I’m keeping busy during lockdown, gardening, cutting firewood, exercising and workshop time. However the latter has not been much wood turning but metal turning.


phoca thumb l img 1342I have long wanted a metal turning lathe and decided to try to obtain one shortly before retirement, I found a used Myford ML7, made in 1971 with a lot accessories chucks, tools, taps and dies etc. Time pressed with other things and so I did not use it much. Now I am trying to teach myself [only one lesson at school was not much help!] My project is a little Stuart 10V engine and progress is slow, glacial according to my son. Experimenting with speeds, feeds, using an independent 4 jaw chuck and fixing undiscovered problems on the machine take time but it is all good fun.

The book I am using for guidance is the ‘Amateurs Lathe’ by L. H Sparey, first published in 1948 and my edition is 1977. In his introduction he describes the versatility of the lathe and says
"It is little wonder, therefore that to those of any mechanical bent whatsoever the lathe should exert such a strong appeal. The addition of the small lathe to the home workshop does, indeed, open up vistas and possibilities hitherto only dreamed of. It has always been a source of wonder that for the cost of a few pounds, one may obtain not only an obedient servant, but an unfailing friend, through whom one may find the greatest creative expression, a lifelong companion, and a solace for most cares"

I think this is applicable to woodturning too and especially in these challenging times. A friend has just delivered some green cherry logs so perhaps some different turning now!

Philip Bull