Tag Archives: Lathe

Trying a little magic

So my little girl comes home from day care the other day with a magic wand… this was a stick painted gold… it looked surprisingly enchanted! So I think to myself, I have wood and resin and glitter, time for some magic (or experiments)

So I cut some timber and mixed some resin…

Things were looking hopeful but you would be surprised how well resin flows, particularly flows out of where it is supposed to be and onto the bench… after a top up and a wee whizz on the lathe we have magic prototype number 1:

With a few upgrades to the process (and the construction of some new tools for working with hard resin and soft timber at the same time) I have managed these:

I think it’s a pretty good start!

A little magic…

So here is the latest experiment… wood, resin, and most importantly, GLITTER!

cut and  pour:


I actually had some quote significant leaks there… ended up with a lot of pretty glitter on the bench… its still there actually, its really hard.

so cut it up, get it in the lathe and then:



You will just have to imagine your own magic sound effects… they are not included in this project…

the rocky road of another shade

Deep as that that title sounds, this is merely a post about me making another light shade. If you have been following along with my work (although I’m not certain how you would, unless you are one of my close friends), you would know that i have been making some lamp shades that feature some burnt… burntness… burning…

without further babbling, here is the time lapse of the thing whole saga:

Some of the journey that you might not have gleaned from the timelapse:

Things were coming along swimmingly, it was roughed out:


and had undergone some charring:


i was just shaping it down when… well…


Needless to say, i was forlorn… but it turns out that some glue and many clamps are sufficient to recover from such an incident… heres the finished piece (i ended up putting it on a different base):IMG_9412.JPGIMG_9431.JPG

and one last thing… you can buy it on etsy:


The Lathe Rough Out, a concise guide

So i work mainly from whole branches… with bark on… this is partly a decision of aesthetics and partly one of being tight… I love the knotty,  barkey effect that you get from working with the whole cross section of a log, lots of character… Buuuuuut i have also never paid actual money for stock timber…

so this is how i go from a lump of wood (poorly dried) to the start of a piece, in this case a light shade. Here’s the time lapse:


so basically, i mount it up, chip off some excess bark, roughly round it, cut in a chuck mount and bobs your father…

i also inset the chuck mount, this is a little trick that allows me to fit something into the recess for holding the shade onto a light fitting… just a little trick…

On another note… A dice cup

So i have been waiting to find some good stock to make a dice cup from… Generally i dont buy timber to use on the lathe because, well, im not really very good… So i use timber that i have laying around. This means that, generally, the timber im using in the lathe is pretty sub par. this piece is no exception. It does mean, however, that this little cup has some pretty crazy features in the wood…

I made a little stop motion of the process:

you might notice that at one stage i take the piece off the lathe and then put it back on… at that point i took it off the face plate and microwave dried it… if your into lathing and you haven’t tried this, its really easy and pretty effective!

heres the finished product

IMG_5063 IMG_5064

Alice’s knob… So to speak


Make a new power knob today… I’m sure it will look a lot better after she gets a coat of paint 😉

I’m making all these out of some Tasmanian melaleuca, aka tee tree, that we were actually give when a friend cut a tree out if his yard… You can see it on the lathe about half way through roughing out…
It’s a pretty scrappy bit if timber, actually an off cut, so the quality of the finished knob is a bit low, some very fine cracking, but I don’t think it will come under too heavy scrutiny at my place… Being taken from the trunk, this section seems to lack the nice black striping that some if the smaller limbs sport… Sad but true…

Next is the steam knob I think