ideas for useful turning projects
Now that I’ve provided just about everyone I know with a pen, wine stopper, pepper mill, chain pull, and/or candle holder, I am wondering what other useful objects people make. By useful I mean not decorative (e.g., ornaments), bowls, or toys, but objects or components to larger projects that have a function: tool handles and drawer knobs,for example. I am asking in this forum, because I got interested in turning as one woodworking skill, not as an attempt at art in itself, and that’s my perception of participation here. Thanks
Check out Marleyturned.com and anything by Malcolm Tibbets, including any book he has written.
Marley also has many useful links on his web site for more information.
I like to make wooden spoons (out of hard maple). Only the handle is turned, but it makes a useful gift.
How about a set of table legs, some turned knobs and the table and drawer to go with it.
Then you'll have a reason to turn a bowl, vase and lamp to put atop the table and a pen to put in the drawer.
I like to make screwdrivers. Packing material (aka shavings) are another of my favourites to make. I always make a salt mill to go with the pepper mill.
What do you make the screwdrivers' blades out of? Ironwood? haha
Carlyle Lynch, in his industrial arts class, used to have all his first year students make a screwdriver. They turned the blades in a metal lathe, knurled one end, and ground (flat tip) or machined (philips) the other, hardened and tempered them and mounted them in a wooden handle turned in the shop's wood lathe.
A mallet is a project that may be totally lathe made, and kept right at the lathe as a handy accessory.
Candle holders, either single, or with two or four arms turned and joined to a central shaft and base, can also be a fun lathe project.
Google "Brewster chair" for a project that will keep you at the lathe for an hour or two.
Spinning wheel, yarn counter or "weasel", niddynoddy, all spinning tools that make good lathe projects.
See Wallace Nutting's Furniture Treasury for lots of period furnishings and accessories that involve or are completely made from turnings. Candlestands, candlestick holders, chairs, stools, handglasses (mirrors), pie crust crimpers.
Actually, I use basswood for the screwdriver blades. I've never stripped a screw since I've changed over from nasty steel drivers.
Good idea. Now that I think about it, a wood screwdriver ought to be just the thing for driving wood screws.
Rolling pins are a good item to turn. I glue boards with contrasting veneer between them. They look great and are heavy duty.
I learned how to turn a letter opener at my turning club, the whole thing, not just the handle. The blade is turned off center. I have some instructions around here somewhere if you're interested.
[Apology: this doesn't meet
[Apology: this doesn't meet the criterion that it be part of a bigger project. Sorry I didn't absorb the last part of your original post. I'll leave this here, though, because someone else might be interested]
Have you turned any scoops yet? The scoops with offset handles (requiring you to turn on 3 different centers) look like a project that would really challenge a new turner's skills! You're way ahead of me, for sure, but you might enjoy.
There is a very good video from one of the AAW symposia, found at the Woodworking Channel. The AAW videos aren't obvious when you get there, so here's the deal: Click on the link below, then look for the nearly invisible horizontal scroll bar and scroll right until you see AAW. Click and go down almost to the end, Soren Berger - Scoops
I downloaded that video and a few others to my computer for watching whenever. There might be a couple other projects there too that you'd like.
One of my favorites is turning lamps. Unfortunately, finding stock of sufficient dimension with interesting figure has become both difficult and expensive, though.
that's cuz all you n.
that's cuz all you n. mexicans have are cottonwoods...
four of us were out your way last summer looking to maybe go in on some land together. friend of mine named buck duncan has a thriving construction business in albq. told me that a project, to the tune of 50 thousand homes, is going to spring up just south of you. living were i do one can get rather cynical about that sort of thing. this past summer buck came out here for a visit. i and a friend took him on a 7 hour material run from one end of los angeles to the other and back again. he said he had no idea as to how vast this city really was.
To paraphrase Jeremiah Johnson, "I've been to a los angeles, Eef." ;-)
Actually, we have much more than cottonwoods here. In fact, I'm making a canoe out of sage brush bark. The only challenge is sealing between all those tiny pieces. ;-)
Bun feet and farmhouse table legs and customize all your screwdriver, chisel and bow saw handles. Long handles for horse barn's rakes and forks
Thanks everyone. I see some good ideas. Packing material is certainly within my skill range. Rosewood toothpicks would make a unique gift. Yeah table legs and bun feet. ForestGirl, I think scoops are a great idea.
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