Oct 11 2012

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Offset Turning

A few months ago I rewatched an episode of the Woodwright’s Shop where Roy Underhill made some oval handles using offset turning. At the time I thought this is something I’d to try on my lathe. So when I needed drawer pulls for my table saw cart, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Since I built the cart from pine, I thought that regular SPF 2×4’s would make good stock for offset turning. So I cut a square chunk of clean grained 2×4 off a scrap and started laying out the three axes about 1/2″ apart. After drilling pilot holes for all three axes, I mounted the blank onto a screw center using the center hole and shaped the blank into a flattened mushroom. Then I mounted the blank using one of the offset holes and slowly started paring away material.

My first guess on how far off center the axes should be was too large. I ended up cutting into the axis. Even if I would have stopped before breaking through, I didn’t like how the pull was turning out. So I made a new blank, this time spacing the axes closer together. Plus, to save time, I cut off the corners of the blank using my miter saw sled. Once I had turned the pull using all three axes, I had a pull that I liked, that is except the grain was going the wrong way.

A few more tries later, I had what I thought were two good looking pulls that I thought matched the look of the table saw cart.

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