Egg Turning

Yesterday MWA meeting was about turning eggs, and unlike my Easter Eggs from last year these were solid. Dan Rominski gave the demonstration.

Wood choice and preparation

Pretty much any kind of wood of appropriate size can be used to turn eggs, though it should be reasonable dry to avoid later splitting. The firewood pile might yield some useable pieces for this endeavor. To prepare the wood mount it between centers and round it over with a roughing gouge. Then cut a rabbet on one end so the wood can be mounted in a chuck. In this case a peeling cut with a Skew made quick work of this.

Turning the egg

All the remaining work can be performed with a large Skew, only for the final part off a smaller Skew comes in handy. For safety the tail stock should be engaged for the rough shaping. A blown-out egg can be used to help judging the developing shape. Once a rough egg shape has developed and some of the waste wood has been turned away to have plenty of room for the tool, the tail stock is removed. The egg shape is further refined, leaving just enough wood at the head stock end to drive the egg. Once the shape is fine and the surface smooth, the egg can be sanded and finished right on the lathe. Depending on the smoothness of the cut, start with 150 or 220 grid sandpaper, and work up to 600. In our demonstration the egg was then finished with a mix of Shellac and mineral oil. It goes on very easy and can be polished similar to friction polish right on the lathe. Now it is time to ‘cut the egg loose’. Using a smaller Skew carefully turn away the remaining connection to the head stock end. Once the egg is free some quick sanding and finish touchup at that end and the egg is finished.

Parting thoughts

Turning eggs is a fun project, and a great opportunity to hone the Skew skills. Alan Lacer’s Video/DVD The Son of Skew (which has been on my want list for some time) further demonstrates how it is done.

Comments are closed.