One thing I was warned about by the salespeople at Rockler when I bought the lathe (and reinforced through numerous videos on YouTube) was when your item on the lathe “explodes”. I thought it was an odd term, but as I’ve found out, it’s an accurate term.
It’s one thing if you do not have the item tight enough in the chuck and it comes loose or even goes flying off. Sometimes though, the wood is brittle or has some wicked knots or unnatural inclusions in it, or you just get too aggressive with your tools. Then the item just splits and literally explodes off of the lathe.
I finally had my first explosion. And it was indeed spectacular! I got a little too aggressive with my tools and didn’t realize that I was already so thin in the bottom of the bowl. One more push in the middle and I ended up with not just a hole in the piece, but my tool then caught the side of the hole and split the bowl in half. Of course, at 1200 rpm the two pieces went flying off in opposite directions, with one piece going a good 20 feet in the process…
Of course, every problem is just an opportunity in disguise, right?
Since the bowl was broken, I took the opportunity to play with coloring epoxy. The end result was, well, less than spectacular since I did a few things wrong:
- I didn’t wait long enough for the epoxy to cure before trying to turn the excess away, so I ended up smearing colored epoxy all over
- Lack of curing also causes the bowl to start to separate when it’s spun on the lathe; thanks centrifugal force…
- Epoxy doesn’t fill a nickel-sized hole very well if you don’t give it some sort of support while it’s curing
- I probably added too much powdered pigment to the epoxy
But that won’t stop me from trying again and doing even better next time!