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Sunday, January 15, 2006

Lathe-less Poker


Back in 2000, my lathe went out for some forgotten reason (I honestly can't remember now - I think the belt broke or something), and I was left having to do my drilling on the drill press and all the shaping by hand again. This posed a nasty problem in regards to working time, because while one can turn a perfectly round poker or billiard in a matter of minutes, getting the shape rounded with only a Dremel and files was a considerably more lengthy experience. Not to mention challenging! It was a constant task of, "Is it round? Check with circle guide. Adjust here and here." The difference was obvious in my working time - where normally I could make a simple pipe like this in six to eight hours, this particular pipe took nearly thirteen hours of labor to finish. To add insult to injury, it then proceeded to sit unsold for several months - an experience which led me to avoid doing white-stemmed pipes ever again, since nearly every one had proven very slow to sell.