I was fortunate to get some nice poplar from my roommate. After emailing Ben to check, it seemed like this piece would work and I was glad I had some extra to work with, as you will read below.
I really enjoyed getting to make something practical. There wasn’t anything mysterious to the process, but I did not get the order of operations correct, so I was left with some pieces that didn’t look as good as they could.
For instance, I made a 3/4” hole for the handle, but it turns out (no pun intended) that I can’t get close enough since the live center is larger than that. Unfortunately, I had already drilled a 3/4” hole in the handle and had to put it back on the drill press and widen the hole, which left me with some chunky bits where the handle meets the head. I also had to turn another handle from scratch to be 1” at the end. Luckily, I had enough wood for this reworking.
I chose to use metal pins because that was what we had them laying around the shop. Luckily, I found some that fit, as I had already drilled a 1/4” hole. I should have checked the bin first. I do plan on finishing it, but honestly, I would like to turn another on altogether with these lessons in mind.
Another issue I had was that I wasn’t using the drill press properly. I wasn’t working it up and down to clear the hole of wood debris as it cut down. I was also seeing smoke which was another indication that I wasn’t running it properly as working it up and down will cool it off as the cut progresses.
I also got some chipping on the edges of the head due to the hand saw catching when I was taking off the ends. Now I know why Ben did this so gingerly on the demo video.
I also had some trouble with the lathe as it would catch and stop turning sometimes. This was very troubling, so I grabbed John, and he double checked my technique. It seemed to stop, although I can’t recall his solution :( I also tried to turn my own holder for the drill, but the wood I chose (Plywood?) didn’t turn very well at all and was chipping off in shards.