TURNING small Again
Pins & Angels

It'd been a while since I'd done any small, thin, turning. Decided it was about time to get back to it.

When I think of turning as fine as I can, it's not a toothpick that comes to mind, but a straight pin. And when I think of "PIN" - I also think of "ANGELS" - as in - "How Many Angels . . . (can fit on the head of a pin)?". And doing a piece to illustrate one possible answer to THAT question naturally led to asking the reciprocal, yet seldom asked, question - "How many pins - can fit on the head of an angel ?"

HOW I was going to turn a tiny angel to fit on the head of my pin - well I'd figure that one out when I got there.

Chucked up a piece of Store Bought dowel - probably poplar and sharpend my home made parting tool (made from an old bayonet saw blade, masking tape wrapped around one end as the handle) . Cranked up the lathe to about 1800 rpms and used a spindle gouge to hog off some wood near the tail stock end.

There are some "tricks" to turning to small diameters on lengths greater than an inch. Here are two of the "tricks"

Use a narrow tool - a 1/16th inch thick parting tool - like a little tiny bedan. Small contact area, less cutting edge to control.

Start cuts with the corner of the parting tool closest to the head stock - and cut back towards the head stock end

Work from the tail stock end back towards the chuck end - IN SHORT INCREMENTS.



A poplar dowel wasn't the best choice - but I took it down as small as I could. The penny in this photo is about actual size. The little angel on the top of the pin, sans some light carving, some small feathers wings and a halo is just a first cut at the angel.

My second attempt, out of maple, also shown close to actual size, is coming along pretty well. You can see the length of the next increment that will be turned down to final diameter. It's length is about twice the thickness of the parting tool I'm using. I'm getting my fine tool control back and when I complete this pin, I'll try another - that's thinner.

Once the straight pin had been turned, the rest was easy

Now to The Angel.

Life is full of compromises - and due to a time constraint I had to settle for slightly different AngelS

Here's my answer to How Many Angels Will Fit On The Head Of A Pin?

And here's my answer to the less frequent question - How Many Pins Will Fit On The Head Of An Angel?

And here are both together

If you're curious, the angels' halos are gold sequins.

Here is a shot with a penny for size reference.

more to come