I was watching a video by George Vondriska about using CA for turning and saw him turning a top on the lathe. I thought this would be a cool project to try. So the other day when I cut some blanks out of 8/4 ash for some handles, I cut an extra square blank for turning tops. The one on the left was my first attempt. I think I made it a little too top heavy. The one on the right was my second and best performing attempt. After the first two tops, I tried getting a little fancier, but this top didn’t spin nearly as well as the second one. I think I took off too much material from the middle.
I thought red oak had pore problems, wow ash really has some big pores. Despite having nice grain and being easy to work, I can see why it isn’t used for fine furniture.
Since I’ve discovered turning produces copious amounts of shavings, I decided to try using a tarp under the lathe to contain some of the mess. I found that the tarp caught most of the shavings that would have normally covered the bench and floor, although I’m not sure if it was ultimately a time saver or not. I spent just as much time brushing off the lathe into the tarp, moving the lathe, and trying to empty the shavings into a trash can without spilling them all over as I would have cleaning up the normal way. But, this was only three tops worth of shavings, maybe the effort will be worth it for a larger project.