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Metal Spinning 101


It turns out that wood turning and metal spinning are both done on a lathe, so we had a little wood turning prerequisite class on our way to making guacamole bowls. Here's how it went...

First you need a block of wood, a few tools and some safety goggles. Then it's time to prepare the wood to go on the lathe.

Earl Powell, our ever reassuring instructor gives us the rundown on the lathe.

And away we go, we set the wood..

And grab our gouges...

[caption id="attachment_3194" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Gotta love the headdress!"][/caption]

The wood looks so smooth while it's spinning, but it's really rough and requires several rounds of gouges and the sanding. We just needed the basics so we stopped at this:

We came back a few weeks later trading wood for aluminum to see if we could get this bowl thing going.

We met up with Earl again and got started...

[caption id="attachment_3202" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="We set the chuck... here I am acting like I know what I'm doing"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3203" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Wait, I'm going to turn this aluminum disc into a bowl?"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3204" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="You put this crazy stick under you arm and start pushing it..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3206" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Carrie's turn. She's taller, she's clearly watched me with my natural abilities, she gets into it... but will it pay off?"][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3207" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="This thing spins like a million miles an hour. But Earl stays close and makes sure we're in good form..."][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3209" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="There's lots of pushing and leaning and the tricky part; turning the lip of the top rim of the bowl. But the next thing you know, you're polishing this gorgeous piece... "][/caption]

[caption id="attachment_3210" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="And then you've got a class full of guacamole bowls! Thanks, Earl! And THANKS TECHSHOP!!!"][/caption]

And perfect timing too because Carrie had a little party shortly after class and word in the room was that our bowls were fabulous! Even our rustic chunks of wood look great and work for candles and holding up our bowls. The only bad news? We ate all the guacamole before we got a picture so Carrie sent me this... apparently the bowls are good for fruit, candles, cereal...  Great time, Carrie! 'til next time!!!

Check out the classes at TechShop and take a look at the beautiful work of Earl Powell. You'll be glad you did!


1 comment


  • Carole

    very cool! When are you going to share your painted ceramic bowl? :)


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