People on here have been kind enough to say, when I step outside the boundaries of past experience, “If it works for you...etc”
So, not knowing how buttons are made, on a lathe, certainly, but not wanting to use my Cowel lathe, this is what I did.
These are offcuts, including yew, laburnum and antique ebony off a wonky try square, 2 others which I can’t tell. I have cut discs using a holesaw, without the pilot drill, in the drill press.
Then I marked all the blanks for the button holes, using centre finder and dividers, pricked the marks and carefully drilled. This was the biggest disappointment. And the most time consuming. Not only were they too far apart, I just could not seem to get them square. However, Mrs Davies says (“what have you made these for?”) that the holes are too small, so there may be a remedy.
I have attached the disc to a discarded tappet, chucked in a drill, with hot melt glue, only a dab.
Starting up the disc sander, a dome shape is formed on the disc. A few seconds’ work. The rotating steel must be kept clear of the sander’s table, see the damage caused to the ply.
Then I work through grits 60 to 320, holding the paper in my left hand while the drill is rotating.
I use this tray to keep the abrasives in order.
Then I turn round and use the buffing machine. This has only taken a minute.
Now the disc is separated from the tappet (to which a disc of ply has been glued) The glue must be scraped from the back of the button while still warm. Attempting to sand off the glue will render the abrasive useless. (I knew this already)
This is how the back of the disc is sanded, using the ply to roll it to and fro.
Then I dub off the arris on the edge and back, by hand, seconds.
I am sure that if you attempted such a project, you would do it differently. This is quite therapeutic, being fairly stress free. I’ve never needed a dividing head before, but can appreciate that it might have helped doing the button holes, but then I would need to offset the tail stock.
I searched for workholding washers in the lathe, but there were 1000 posts tagged “washers”.
If any of you have got pictures of a proper way to do this, please post. Hope you have also found this post entertaining.
(Next, egg cups from the offcut blanks)