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post #1 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hi..

Hello all
New to the site and got some of those question that I am sure always come up time and time again…I will thank you for your patience now. I picked up an old lathe about 3 years ago and broke the head stock off it on project 3 or 4. Got a cheaper new one a month or 2 back and have been learning by trial and error…..and more errors. Found this site the other day and have been reading and got some of the questions answered and learned several things but I have to suspect different techniques may apply to different woods, such as drying a piece that was turned form green wood. Seals or even paints seemed to be used by many on logs and rough turned project. On a project I have to assume the coating are just cut off when remounted…. I use a face plate now with no jaws so I am questioning the troubles of a real thick base on one end and thin wall for the rest (bowls). In turn real uneven drying, and that seems to equal cracks and warping from what I am finding. So far I would prefer to do a project start to finish in one shot. I have read about boiling wood. Can anyone educate this guy on that? Microwaving wood? I have dried a couple things on paper bags. Red oak from my fire wood pile was a success. Had a few small cracks that opened up and then closed back up while drying…But wasnt real wet to start with. Some green maple, going to guess silver maple, didn’t not go so well. One project is a loss and the other I will try some fillers I read about here and I do believe it will look sharp when done. By no means am I against cracks, aka character in my book but I would like to have control over that to some point. Just did a wine bottle out of buckthorn and part of the reason I choose that wood was because of a crack. Those items mentioned are waiting to be finished, which brings me to my next question, finishes. I would like something generally food safe and a wicked shine if I choose so. Never used a sand sealer, recommended? Never used waxes or polishes or buffing? I have done some tests on a few things and found runs on curves surfaces are tough. Seems if I apply to light the finish is dull, and apply it any heavier it runs. Faster drying times may also be something I should consider. I am interested in any types and techniques one may be willing to share. Cutting tools I am using are subpar and would like to get an upgrade here and there in the future. Tools with carbide inserts look nice for hollowing out but I don’t know how they perform. I see what they cost…. I have gone on long enough for today, thanks again and I will see about getting some pics up to share what I have created thus far.
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post #2 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 03:49 PM
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
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wine bottle, buckthorn
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red oak wine bottle holder with captive ring. Had to do a test to see if I could even pull off making a ring....and make a tool to do so
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Maple, I think silver, cracks to be filled
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Maple cookie jar...well it should burn real nice anyhow
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Yellow birch, cute thingie with lid for wife. This piece is done. Fairly happy with it. Inside could have been smoother but little hard to get my hands in for sanding.
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post #4 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 04:14 PM
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some pretty work there
is that natural edge bowl end grain?
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-30-2011, 06:09 PM
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Good job, it looks like you are well on your way. I really like the wine bottle. It got my mind thinking if I had a suitable piece of wood to build one as well. Thanks for posting. Gotta go to the shop.....

"Dear Lord, lest I continue in my complacent ways, help me to remember that someone died for me today. And if there be war, help me to remember to ask and to answer, 'Am I worth dying for?'"

Eleanor Roosevelt
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-31-2011, 09:44 AM
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Welcome!

Looks like you are doing quite a bit of cutting into end grain for your bowls which is much harder than mounting them so you are cutting into crossgrain. As for cracks, if you want less you'll want to remove the pith (center of the log) which is the place that most cracks will start. There are a lot of good threads on here about preparing a blank, sealing the ends, and how long to dry. If you want to speed up the process you can do some research on using denatured alcohol soaking and drying which takes quite a bit of time out of the drying process.

It looks like you've done well learning your tools and have made some very impressive projects, so keep it up and keep posting pictures!

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 #7 of 13 Old 10-31-2011, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. I have tried mounting a few different ways. With no band saw it’s a lot easier to throw a log on and cut into the end grain but I see the price of that. Just did a bowl last night out of what I believe to be cherry of some sort. Large down tree, fairly dry and had a deep crack on the log already so I went as large as I could and worked around the crack. Didn’t cut down the end grain and not sure what kind of mount you would call it, but sure wasnt pleasant getting it to a point where I could turn it.Turned out real nice but cant say I enjoyed working with the wood though. Dulled tools crazy fast and was a bear to sand, but sure did polish up nice. I will give it a little time and then put a finish on it. . Its going to make a real nice wedding gift next month
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-01-2011, 03:59 PM
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Quess I will make a stab at the finishing. Many other options are available.
I would like something generally food safe and a wicked shine if I choose so.” Most any finish is food safe once the carrier has evaporated. I’m not sure I have seen many/any items with a wicked shine AND used for food. Most food item have a flat finish or a small sheen. That said, a fruit/nut bowl may have a high shine but probably not a salad bowl.
Never used a sand sealer, recommended?” I use shellac for most items and my “sanding sealer” is shellac from the can but with 1-2 parts DNA. It will take a lot of coats to build up a shine; if a shine you want make the next coat normal strength shellac. On most I items I prefer a low gloss. A couple of coats of sealer then burnish with steel wool or dry shavings gives a nice hard luster. Thick is better if you are trying to fill pores in the wood as it will take many many coats of thin.
Seems if I apply to light the finish is dull, and apply it any heavier it runs.” It takes several coats of light (sealer) to build up a thickness. When I apply shellac full strength I just slop it on then use a cloth dampened in DNA and melt the streaks/runs/drips away after the finish becomes almost dry. If I want a high gloss I then add one part each of shellac, DNA, and BLO and apply with the lathe running.
For small items Mylands Friction Polish gives you that “wicked shine”.
Faster drying times may also be something I should consider.” Can’t get a lot faster than shellac. For thin/wash/sealer coats about 15 minutes in the summer. If I have added thicker coats I give it a few hours or overnight if possible.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-01-2011, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Good info. Thanks. DNA? BLO? sure what they are. The things I make will be given as gifts so I figure food safe was a good thought but sounds like that is not a concern. Thanks again.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-02-2011, 09:17 AM
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If something is going to come into direct contact with food such as nuts or fruit, I would use a "food safe" finish. There are a few on the market, and you can even find them at the likes of Home Depot and Lowes, the stuff I've found is actually salad bowl finish. I'm not sure exactly what is harmful about polyurethane or any other finish, maybe someone knows why you shouldn't use it?

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 #11 of 13 Old 11-02-2011, 11:20 AM
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DNA is denatured alcohol. Shellac flakes are dissolved in alcohol and you can add more to thin it. BLO is boiled linseed oil (this is different from plain linseed oil) and just provides a lubricant for raising a shine. It is my understanding that the government does not allow any normal finishes (after drying) that is not food safe however a film finish such as shellac, polyurethane, or other may chip with use or not hold up to getting wet. You can buy “food safe” finishes but unless you want a high luster you can just buy mineral oil (not mineral spirits which is completely different) from the drug/grocery store. Other folks also use walnut or chestnut oil. Most oils are very slow drying but you can bring up a luster by burnishing.
Sorry about the abbreviations, I should remember to type everything out.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Benjamin Franklin
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post #12 of 13 Old 11-02-2011, 02:26 PM
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Any finish that doesn't contain lead is "food safe". Like previous poster noted, some of the film finishes are prone to wear/flaking. While safe, I don't think I'd want to eat it. BLO and wax combinations can be buffed to a very nice luster.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #13 of 13 Old 11-02-2011, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks..notes have been taken
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