Like 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.
Below 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.
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.