Wednesday, February 5, 2014

File handles from a bare-bones lathe

These are a couple of file handles I turned from cocobolo scraps the other day. I needed some for a set of saw files and wanted something smaller than typical so they could fit in the tool roll. Also, if you have a lathe, it seems silly to buy something this simple. 

I have a lathe, but only barely. It's a grizzly "hobby lathe", and I wouldn't recommend it to most people. The tool rest isn't very solid and the drill holder required modification. It came with the wrong size wrench too. However, for a guy like me who doesn't have the space for a real lathe and a workbench in the same shop, this contraption that I can hang on the wall is pretty satisfactory.
I screwed the extruded aluminum base to a scrap of 2x10 which can be solidly clamped to my bench. There is an external speed control hooked up, but it has not yet proved necessary. My one and only lathe tool at the moment started as the tool-that-which-shall-not-be-named, but I ground the useless rasp teeth off and turned into a skew chisel that needs sharpening after two minutes of use.

Nevertheless, it worked fairly well and I am very satisfied with the result. I can see why people like turning. Nearly-instant gratification, and no joinery to mess up make for a fun experience.

   While I've got saw filing on the brain, I'll just mention that my first impression of the gramercy saw vise that just arrived is very positive. The only two previous occasions on which I've tried filing my own saws taught me that awkwardly clamping the saw to the end of the bench is the hardest part. Now I am expecting saw filing to be fairly quick and painless.

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