Selling Free

As I mentioned my current Lathe was free. As in, I didn't pay anything for it. As such anything that I get for its sale will be a profit. I'm hopefully selling it tonight. I have been saving. (Truth be told I got some side work and most of my 'savings' came from 4 hours of computer work)

Regardless I'm still about $70 short of buying a new lathe. This is the one I've got my eye on..

For the price the is one of the most feature packed Mini Lathes. Lots of reviews have come out for this unit. Many claimed that when they were first released (2006) they are prone to trouble. Now you scarcely hear that. Considering that this will be my first new stationary tool purchase, I'm not too worried. All my power tools are prone to troubles. What's one more?

For me, since I don't need the 30" between centers that my current lathe offers, smaller is better. In addition it boasts a 12" swing (9 1/2 over the tool rest) . My current is 9", or like 7" over the rest. Plus by upgrading I can get rid of my 1/3 hp outboard motor and take up only 1/2 the footprint of my current lathe.

So I got a buyer coming tonight. I got the lathe all cleaned up and oiled. She runs well, and hopefully I can get the bucks I need for my new toy. Wow. This turning stuff sure does hit the pocketbook hard!

You Turn Me...

How many lathe jokes are there on the planet? Not many. As such my humor on the subject falls a bit off center. I try to turn it round to something amusing, but I'm left spinning out more mediocre fair. Forgive me. I needed to get that out of my system. I suppose, it turned out...okay.

When it comes to woodworking, I've been diverted. An interesting turn of events. The lathe. With the lathe I have stopped working will all my other tools. They don't even exist except to serve the lathe. I bought a drill press, just so I could make pens. There is something so fun about it, one part bliss, three parts bane.

My lathe was free.

With my free lathe I had to purchase $250 dollars worth of 'essentials' which blew my mad money to kingdom come. If you know anything about turning, the spending never levels off. So in order to keep from spending another $200 I didn't have, I decided to spend $60 I didn't have instead on pen making stuff. I also bought $60 worth of pen kits.

So...I now make pens.

I've been giving them away as fast as I make them, mostly without taking pictures. There are about 3 pens that I did REALLY well (Yellowheart, Paduk and an Oak). But I have no photo proof. Shrug

Below are a few of my pens I have taken pictures of.

First couple of slimlines. One is maple... the other, I'm not sure. Nasty splintery stuff.

Slimline style In English Walnut with ergo thingy. My first attempt at a CA finish... Not quite right...

Euro style Oak with English Walnut. My first attempt at a Celtic knot. Got the CA finish down...botched everything else.

So there it is. An addiction that has cost me close to $400, and all I've got to show for it are four lousy pens.

Thumb In My Eye

Woodworking is, without a doubt, my favorite hobby now. I started out getting hooked on this hobby, from making a small, "bookshelf toy shelf living room space saver thing". When I first completed it, I was like a new dad.

"COME SEE MY BOOKCASE! See, how it's square? See the shelf and how level it is!? Did you notice those nice clean butt joints?"

About a week later someone said to me, "Welcome to the craft. Enjoy it. And after a while, you'll look back at your first project with disgust."

"Oh, Okay. Thanks for the advice. I'm sure that applies to you, but I'm perfect. Sorry you didn't get the memo."

"That's absurd," I thought. How could I ever see anything but perfection in this?

Well... he's was right. I've only been woodworking for about 9 months, and I find that that this 'perfect' bookshelf is an unrelenting thumb in my eye whenever I come home. Every time I look at it, I get ill. Its funny, because looking back, I can't see how I ever thought of it as quality. The shelf sags, the plywood edging isn't hidden, there are gaps in the casework and the finish is a blotchy and offensive to the eyes. I made it in about 8 hours. At the time I was bubbling with joy. Now I wish I'd taken more time on it.

I was just so excited that I made something. Something that I could put books and toys on it without it giving way. Something that made a huge improvement for space in my living room. Something that didn't exist before I dreamed it into creation.

When I compare it to my second piece, the difference is staggering. My second piece was an over the toilet cabinet stand thing. I planed it out, designed it, worked out dimensions and took weeks to assemble. The standing toilet cabinet isn't perfect, but it does show growth.

So I guess what the point of this post is simply this, without a starting point, you cannot grow. So it's not as perfect as I though it would be, but it's still the first. And nothing I do can change that the nasty thumb in my eye piece of woodworking, is what helped me find this diverting new hobby.