About Alan

Alan has been a member since January 5th 2012, and has created 135 posts from scratch.

Alan's Bio

This bio is from profile information

Alan's Websites

This Author's Website is http://www.AsWoodTurns.com

Alan's Recent Articles

Woodturning Is For The Birds

Wood Birds

Also viewable on YouTube

I turned these two birds to answer the challenge by my local woodturning club. The club often challenges its members to bring in a challenge turning after a presentation on the same topic. Last month, Kathleen Duncan demonstrated turning wood birds. Hence the challenge topic.

These birds are about 3 inches long turned from walnut and elm and finished with shellac.


Woodturning A Hollow Reversible Tea Light

Also viewable on YouTube

Walnut Tea LightAfter I made the UFO spaceship for E.T. a few weeks ago, a viewer suggested it could also be a tea light.

Well, how do you turn a UFO into a tea light? Tough question.

So, I started over with a new piece of walnut about 7″ x 3″. I wanted a recess to hold a LED tea light. As the design evolved, I realized it could also be reversible. I’ve hollowed out the interior to make the form very light.

However, there is no access to the interior.

How did I do that?


Update To My DIY Lathe Steady Rest

Steady Rest

Also viewable on YouTube

I’ve been using my home made steady rest for over a year. During this time, I’ve thought of a couple of improvements:

  1. Use locknuts in place of the nuts. Vibration in use caused nuts to come loose and fall off.
  2. Replace the base that mounts it to the lathe so that I can place the tool rest closer to the project and the steady rest.

Other than the nuts, replacing the base was the easy part. I still needed the steady to be adjustable so the key upgrade was a coupling assembly. This assembly enables the steady upright to be attached to the base but enables adjustment without any tools.

I used the original steady replacing the base, adding the coupling assembly, and shortening the steady’s upright. Here’s a link to the original steady rest. Here’s a link to the original post.

I hope you will find this upgrade as useful as I am.

Please be sure to understand this project completely so that you can adapt the measures to your lathe and so that you can use it safely. When you make your own tools you have both the opportunity to make quality tools adapted to your own projects and the sole responsibility for safety.



Revisit Mixed Open & Closed Segment Bowl

Also viewable on YouTube

Mixed Open & Closed Segment BowlA few weeks ago I made this bowl for my neighbor who had moved away. But, before I could give it to him, segments in the base separated. Likely, the wood was not a dry as I had assumed.

So, to fix this problem, I made a new segment ring. I planned to leave the very center open and fill it with casting resin. I could have cut the entire old ring off but decided to inset the new ring inside the old base rim. However, creating two tenons with a shoulder between was problematic. The joint inside the bowl was too wide for my tastes. So, I opened the top portion of the joint a little more with a parting tool. Then I filled the entire bottom, both center and ring with casting resin.

Meanwhile, it seemed that my segments were taking on moisture my the glue and warping while gluing. This may have been the cause for the original failure. I took extra precautions to maintain pressure while gluing to avoid the warping. We’ll have to see if this works as planned. I’ll hold off giving my former neighbor the bowl for a few more weeks.


Hollow Form UFO Spaceship For My Old Friend ET

Walnut UFOI worked for Atari, the video game company, when the movie ET came out. The movie was a blockbuster. Our CEO immediately purchased the video game rights and shoved it thru design and production in record time to have the game in stores for Christmas. We made millions of the ET game.

Alas, ET the game was a dog, the biggest video game flop of all time. Christmas sales were fantastic. But, customer returns in January were incredible.

What were we to do with all those games? We tried everything we could think of: dis-assembly, recycling, crushing, and landfills. Theft was always a huge concern.

Once, we waited until the landfill opened up a new deep area. We sent around twenty truckloads of games including ET to be buried. But word got out anyway and people showed up with shovels to dig up games. To prevent this scavenging, we ordered trucks of concrete poured over the games that had been dumped. To add insult to injury, we had to pay dump fees for the concrete in addition to the games.

Recently the news featured an archaeological dig at the landfill with great mystery. They got it all wrong.

In memory of ET, I made this spaceship or UFO from walnut. It is about 3″ high and 7″ in diameter finished with walnut oil.