Turning some more hardwood... I found another log (box elder, I think), a little bigger, in my log pile. I trimmed it up on the band saw, then mounted it on the lathe's face plate, and started turning a bowl. You can see various stages below. It's finished now, sanded down to 320 grit, and awaiting only some Watco finish.
This is quite a learning experience for me, as I've never tried my hand at turning wood before. I've read a lot about it, but that's not at all the same thing actually as doing it! On this bowl I experimented quite a bit with different lathe speeds, with and without the live center on the tailstock, and with all five of the carbide turning tools (a very basic set) that I've purchased. I can now use the tools without digging into the wood, which is at least a very good first step.
I've also learned enough to understand the pro and con comments I've read about carbide turning tools. Basically the carbide tools rip and tear more than high speed steel tools, because (amazingly!) they aren't as sharp as the steel tools. I've ordered a set of high speed steel tools, which I think I'll be using for finish work – the carbide tools seem great for roughing out the shape.
Using the live center added a lot of stability to the process of roughing out the right side of the bowl (what is now its top). On the other hand, I am kind of amazed at how little vibration I felt when turning the completely unfinished – and grossly unbalanced – log, even without the tailstock in use. I think that's a result of the sheer mass of this lathe.
Yesterday afternoon I made a run to Home Depot, and they did have the Watco. So today the bowl and goblet get finished. Photos will follow, of course. The Home Depot experience was frustrating yesterday. I had a fairly long list of things to buy, all little things I need to finish off the hatch to the upstairs storage and mount the electric hoist up there. At least half the things I needed were either very hard to find or were out of stock on the shelf, and I had to get help from one of the hard-to-find employees (it was busy, and they were all helping an endless stream of beseechers). I finally managed to get everything I needed and headed home, stopping at Jamba Juice on the way home for a big mango smoothie. When they called my name, a young man quickly walked up to the counter and took my smoothie and left. I told the young lady serving what had happened, and she immediately called the police and started making my replacement smoothie. Before she could finish my smoothie, a policeman walked in with the kid who had stolen my drink, verified that he had the right person, handcuffed him and left. Wow!
That smoothie tasted wonderful :)