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My Other Passion

The finished bowlLike many programmers I find myself drawn to other creative activities outside my main profession.  A couple of years ago I had a chance to get back into woodworking during my free time.  Unfortunately there is not as much free time as I would like. Like all Type 'A' personalities, I tend to not be one to leave too much free time in my life.

I recently finished another one of my projects.  This one was a wood turning project.  I had done a couple of simple turning projects just to get back into the hang of it, but this was my first real turning project of any complexity.  I think the final project turned out fairly well although anyone looking at it close-up would see that I still have some learning to do.  The finish is not my best and the underside of the bowl still has some rough ridges where I am still learning to handle my bowl gouge.

Turning a square bowlBelow are a couple images I took while turning the bowl.  Sometimes figuring out how to create woodturning designs is half the battle.  When making a square bowl, I just glue up a larger blank using my expensive hardwood (in this case a solid chunk of walnut) along with a much cheaper wood like poplar.

One of the things I really enjoy about woodturning is that I can complete a turning in a single day.  Most of my other woodworking projects can take days or weeks to complete, and that does not even count putting on a decent finish, which can be a multi-day process in itself.

Another image of the turning process.


As you can see, I do my wood turning on a ShopSmith, which is the central tool in my workshop.  Around this I have added a number of other specialized tools where I had room in the shop and a need for a more advanced capability.  I have found that the ShopSmith has provided a lot of basic functionality which is great when starting out, but as my skills grow, my desire for higher end tools has also grown.

I have a couple other projects in the works and as I get them done, I will post some additional pictures.


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