Once a wood lathe has come into the woodworking shop there are a few things to consider as far as setting it up for work. It will likely be in use a fair amount of the time and the enjoyment of the tool will depend on the setup and installation. Here are six things to work on to make the craft more efficient and enjoyable.
First is the question of where the tool is going to sit in the shop. This may mean the movement of some other tools and in most shops once a tool is established it is seldom moved so this is a matter of some importance. Many shops place the major tools against the walls and leave the center free for assembly. If this is the case be careful not to place the lathe too close to the wall as it throws a lot of shavings and cleaning behind it can be a difficult proposition. Be sure to leave plenty of room for large pieces of wood to be turned and for dust collection and other tools to be used in connection with the lathe.
Second is the lighting for the tool. Good lighting is necessary not only for careful cutting but also for safety. It is easiest to install the lathe below good lights but if they are in use for other stationary tools it may be necessary to install some new ones.
Third is the need for a good stand. While some lathes come with floor stands many do not and will need one made. It will need to be sturdy to withstand the forces of turning out of balance wood. Some provision may need to be made for holding sand to add stability to the lathe.
This introduces the forth consideration which is the height of the lathe. As a general rule for long term comfortable turning, the height of the lathe center should be at the elbow height of the turner. While this can be adjusted with rising blocks under the stand legs or a thick mat for the turner to stand on, it is easier by far to make the lathe stand the right height in the first place.
Fifth there is the question of how the rest of the shop will work in relation to the lathe. In particular, the sharpening station, band saw and drill press are often used in lathe work. The sharpening station especially should be so close as to be easily moved to while turning so as not to interfere with the flow of the work.
Sixth is the matter of dust collection. Shavings are easily swept up and disposed of in the compost pile or to a friend's horse bedding. Fine dust from sanding, however, is a major health hazard and needs to be removed as soon as possible. A dust collection system needs to be handy to the lathe and a good sanding mask should also be used.
Taking care of these simple considerations will make the whole experience of setting up and using the wood lathe much easier. A little thought ahead of time will make the craft more enjoyable for a long time to come.
This post was made using the Auto Blogging Software from WebMagnates.org This line will not appear when posts are made after activating the software to full version.