Mini-Lathe – Wooden Top
This project is turning a wooden top out of cherry wood. A quick project for my new mini-lathe using a one way chuck. For specific instruction on turning tops here’s an earlier post on Turning Toys – Wooden Tops.
This project will see how the mini-lathe handles a heavy multi-jawed chuck as well as head stock turning (unsupported by the tail stock) with a good amount of torque on the turning.
Mini-Lathe Set Up
First I took the blank of cherry wood and trued it between centers. Then I removed the drive center from the head stock and mounted the one-way chuck. I used the tail stock to help center the blank in the chuck. I then removed the tail stock to turn the end of the spinning top out of the blank. I used a skew chisel to get a very smooth surface to a clean point on the top. A quick groove from the skew chisel allowed me to do a wire burn mark on the top as decoration. I then removed some of the wood on the handle of the top.
Once the bottom of the spinning top was smoothed, sanded and finished I then moved on to the handle of the top. I used a spindle gouge and a parting tool to shape the handle. It was then sanded and finished before I parted it off of the lathe using a skew chisel.
Even though the chuck is fairly heavy the mini-lathe hand no trouble handling the load. The second photo shows the multi-jaw chuck and the blank extending from the head stock. The blank remained true when the tail stock was removed. There was also no excessive vibration when turning the bottom of the top and applying sideways pressure to the blank. The bottom of the top was very smooth with a well defined point (good for spinning!). The mini-lathe processed the work very well.
I had to change the speeds going from turning to sanding and finishing for both the bottom and handle of the top. Here’s a tip to make changing the pulley easier.
Spinning the Top
I wanted something to spin the top on. So I grabbed a bowl I had turned on the mini-lathe and used the bottom as the platform. Here’s a picture of the cherry bowl right side up.
I also made a short video of the cherry top spinning on the bottom of the bowl. Enjoy.
Hope you enjoyed the post. Have you turned any tops lately? How did they spin for you?