But leave it still connected by a thick sturdy stem. Then you get that end sanded, for like any finial, once you finish a section you do not go back. That is especially true with these very thin stems; you can never go back and touch one of your objects, as it will twist that thin stem right off.

When you are ready you begin your first thin stem. You work only about an inch at a time.

04 thinstem thumb


This first object must be done with great care, as there is no support for it as of yet. You must reach over the work, around the steady rest and support your object with your hand as you gently turn that first stem. Here I aimed for under 2.5 mm for my first attempt (plus I knew I would have to transport it home on a plane).

05 thinstem2 thumb


As soon as you have an inch or more (you still need room to work) completed, you stop the lathe and put on your first string steady. The Escoulen string steady rests are articulated so as to adjust to fit any size lathe.

06 stringsteady thumb


These string steadies are simply attached to the lathe bed with four magnets, which were more than sufficient. (Of course, that won’t work on my lathe with stainless steel ways, so I’ll have to go to something else.) Put the string steady in place, making sure that they as well as the steady rests are always perpendicular to the lathe bed. There are 4 pegs (wood screws) on the string steady, to which waxed nylon string is attached. Attach the string to peg one, wrap it around your turned stem and back to peg one. Continue with the string to peg 2, around the stem and back to peg 2. Do the same for peg 3 and 4 and tie off. This is all you need to support the turned object.

07 stringsteady2 thumb


With that first string steady in place, you continue turning your thin stem to wherever you want your next decorative object to be. Lightly and carefully sand your stem. Of course, you move your supporting steady rest down a little bit as needed. You want to keep it as close as possible for the support, so be willing to stop and move it often, just a small amount.

Here I have completed the first object and a second small object; notice I have two steady rests supporting the cylindrical stock in an attempt to have it run more smoothly.

08 2steadies thumb


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Wednesday the 17th. Thanks for visiting Woodturners Unlimited.