Lathes and Turning #2: My first finished project!

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Blog entry by swamps42 posted 06-01-2011 11:57 AM 1588 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been trying very hard to create a honey dipper, but since I don’t have an appropriate parting tool, it’s next to impossible. I have gotten very good at turning a square 2″x2″ bit of super cheap construction lumber into 10″ long dowels that are about 2″ diameter. I’m also very good at making saw dust.

Today I completed my first finished lathe project, the first project that didn’t explode before I was done making it! I made a nostepinne, which is a bit less involved than a honey dipper. I’d never successfully wound up a ball of yarn on one before and I do have a cheap turn-crank ball winder for my fiber business. I made this nostepinne custom to the size of my hand and put beads at the ends of the handle. I’d never successfully made bead work on the lathe either, so that was another first.

I used the 2″x2″ pine I had left over from building a shelf unit for my bedroom a while back. I cut a roughly 11 inch bit, loaded it up, and started turning. I also finished the piece while it was still on the lathe. I moved up my sand paper progressively until I was using 1000 grit sand paper. Then I used paper towels to apply a dark walnut stain rather lightly and rubbed in some butcher block finish while it was still spinning. Once the finishes dried, I used a mineral oil and beeswax polish. It was so smooth before the polish that it no longer felt like touching wood, much less the super rough construction 2″x2″ beam!

Then, probably because it was sized so perfectly, I took it home and wound up a little ball of red scrap yarn. It’s a near perfect ball of red yarn now! I’m very excited. Now, when I do fun reenactment type events where I’m spinning on my wheel I can take this wonderful tool along with me.

I’m off to get ready for bed and get out of these saw dust caked clothes now. I’ve got a big day tomorrow. I’ve got a doctor’s appointment way too early in the morning, a lunch break, physical therapy, and then knit group and possibly more wood working! Whew. I don’t have nearly enough spoons to get through that all.

-- -Kim, Peyton, CO

6 comments so far

View thefishingschool's profile


41 posts in 4475 days

#1 posted 06-01-2011 04:00 PM

good job looks like youre enjoying your lathe…it is my favorite thing to do in the shop. hopefully it becomes yours also

-- wood takes time and effort... just like women

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 5543 days

#2 posted 06-01-2011 04:39 PM

Nice start! It sounds like you are firmly ‘hooked.’ And ‘learning by doing’ is the best way. Welcome to LJs, and hope to see your progress on new projects!


View HerbC's profile


1822 posts in 4317 days

#3 posted 06-01-2011 04:49 PM


Nice project. I had never heard of a nostepinne. Had to google it. Neat tool.

When your plate’s full, it usually best to just take one bite at a time and enjoy the flavor of the moment.

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4325 days

#4 posted 06-01-2011 05:36 PM

Swamp, welcome to Lumberjocks. You’re doing good and you should be proud of yourself. Before my son passed away he took up the lathe and he got very good at making small baseball bats on his first day. I’m sure that you have a baseball bat laying around and you could use it as a pattern. They really do make a fun little project that is fairly simple to do. Good luck and keep up the good work.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 5043 days

#5 posted 06-01-2011 09:26 PM

Please be very careful with lathes they are dangerously addictive ,LOL .Wow well done young lady a nice starter project better than my first attempts. Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View swamps42's profile


42 posts in 4026 days

#6 posted 06-03-2011 10:21 AM

Thank you everyone for the kind comments and the welcomes! I do enjoy the lathe work quite a bit, but I can feel myself being pulled back toward my scroll saw. That’s what I’m really hooked on. It seems the learning curve on the lathe is much, much steeper. Granted I’ve also been using a scroll saw for years longer!

I may make some mini baseball bats to go along with some sewn baseball dolls for a local craft show. My lathe can’t make anything close to full size, but the honey dipper I did this evening looks suspiciously like a miniature baseball bat! I’m getting more and more into mixing my crafts, so I think the idea of sewn baseball dolls, with sewn clothes, hand knit socks, and scale appropriate baseball bats would be adorable!

-- -Kim, Peyton, CO

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