Indian club turning newby advice please?

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hairy

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Hi folks

I discovered a friend has a lathe after talking about Indian clubs for exercise. I used a lathe for one thing many moons ago but know basically nothing, friend is a beginner too.
So, would trying to turn a pair of somethings 5-600mm long with the narrowest part being maybe 15mm, be a bit daft to start with?
What should I start with to end up at that?
What sort of wood to practice with? Sourced from where to the UK via post?
What sort of dense non-toxic wood to end up with, from where?
What to look for in the actual piece so it doesn't explode and kill everyone within 100m? :)
Kind of like these
Thank you.
 

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gog64

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It’s not a challenging shape to turn, just the size makes it difficult. Not suitable for your first project! You’ll mount what will be the heavy end nearest to the headstock, but even so you will get a lot of vibration and wobble on the thin end. There are ways to mitigate this, but my recommendation would be to get some lessons and probably talk it through with an experienced turner before you attempt this.

I can’t help you with the wood, I rarely use imported wood for turning. Considering native wood, off the top of my head, I’d take a look at Ash. Heavy, strong, not brittle, turns well and should be in plentiful supply in the size you need.
 

Richard_C

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As above.

Depends on what you mean by a pair. I reckon I could turn one, but getting the second to be an exact match is a bit more challenging. Not a first project though.

Maybe start with a scale model :)
 

JimMc

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600mm long is very long for a first project and I assume your friends lathe is large or has an extension bed.
You can buy a variety of hardwood timber species 70 by 70 from several good suppliers ( eg Yandles).
Try something shorter to practice.
 

pgrbff

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Hi folks

I discovered a friend has a lathe after talking about Indian clubs for exercise. I used a lathe for one thing many moons ago but know basically nothing, friend is a beginner too.
So, would trying to turn a pair of somethings 5-600mm long with the narrowest part being maybe 15mm, be a bit daft to start with?
What should I start with to end up at that?
What sort of wood to practice with? Sourced from where to the UK via post?
What sort of dense non-toxic wood to end up with, from where?
What to look for in the actual piece so it doesn't explode and kill everyone within 100m? :)
Kind of like these
Thank you.
Build yourself a long box out of mdf and use a router overhead whilst turning the blank.
 

billgiles

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If your lathe is long enough and you clamp the heavy end in a chuck you may be able to turn it ok. As someone said practice on cheap stuff before committing to a heavy hard wood.
 

pgrbff

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I don't see where a router comes in to it, but thank you all for the replies :)
It's often referred to as a router lathe. I don't have a lathe or any experience turning, but can turn cylindrical objects using the router. YT has many examples
 

Jacob

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I made a pair from some ash hedgerow stuff. I say "pair" but they aren't quite identical. No matter, they still work!
Did a bit of research and they come in all shapes and sizes, some beautifully shaped and decorated, others plain and utilitarian.
Good turning exercise. Make one freehand, if you like it try to copy it.
May take a few goes but if you make enough you will probably be able to find a pair eventually!
The only important thing is the handle must be easy to hold.
 

recipio

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The original clubs were made from Rosewood and occasionally come up at auction. Using rosewood is not an option now unless you won the lottery. :rolleyes: I would imagine a heavy hardwood like beech would be good - they have to be heavy to work. Didn't the great Alan Peters make bookends more stable by filling them with lead shot - another option. ? Either way I would make a template of the shape and check it regularly against the turning blank to ensure consistency.
 

Jacob

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The original clubs were made from Rosewood and occasionally come up at auction. Using rosewood is not an option now unless you won the lottery. :rolleyes: I would imagine a heavy hardwood like beech would be good - they have to be heavy to work. Didn't the great Alan Peters make bookends more stable by filling them with lead shot - another option. ? Either way I would make a template of the shape and check it regularly against the turning blank to ensure consistency.
I doubt there are 'original' clubs extant.
Indian clubs have been made from any variety of wood, and other materials too. There is no standard. Even light wood will do - it just makes for a different exercise.
 

recipio

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I doubt there are 'original' clubs extant.
Indian clubs have been made from any variety of wood, and other materials too. There is no standard. Even light wood will do - it just makes for a different exercise.

They were used by the British Army in India and therefore were made from a variety of tropical hardwoods. I suspect a lot of them made their way home in soldiers trunks.
 

Jacob

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They were used by the British Army in India and therefore were made from a variety of tropical hardwoods. I suspect a lot of them made their way home in soldiers trunks.
They did. My old Dad was in India and brought a pair back. We used to play with them until they got left out and lost somewhere in the garden. They were that most familiar shape (not like Adam's above) and I wonder if they were purpose made for army gymnastics, which set the pattern? They were a very elegant shape but plain undecorated, some sort of dense mahogany-like hardwood.
 

Hutzul

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When working at 'The Cellar Trust' charity workshop, myself and a few of us made some Indian clubs. I made an outline template, and a drawing of diameters at specific lengths on the club. The client was very happy. I believe we made them in beech with a polished wax finish.
I think I'll put some on my projects list
 

Phil Pascoe

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Rosewood? There are loads of rosewoods, Dalbergia sissoo (sheesham) being one. They have little value, 90% of that particular one is burned, apparently.

Could a beginner turn them? The most difficult thing with many turned items is getting rid of the evidence of how they've been mounted. Small marks on something non aesthetic aren't really important, so turn the heavy end round at the tailstock so you can can finish it right in to a small centre mark then reverse it onto a steb drive, which won't leave too much of a mark
 

hairy

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Despite all the jolly sensible advice here I would still be happy to have a go at something usefully long. I thought I could make six skittles first as practice of shorter similar shapes. Unfortunately Yandles seems to say they won't post something to me on an island 600mm long anyway, and disappointingly it's cheaper to buy old clubs than a new blank I may ruin. Even a new club is not a lot more than a nice blank. Amazing.
 

Jacob

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Despite all the jolly sensible advice here I would still be happy to have a go at something usefully long. I thought I could make six skittles first as practice of shorter similar shapes. Unfortunately Yandles seems to say they won't post something to me on an island 600mm long anyway, and disappointingly it's cheaper to buy old clubs than a new blank I may ruin. Even a new club is not a lot more than a nice blank. Amazing.
Any old bits of wood will do. Mine were hedgerow ash. Doesn't even have to be dry - a few splits don't matter to an Indian club. You are on an island - is there no driftwood? 600mm long is a very tiny island? More like a skerry?
 

hairy

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It was the only way to guarantee privacy. No one else will actually fit. Sleeping is tricksy though.
Driftwood yes, no nails though not so sure.
 
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