Chisels were flying around my shop and... - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 01-03-2012, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Chisels were flying around my shop and...

Hi Everyone

I could really use some help from one of you turning experts...

I'm making a lamp base... and to thicken the base I glued two 4/4 pieces of white oak face to face. The intent was to round off the outside edge first. Then shape the outside edge before turning the face - which will be the top of the lamp base.

So I turned my tool rest to be parallel with face and not more than 1/4 inch away and tried everywhere from 1/4" above center to 1/4" below center all all points between.

Whenever I tried using a gouge or a round scraper (which I THOUGHT was the right tool) the chisel would "grab" the grain and take out a huge chunk of wood... or become dislodged from my hand and go signing across my shop...to say it was frightening is a MAJOR UNDERSTATEMENT.

The chisels I was attempting to use were brand new, sharp, and are of good quality....so it has to be an IOT problem! (IDIOT OPERATING TOOL)

I finally did get the turning done to my satisfaction but by using a skew chisel and a small 5/8 straight scraper (I assume thats what it is...looks like a straight scraper but has a single bevel on each side coming to a crisp edge)

I'd love to know what I was doing wrong! Thanks in advance...
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post #2 of 14 Old 01-03-2012, 09:48 PM
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This site links a lot of good videos which have been “vetted?”, meaning they show general proper technique and not some of the garbage on youtube.
The best locations for now would be the Beginning, Techniques, and Projects sections.
Most of the turners represent what is considered some of the very best.
http://woodturningvideos.weebly.com/
There are probably hundreds so pick a few to watch and study and then practice that.
Be safe.

There is no way for me to try and write even basic about the gouge. However, with the scraper the tool rest must be above center and the tool sloped down to the wood reaching the wood at or above center. You probably need the rest further away for scraping on the face in order to make sure the tool is sloped down. NOTE: This is for scraping the face only, not the outside edge.
Here is one on using a scraper.
http://www.finewoodworking.com/SkillsAndTechniques/SkillsAndTechniquesArticle.aspx?id=33039
Here is one with a bowl gouge (part 1 of 2)

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post #3 of 14 Old 01-03-2012, 09:50 PM
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So your problem was turning the face true after you got the sides rounded? Did you have the tool pointed up or down? Hard to say what was going on without seeing it happen.
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post #4 of 14 Old 01-03-2012, 09:58 PM
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What diameter we talking about? 5"? Were you trying to go from square to round, or had you already rounded the stock with a bandsaw? Sounds like you could use a bowl gouge to rough out the shape first, then use a spindle gouge for the final shaping.

I want to die quietly in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like the passengers of his car.
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post #5 of 14 Old 01-03-2012, 10:21 PM
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A bowl gouge or spindle gouge will work as will a scraper. It's all in how you use it. I don't have time to do a video showing that but I turn 5 1/2" hand mirror blanks all the time and the turning should be similar.
What do with the round nose scraper is to keep the handle higher than the cutting tip. Keep the tool cutting on or slightly above center. The important part is to keep the handle higher than the cutting edge. Take light cuts. You should be able to cut this way safely.
to use the spindle or bowl gouge start with the tool handle slightly lower than the cutting edge. The flute should be pointing away from the wood or slightly up. Touch the bevel to the wood but not the cutting edge. Then move the handle out until the tip starts to cut. Move the handle out to make the cutting edge follow the curve you want. If you watch this video when I cut the end of the wine stopper it's very similar to how you cut the outside of a side grain piece like the lamp base.
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post #6 of 14 Old 01-03-2012, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry Guys... I should have mentioned the other details.

I started with an 11" diameter blank that I had bandsawed generally round... it wasnt perfectly round... but close enough.

I was turning on a 6" faceplate that was screwed to the back.

I turned the outside diameter without issue at slow speed...finished diameter is about 8" - yes, I realize that this is much smaller than I started with - the reason is that I couldnt get it to look right and I didnt like the original profile I had - so I turned it down some more. Plus I had made a calculation error on the diameter of the base in relationship to the diameter of the lamp shaft. The original plan called for a 3" shaft and a 10" base. My shaft ended up being about 2 3/8" diameter so the 10" base would have looked oversized I think.

Anyhow - after doing some research... I believe the error was that I was trying to CUT the face grain when I should have been scraping the face grain. Moving the tool rest away from the face and being lower than center didnt look right to me. Then the thought of having the handle end of the chisel higher than the business end had me worried the chisel would get stuck between the rest and the workpiece and cause an unsafe condition.

Lesson learned - I need to practice scraping so I can turn faces like this without my heart skipping a beat...or the possibility of peeing in my pants when my chisel it ripped from my hands!

Thanks for the help! I really appreciate it! Especially John's turning videos on YT! Excellent stuff there!
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post #7 of 14 Old 01-04-2012, 12:36 AM
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You can do use a cutting tool on the face. You just have to have the bevel rubbing all the time. I use a bevel rubbing cut with the flute facing me or maybe very slightly up.
For the scraper you should have the tool rest close enough that there really isn't any way the tool can get trapped between the tool rest and the piece. You should always start off with light cuts on a scraper until you get used to how it cuts. Always raise a fresh burr so it cuts cleanly.
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post #8 of 14 Old 01-04-2012, 08:44 AM
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You had stated the tool rest was ¼” away and to me that will give precious little room for the tool to move away. My guess is that with a normal scraper I have the tool rest about one inch away for face work.
As John said, light cuts and let the wood come to the tool.

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Last edited by NCPaladin; 01-04-2012 at 01:42 PM. Reason: Edited to remove link to Sorby video which could be confusing if scraping a flat face.
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post #9 of 14 Old 01-04-2012, 09:44 AM
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I disagree with your statement the tool should be able to move down and away in a catch. while this is true for hollowing inside a vessel on the outside you want the tool rest close and be cutting at or below center with a scraper although it's really more important to simply have the handle higher than the cutting edge. In this way you simply won't get a catch unless you shove the tool in too hard. Having very little tool hanging over the tool rest gives you the leverage to fight back against against any catch. However if your getting catches your doing something else wrong and we need to correct that.
Because of the nature of the cutting edge on a scraper the wood wants to pull the tool into itself. If you have the tool way over the tool rest as it tries to do this it pushes the tool down. This is why you should but at or below center because in this case the tool will be pushed out of the work as it arcs down. that part I agree with. However if you have the tool rest close your cuts are such that this simply isn't a problem unless your being too agressive.
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post #10 of 14 Old 01-04-2012, 02:16 PM
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My thought was, given only a ¼” gap, the tool could become wedged between the tool rest and the flat face of the wood. Having less gap will also solve the problem.

Sounds like a video John. The Scraper - Flat & Sheer Cuts.
Flat-face surface, concave surface, convex surface – how and why.
I’ve never seen a video like just on the scraper (out of about 20 purchased). Just bits and pieces for individual cuts and not much explanation.

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post #11 of 14 Old 01-04-2012, 02:48 PM
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good idea. That's what I need are future video projects. I rarely use a scraper anymore but remember when I really had to rely on them and eventually learned how to use them.
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post #12 of 14 Old 01-04-2012, 02:52 PM
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Eagle,
along with what the others have said, do you have either a turning club nearby, or and experienced turner you could visit for some basic instruction? Sure makes things go a lot easier when you have somebody showing you proper tool usage and then watching what you're doing. Lot less chance of getting hurt and you won't acquire a bunch of bad habits to get rid of.
Mike Hawkins
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post #13 of 14 Old 01-05-2012, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawkmph View Post
Eagle,
along with what the others have said, do you have either a turning club nearby, or and experienced turner you could visit for some basic instruction? Sure makes things go a lot easier when you have somebody showing you proper tool usage and then watching what you're doing. Lot less chance of getting hurt and you won't acquire a bunch of bad habits to get rid of.
Mike Hawkins

Thanks Mike! I live in Phoenix... so I can only assume that in the other 4 million people here there must be some turners around that I can talk to... I also have a Woodcraft store about 15 minutes away that I can take some classes at. But - I really like these forums, since I can read what I am doing wrong.. then run out to my shop...my equipment...and my tools to try things out!
Geo
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post #14 of 14 Old 01-05-2012, 09:33 AM
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Check here to find a club in the area.
http://www.woodturner.org/community/...alChapters.asp
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