Bowl turning - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-02-2010, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Bowl turning

I am new to turning and trying to figure out the best way to get started. I am a high school shop teacher and have never had any instruction on turning except when I was in high school. I have a Rockwell 46-525 lathe I had an old table leg I turned into wine glasses and they are neat but I wanted to start turning bowls. I want to cut my own wood but I mainly have oak around the farm. I also heard turning green wood is easier but how do I keep it from cracking? Here are some pictures so far the finish is rough but it looked a lot better after I sanded and re finished them. Also if anyone has parts for this lathe I am in need of some if you notice the the vice grips for speed control and they don't work very well
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post #2 of 6 Old 03-02-2010, 11:36 AM
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Your goblets look great! I really like that you recycled a table leg for them. I try to recycle whenever I can.

For example, I have my father-in-law's maple tree in my driveway. Oh, and a neighbor recently cut down a walnut tree, I've got most of that, too.

Someone posted this site some time ago about how to harvest wood from a log, and I found it to be full of great info.

Folks around here will probably tell you to cut some logs, seal the end grain with Anchorseal, and leave it alone for months. The anchorseal slows the drying of the wood and helps to prevent cracking.

Even after all of this, the wood may still be pretty wet, so you'd want to either turn it to finished dimensions, put it in a paper sack or two for a few weeks or months, and hope it doesn't crack, or rough turn it, put it in a paper sack or two for a few weeks or months, then finish turning it when it's dry. (The paper sack slows the release of moisture and helps to prevent cracking, though the wood will probably warp.)

That's what I've learned so far, but I'm sure there are other ways to do it. GL! :D
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-02-2010, 03:42 PM
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I don't know anything about turning, but I sure like your speed adjustment knob on your lathe.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-02-2010, 04:53 PM
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Nice goblets. Your on your way to turning. You have a lathe and if your not satisfied with the vice grips. turn a knob out of wood or plastic, determine the width of the part you have the grips on, drill a hole and a touch or two of super glue and your in business. This would be a temporary fix if your particular, get in touch with the people who make that lathe on the net and get a good one. Good luck. Mitch
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-02-2010, 05:23 PM
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That's a whole lot of questions and it takes a lot of time to answer. If you do a google search for turning green bowls you will find quite a few answers. I would also suggest A DVD by Bill Grumbine. It covers everything from harvesting the wood to finishing. He discusses tool usage, sharpening, type of tool, and of course how to deal with green wood. It will be the best money you can spend.
Basically you cut the green wood and then turn the bowl to an even thickness through out to less than 1/2" thick and let it dry. It will warp of course so you have to sand the foot flat after it dryies.
If you want a round bowl you rough the bowl shape out to about 10% thickness for the total diameter. A 12" bowl would be roughed to about 1" thickness. Then you put it up to dry for about 4 to 6 months. Then return it.
It's a little trickier than that. Even after you rough it out it can still crack if it dries to fast or is uneven thickness. If you leave the pith in it will most likely crack as well.
Like I said, it's hard to beat Bill's DVD for total information on how to work with bowls, green or dry.
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-07-2010, 07:20 AM
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Bill Grumbine's dvd is a great idea. also contact and join your local woodturning club maybe a member can help you with your lathe parts. set up a demo for your classes, our club has done many demos for our local schools. nice job on your turnings.


"Just because your not bleeding, don't mean your turning safely"..
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