stopped chasing them when the piece looked like a mallet with a handle. It was still cool but it split almost in half over a few weeks.
Live and learn but thats the fun in it.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics