Above, wood blanks in a variety of colors and patterns await turning. Right, Laura prepares to drill a wood blank.
I selected a rosy-colored wood blank and rounded away its edges on the lathe. Below, the rough wood blank is held between the headstock and tailstock of the lathe. Beneath it the sample cowbell beater sits as a model.
In the second photo below, Laura demonstrates how to hold the tool to cut grooves on the drumstick.
At Turned Treasures wood-turning school in Belleville, Illinois, I learned to turn a wood blank into a cowbell beater (a heavy-duty drumstick). Laura & Jon Spelbring taught me how. Getting started rounding the corners off the wood blank was the most challenging part for me.
It's not as easy as it looks. But after a while the rhythm of the machine, the spinning wood is calming, almost hypnotic. It's like a dance.
Next is sanding, then waxing the stick.
Last, you part the stick from the lathe.
Always remember your ABC's and have fun with it! Kudos to Laura and Jon for creating a space where maladroits like yours truly can learn wood-turning, and where wood artists can display and sell their beautiful, imaginative works. Below, bowls made by Laura and Jon in the style of wood-turning artist Nick Agar.