About to start in hollow forms - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-23-2012, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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About to start in hollow forms

I just got a Munro Hollower2 and am planning to get started in hollow forms - I've turned some bowls so I figured I'd move towards a vase shape for starters. I just watched the John Jordan video from 1992 and what I'm still unclear on is whether hollow forms are twice turned like bowls, turned green, or turned from dry wood. I'm sure the answer is "all three", but what's most popular? Since the wood is mounted with the grain parallel to the bed of the lathe, either the pith is left in the center of the form, or much bigger logs than I'm used to are used so you can split down the middle to get the pith out and still have a decent sized blank left from half the diameter of the log which is probably cut close to square before mounting.

Any clues?
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-23-2012, 10:11 PM
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I haven't turned any vessels from green wood. I usually use dry pieces for them. I think you'll have a little easier time with dry wood. It will be more stable and not start to warp as you're turning it. You definitely want to get the pith out of your blank. If you leave it in, you're almost assured of a crack or more. Good luck with it,
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-23-2012, 10:25 PM
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Good score on the new tool. Wish I could help with the questions but I have only done enclosed forms, and then only about 6" deep.
I watch the Jordan video also, as well as the Jamieson. I'm almost positive Lyle Jamieson turned green but can't remember with Jordan.
Even a 6" piece would take a loooog time to dry completely so my guess is they would at least turn it green and sit back to dry. With the end grain (like a box) there should not be a lot of warping.

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-23-2012, 11:45 PM
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John J turnes mostly green. Some of his early vessels were turned with the pith in the center. It would be removed and after the vessel dried and warped another piece of wood would be inserted in the hole in the bottom which he trued up before inserting this piece.
Now most of his turnings are green and turned off center so no pith is left in the wood.
Most of my hollow vessels are done with green wood. I prefer not to leave the pith in simply because I don't like the way the pith warps and often cracks.
I do some twice turned but these are usually because the form I choose needs to be really round instead of slightly warped.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-24-2012, 12:57 AM
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I'm still pretty new at this so take my comments with due skepticism. I've done a couple dozen end grain HFs turned green with the pith down the center and haven't had a problem yet. I have soaked the pith on the bottom of the form with CA on a couple that started to check a bit but that took care of it. You'll cut the pith out of the top so no worries there at long as no checking started before you began hollowing.
In David Ellsworth's DVD he demonstrates turning a side grain HF with the pith running right through the sides of the form. It's a matter of personal preference whether to risk leaving the pith in or not. I'm too new to have a firm opinion about it yet but I've seen that it can be done. It sure is nice to just put a round log on the lathe and start turning with very little blank prep though:).
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-24-2012, 07:52 AM
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My suggestion is to turn a couple of pieces with the pith in so you can see what happens. Most turners understand wood movement , where and how it happens if they pay attention. You can use this to your advantage once you learn what it does. Until then it can cause problems.
David Ellsworths football shaped piece is what was mentioned above. David knew that the wood elongates around the pith and used this in his design. If you just half hazardly put the pith in the side of a vessel the warping can look funny since it will be lumpy in this area. That's where twice turning comes in. You leave it thicker and turn it perfectly round after it's dry. However leaving it thick with the pith in really invites cracks so it's a risk.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-26-2012, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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My only faceplate is the one that came with the Nova DVR XP (I think it's 3" and has 4 holes). I've got a Oneway Talon chuck with the standard #3 jaws and the woodworm screw. Do I need a faceplate (possibly bigger) with more holes and/or tower jaws for my chuck to safely get started hollowing with not too big pieces of wood? I'm asking since I'd be screwing into end grain of green wood as opposed to cross grain like I've been doing for bowls.
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