ITP Blog

Subtraction - Week 7: Lathe Turning

WEEK 1: Router Skill Builder

WEEK 2: Othermill Skill Builder

WEEK 3: CAD CAM and CNC Skill builder

Week 4: CNC Joinery Skill builder

Week 5: Midterm

Week 6: Spindle Turning

Subtraction - Week 7: Lathe Turning

TITLE: Foosball Player

DATE: Mar 26, 2017



This week, each one in Subtraction class will make a foosball player and install them to play with. It's an interesting assignment, but really tough to me, since I was trying to glue plywood together to make my own material.



Glue a stack of plywood is not hard, a bottle of wood glue and some C claps, then it will be done. The trick Ben showed us in the class is to use one piece of wood rub the glue on the other piece.

!!! Important !!!

!!! This is not good enough !!!

If we are going to lathe turn it, and we are pretty sure the quality of plywood is awful, we can assume that the process will be full of tear and blood, literally.


I think one solution is to glue them vertically instead of horizontally. Because the direction we turn the plywood stack and the pressure given by the stocks have the trend to split the layers of plywood. But the faces I glued is fine.



Turning a poor quality plywood stack was a nightmare. My thumb got hurt a couple of times then I had to use bandage to stop it from bleeding which was very dangerous when turning wood. So I have wear one glove to make sure the bandage wound not be drawn into the machine.



Luckily, I had a backup plan. I have a oak dowell just the right diameter 1 1/4", I didn't use it as my first choice since I want to explore and do experiment as much as possible. But having a plan B and PI times your materials were always a wisdom choice, which I learned from intro to fab last semester.




  • Like I mentioned before, glue poor quality plywood through the perpendicular direction of lath rotating direction, which might not help but better then the parallel direction.

  • I used spindle this time, it's hard to hold a long piece without a little shaking, which is fine. But I used a dowell, the shaking means we have to shape it to a small cylinder again.
  • One little trick is, if you are afraid that you piece may split, use the sharp triangle chisel to shape the slot first, which to some extent make it less possible to split, damn I realized it so late.