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10533 Views 32 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  308Gap
Each day brings new delights

I'm glad that my last rainy day terror didn't dissuade me from my efforts. Thanks everyone for the upbeat words and encouragement… it actually made a big difference when I got out there again.

This weekend I went to Rockler and saw this great deal on Bocote turning blanks. Picked up three 1×1x12 for $1/pc. BTW… has anyone else noticed that Bocote smells like pickles when worked?! WEIRD! After turning two spindles, I decided that I was absolutely in love with the look and feel of Bocote… so I sent a minion back to Rockler yesterday and he picked me out 40 more pieces.

I also took my Russian spindles to my knitting circle and had a handful of really nice women hold and inspect my latest goodies… they liked them very much. I noticed that some of them mentioned that they were intimidated by spinning yarn. I want to make it my personal mission to rectify this in our local knitting community.

Spinning yarn is a joy and should not be scary… and it doesn't have to cost $500 (for a wheel) to get started. Spindle spinning is efficient, effective, and can be (in some cases) just as fast as production on a wheel. Best of all spindles are CHEAP and PORTABLE. Also… you can make them yourself with a little imagination and a few household items. OR you could be awesome and buy them from artisans like ME! Heh.

I think the major barrier to spinning for knitters is IT'S ONE MORE HOBBY and also… it's difficult to find affordable classes. Don't get me wrong… I love my local yarn shops, but some of them charge ridiculous prices for an introduction to spinning course. That's fine for people with gobs of disposable income, but in this economy… not so great for folks who only have $40 to spend on an afternoon. I want to fill that niche with my product and my experience.

I'm also thinking about donating classes to a charity that helps find activities for those with chronic illness that limits movement. I think that supported spindle spinning might be inspiring for people who can't walk or stand but have use of their hands. Must think on this some.


I went and picked up some awesome sanding pads from 3M called Sandblaster… they better be awesome for the price of $3.50 a pad. I should go turn a spindle and try them out.
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The agony of de feet.

... and the back. And the throat!

I flew through minor throat surgery with flying colors. It kept me out of the shop for 5 days. In that time, I managed to work up a pretty decent backlog of orders. (I create and sell custom tools for hand spinning yarn.)

Catching up has been a mixed bag. I'm feeling a little off my sculpting game. So my first spindle, while functional and to the order of my client, just didn't please me. The weight was too much, the Cherry bruised, the bead was off…

BTW, Cherry can bruise when scraped. It left dark areas in my detailed work when it soaked up polishing oil. It's not something they tell you at the check out counter when you're buying the stuff. You find out when you're finished with a project and it has welts all over it and you are frustrated and banging your head against a wall because there went 3 hours of your life. Too bad, so sad.

Next Cherry wood turning, I made sure that my skew tool was nice and sharp. I avoided scraping. Yet, I still experienced some bruising, but I anticipated it and made sure I could sand a bit and it was minimal.

I liked my second Cherry spindle design and shape a lot more than the first, so I am going to go back to the client and offer them a choice between the two.

Also… I learned that I need to pick up a floor pad to stand on. 4 hours at the lathe (with breaks) is OK. 6 hours wrecked my back. And, I wish my stand was 3 inches taller.

Also… I bought an inexpensive Skil bandsaw as a get-well gift for myself. I'd like to set it up this weekend. I wish I had a drill press too. Drill press for me? Anyone?
Hi Lisa,
Good to have you back… Glad to hear your surgery went well… Looking forward to seeing more of your unique turnings…
I'm still a rookie on the lathe, but am slowly getting better… I use it as practice time while waiting for other projects are in the glue up stages…
Hope you find a great deal on the drill press, best of luck to you,
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