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Thread: Buttons from exotic timber offcuts

  1. #1
    Supporting Member Philip Davies's Avatar
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    Dec 2015
    Reading, Berks, UK
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    Buttons from exotic timber offcuts

    ]Buttons from exotic timber offcuts-550f9505-d2ee-426a-88b4-773ff1e62fbb.jpeg
    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.
    Buttons from exotic timber offcuts-17187398-55b7-4d77-b7c5-497325bcb51b.jpeg
    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.
    Buttons from exotic timber offcuts-image.jpg

    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.
    Buttons from exotic timber offcuts-image.jpg

    Then I work through grits 60 to 320, holding the paper in my left hand while the drill is rotating.
    Buttons from exotic timber offcuts-image.jpg
    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)
    Buttons from exotic timber offcuts-image.jpg
    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.
    Thank you

    (Next, egg cups from the offcut blanks)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Buttons from exotic timber offcuts-image.jpg   Buttons from exotic timber offcuts-image.jpg   Buttons from exotic timber offcuts-image.jpg  

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  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Philip Davies For This Useful Post:

    Christophe Mineau (Jul 5, 2022), Frank S (Jul 2, 2022)

  3. #2
    Supporting Member Frank S's Avatar
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    Aug 2015
    Peacock TX
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    Nive job I get why you wouldn't want to do these on a metal lathe, essentially your drill motor is a wood lathe just handheld and portable

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    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use KBS products

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to Frank S For This Useful Post:

    Philip Davies (Jul 2, 2022)

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