A bit before the end of 2011 I was fortunate enough to purchase a lathe.? Until now I’ve built all my drums using other methods to make them round.? These other methods aren’t exact, and are extremely time consuming.? No doubt though, I’m glad to have learned in this progression as it will only build on my knowledge and allow me to continue to build the best djembes I can.
I? love the artistry to turning wood on a lathe, there are some beautiful pieces and excellent artists out there.? This guy, Malcom Tibbetts,? has totally inspired me to get super creative on my drums and push my wood working skills.? I recently got his DVD and book and have learned a lot about how segmented turnings work, as well gathered some really good ideas on jigs.
So back to the lathe…
It was a big purchase for me, only rivaled by my 3hp SawStop table saw.? The lathe is the Jet 1642EVS-2 model? with the 2hp motor.? Jet had a killer sale before the end of the year and I ended up getting the lathe for about 600.00 off it’s original price.? I was looking at the PowerMatic 3520 as it allows a little bit bigger drums to be turned (at least in diameter).? However for the price of the Jet, I figured when I get to that point I can sell this guy for not a whole lot less that I have in it.? I thought the 42″ bed on the Jet would be more than I’d ever need, but it turns out once my jigs are in place and I’ve got a 12×26″ ashiko on there, it takes up most the bed.? I love how smooth and quiet it runs.? I was able to turn out some small djembe ornaments for friends and family for Christmas.?? These were the first pieces of wood I turned.
I really enjoy the process of wood turning, and more-so all the possibilities that have opened up for drum building!
Instead of buying a 1,000 dollar dedicated disc sander, I got a 20 dollar faceplate for the lathe, attached a piece of melamine and got some 15″ sanding discs… well for this photo I only had 12″ discs available at the local Wood Craft.? I had to order the 15″ discs online.
The setup works like a charm on the lathe!? I have seen plans for adding a tilting bed that mounts to the lathe and even includes a miter slot… I may get there, but for now this rigs main purpose is to true up sections before glue up.? True up to Glue up!? (I’m a dork..) Now my sections glue up with an accuracy that I’ve never been able to achieve before… and the time saved… sheww.. I have time to write on my blog again 🙂
One last thing before I head to bed… I had no idea what I was in for after the initial purchase of the lathe.? Planning for something like this is key, but I had some extra funds from holiday orders so jumped on the sale… well, the nova chuck, extra face plates, extra live center for the tail stock, extra jaws for the chuck, face sheild, and the set of Easy Wood Tools (new generation of lathe chisels)? that I purchased all added up QUICK!? I was down to broke in no time!? I realized quick I need better dust collection at the lathe, but that will have to wait a few more months until I can mustard up the cash to build or buy something.