Okay so I was watching NYW and our buddy Nahm was making a small table
with a round top. I stepped out of the room for a minute, and when I
come back Nahm had the table top, maybe somewhere in the 20" diameter
neighborhood, on the lathe at a very slow speed and was using a router
to make it round and then do some grooves on the face of it near the
edge. With a router. On a lathe.
I love the fact that Norm shows multiple ways of doing the same thing
from one episode to another, but what was he smoking before this
He then put an edge profile on it at the router table, and rather than
using a starter pin he attached this whole circular fence to the
I missed the setup to this so maybe you can fill in what he said his
reasoning was. For now I am sticking with crack pipe.
That's not how I saw it, but I was only half watching. I thought he
said the bit had a bearing but there was nowhere to start the cut. If
that's the case then make a template, stick it on with double stick
tape, and use a starter pin.
I think it is you that is using the crack pipe. Several years ago "Norm"
did a show on bowl turning. He visited a professional wood turner up in
Friday Harbor Washington (yes there is such a place) who turns very large,
great big, I mean humongous bowls. He uses a modified WW II aircraft parts
lathe to turn the bowls. For turning tools he uses Porter Cable router
bodies. He turns some chunks of juniper that require a fork lift to move.
So yep turning using a router is done.
George H Hughes wrote:
> He visited a professional wood turner up in
> Friday Harbor Washington (yes there is such a place) who turns very
> great big, I mean humongous bowls.
J R Benford, the yacht designer, as well as a lot of sailors also call
I'm a bit puzzled by the hostility. Nobody says that _you_ have to do
anything that way. If you have another method that works for you then
by all means use it.
There is no "right" way to do woodworking. As long as the piece turns
out the way you wanted it to and nobody got hurt you did it the
"right" way. Don't confuse conventional practice with some kind of
If Nahm's thinking outside the box and coming up with a novel setup to
do a job that you might do by some more conventional approach, well,
more power to him. Might be that somewhere down the line you'll run
into a situation where his approach will make your life easier and
having seen it you'll know how to go about it.
There's also the matter of what you have in the shop. He's got a
mighty shitload of stuff in his shop that most of the rest of us
don't--some of it store bought and some of it leftover tooling and
jigging from earlier projects. If recycling a piece of that makes his
life easier then I don't see any point in putting him down for it. If
he's already got all the pieces to do it his way then it's not
"building a whole special lathe contraption", it's "using the whole
special lathe contraption that was built ten years ago and put on the
shelf after it was used for whatever it was needed for".
You confuse sarcasm with hostility. Part of my reaction is from, as I
have said, walking in the room and there's a table top spinning around
on a lathe with a router involved without seeing any setup. I was a
I started out in the original post saying I love the fact that he
shows different ways of doing things. They should make sense for the
intended audience though. So I criticize him for using things like
the Timesaver and the industrial pocket hole machine. And now
apparently for wacky router/lathe hijinx. I don't generally criticize
him for personal choices like finishing and whatnot. I do blame him
for singlehandedly perpetuating the idea of always running grooves
down the middle of a board by flipping it around to center it and then
doing the same thing with the tenons. If you do that and your boards
aren't EXACTLY the same thickness you end up with a bunch of grooves
of varying width and a bunch of tenons of varying thickness and you
are completely and utterly screwed. Reference surfaces, Norm.
Phew, I feel better now. But seriously, it took me a long time to
If you get to the point where you're needing to use a router on the
lathe I think you're way past anything Norm has to teach you. Not
trying to put him down, he's better than me at most things. But how
many novices are now out there thinking they need a giant lathe and a
router to make a circle? How to do that top with just the router and
without putting a hole on the top side would have been a good lesson.
I've thought about it and I'm still not sure what the best way to do
the groove near the edge would be. Temporarily attach a piece of
scrap in which to drill a center pivot and use a circle cutting jig,
or cut out a circle template and try to follow it? You probably need
to mark the center on both sides of the top. To do that accurately
you probably need to glue up the top as a square, rather than using
shorter boards at the edges, so that you can use the diagonals. Or is
there another way of marking the centers? My point of all that being
that there's a whole host of little things that would go into it that
which I could have taken away from watching, versus something I'm
never going to use.
Well, the point of the show is "education" -- granted, a novel
I didn't see the show, but sounds interesting and if one were privy to
the whole process of the preplanning for the project for the show
including Norm's thinking about what to do and how to do it, I suspect
the idea of using/demonstrating novel techniques would be a
significant portion of the decisions.
That it might be considered "overkill" for a particular project
doesn't lessen the value in seeing techniques that, with some thought,
could be totally new ideas for many viewers and lead them to solutions
for their own problems that would otherwise not occur to them...
If "Nahm" were to take such criticsm for showing something other than
the same old "pin it until the glue dries" to heart, there might as
well never be a new show taped...
imo, ymmv, $0.02, etc., etc., etc., ...
> Okay so I was watching NYW and our buddy Nahm was making a small table
> with a round top. I stepped out of the room for a minute, and when I
> come back Nahm had the table top, maybe somewhere in the 20" diameter
> neighborhood, on the lathe at a very slow speed and was using a router
> to make it round and then do some grooves on the face of it near the
> edge. With a router. On a lathe.
> I love the fact that Norm shows multiple ways of doing the same thing
> from one episode to another, but what was he smoking before this
> He then put an edge profile on it at the router table, and rather than
> using a starter pin he attached this whole circular fence to the
> regular fence.
I have watched this project twice, courtesy of some travel around the
If you study it for awhile, think you will find that it is rather
Using the lathe spindle as a rotary shaft, was probably about as
straight forward as it gets, IMHO.
As far as the jigs and usage of the router table, his explanation was
very straight forward, again IMHO.
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