Fruit of the Lathe

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How I got started

I began working with a lathe in November 2009, as a result of the generosity of friends.

A couple of years before that, I forget exactly when, Peter Nelson offered me a table saw which he simply wanted to get out of the basement.

I hadn't done any woodworking (aside from fixing a baseboard or two, and making a small set of shelves for Cindy's closet) since the second year of grammar school. It was a distant memory, but I remembered it as being fun and always begrudged the way that I wasn't allowed to continue playing with tools and making stuff because I was in the top half of the class - which meant I got to learn Latin instead of taking practical subjects.

Naturally I leapt at Peter's offer, and it wasn't long before I was sawing up bits of wood and buying more tools so I could round-over the edges and buying more tools so I could cut mortices for hinges and buying more ... you get the drift.

As this was going on, Steve Demaggio (my work colleague -- now retired and loving it!) was helping me with all sorts of advice and sharing his collection of Wood Magazine back-copies so I could scour them for tips and project ideas. Steve's a talented woodworker - he's made some beautiful furniture, and his grandchildren have the greatest rocking horses - and over the years had accumulated lots of tools. When he was about to move house, he offered me his "spare" lathe -- a vintage 1942 Dunlap (the second label of Sears tools) he'd inherited.

And that's where it all started ...

1942 Sears catalog page 21

1942 Sears, Roebuck Company catalog, page21: $6.75 and worth every penny!

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