Friday, February 21, 2014

Making a Coffee Scoop Dealing with Small Diameter Turnings

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Hi Everyone,
I felt pretty darn good today so I decided to go and do a little work today on the next project, a coffee scoop out of some red oak I have in my wood pile.

When ever Im considering a project the first thing that always comes up is how to attach a project to the lathe. There are numerous ways to do this: a piece of wood can be attached to between centers (Ill show you a picture of that in a minute), it can be attached to a faceplate if its a dish or a bowl, or it can be placed inside of a specialized vice that screws onto a lathe:

This last method is used quite a bit as everything from bowls to plates, to small pieces of wood can be attached in this manner.

One type of specialized vice is called a collet chuck. These are chucks that hold small round or small square pieces of wood tightly enough so they can be turned on a lathe. I dont have a collet chuck and Ive been wanting to try to do some small diameter turnings so a collet chuck is a must. But being not employed for years on end means that Im not exactly rolling in dough so the answer is to make one out of some common stuff that can be found in the average garage.

To do this Im going to follow the instructions in a really great book my husband got me called Fixtures and Chucks for Woodturning by Doc Green (ISBN: 978-1-56523-519-9). This is an excellent reference for the novice or experienced wood turner and I highly recommend it. We will be making a collet chuck out of some scrap lumber, a section of pvc pipe, and a hose clamp:

I would like to make a small coffee scoop that has a capacity of about 1-2 tablespoons so I purchased a 2 inch diameter pvc pipe this morning and Im going to turn a piece of red oak into a blank that will fit inside of the pipe.

The first thing I did was cut off a 2" section of the pvc pipe on the table saw and I also cut a 6 inch section off of the red oak block.  I set aside the red oak for a few minutes and cut out two small circles from a scrap piece of pine-one piece is 2 inches in diameter and other other is 3 inches in diameter and Ive glued them together thus:

While this is drying (and Ill talk about this more tomorrow) Im going to place the red oak block on the lathe and get it turned down. Here is a photo of it placed between centers. This means that both ends of the block are attached to the lathe. This is a very safe method of turning and it cuts down on the amount of vibration that invariably creeps into a turning block of wood. Heres the photo:

Next, Im going to turn this block into a cylinder:

Then Im going to mark off the major sections of the cylinder for turning. This will consist of the scoop or cup portion and the handle portion:

And now Im going to begin turning. Youll see the handle and the cup or scoop portion of the red oak block begin to take shape in the following photos:

Ive partially turned the handle and here Im beginning to round down the cup portion. Im beginning to cut from right to left and Im cutting to the center where you can see a faint line that marks the center of the cup portion. Heres some more photos:

Here Ive reversed the turning and Im cutting the other end.

Now Ive rounded down both ends of the cup portion. Hmmm...this looks like a lemon on a stick....

Next, Ive taken the turning off of the lathe and tried to fit it into the pvc pipe, which  it will need to do if its going to fit inside of our collet chuck that were going to make tomorrow. Hmmm....the cup portion is far too large to fit inside so its back on the lathe for more turning:

Its rounder but its still a little too big and not quite round enough to fit inside of the pvc pipe so tomorrow Ill turn it down still more and Ill make the collet chuck for the final turning and youll see how this whole thing is going to go together.

See you tomorrow,

TedsWoodworking Plans and Projects

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