Monday, November 2, 2009

In the Shop

I bought another lathe this weekend.

Yeah, yeah, I know.

But remember: it’s not whether you need it, it’s whether you deserve it.

I deserve this lathe.

This one is a Delta Midi 46-460. 

It’s a mid sized lathe, expandable into full sized with bed extensions, and widely considered to be the best machine of its kind – and from what I can tell after two days with it, that’s a well deserved reputation.

I bought it primarily so that my son would have something to work on.


That’s him roughing spindle stock to round.

Somebody asked on Twitter if he shouldn’t have his shirt tucked in while turning.  With this setup that’s not really an issue – that necklace he’s wearing outside his shirt is though.  I didn’t realize he was wearing it until after I took the picture (seriously, I can’t look directly at that shirt, it gives me a headache).  Once I realized he was wearing it, I had him tuck it in.

Anyway, between the new lathe and packing your birdhouses, we spent the entire day in the shop and now I’m too damned tired to write anything.

So sorry.

Consider this any open thread, what is it that you deserve?


  1. Since I'm the twitter-er... does he recognize the circumstances in which it's ok for his shirt to be untucked? In which case, wouldn't it be better for him to get in the habit better safe than sorry?

    Why yes, my father DOES teach safety studies. Why do you ask?

  2. Hey I'm happy to see him wearing a face shield and positioning the work as a good ergonomic height.

  3. AHEM! No creds for assisting in selection of the lathe? I talk and talk and talk and nothing ever gets acknowledged. What's a Beastly to do? Hope he enjoys it.

  4. Oh for crying out loud.

    What do you deserve? A clout upside the head, all of you.

    The kid is safe, trust me. And Beastly, who is an expert in small lathes and in fact works for an outfit that sells such things, and even more in fact teaches classes in turning, advised me away from the piece of shit JET mini lathe he has and towards the Delta. Thank you very much, Beastly, thank you oh thank you I am eternally grateful, my descendants will sing your praises for generations to come and raise up monuments in your likeness! I grovel in the direction of Arizona


  5. What is it that you deserve?

    Oh sure, pick an easy question...

    What do I deserve? Whatever I'm willing to work hard enough to get. Will I get it? Depends on too many factors outside my control, but I'm doing the work anyway.

    What do I want? More time, or enough money to create more time.

  6. Yeah, the shirt isn't all flappy which would be a problem. The necklace, though, that's a no no.

    And yeah, Jet, I haven't heard anything good about any of their tools (except they're cheap).

  7. "Once I realized he was wearing it, I had him tuck it in."

    Better lathe than never on that, I'm guessing.


    Indian food. Chai at the Yak and Yeti here in Anchorage. I don't need it--I can quit any time I want, I just... sort of deserve it.

    (Also, I deserve to get this commission done and have it over with and still have it be better than anything else I've ever done. Well, maybe not that last bit.)


    What's he turning those blanks into? Not-blanks? Blink! (sorry, inside joke)

  9. Yeah I seriously deserve a Nikon digital SLR with full frame sensor, so I can use my old Nikon lenses as God intended them to be used.


    Not going to happen.

    Dr. Phil

  10. I've never turned so I don't know but you might seriously consider hearing protection.

  11. Ntsc, not necessary. My lathes are extremely quiet - hell, you can hear the shop cat purring over the sound of both Deltas.

    Othe tools, such as the planer, are a different story- for those we do wear very good hearing protection.

  12. Jim, just to clarify, I wasn't doubting your parenting skills or interest in his safety.

    I was just remembering the details of a recent phone call you told us about. If he can fake getting dinner out to defrost, he might not think through safety issues.


  13. sigh. I think I deserve a smack, because I haven't sent in my birdhouse payment.

  14. If you don't pay promptly, Pam, I have ShopKat leave you a little present in one of your birdhouses...

    headless shrew carcass, anybody?

  15. Hey I got what I deserve, eternal adulation! That is all that I ever expect (even if it is cloaked in sarcasm). Steve Jet actually makes quite good tools they just have a short life from daily use. And I use them daily. As for the DELTA they re-engineered it, added 17lbs to the old design to make it more stable, put on a heartier motor, added a reversible function and a 24 position spindle lock and finally made a better variable speed feature than any other midi lathe (less the NOVA DVR). And Jim as for the clout, hey if you feel big enough...We're lining up, just saying.

  16. You, Beastly, I'll have Becky clout - you know you fear her, don't bother to deny it ;)

  17. What do I deserve? A full month's pay for a full month's work. Could you talk to the Governator about that please?

  18. AHHHH you played the Becky card! Damn the obvious fear of the 90lbs ruffian! OK I'll be happy with the monument and songs of my greatness. (get a real skew and learn how to use it. There)

  19. I spent summers working in a very big printing plant as a youth and now wear hearing aides.

    The tech who did the hearing tests, told me I had done so, had played a bass musical instrument and had been in either the Army or Marines (or hunted a very lot). She was right on all three.

    She also advised that I make my son wear hearing protection when using power tools, but it would no longer make much difference to me, as it is no longer frequent.

  20. I'm pretty sensitive to hearing safety, ntsc. I get disability from the Navy for my hearing loss (high freqs, classic sustained noise damage, 20 years of people blowing shit up next to my head, heavy equipment, and headphone) - and actually qualify for hearing aids, though I don't feel I need them yet. Believe me when I say that I'm paying attention to hearing safety. We wear ear protection when running shop equipment like the saws and especially the thickness planer, and the lawnmower and leaf blower and string trimmer and so on.

    I do take it seriously, along with all shop safety.

    But both main lathes are literally so quiet that you can hear the cat purring over them. Hearing protection is not an issue while turning.

  21. Uh-oh, now my cats are mad. They think I took the headless shrew from the last shipment! (They said to tell Shopkat they'll take a dozen!)

  22. What do I deserve? A new job that doesn't make me want to commit sepaku every time I log on in the mornings.

  23. Jim/Steve as regards Jet...

    We have a Jet cabinet type table saw and a bigger Jet bandsaw in our shop. We're a production shop building theatre scenery 40+ hours a week, and other than killing 2 motor starters and 2 dust collectors (grizzly) on the table saw, we've been very happy with both tools. We also have a Jet drill press, which is a bad copy of the Delta, I hate the belt tensioner, and the depth stop sucks donkey dong.

    With endless budgets, I'd rather have Delta, but all Jet isn't junk.

  24. Stuart, oh certainly agreed. Jet isn't junk. But given a choice between Delta and Jet, I'd choose Delta in most cases - and it should be noted that Delta also makes its share of junk too, mostly their low end bench top stuff.

    Beastly (commenter above, and good friend of mine), has a Jet Mini Lathe that he's beat the ever living hell out of, it's a quality machine, though we both think the Delta 46-460 is a better tool.

    I really like Jet's high end bandsaws, But I also have a full sized Jet drill press, and I agree with you, the belt tensioner sucks donkey balls.

    I agree that Jet isn't junk, but it's not top of the line either.

  25. Damnit, Jim! There you go being reasonable. You've just got to stop that!

  26. Late to the party...again.

    I deserve a decent job that will pay me a meaningful salary.

    Right about now I'd settle for just about anything...like a resume being acknowledged even.

    Sorry for the interlude of brutal reality, just at my wits end here and not having much luck keeping it together today.


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