How big a bowl could I make? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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How big a bowl could I make?

Hello all,

I recently got this in - http://www.pennstateind.com/store/CX...4&prodpage=1CX

for making watches but it also says it can be used for bowls but doesn't have any demensions as to how big is safe. I can attach it to the lathe directly using the threads so I don't have to worry about using the taper.

Thanks,
Jim
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drac View Post
Hello all,

I recently got this in - http://www.pennstateind.com/store/CX...4&prodpage=1CX

for making watches but it also says it can be used for bowls but doesn't have any demensions as to how big is safe. I can attach it to the lathe directly using the threads so I don't have to worry about using the taper.

Thanks,
Jim
A collet chuck is not the right kind of chuck for bowl turning. We would need to know what lathe you have to answer your question about bowl size. If you have a mini lathe with a 10 inch swing then you could theoretically turn a 10 inch bowl, but a more rational maximum bowl size would be about 8 inches. On a mini lathe it is best to pre shape a piece of wood with a bandsaw.

You will need a scroll chuck like the Oneway Talon for holding tHe wood, but first you will need to balance the wood and turn a tenon for the chuck. In order to do that you need a live center and a spur drive. Your lathe probably came with both of those items.

The tools that you will need are a bowl gouge, either 3/8 or 1/2 inch and a parting tool. It would also be good to have a round nose scraper for the interior to do the finish smoothing and get a constant pleasing curve that sweeps from the rim to the center -- your first few bowls will probably be flat bottomed with steep sides, but that is fine. That is where we all begin.

Learning to use the tools is the greatest challenge and it would be best to find someone to mentor you.

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Last edited by Bill Boehme; 06-25-2014 at 02:24 PM.
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 02:21 PM
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BTW, the Dallas Area Woodturners meets at Woodworld if I am not mistaken. They are a very large club and are eager to mentor new turners. You could call Woodworld to see when the next meeting is scheduled.

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post #4 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks.

I have taken a bowl turning class and did get a chance to turn one. I do have a carbide bowl tool and a couple parting tools from a couple different sets. I have this set -

http://www.harborfreight.com/piece-w...kit-60663.html

I was just curious as the item had said it could be used to turn bowls what would be the safest size. I plan to get more equipment, just seeing how I can use what I have so far. Not a big deal if all it can be used for is the watches.

Jim
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 02:54 PM
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Definitely do NOT get those. They are tool steel and what you need is high speed steel. Buying a set of tools is mostly a waste of money and buying cheap tools is a bigger waste. Buy just the tools that you need and buy good quality tools. One decent tool might cost more than twice the cost of that entire set of junk from Harbor Freight, but you get what you pay for.

If you do not already have a bench grinder with white aluminum oxide wheels, you will also need that. You will also need some sharpening jigs.

I am a member of the Woodturners of North Texas and we are having an open shop mentoring with a number of lathes and instructors tomorrow from 3 pm until 6 pm followed by our regular meeting. There will be hot dogs, chips, and drinks for the hungry. It is probably a long drive for you, but if interested, it should be a good opportunity to learn a few things.

I plan to show folks how to dye figured wood to bring out the chatoyance.

We meet at the Handley Lions Club building on Craig street just west of Loop 820 on the east side of Fort Worth.

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post #6 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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Knew I was getting cheap when I got them but they got me through a few pens and allowed me to get the carbide pen set from Rockler. Since I have the knife making equipment it was fairly easy to touch up quickly, which they did need A LOT.

I'll have to check with the Boss Lady if I can go out and play as she would either have a late dinner or cook for herself

Jim
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 04:38 PM
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I guess your question is how big a bowl would be safe using a 1-3/8" recess. I'd say pretty small, maybe 3-4 inches.

Dave in CT, USA
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 04:59 PM
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Jim,
You really need to check out the local woodturning club. I always recommend that to new turners. You'll find out right away what's safe and what isn't. And I wouldn't recommend doing a bowl right away either. Stick with the spindle type projects for a little while til you are comfortable with your tools and how they work. Most lathes can turn a bowl 1/2" shy of the stated swing. You need a little bit of clearance. Bowls are fun projects, but can get you hurt in a hurry if you don't know what you're doing.
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 05:23 PM
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And to turn a bowl, you also need a bowl gouge ... the HF set does not include one.

If you're serious about it, I recommend getting one from Doug Thompson. If you're not sure, the Benjamin's Best (PennState Industries) is much cheaper and while not in the same league as Thompson's you can most certainly make a bowl with it.

(Another plus to the Benjamin's Best tools is that they are cheap enough that I'm happy to experiment with different grinds without feeling that each time I reshape it I'm wasting several dollars-worth of tool.)

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post #10 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drac View Post
Thanks.

I have taken a bowl turning class and did get a chance to turn one. I do have a carbide bowl tool and a couple parting tools from a couple different sets. I have this set -
I missed the part about you had already bought that set from HF. Well, it isn't a big loss. Besides, now and then there is a need to make a special purpose tool and you could use them for that purpose.

An introductory bowl turning class is mainly to whet your appetite for turning. Like Mike said, stick with spindles until you have more experience. A carbide scraper is nice to give new turners the chance to make something before learning how to use real cutting tools, but the carbide tools also somewhat limit what you can do and never cut nearly as cleanly as other tools are able to cut.

So when you are ready to remove the training wheels from your lathe, take some lessons from a mentor so that you can turn safely and with more confidence. Stores like Woodcraft, Rocklers, and WoodWorld of Texas have beginner classes but they cost money and are very basic. Learning from mentors at a club is free (not counting the very small membership fee that most clubs charge) and will get you up to speed much quicker than any other way of learning.

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post #11 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, didn't notice your post said FT Worth. Unfortunately that's an hour away from me. Bummer.

BTW, the collet does a good job at what it's suppose to. It held the wood for a watch very securely -



Jim
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post #12 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Boehme
Definitely do NOT get those. They are tool steel and what you need is high speed steel. Buying a set of tools is mostly a waste of money and buying cheap tools is a bigger waste. Buy just the tools that you need and buy good quality tools. One decent tool might cost more than twice the cost of that entire set of junk from Harbor Freight, but you get what you pay for. If you do not already have a bench grinder with white aluminum oxide wheels, you will also need that. You will also need some sharpening jigs. I am a member of the Woodturners of North Texas and we are having an open shop mentoring with a number of lathes and instructors tomorrow from 3 pm until 6 pm followed by our regular meeting. There will be hot dogs, chips, and drinks for the hungry. It is probably a long drive for you, but if interested, it should be a good opportunity to learn a few things. I plan to show folks how to dye figured wood to bring out the chatoyance. We meet at the Handley Lions Club building on Craig street just west of Loop 820 on the east side of Fort Worth.
I don't intend to hijack this thread but I would love it, Bill, if you started a thread with the dye process, some pictures and a bit of tutorial. Ive wanted to try but haven't as yet.
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 11:30 PM
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I will try to work up a tutorial, but it may be a month or two. I have committed to do a dyed rim platter for a gallery later this year and also plan to do another one for our club's Christmas auction.

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post #14 of 14 Old 06-25-2014, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Boehme
I will try to work up a tutorial, but it may be a month or two. I have committed to do a dyed rim platter for a gallery later this year and also plan to do another one for our club's Christmas auction.
Thanks Bill
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