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seat wooden spindles, wood turning

Posted by oldnrusty1 
seat wooden spindles, wood turning
October 04, 2020 02:19PM
A week ago I picked up a little duplicator wood lathe. I thought I would like to try and make some Locomobile seat spindles. The guy who sold it to me asked what kind of wood I would use. Ah round? Well I told him I thought the the old bodies used a lot of ash as it was both strong and had some give to it. I've seen guys climb in cars and the seat back move with people's weight. Guys are a lot heavier now than 120 years ago. He suggested maple and now I guess I'll give that a try as a month ago a couple 200 year old maples got taken down next to the house and I have a good source of practice material. So I'm asking others who have wood turning experience as I have none, what wood should I be using for seat spindles?
Re: seat wooden spindles, wood turning
October 04, 2020 02:59PM
Hickory is what axe handles are made from, very strong and will flex. Good outdoor wood. Much like white oak, closed cell.
But there is nothing wrong with white ash, will flex well, a lot of tool handles are made from ash.

Re: seat wooden spindles, wood turning
October 05, 2020 07:54AM
Maple is considered an inside wood, used for a lot of furniture. Very good hard wood for inside but is prone to rot from the inside out when used outside much like red oak.
But today they make a lot of sealing epoxys. Total Boat Penetrating Epoxy is one, a wet epoxy that soaks deep into the wood, mostly used to repair rotten wood.
These products are very good sealers for wood used outside, but they also trap whatever moisture is left in the wood. The wood has to be very dry.

For me the best wood for outside are White oak, Mahogany, and longleaf southern yellow pine old growth. More expansive are Teak, Western red cedar, redwood, and cypress.

Re: seat wooden spindles, wood turning
October 05, 2020 10:43AM
Hello Rolly.

Great talking with you.

I've enjoyed looking at the photos of your Stanley build over the years.

Art Hart made those spindles many years ago but I can't find his catalog copy. I did find a reference in an old posting where they talk about his spindles being centerless ground maple. I might start out at turning them in maple as with the two downed maples still laying on the lawn and waiting to be finished being cut up, I have a ready source of practice material. I can always move on from there after I've mastered my craft and gotten the lathe set up. I was also curious at the same time because I do not know what woods are better for wood turning. I would presume the pine you mention the last post, is/is not, a good wood to turn? I thought pine would have a lot of rip out?

Thank you

Re: seat wooden spindles, wood turning
October 05, 2020 12:25PM

If you have never used longleaf southern yellow pine, don’t confuse it with soft pine as most people know it. It’s dance and solid wood. I built my twenty-five foot steamboat from it. Heavy wood.
Most of it is now is coming from old factory buildings being torn down, the wood for my boat came from one timber 30 inches by 24 inches by seventy feet long. There was one section between tendon holes 30 feet long. Most of the New England sawmills are cutting it into flooring. I understand it’s going for more then white oak flooring.

Most of those early carnages were built in Amesbury Mass, the spindles are less then ¾ of an inch in diameter, the Maple you have will most likely out last you, seal it with good varnish.
A friend of mine made a bunch of turning all the same. He cut the profile along the edge of a board and had it mounted in back on the bed of a metal lathe. He had a rod attached to the carriage that followed the profile. It worked great. I’ve never done that good luck.

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