I mentioned before that I’ve given in and bought myself a small lathe. The first thing I wanted to make, sort of as a warm up, since it doesn’t require spinning tons of wood and resin while attacking it with sharp tools, is an opal inlay ring like this one. So I ordered some crushed opal, and a ring mandrel, and some ring blanks, and yesterday the mandrel and the blanks finally arrived.

First thing: the ring blanks are not what I expected and cannot be used for what I want to do. There isn’t a deeper grove in the middle where I could put the resin and the opal, but it’s just a tiny grove and it’s matte, so in the pictures they look deeper. I have since learned that they are meant to be fitted with additional rings of wood or metal. They were also on the large side, which I could have lived with. So I went looking for new blanks and ordered them.

Not easily dissuaded I thought “well, I have enough resin pieces that would make nice rings”, so I cut two of them into shape and roughly sanded them into shape and then I wanted to put them on the lather just to notice that my cheap little lathe doesn’t come with a chuck, but a bolt where I can screw on either the thorn thingy to hold an object or a plate on which I can mount an object.

Now, I hate stopping work on a failure, because it leaves me grumpy all day long, so I became creative. I put the ring mandrel into my power drill and started to sand a resin piece down. It actually worked rather well, though I should have taken off more material with the belt sander. Only the very wide resin ring didn’t fit the ring mandrel very well, so occasionally it came off. No problem, until the moment it spontaneously disappeared from existence. I saw it enter the vacuum hose, and usually such heavy objects stay somewhere in the hose, but it didn’t, so I took out the vacuum bag and … it’s not there. I cut it open and went through the dust by hand (thankfully it was a rather fresh bag), but it wasn’t in the bag either. I have no idea where it’s gone.

So I still ended my workday being very frustrated, just with a lot more reason.


  1. voyager says

    Wow, that sucks, Giliell. Maybe into winked into another dimension. Or it could be aliens.
    I hope your parts arrive soon. I’m looking forward to seeing what you make.

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