Sometimes I REALLY hate woodworking...

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Project by Tooch posted 11-10-2018 07:38 PM 990 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So the last time I tried turning something on a lathe, it really didn't turn out too well . Since that last bottle opener faux pas, I have avoided the lathe like the plague. However, just recently I decided to have another go at it and signed up for a Pen making class at Rockler. A few of my students at school showed interest in the lathe, so I figured I would try this out and see about adding this project into our curriculum, or possibly start a “Turning club” after school hours.

I arranged for my parents to watch my 2 daughters for the 2 hour window that I would be at the store. Because the class started a half-hour late, it went over the amount of time that my parents could watch my girls. I started rushing at the end, tried to press it together too quickly and I heard SNAP.


There were several other customers in the store, so I made sure to keep my emotions in check and profanity to a PG-13 level. The manager, Viince (who has been awesome in all interactions), kindly told me I could come back in and
have another go at it when I have more time.

I’m sure I will try again at some point, but if history is any guide (it’s been 3-1/2 yrs since the bottle opener) it may take some time.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

12 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile


6380 posts in 2905 days

#1 posted 11-10-2018 08:01 PM

I am only slowly learning on my tiny lathe. I have scattered pieces all over the shop a few rimes with out even getting to an assembly stage.

You did not learn to drive in a 2 hour session either. I have found patience is requirement #1 for turning.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View Andre's profile


3086 posts in 2445 days

#2 posted 11-10-2018 09:04 PM

I could make a lot of comments but let’s just start with the old adage, if it feels wrong (stupid) it probably is.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View robscastle's profile


6735 posts in 2843 days

#3 posted 11-10-2018 09:13 PM

You know the saying 3rd time,(circa 2021) ...lucky !!

May be you could hide it in the home reno somewhere as a token coin!

-- Regards Rob

View builtinbkyn's profile


3002 posts in 1580 days

#4 posted 11-10-2018 09:28 PM

Hey Tooch. Another Pittsburgher here. Keep the faith in your turning. You probably know as well as anyone that rushing and woodworking don’t go together. Also, there is at least one turners club here. They were meeting in Shadyside, but I think they moved. I have yet to join, but plan on doing so. I’ll look for the details and send them to you.

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7228 posts in 3992 days

#5 posted 11-10-2018 10:30 PM

Tooch you know you can’t give up …..... don’t you? You can do this Tooch I’m rooting for you!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9423 posts in 2968 days

#6 posted 11-10-2018 10:49 PM

It happens…. put that one on the shelf to remind yourself of what not to do next time :^)

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View Tooch's profile


2013 posts in 2515 days

#7 posted 11-10-2018 10:59 PM

Thanks for the encouragement and support from everyone. Worst part is that I know better than to rush, but sometimes when there is deadline you just can’t help it…

I have a feeling I’ll be back sooner than last time. When the kids at school are involved, it’s always an extra motivation to figure things out.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23854 posts in 3745 days

#8 posted 11-10-2018 11:34 PM

Hi Mike. that 2 hr session for turning club after school sounds like a good idea. I find the students just get started turning well and it’s time to clean up with a 1 hr class. Then if you run over to finish a project…there is no back to back class that they have to run off to.

You’ll do well making pens. I gave it a go once and we have all the stuff at school to make them so I might have some of our kids try one . The lathe is the most fun tool in the shop!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Tooch's profile


2013 posts in 2515 days

#9 posted 11-11-2018 01:08 AM

Thanks Jim. I’m thinking about purchasing another small lathe, any suggestions?

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Richard's profile


11309 posts in 3672 days

#10 posted 11-11-2018 01:28 AM

Nice Project & Well Done!

Rick S.

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View doubleDD's profile


9048 posts in 2682 days

#11 posted 11-11-2018 02:02 PM

I felt the early pain of defeat when I first started on the lathe. It seemed like anything I made would end up getting a crack in it. When I started to use the lathe more as a pass time tool rather than a project making tool is when things started to come together. Now it’s one of my favorite tools and I use it all the time. Good luck when you get back on the saddle again.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View leafherder's profile


1899 posts in 2591 days

#12 posted 11-11-2018 04:35 PM

Sure accidents happen, but when everything goes right woodworking gives you an amazing feeling of accomplishment. Focus on the positives not the negatives – and maybe add a decorative filler to that crack (tinted resin or crushed stone inlay maybe?)

Have a great week.

-- Leafherder

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