Saturday, January 18, 2014

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For ICE CREAM!

Yay for ice cream! 

I know, it's January and here I am talking about ice cream.  We have a daughter that is turning 15 this month and one of her requested birthday gifts is a turned ice cream scoop.  Well, what daughter wants, daughter gets.  Within reason anyway.  I don't want to be held responsible for raising unproductive, dependent on someone else (or the govt.) citizens.  :)

There were a couple of choices that I was aware of for choosing a scoop.  One was from Rockler and the other was from Woodcraft.  I chose the scoop from Woodcraft (Wood River Brand) because it was the most convenient for me to purchase.  (The store was closer).  I also had a 10% off coupon for Woodcraft so that was a bonus.  I even picked up the pizza cutter kit so I could turn a handle for that.  (I will save that project for another post)

I decided on maple and black walnut for the handle.  The colors reminded me of chocolate and vanilla.  What better combo for an ice cream scoop?

This is cutting a chunk of walnut to length.

Here it is being ripped to width.

I am making two blanks, for two reasons.  First reason is just in case I mess up the first one on the lathe and the second reason is if the first blank turns out just right, I have a second one made up and can be used to turn the handle for the pizza cutter!  

Here is how they will be glued up in alternating woods. 

The first step in gluing the blanks together.

Clamps removed, halves jointed on one face to even them out and then the jointed faces are glued together.

Now with the blank glued up, I cut each one into 3 sections lengthwise and turned the middle section 90 degrees so that the colors alternated to make up a checkerboard pattern.  I glued them back together to make the blank that you see below.  I was concerned about the strength of the end grain to end grain glue up, especially since it is going to be used as an ice cream scoop handle.  Sometimes that ice cream can be frozen pretty hard and a lot of pressure is exerted on the scoop.

To add some strength, I decided to drill a hole that would go through all three sections and to glue a hardwood dowel in the hole.  

I mounted the blank in the chuck on the lathe and got the bit sized for the dowel that I was using.  (3/8")
I started with a bit in a chuck on the tailstock and went as deep as it would go.  I then switched over to the handheld depth drill and finished the rest of the hole to the depth that I wanted.  

Hand held depth drill marked to the desired depth with some tape.

Here I am showing how far the bit will be in order to go through all three sections of the blank.  I have the profile of the handle drawn on the blank to be sure that I don't drill all the way through and have the dowel exposed on the end when finished turning.

Drilling the hole with the bit in the tailstock.  Finished drilling to final depth with the hand depth drill.

The hole is complete and below is the dowel that will be glued in.  Just getting the fit right with some sanding and marking the length.  The dowel is cut about 2" shorter than the hole to allow for the tang on the scoop to be epoxied in.

Now we are getting down to business!  Finally I have the blank prepped and ready to be turned.  It would have been easiest to chuck the blank and start turning.  I didn't make the blank long enough to account for some waste at one end so I had to come up with a way to use as much of the blank as possible.  (After the handle was turned, I realized that I could have chucked it and only lost about 1/2"-3/4" of overall length and it would have been just fine)

I have a waste piece mounted on the screw.  I am drilling to glue a piece of dowel in the hole.  The dowel will take the blank with the hole.

The dowel glued in.  Just cut it off about 2" so it will completely insert into the blank.

This is what it looks like mounted to the dowel.

Move the live center up and get it centered and supported to start turning!

Now the fun begins!  Let the shavings fly!

Turned round.

I started with the ferrule end (the end with the hole).  One nice thing with using this mounting method is that I could easily take the blank off and put it on again and have it perfectly centered every time with no effort.  The hole and dowel are exactly the same every time and the dimple made by the live center is too.

Here is a test fit of the ferrule.  Just right!

A test fit of the scoop to be sure it will fully seat with the ferrule in place.  Time to remount and turn the rest of the profile.

The profile is complete and time to finish turning the end.  This got a little tedious removing the nubbin off of the end of the handle.  There isn't much support just fitted on the dowel.  I started to try and make light cuts but there was too much chatter and the end was all over the place.  I didn't want to risk a mishap at this point so I just cut the nubbin off with a small hand saw and then filed the shape.  I finished sanding on the lathe and used my hand to support the end while it was spinning.

All done!  There is still just a little dimple in the end where the point of the live center was but it isn't really noticeable enough to be a distraction.

Now the scoop and ferrule are epoxied on and left to cure.  Now to mask off the scoop end and spray with some canned finish.  

Happy Birthday April!

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