Updated: Oct 21, 2020
January 24th, 2020
Yesterday I ordered a new lathe for the business. As soon as we launched, we started receiving inquiries about large salad bowls. One large enough to use to serve salad to the whole family or gathering. Unfortunately, my current lathe could not handle a product of that size, and the lathe is not one that I can count on for regular production work. I did my research and chose a new lathe that would let me make products up to 18” in diameter. This lathe can also production work better and more efficiently. I expect to get this lathe within the next 10 days.
I am excited about this new shop equipment. We are already working through designing a new product line of larger platters and bowls. We will also have the capability of offering nested bowl sets. If you are unfamiliar with these, it is a set of bowls, that are sized so that they become a set of bowls, from large to small. You might be thinking, “What’s so special about that?”. Well, these nested bowls all come from the same piece of wood, so they all match for grain pattern, color, and other unique markings. These bowl sets are prized for entertaining and display. Look for these to hit our product line soon.
This new lathe will also give me the ability to produce natural edged products. These are products that have the natural outer edge of the wood as part of the finished product. The larger capacity of the new lathe makes these products possible.
I will still use my current lathe for smaller items and other shop tasks, but the new lathe expands our product lines greatly.
The lathe took longer to arrive than I thought. While I waited, I prepared a spot in the wood shop for this new lathe. It is a heavy one, so I imagined that where it was placed is where it will live permanently. Arranging the shop for this new lathe forced me to rearrange all the equipment in a more thoughtful layout. This new layout has already paid dividends when I work.
After the lathe arrived, I enlisted the help of my son to get the parts unloaded from the shipping packaging and get it all assembled and set in place. When we finally had it ready, I turned it on for the first time. It is a powerful machine and so very quiet. You can hardly hear it run. I am very satisfied with my choice.
Before the new lathe arrived, I had the opportunity to get some planks of wood suitable for bowls. I got cherry, walnut, maple, and ash. I spent some quality time with this wood when I first got it, breaking it all down and transforming the planks into bowl banks.
When the new lathe was ready, I took it for a spin with some of these blanks. These bowls turned out nicely, and they were a joy to make with the new lathe.
I had been struggling with proper sharpening of my lathe chisels, but after getting a new sharpening station I am now able to keep a sharp, consistent edge on these tools. Combining these sharp tools with the hew lathe, I am confident that I will be making products with ease and enjoyment for a long time.
Now that the new lathe is producing, I will be making a couple of large salad blows. Look for these to be available soon in our store.