I got tired of the limits of the toolrest that came with my mini lathe so I welded a larger one using some scrap hot rolled angle and steel rod that I had left over from other projects. It’s only a few inches wider (8.5″ [22cm] vs. 6″ [15cm]), but it makes a big difference in being able to turn larger work. I also didn’t want to make it too big because my lathe’s banjo only has 5/8″ [16mm] shaft. Music by audionautix.com. Released under Creative Commons License 3.0.
In this project, I challenge myself by turning a mallet using just a single tool, a skew chisel. It’s a practical project to give myself some well-needed practice with the skew chisel. The skew chisel is a very versatile tool for spindle-mode turning. It can be used to make bevel supported cuts, and also as a negative rake scraper. For this video, I only used it for bevel supported cuts. The wood is oak, from a branch that broke during an ice storm last winter. It was rescued from the firewood pile and was very dry. I had to work around some cracks, and there are some knots that give it “character”.