At the Lathe: Making Multiples

Sometimes, unique is exactly what you want to avoid when turning.
By Judy Ditmer
Pages: 76-79

From the August 2007 issue #163
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If you turn, sooner or later you are going to find yourself facing some project that requires several (or many) duplicate turnings. You may feel a brief rush of mild panic, most likely followed by a powerful urge to check your catalog shelf (or browser bookmarks) in search of duplicating equipment that will fit your lathe.

Resist the urge. There may be situations that call for machine duplicators, but in more than 20 years of turning for a living, I have yet to encounter one. Chances are good you can do as well or better without such devices.

With the knowledge of a few basic techniques (and, of course, some practice), you can learn to turn multiple, matching items by hand more quickly than with mechanical duplicators. If you need only to make a few items, you’ll save yourself the expense and trouble of buying and fiddling with the device (Rube Goldberg would have loved some of them); if you will be making many copies, your speed and effectiveness will quickly improve anyway.

From the August 2007 issue #163
Buy this issue now