Quick Start Tutorial

Learn the basics of using Lathe Magic

STEP 1. Every time you start Lathe Magic, a new design will be automatically created and displayed. Click on the NEW icon found at the top of the Front View window to create additional designs. Continue clicking on New until you see a design that appeals to you. In the image below, I found this design to be a good starting point for making a goblet.

STEP 2. In the image above, the profile of the design is outlined in black except at the very bottom where the outline is blue. Blue indicates the active block. Design dots for the active block are visible while design dots for inactive blocks are hidden. The red squares define the upper and lower boundary of each block. This design contains four blocks. The lower red square of each block and the 3 circular dots (labeled 1, 2 and 3) can be moved with the mouse. Position the mouse pointer over the design dot, hold down the left mouse button and drag the dot into a new location. As you drag, the outline and 3D view will change. In the image below, two circular dots were moved. Dot 3 was moved to the right to give a more rounded lower edge. Dot 1 was moved up and slightly to the left to give a more flowing curve to the lowest block.

STEP 3. No changes were made to the second block from the bottom but changes were made to the third block. Before changes can be made, the third block has to be made the active block. This can be done by clicking on the lower red square or anywhere on the 3rd block's black outline. That will change the outline to blue and make the circular design dots visible as shown below. The red square was moved slightly to the left to narrow the neck of the goblet.

STEP 4. The top block was also modified. After selecting the block by clicking on its outline, dot 3 was moved to the right and dot 2 was moved to the left to give more flare to the goblet's top.

STEP 5. When the design was automatically created, it was over 5 inches tall, but the piece of wood I have is only 5 inches tall. You can quickly adjust the design as shown below: click on the menu item Preferences then click on Set Wood Size and a dialog box will appear.


STEP 6. Enter the width and length of the wood you plan to use, then select OK as shown below.

STEP 7. After setting the wood size, click on menu item Preferences and select Fit to Wood Width and Fit to Wood Length. Check marks will appear to show that designs will now be adjusted to match the wood size you entered in Step 6. The Front View will also show a green box which indicates the size of wood.

STEP 8. Up to now, the design has a solid top. You could manually add additional blocks to hollow the model, but there's an action already built in to the program that will do it for you. Click on menu item Actions then select Hollow Model as shown below. The program added the needed blocks and repeated the profile to make a hollow model. By tipping the 3D View forward, you can see that the design now has a hollow top

STEP 9. The design also has a flat bottom. If the bottom isn't flat after lathing, it may cause the goblet to wobble, so let's give it a slight indentation. Select menu item Actions and Step/Dish Bottom. This leaves a small flat rim and a slight upward curve to the bottom of the goblet. By tipping the 3D View back, you can see that the design now has an indentation in the bottom.

STEP 10. The design is finished. To print a copy of the design to use at the lathe, select menu item File and then Print.

Step 11. A dialog block will appear as shown below. The only change I made from the default values is to change the design name. Click on OK to continue.

STEP 12. Another window will appear as shown below. Click on the printer icon to print a copy or click on the floppy disk icon to save a file for printing later. Along the left margin are a series of Guide Marks. These indicate where each block begins and ends (black guides) and also identifies where curve transitions occur (blue guides). The print out can be used as a template to help guide creating the object at the lathe.

FINAL DESIGN. In the image below, a larger size render of the finished object is shown. Also shown is a render with a different wood texture. A future tutorial will explain how to change textures in Lathe Magic.

Lathe Magic Products are designed by Rich Schafermeyer
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