Sunday, June 19, 2016

Lacemaking Tools Turned on Micro Lathe

Besides working with mixed media and papercrafting projects, I also make bobbin lace. Bobbin lace is made by hand, and is one of the ways lace was made before machines. And, just like papercrafting and mixed media work, I love the tools!! I used my Proxxon Micro Woodturning Lathe to make these lace tools.

These are two varieties of needlepins—one with a straight needle and one with a bent needle. They each began as a 1/2" oak dowel rod.

Here you can see the dowel mounted on my lathe, and the beginning shaping of one of the needlepins. I'm using a roughing gouge to establish the basic shape that I want.

Next, I fine tune the piece with a spindle gouge and a skew tool. Here I'm using the spindle gouge.

When the piece is completely shaped, I move on to sanding, which is done with the piece on the lathe. I hold a small piece of sandpaper in my hand and gently move it over and under the wood. To achieve a satin smooth finish, I use progressively finer grits of sandpaper, generally started with 150 or 220 and ending with 440. 

After the sanding process, I remove the finished piece from the lathe with the end pieces still attached. I then use my Proxxon Scroll Saw to part off the scrap. Using the scroll saw rather than completely parting off on the lathe eliminates any torn end grain.

I finished these lace tools with a tinted resin coating. Now they're on my lace pillow ready to go to work.


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