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May 19, 2012 10:24 AM   Subscribe


 
One of the most enjoyable things about watching someone turn on a lathe (for me, anyway) is watching the layers of wood seem to melt away into smooth little concentric circles. The color layers in a jawbreaker take that feeling to a level I never thought was possible. This is really, really pleasant to watch.
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 10:47 AM on May 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I turn a fair amount of soapstone on my lathe, which generates talcum power that gets everywhere, so I can only imagine how big of a mess all that sticky sugar must be.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 10:53 AM on May 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I had to wash my hands after watching that.
posted by Gator at 10:54 AM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


This seems like it could actually be a good way to learn how to use a lathe. One of the most difficult parts of lathing well is knowing your depth and whether you're staying on center, and having such clear layers makes that much more obvious. Naturally, I have not tried to lathe a jawbreaker, so perhaps the consistency would just throw everything off kilter.

This was pretty neat. Thanks!
posted by stoneweaver at 10:55 AM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


into a shot glass

Hey! Spoiler alert!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:56 AM on May 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Watching the interior part being done was very soothing, but I became inexplicably anxious when he started doing the outside, and had to console myself with a tangerine popsicle.
posted by elizardbits at 11:01 AM on May 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


The first thing that popped into my head was "jello shooters," and now my teeth hurt just thinking about it.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:01 AM on May 19, 2012


Old'n'Busted: ... I can only imagine how big of a mess all that sticky sugar must be.

DO YOU WANT ANTS? BECAUSE THAT'S HOW YOU GET ANTS.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:04 AM on May 19, 2012 [34 favorites]


Yeah, I had to wash my hands after watching that.

dude we surf metafilter with our pants ON okay?
posted by The Whelk at 11:07 AM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I feel like Greg's maybe got some past ant history.
posted by curious nu at 11:08 AM on May 19, 2012


The Whelk: " dude we surf metafilter with our pants ON okay?"

WHOOPS! *SHUFFLES OFF IN SEARCH OF A PAIR*
posted by Blasdelb at 11:14 AM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maybe the perfect Saturday afternoon post. Thanks for this.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:21 AM on May 19, 2012


I feel like Greg's maybe got some past ant history.

Antistry, if you will.
posted by nzero at 11:25 AM on May 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


I feel like Greg's maybe got some past ant history.


a disturbing antecedent?
posted by dubold at 11:33 AM on May 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


History Ants.

Hiants.
posted by The Whelk at 11:34 AM on May 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


My Aunt Anatalia and her husband Antoine, who lived in Antwerp, had antagonistic ants in their antechamber. They'd hide under the antimacassars and sing anthems, causing her to have t-antrums and him to use antacids as an antidote.

I hope that story wasn't an anticlimax, leaving you anticipating further antics.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:06 PM on May 19, 2012 [16 favorites]


What was the point of the first 2:30? Does the guy not have a saw to cut a flat surface?
posted by indubitable at 12:11 PM on May 19, 2012


I noticed he was going very slowly and carefully, and assumed he was worried about chipping or cracking the fragile candy. But then he used a saw to cut it off at the bottom, so who knows.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:17 PM on May 19, 2012


DO YOU WANT ANTS? BECAUSE THAT'S HOW YOU GET ANTS.

Yes! Carpenter Ants!
posted by hal9k at 12:20 PM on May 19, 2012 [12 favorites]


Mother!
posted by hal9k at 12:21 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a turner and kind of baffled at the slow progress of this project. 13 minutes is forever for a simple form in wood. I can only surmise the jawbreaker is super friable and not very homogenous which would warrant that kind of caution.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:34 PM on May 19, 2012


How many turns does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:37 PM on May 19, 2012


If your Tootsie Pop is mounted on a lathe it only takes one lick to get to the center.
posted by TheRedArmy at 12:52 PM on May 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


This was neat, thanks for posting!
posted by carter at 12:58 PM on May 19, 2012


I think it's the lack of toughness on the part of the jawbreaker. It's dense and hard, but if you hit it with a hammer it would shatter. If you tried to really lean into this I think the epoxy would tear away the outer most layer of sugar and then you'd have a partly turned hard candy shot glass skittering across your shop floor.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:06 PM on May 19, 2012


I just occurred to me that using a saw on the far end of the object - where the cup's lip eventually was - would create a lot more torque stress on the connection where the jawbreaker is fastened to the spindle (or whatever that wooden piece is called), with the likely result that Kid Charlemagne mentions; whereas using the saw at the butt of the cup produces far less of that sort of stress. Or something like that; I'm not a woodworker so I'm just guessing.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:18 PM on May 19, 2012


Also, the guy was being pretty darn careful even when he cut the glass off the spindle, which adds weight to my theory.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:20 PM on May 19, 2012


Lathe guys: why does he start from the edge instead of the center?
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:46 PM on May 19, 2012


How did he hook the jawbreaker to the spindle of the lathe?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:53 PM on May 19, 2012


"2 part epoxy to a piece of scrap wood" according to the comments section.
posted by absalom at 1:57 PM on May 19, 2012


Looks like he epoxied it to a sacrificial board.

I became inexplicably anxious when he started doing the outside

I became incredibly anxious when he stuck his finger into the spinning cup with the tool rest still in place.
posted by hydrophonic at 2:01 PM on May 19, 2012


I looked at this guy's YouTube channel. He goes nuts on a lathe.

Peanuts on a lathe

Black beans and rice

Pencils
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:05 PM on May 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


I became incredibly anxious when he stuck his finger into the spinning cup with the tool rest still in place.

This. I have a 7x10 metal cutting lathe and nothing is quite as fun as using it to cut wood and plastic, which melt away like butter. But everything on that little lathe is about safety and you would never, ever use a handheld tool. Instead the tool is positioned by linear guides that can be repeatably positioned to within 1/1000 inch, and can automatically travel to shave off thin layers or cut threads.

Sugar is actually an interesting material for projects like this. There is also a 3D printing machine based on sugar called CandyFab, which I'd link but their site is down.
posted by localroger at 2:08 PM on May 19, 2012


Peanuts on a lathe

I just watched this video with the slackjawed derpface expression of a toddler watching a magic trick. PEANUTS. WHY.

Actually if I had a lathe this is precisely the sort of thing I would do all damn day, let's face it.
posted by elizardbits at 3:04 PM on May 19, 2012


He missed a trick on the soundtrack. Natural choice would have been Sticky Fingers.
posted by arcticseal at 3:11 PM on May 19, 2012


PEANUTS. WHY.

Because you can. And nobody has ever done it before. And even if it won't last, you can hold the result in your hand and know this is the best damn artifact turned out of peanuts on the entire planet right now.

Meanwhile, I wonder when the grocery store will get coconuts in again...
posted by localroger at 3:40 PM on May 19, 2012


Sweet!
posted by crunchland at 4:02 PM on May 19, 2012


That peanuts one is a mystery to me too. OK, he mixed them with glue, turned them, and then decided it wasn't complete until it was painted orange? Why?
posted by Runes at 4:07 PM on May 19, 2012


You roughly shape the outside of a vessel first because it's easier to shape the inside to match the outside rather than vice versa.

The risk when forming a vessel is that you'll cut through the wall, either by cutting the outside too close to the inside, or the inside too close to the outside. And from a hand-held tool perspective, it's much easier to visualise the cutting edge of the tool compared to the outside of the vessel wall when the tool is inside, rather than to try and visualise where the inside of the vessel wall is when the tool is outside.

I really don't know if that's very clear. It's about eyes and hands and imagining the tip of the tool is an extension of your fingers. Mumble. (sprays ribbons of wood everywhere)

Making consistent thickness vessel walls is what differentiates a good turner from one who isn't so good. Making elegant vessel shapes that are also consistent is what differentiates a great one from a good one.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:04 PM on May 19, 2012


New Jawbreaker video my ass. Where's Blake Schwarzenbach?
posted by greta simone at 6:11 PM on May 19, 2012


I'm really disappointed by the pencil turning one. I was envisioning cool carved pencils, not, that pointless mess.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:05 PM on May 19, 2012


Ooh, I had no idea what the "lathe" meant. My father makes things with one.

The few times I have used one have been both soothing and nerve wracking.
posted by Memo at 7:36 PM on May 19, 2012


One of my friends, (recently deceased) used to turn burl into bowls, with voids that went all the way through. He would turn the walls so thin they looked like lace. I have two pieces of his work but since my phone is currently bricked, I can't take a picture of them. They looked similar to this, but with even more voids.

I think one of the most stressful three hours I've ever spent in my life was the afternoon that I sat in his workshop and watched him turn a hundred pound piece of walnut root into a lacy, beautiful, twenty-nine inch bowl with walls that were 3/16" thick on average.

He kept looking away from his work to watch some sporting event on his little TV or to discuss something with me, with his chisel still engaged in the piece. All I could envision was his chisel hooking on a void, sending it flying through my skull and shattering the bowl into fragments, disemboweling him. I even moved my shop stool to use his body as a shield (I am a pragmatic friend at best).

But in the end, holding that beautiful piece of art, unvarnished but smelling fragrantly of freshly-cut wood, made all the fingernail chewing worth it. So delicate, and the burl patterns through it were mesmerizing. He offered it to me but it was just too big a piece for me to display properly. He later told me he sold it for $900 to a collector. I'm still regretting that decision. So yeah, lathes and their operators are cool
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 8:53 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I know everything is bigger in America, but that jawbreaker is bigger than a golf ball! How the hell are you supposed to consume it? Does it even fit into a human mouth?
posted by Harald74 at 11:41 PM on May 19, 2012


Perhaps our mouthes are bigger too
posted by Confess, Fletch at 11:47 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Unless that thing will hold at least an ounce of liquid, it's a vaguely shot-glass-shaped object. The part that made me nervous was when he dismounted the tool rest with the spindle still turning. Well, that and the thought of all that sugar going everywhere inside his lathe, assisted by the compressed air he used to blow the work off. As for technique, I wondered why he didn't face it off before turning the OD, which is what I would have done, if I wanted to fill up a lathe with sugar while making a vaguely shot-glass-shaped object.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:30 AM on May 20, 2012


Good thing it's not your lathe, then.
posted by liketitanic at 8:09 AM on May 20, 2012


That's a pretty nice egg cup.
posted by hot soup girl at 10:19 AM on May 20, 2012


PEANUTS. WHY.

It's a bowl of peanuts, you see.
posted by nzero at 8:27 PM on May 21, 2012


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