Wednesday, 13 May 2020

TURNING a SPINNING TOP - A Power Lathe or Pole Lathe

Power Lathe or Pole Lathe - That is the Question???

I've a power lathe with 10 foot bed in the workshop - it's an Apollo - hand built and a beautiful piece of engineering.  I spoke to the chap who made it and he was still in love with my model and could actually remember making it when I chatted with him on the phone.  So I've been making more treen using power and it's something that's taking me a long time to get used to.  I've also acquired a pillar drill and bandsaw - all very horrible, noisy and dusty!  So I've also had to invest in an industrial type hoover and a proper extractor and a ventilating head vizor mask thing to protect my lungs from dust. So I decided I'd still turn the wood green, one I like the ribbon shavings and two you don't get the dust.  Also I can turn as slowly or as fast as I do on the Pole Lathe.
So spinning top time and I did use my axe to start to rough out my billet but stopped myself and used the machinery!  This is all in aid of my back which I'm really careful of ever since I had an attack of sciatica which took months to recover from, so remember folks look after your back!
Billet prepared with Band Saw

Then for a bit of turning to get a good shape.
Power Lathe

Used the pillar drill to get the holes good and parallel - now I do really appreciate this power tool much less strenuous on the chest and shoulders!
Pillar Drill

Shaping is fun - plenty of beads & coves, decorate with black lines, think of the centre of gravity and you should be fine.

Spinning Top Components

Separate the components, carve your point and your just about set for a record breaking spinner.  I used a Hazel twig for my puller - looks good and does the job.

Spinning Top

And the movie of how well it balances and the speed it goes at - it's half time speed folks that's why the parakeets sound like a horror movie in the background!   And then have a look here at the movie Making a Spinning Top using a Pole Lathe for the same process - I know which one I prefer...
Spinning Top Movie

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