These are the parts of the headstock, cut and partly fitted together, ready to glue up. The risers don't have the caps on them in this shot, but you can see how this assembly will go together; each riser is laminated from two layers of 3/4" birch plywood, with routed slots to form the holes for the studs that will anchor this assembly to the base plate. I chose the rabbet joint because it's easy to make without special tools, pretty strong, and in this case, wouldn't require additional routing to restore or maintain the stud holes, because half the thickness of the plywood would just leave the holes untouched. The rabbets were cut to rough size on my bandsaw (its table is the stage for most of these photos), then finished to final dimension with my Dremel router table using a straight 1/4" bit. A 3/8" deep cut is pretty close to the limit for the Dremel in this setup; I had to extend the bit a little further from the collet than I really liked, and it did work out a bit while I was cutting the first riser rabbet, but I caught it before much damage was done, and I don't think the resulting gouge will cause problems. After this shot, I sanded the oak caps down to the plywood all around, slathered the mating surfaces with Titebond, and clamped this all up with a pair of bar clamps I got at Harbor Freight for $2 each (but I'm not counting tool purchases in the costing for this lathe -- I'd be buying tools for one thing or another anyway). An hour and a half later, it was ready for the next step.
Pillow Block Detail
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