Turned legs and spindles add a touch of class to almost any woodworking project. The problem is that the project plans sometimes specify two or more identical spindles, or four identical legs. Turning a single leg is fairly easy, but turning three more just like the first can tax your lathe skills.
Lathe chisels are somewhat capricious. They often seem to work differently from one piece of wood to the next. The coves and beads you cut in one turning will turn out a little deeper or a little higher in the next, even though you used the same techniques. It could be that the angle you held the chisels at was just a little different, or that you fed the chisels with a little more pressure than before. Tiny differences in the way you hold and move the chisels will show up as big differences between turnings.
Fortunately, there is an easy way around these problems. Use the Shopsmith Lathe Duplicator to make duplicate turnings on your Shopsmith MARK V. This tool ‘follows’ a pattern to make precise copies, one at a time. It’s a relatively easy tool to use, provided you follow some guidelines.
Note: The duplicator will make spindle and faceplate turnings, but we only have room to talk about spindle turnings here.
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