Well, I certainly have had some excitement in the shop. But not necessarily the good type of excitement. I won a large pine bowl blank at the last Baltimore Area Turners Club meeting as a raffle prize. I normally don’t turn pine because you can get nasty tear out with such a soft wood, but I thought it would be a good piece to practice on, and perhaps if it turned out alright, I might gild the entire vessel for further gilding practice too.
We all know what wee Bobbie Burns had to say about the plans of mice and men, therefore things did not quite go as planned.
I mounted the blank and shaped the backside of the piece, then I started working on the final cuts to clean up the tear out with pretty good success. I powered off the lathe, put a fresh edge back on my tool, and then decided turn up the speed on my lathe to assist with the final pass. (Serious dramatic music is now playing in the background of your mind) The vibration started within seconds of turning on the lathe. Thankfully as I was standing off to the side (as I had been trained) and promptly cut the lathe back off, but it was too late! The fates had already played their cards, and just like that, this bowl, about the size of a wheel of cheese, comes flying off the lathe! Houston, we have a problem! Next thing you know, I see this wheel of cheese fly across the shop and hit the wall on the other side. If I had been standing in front of the lathe I would have gotten a Mike Tyson knockout punch!
This year has been a really crappy, and the past couple of months have been a real bitch, but at least I got a bit lucky today by not getting hit. As they say, luck is when preparation meets opportunity. Thank you Lyle Jamieson for training me to stand aside!