Well, I decided to make a gavel for my county 4-H council, Unfortunately I don't have a lathe, this means I would have to just go it by eye and have no chance of making it nice round and symmetrical, like it ought to be. Then I had an idea. I think I remember seeing this idea brought up somewhere, but I'm not sure. So I have no idea if this was original or not. Regardless, it worked surprisingly well. Here's my method for using a drillpress like a lathe.
First, you need a block of wood, I'm using cedar, you'll see I slightly rounded it first, but it's not round. Next get ahold of a 3" wood screw, approximate the center of the block and screw in the screw around a 1/2". cut off the head, so you have a smooth shaft. Put this in the chuck of your drillpress. DONT TURN ON THE DRILL PRESS YET. If you turn on the drillpress now it start spinning the block of wood and bend the screw and fling the wood across the shop, or into your face, (I was lucky, it just hit my finger). Before you can start you need something on the bottom to keep it in place. Take a random board from your scrap pile and drive a nail through it (choose a nail that will stick up around 1/2") use a clamp to hold the board to the table on the drillpress. Position around the center of the block of wood and crank it up till it's pushing into the wood. Like this.
close up of the screw in the wood.
The nail that it pivots on
The clamp holding the board to the table.
Now you can turn on your "fake lathe". If your lucky you got it all right and you wont have a large wooden projectile hitting you. Now that the wood is spinning you can begin to shape it.
Here I've rounded the wood
I don't have lathe chisels and I didn't want to make them if it wasn't going to work so I went for something else to shape with. A horse hoof rasp.
With this and some smaller rounded wood rasps, and a lot of sandpaper I finally got the gavel made. Unfortunately my mom took it with her to show my Grandfather, so I can't get any pics. When I get them in a few days I'll be sure to post them.
Hi, I'm Stephen Stumbo, I'm 18 yrs old, and a self taught knifesmith/blacksmith. All through my childhood I've had affinity for blades, probably starting with my first pocket knife. At 12 I tried to grind a knife out of a sawzall blade, and was so proud of how it turned out. At 14 I convinced my dad to help me make a forge so I could try blacksmithing. After building the forge I had a rough time getting started, but after meeting a local blacksmith and getting some tips, I went at it. About a year into blacksmithing (2009) I decided to try my hand at making knives. I started out terribly, but I've slowly been progressing to where you see now. Take a look around, and let me know what you think, you can also find me on facebook to keep up with the goings on around the ole smithy.