Home / 2020 (Page 4)


So there’s a podcast I listen to here in Ireland called TortoiseShack (I guess they’re more a channel than a single podcast these days, they’ve spun up dedicated special-interest podcasts), which has a lot of voices we don’t get to hear on RTE much. Longer chats with data protection experts like Simon McGarr (which is how I got interested in them), talks on green politics with people who know why you can’t have a forest of walnut trees, discussions on the homeless crisis with Peter McVerry, that sort of thing.

I’ve been throwing the price of a cup of coffee at them for a while now on patreon, but I was reading how one of the two guys who does the podcast is running 2,020 miles this year for charity (he finishes next week) and I had the idea to make them a desk ornament because if you look at their logo, it’s almost like it was designed to be made as small bits on the lathe and joined together:

I figured, the head is just an egg, the legs and neck are just slightly curved cylinders, the tail is just a cone, and the top and bottom shells are just unhollowed bowls.… Read the rest

Read More

New tools

You know how aliexpress isn’t so much shopping as it is buying surprise presents for your future self?
Well, a while back I saw this neat tool being used for layout in a Korean woodworking video:

It was basically a cross between a marking gauge and a vernier calipers and I thought “wow” and looked for one and found it was over a hundred quid and thought “nope”. But aliexpress did knockoff aluminium ones for about twenty quid and I figured why not, so I ordered one.

In January. I mean, covid was in the promed email lists by then but it wasn’t on the radar over here very much and we thought it’d be a bit less of a thing than it became. But anyway, point is, I forgot about it completely and then the other day it turned up out of the blue:

It is very nifty đŸ˜€ Looking forward to giving it a workout.… Read the rest

Read More

Only 63 days to go…

…to the winter solstice!
And obviously, we need decorations, so…

Time for a little spindle turning. This is the quick centerfinder I got off aliexpress a while back – it’s a nifty little thing. For any spindle blank I could get on my minilathe, it’s just much faster than any other centerfinder I have. Though if it’s not a blank, if it’s a branch or whatever, it’s not so good. But for prepped blanks it’s nifty.

Also, because this is spindle turning, it’s less likely to grab a tool and shove it through your faceplate, so small people can help…

At first, it was just help to stain the wood and sand it at the end, but on the second tree, we progressed to learning about the spindle roughing gouge…

I think that might be far enough to go for a while yet, but we have more snowmen and trees to make before December gets here.… Read the rest

Read More