Entry Level Lathe Project: Fan Pull and Keychain Charm

Entry Level Lathe Project:  Fan Pull and Keychain Charm

Learn to Use the Lathe with this Simple Woodturning Project.

Woodturning, or creating woodcrafts on a lathe, is a great hobby that is fairly inexpensive to get into. Starting out with small projects is a good way to learn all of the basic techniques of woodturning. Woodturning was first invented by the Egyptians dating back to around 1300BC. Learning this traditional style of woodworking is rewarding and fun. Use this guide for tips on getting started and creating a handmade wooden fan pull or keychain charm that you can give as a gift or use in your own home.

Tools and Materials You Will Need:

Drive Mandrel
End Piece, Chain or Keychain Kit
Wood Blank

Copper tubing will come with your kit or drive mandrel. This tube should be glued through the middle of the wood blank. Place the blank between the bushings on the drive mandrel and use a wood dowel as a spacer to hold the blank in place. When the mandrel and wood blank is secured on the lathe, you can use a chisel to start working away at the wood.

It is generally best to start in the center and work your way out to the edges. The edges should be flush with the bushing so that the end caps will fit properly. The end caps will be brass or other metal pieces that come in your fan pull or keychain kit.

Experiment with different size chisels to create the valleys that you like. When you get the basic shape that you like, take a small piece of fine grit sandpaper and smooth it out. Use finer and finer sandpaper until you get the smoothness that you desire. When you’re done, use an air compressor to blow away any excess debris.

Next you will need to seal the wood. There are a few different types of finishes that you can get through your woodworking component supplier. A good one to start with is one that is a wax with a little shellac in it. Apply a few drops to a soft, lint-free cloth and apply while the lathe is turning. This will rub the finish into the wood. Check the dry time on whatever product you choose and make sure that the keychain or fan pull is dry before you touch it.

When everything is done, you will just take your keychain or fan pull kit and screw on the end caps and other hardware. The tubing inside will give you a place to put money, medicine, or whatever you want to hide inside.

About the Author: Dave Murphy is the founder and president of Good Wood, Inc., which makes a high quality wood dowel and the best hardwood dowel on the market. They also create wooden balls, wood knobs, wooden toy parts, custom wood parts, and more. They offer safe wood finishing, wood turning and can import from off-shore when necessary. Visit http://www.goodwoodinc.com for all of your wood product needs.

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