Ok, so for the last few years I have been moving toward total hand tool work. But, despite my efforts, for one reason or another I’ve managed to hang on to a few vestiges of my machine days.
My ancient Craftsman bench saw and Walker Turner drill press still give good service from time to time when I need to rip a piece, or drill holes more accurately than I can do by hand. And, I still get good use of my Ridgid thickness planer, when I’m too lazy to do it by hand (such as this morning, when I took an eighth inch off of some white oak). But now, there has been a new transgression.
I’ve been wanting to get into turning for a while now, but haven’t had any pressing need that mandated a purchase. I always figured I’d just build a treadle lathe, which I prefer over the pole lathe (I like the idea of constant motion as opposed to the back and forth of the pole type). There was always the problem with space, which is still at a premium, and the complexity of the flywheel. I could overcome the flywheel problem eventually, with enough time put into it. But, sometimes things come up that put a quick end to procrastination. I suddenly have a project that will require some turned legs. Not long ones, thank goodness, but 16 inchers for a bench. So, an expedient was needed.
Above is my new Nova Comet II lathe. Not a monster by any means. But, for turning pens, chair legs, chess pieces, and small bowls, it will work just fine. And, it happens to fit perfectly in the last square foot of space available in the power section of my shop. Small as it is, it will tide me over until I clear out some space to fit my Barnes Velocipede (which I have yet to find). Until then, I think a few Hail Mary’s and an Act of Contrition will absolve my sin.
P.S. – I have done a bit to make some space. I sold my two powered sanders and my router. The router bits I donated to a local Middle School shop class.