Is it just me, or... - Page 2 - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #21 of 25 Old 02-26-2011, 11:57 AM
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Whether learning to turn bowls or spindle projects on the lathe time it takes should not matter. Learning the procedures, how to hold and manipulate tools, moving your body and feet, and why should be your goal.

Rough out wet bowl:

Often rough out a bowl between centers using a two-prong center in headstock and revolving center in tailstock. If really wet wood and two prong center starts spinning, will drill a hole in bowl, screw in my “Screw Center,” and mount in chuck bring tailstock up for support. My goal is to start defining out-side of the bowl and turn a tenon or recess for mounting in my chuck.


Once get recess or tenon mount in the chuck, bring up the tailstock for support, continue defining outside of bowl. Satisfied with the out-side of the bowl re-position the tool rest and start hogging out wood from the inside of the bowl leaving the tailstock in place. Starting at the rim of the bowl will hog as deep as can working toward the center leaving core of wood, which will turn away once moved tailstock out of the way. Then will remove blank from chuck and set aside to dry in the shop.

If roughing out a shallow bowl, do not use tailstock support. Simply follow procedure outlined above. Mount in chuck square up face of bowl, and start hollowing center. May not always drill center.

I try to work from largest to smallest diameter on both outside and inside bowl so am always cutting down hill. On small end grain bowls, will start in center and work my way outwards. May take me as little as six months to couple years to complete a bowl.
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post #22 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 08:54 AM
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Sometimes using a bottom hole bit is easyer for me to get the depth i want. Then go to a gouge.
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post #23 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 09:31 AM
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All you have to do is make 100 bowls. No seriously. My first turnings were slow and painful. My arms would be tired, my back would hurt and it would take all day to make a bowl. Years later I have learned to let the tool do the work. I don't grip the gouge like I used to it's more of a relaxed cut. I rotate the tool so the tool rest takes the brunt of the force and I'm just guiding the tool.
When you make a lot of something you learn where you can take big cuts and where you can't. You learn which cuts to take first and how to better hold the tool to get that cut. Since you have the shape already in your mind you don't waste time taking small cuts from rim to bottom, you make big cuts. With a bowl gouge and swept back wings you can make a cut removing 1/2" to 3/4" per pass. It doesn't take long to get rid of most of the waste.
Watch the outside of the bowl and simply trace that shape using the handle to guide the bevel of the tool. Remember the bevel is like an arrow. The cut will go in the direction of the arrow. If you watch the outside and guide that bevel to match you won't cut through the bottom. In the last 10 years the only time I've cut through the bottom was when reverse turning the bottom on really thin bowls. It just takes practice.
Here's where most beginners have problems. They put a precious piece of wood on the lathe trying to finish a gift for someone and failure is not an option. Don't do that. Well OK we all do, me included. What you should do is throw scrap wood on there and make a bowl. Concentrate on the cuts. Don't worry if it blows up. Just enjoy throwing shavings. A few dozen of these and you won't be nearly as intimidated when you need to turn the expensive wood.
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post #24 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 11:46 AM
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This thread addresses some issues I have been having as well so here goes.

On my latest bowl, I used a large forstner bit to remove a significant portion of the material before chucking it back in the lathe.

I was also having all kinds of problems using the large and small bowl gouges to hollow out the inside of the bowl (even after being sharpened they kept catching and digging into the wood) to the point of frustration so I used the parting tool to make a series of internal (progressively larger) tenons.

Following that, I used a round nose scraper to finish off the inside surface. It worked. Those damn bowl gouges just may lay there and gather dust now I dunno.....
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post #25 of 25 Old 02-27-2011, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john lucas View Post
Here's where most beginners have problems. They put a precious piece of wood on the lathe trying to finish a gift for someone and failure is not an option. Don't do that. Well OK we all do, me included. What you should do is throw scrap wood on there and make a bowl. Concentrate on the cuts. Don't worry if it blows up. Just enjoy throwing shavings. A few dozen of these and you won't be nearly as intimidated when you need to turn the expensive wood.
I think this is right. I see people working on big chunks of hard dry wood and struggling to make a deep vertical-sided bowl. Everything is against them. Better to use easier wood, make more conical, narrow-bottomed bowls and practice on small bowls. You soon get to the point where tool control comes naturally and you can move on to tougher challenges.

As for drilling the waste out, it seems to me that if your aim is just to make a few bowls, drilling and scraping are fine, they get the job done. But if the aim is to learn turning and be able to produce the shape you want without worrying about the tools, you should move away from scrapers.

Inside a deep bowl you may need a gouge with a very short bevel. A long bevel cannot rest on the wood at the bottom of the bowl because the handle hits the sides or the tool rest will not go low enough.

I make lots of bowls. I rough out most of my green wood blanks in probably 5-10 minutes using only a gouge. When they are dry I finish with the gouge on the inside and gouge plus gentle shear scraping to finish on the outside. None of it is hard work.

Terry

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