Christmas is a great time for making things. So what better reason to introduce my olders daughter to the lathe in this newest Adventure in the Workshop? She makes a Christmas Tree Tealight Holder from walnut. Her patience for sanding is not the best, but as she says, this way you know you made it yourself. Please enjoy and share! And as always, remember to be Inspired!
In a project I was working on (the tintin rocket) I had to flatten some segmented rings. I ended up using the thickness sander method I am showing you here, using a spindle sander or a sanding drum. I hope you find it useful and share it with your friends! Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!
Ways to improve your thickness sander further
One major problem with this kind of sanding is that it is easy to push the piece faster than the sanding drum can remove material. Forcing it can cause the sandpaper to overheat and clog up with sawdust, which will in turn make it even harder to remove material – and ruin the sanding sleeve quickly. It can also cause deflection by pushing the axis out of alignment, resulting in skewed pieces.
The best way to avoid both problems is to take it slow. If it requires force to push a piece through, back off. Turn the screw back a notch and try again. Taking 10 light passes will get you better results than 2 heavy ones, and in the end it will not take you that much more time.
You probably noticed already that you should always put in pieces against the rotation of the drum. Otherwise, your thickness sander turns into a workpiece accellerator, which means you either get shot at by your tool or have to play fetch every time you let go of your workpiece.
The same applies if for some reason you get the idea to use your belt sander for this, which is something I would not recommend. Although it is probably possiblbe with the right amount of care and accuracy.
Dust collection is a big topic in the shop these days, and so it should be. But some tools do not play well with a dust collector, and the lathe is on the top of that list with all those pesky shavings flying this way and that. So I came up with a solution that did not quite live up to my expectations, but even though I stopped using it, I give you – the lathe shroud. Let me know if you find some use for this in your shop! And as always, remember to be Inspired!
I wanted to clock some lathe practice while making a Christmas ornament. The Balance Tree is the result of that paired with my desire to use different wood species to make things look more interesting as well as adding a hopefully unexpected twist to it. Using springs, even though it is winter! Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!