Friday, September 2, 2011

Bringing out the big guns.

I don't think I'll need a 6" diameter vacuum drum very often but every once in a while I'm sure it will come in handy. I built this one last night so I could finish the bottom of the hollow form I've been working on for the past week. The drum is a 5" long piece of 6" diameter PVC from the local Lowes. The mounting block is a drilled and tapped piece of Persimmon I got at the 2011 DWR.

The piece was sanded with 150 grit before it was turned around and mounted on the vacuum chuck. I wasn't able to get a good vacuum because of cracks and voids in the piece but because of the surface area involved (28 square inches) even a couple of pounds of suction can hold a piece sufficiently for light cuts and finish work.

The bottom of the piece with the tenon removed and sanded to 150 grit. I need to continue going through all the grits and then apply my finish.

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  1. On a piece without a foot like this one, how do you display it? I know you've turned rings for others in the past, but that would seem to distract from the form of a piece like the one above. Also, I know you sometimes put small flat spots on the bottom. Does this make the piece very unstable? Have you ever had anyone complain about a piece with a small flat falling over and breaking or just not remaining upright?

  2. This one does have a small flat spot on the bottom to rest on. It's also a little thicker in the bottom and thinner on top so the center of gravity is pretty low, making it naturally stable. I do sometimes have issues at shows with pieces with small bases but the issue is usually because of other factors. Tables get bumped, tables may not be perfectly level, and the wind sometimes blows things over.