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Chapter 7. iBlow > Putting it all together - Pg. 217

MAKE: PROJECTS Eccentric Cubicle Figure N7.10: The popular decapitated woodscrew spindle technique The tool rest is the last bit of kit to knock together. There are a number of ways to do it and still meet the specifications: vertical, immobile, and capable of coping with not-insubstantial shear force. I got a little fancy with mine, and designed it to straddle the tailstock assembly. This gets the tool rest closer to the work surface (providing vastly more solid tool support), and one clamp mechanism secures both the tool rest and the tailstock assembly to the table. [Figure N7.11] Facing the leading edge of the tool rest with extruded aluminum prevents the shafts of the turning gouges from digging into the surface and harshin' the smooth. Whatever form factor you choose to pursue for your toolrest, it needs to clamp solidly to the press table, but still be easily positionable relative to the stock you're turning. C-clamps will do, but I'm sure you can figure out something slick with a bicycle cam bolt or two. [Figure N7.12] Surprise me. Turning gouges can be ridiculously expensive. Master wood turners (which I ain't) think nothing of dropping 400 beans on a set of eight Henry Taylors. You can go there if you want, but I'm gonna be jealous. Hacking screwdrivers into gouges lacks the glamour provided by 18-percent tungsten HSS blades and stained and lacquered hardwood handles, but also lacks the wallet-emptying price tag. Start your gouge collection by buying every honkin' big slot screwdriver you can find at the flea market. Old and disreputable is vastly preferable to new and shiny, just from the enhanced possibility of getting a tool made from proper case hardened steel. It's kinda sad, but they really don't make cheap screwdrivers like they used to. Complete your gouge collection through patient yet enthu- siastic application of grinder, file, and whetstone (in that order) to your newly acquired pile of screwdrivers. Assuming you've been lucky enough to snag properly tempered 'drivers to begin with, don't let the gouge shaping process overheat the metal to the point of breaking the temper. The cool thing about hacking screwdrivers into gouges is that making cus- tom profile tools is almost too easy. You can theoretically repurpose any chunk of steel into a gouge of some form, pro- vided it'll hold an edge, and hold its tempering at reasonably high heat. Wood turning is friction-intensive, and the tools can get damned hot quickly. It's a bitch getting the initial cutting edge formed on a cold chisel, but they make brutally effective Caveman Deluxe roughing gouges. [Figure N7.13] Somewhat more subtly, I've cut gouges that let me turn multiple copies of a custom-profiled shoulder washer out of UHMD with relative ease. The only potential issue is laying down an accurate 70-degree cutting edge on the metal, a task that can easily turn into a character-building experience when 206