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Perfect Pommels Conway SC

A pommel is any area left square on a turning. You'll find pommels on table legs, balusters, porch columns and other furniture parts. A pommel can have an abrupt square shoulder or a gently shaped shoulder as it meets the rounded section of the turning. Using the wrong tools and technique can easily reduce each of these corners to splinters.

The Home Depot
(843)916-2229
951 Oak Forest Lane
Myrtle Beach, SC
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Lowe's
(843) 234-6033
2301 Highway 501 East
Conway, SC
Hours
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

Kmart 7555 / Cross Merch
(843) 248-2411
1610 Church St
Conway, SC
Store Hours
Miscellaneous
Store Type
Miscellaneous
Hours
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21
Store Features
Monday To Friday Working Hours is :8-22 and for Sat:8-22
Sun:8-21

Lowe's
(843) 650-1400
8672 Highway 17 Bypass
Myrtle Beach, SC
Hours
M-SA 6 am - 10 pm
SU 8 am - 8 pm

COASTAL ELEC & REW CO INC
843-448-3586
928 Oceola St Myrtle Beach, SC, 29577
Myrtle Beach, SC
 
The Home Depot
(843)357-3777
12262 Hwy 17 Bypass
Murrells Inlet, SC
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Terry's Do it Best Hardware
(843) 365-9300
5275 Hwy 501 West
Conway, SC
 
LOWE'S OF CONWAY, SC
843 234-6033
2301 HIGHWAY 501 EAST CONWAY, SC, 29526
Conway, SC
 
MID-ATLANTIC FASTENERS/Myrtle Beach
(843) 293-8795
3195B Highway 17 Bypass Myrtle Beach, SC, 29577
Myrtle Beach, SC
 
LOWE'S OF MYRTLE BEACH, S. C.
843 626-1700
1160 SEABOARD ST. MYRTLE BEACH, SC, 29577
Myrtle Beach, SC
 

Perfect Pommels

Perfect Pommels

Make splinter-free square edges every time.

by Alan Lacer

A pommel is any area left square on a turning. You’ll find pommels on table legs, balusters, porch columns and other furniture parts. A pommel can have an abrupt square shoulder or a gently shaped shoulder as it meets the rounded section of the turning. Using the wrong tools and technique can easily reduce each of these corners to splinters. Many new turners approach pommels with fear and trepidation, but the correct technique is not hard to learn. Follow each step described here and with a little practice, you’ll be cutting great-looking pommels every time.

I use two tools to make pommels: a skew chisel and a detail gouge (see photo, right). Many skews have a straight edge that runs at a diagonal, but mine is different. I shape my skew so the cutting edge near the long point is square across. From there, the edge curves down to the skew’s short point. This shape is a bit more versatile and forgiving in tight situations. 

I use a detail gouge to shape the shoulders of a pommel. This tool’s rounded profile is easy to roll from one position to another while supported on the tool rest.

Pommels have three primary variations: square, rounded and lamb’s tongue (see photo, above). To make each type, begin by creating square shoulders. Next, shape one of the variations, if desired. You’ll turn the rest of the leg or baluster after the pommels are done.

Tools You’ll Need 

The best tools for shaping a pommel are a skew chisel and a detail or shallow gouge. Many skews have straight edges, but I prefer a rounded edge with a short straight section. This profile is easier to use and more versatile. I’ll show you how to create it in the next issue.

Prepare Your Stock

Your stock must be perfectly square. Locate precise centers at both ends by marking diagonals with an awl (Photo 1). Mount the workpiece onto your lathe. Use a square to draw a dark pencil line where you’d like your pommel to end (Photo 2). If you’re working with a dark wood, mark two or more faces or use a white pencil to make the lines visible.

Photo 1: Scribe lines to find the precise center of your leg stock. This ensures that square and rounded sections will be centered; if they’re not, the rounded sections will appear offset.

Photo 2: Mark the pommel’s end with a pencil line or two. The darker the line, the easier it will be to see when the leg is turning.

Cut a V Groove 

Adjust your lathe to a moderate speed of  900 to 1,200 rpm. Position the skew on the tool rest, long point down, and cut into the workpiece about 1/8 in. from your pencil line (Photo 3). Aim the skew toward the turned side, the portion that you’ll form into a cylinder later. This first cut won’t go very deep. To form the V groove, reposition the skew slightly farther away from the line and cut in from the...

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