I think, the sofa is almost finished! Since I last posted about it, it has had the sides ripped off and replaced, as one side had an edge that hung too low. That side is now almost perfect. However the other side, is now a bit bumpy. But I think it has got to the stage where the phrase "Shabby chic" comes in really useful. Every mistake can be dismissed with the excuse "shabby chic", "old" or "antique" or my favourite, "rustic". Also it is supposed to be 100 years old anyway....
I wanted turned feet on this sofa, as it was based on a late Victorian, early Edwardian Howard and Sons sofa, so I bought a lathe. I really needed a lathe :D I got a Proxxon one, DB250, and the Proxxon lathe tool set. I bought those quite some time ago, and I watched quite a few lathe videos on youtube, mostly miniature related ones, but my first attempt was disastrous, mostly because I was afraid of it. Then about a week ago, I tried again.
|Slightly wonky, but hey, it's an antique :D The castors are by Houseworks, and they are topped with a brass ring, that was cut from the brass tubing left over from the bed.|
|And at the end of the photo shoot, the sun came out........|
There are many things you could make for a miniature house with a lathe, so despite it being a bit pricey, I highly recommend it. Once you get used to it, and take ALL safety precautions seriously :D, I think it is a great little investment. I am going to make a guard for the jaws though, with a plastic cup or something, as I tend to daydream......... :D I used various sizes of Birch dowel rods, which I bought from Cornwall model boats, which were used for all of the turnings.
One thing not to do when turning, is to remove an unfinished piece, as you would lose the true centre. If you were to put the dowel back in, the turned section would waggle. In order to make a symmetrical turning, there must be no visible waggling as the rod rotates, the piece should look static as you work. That is also when you start to shape the piece. I noticed the smaller dowels waggled a lot on the lathe, which meant I had to remove quite a bit of wood, thus making the diameter a lot smaller. The larger dowels waggled less so. I also had to work quite closely to the jaw end as well, less waggling down at that end, hence why I want to make a guard, and completely avoid the possibility of a tool bit sticking out of my head :D There is a device that holds the rod at the other end, which prevents the waggling, but I preferred to work without that. On the whole though, I think it is a great little lathe and I wouldn't be without it, I have a long list of what I can make using it.