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post #1 of 17 Old 07-08-2010, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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New to turning

Hello , I am new to turning I just got a rockwell 46-111 and a set of craftsman (12 pieces) set of HSS tools. Looks to be 3 different size gouges , and 2 Skews, and a few others that I'll have to figure on what they are.

I have spare red oak and pine lying around that I turned a few things out of, mostly just handles for tools. I figured its cheaper to learn on junk wood. Although I do have some Purple Heart, Rock Maple, Cherry, and Mahogany pieces that I could cut for turning.

I was wonder what some of the better places were to get wood from (online or in or around PHX AZ)

I'm thinking I may pick up a Pen kit so I can turn some pens. Any idea which kit would work for me?

I've already read about the first 35 pages of posts on this forum.

I've also been reading from this page too http://www.nealaddy.org/node/9


Thank you
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-08-2010, 08:07 AM
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It is always good to start out on junk wood.

Pens are a good intro into turning, you don't need alot of tools and they don't take up alot of wood, you can usually pick up pen blanks for about $1 ea, sometimes cheaper. Penn State Industries is a good place to start http://www.pennstateind.com/, there are a few other big ones, but I won't overwhelm you.

I find bowls to be the most fun though. You'll soon get sucked into the trap that is turning.

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post #3 of 17 Old 07-08-2010, 09:11 AM
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One of your first investments will need to be a means of frequently sharpening your new turning tools. As you may already know, turning tools must be sharpened fairly frequently. Your tools are not pre-sharpened in most cases, so sharpening is necessary before their use if you want them to work the way they should. Dull tools cause new turners great frustration.

Also, safety equipment such as a good dust mask and a full face shield is a must. That face shield may come in handy, especially when you try to learn to use the skews!

Craft Supplies USA is a great source for turning tools, equipment and wood. I've found their wood to be reasonably priced and of great quality. Penn State Industries sells wood too, but I've never bought from them. Buying wood at Woodcraft tends to be much more expensive than it needs to be. Gilmer Wood Company has some amazing wood when you want to spend the big bucks....That site is worth a look! I buy some wood on ebay, but you have to be careful regarding quality and moisture content. West Penn Hardwoods is where a lot of Woodcraft's wood comes from, and they're a good source. Whatever you buy, be sure that you understand that turning wood is often sold "green"...Undried. So it is not necessarily ready to use.
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-08-2010, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Dvoigt I've heard that turning will suck you in, so i kind of planned on that and want to use that as a tool not a hindrance :) thanks for the link I'm checking them out now.


thekctermite I was aware of the sharpening, I'm looking into that, seems like turners with HSS usually use a bench grinder with a white wheel and pending preference free hand or jigs. The tools i got where original when the lathe was bought 30 + years ago never used but seem to already be sharp.

What I didn't know was that most turning wood is green. I understand bowls and larger turns being green, but even spindle work is green? Like pen blanks and 2x2x20?

Also what % of moisture makes it green?

I live in PHX AZ, so moisture content out here is very very low. I guess I need to be extra careful with my green wood.

Thanks
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post #5 of 17 Old 07-08-2010, 04:15 PM
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Zykal,Check out all the woodturning video's on u tube.Itchy

***For the record*** Ive made hundreds of guitar bodies,never put one together and cant play a note.
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-08-2010, 05:58 PM
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I have the same lathe. It's a solid lathe. My only issue is lack of variable speeds. Mine has four speeds via belt changes, but the slowest is around 900rpm which is too fast for a large out of balance blank. I've been trying to figure out a way to make a jackshaft with to drop the speeds. SWMBO doesn't see the need for me to spend $$ on making it variable. (Maybe she's trying to collect insurance if I do something stupid!)

Bill
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-08-2010, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zykal View Post
What I didn't know was that most turning wood is green. I understand bowls and larger turns being green, but even spindle work is green? Like pen blanks and 2x2x20?

Also what % of moisture makes it green?

I live in PHX AZ, so moisture content out here is very very low. I guess I need to be extra careful with my green wood.
As you stated, bowl blanks and larger chunks of wood are nearly always sold at varying states of dryness, rarely dried enough. Most turning wood will come with wax on at least the end grain. Some blanks will be fully waxed, which prevents any moisture loss at all. If you order a pen blank you're pretty much always dealing with dried wood. Bear in mind that pen blanks are the biggest rip-offs in lumber that there is. Always better to buy a board and rip your own blanks from it, and save a lot of money in the long run. You mentioned 2x2 spindle stock...That varies depending on supplier. Most suppliers send it out waxed and at an undisclosed moisture content. Basic domestic hardwoods are often sold dried, but ask if you're not sure. Imported hardwoods, not so much. That's a crapshoot.

In your dry climate you will be able to dry lumber faster than most of us can. For a piece of wood to be considered dry enough for turning into a finished product without pre-roughing and then drying, you're going to need something in the 8% or less moisture content range. Your best bet is to talk to the supplier and ask them if their wood is dried. If not, buy it anyway and let it sit for several months!!!

Welcome to the turning vortex.
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-09-2010, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Yes only having 4 speeds is a bummer but its better then 1 or even none :) I can't complain to much it was an excellent price for what i got.

I've watched tons of youtube videos (both the what to and what not to do versions)

I figured pen blanks were a rip, seems blanks in general can be. Just used to normal wood working (furniture) and its a different world.

Would I be better off buying board feet and making all my own blanks? Starting with pens and spindles on up to bowls? Or should I stick to green pre roughing bowls and then letting them dry?
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-09-2010, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zykal View Post
Would I be better off buying board feet and making all my own blanks? Starting with pens and spindles on up to bowls? Or should I stick to green pre roughing bowls and then letting them dry?
I try to by larger chunks of lumber and cut my own smaller blanks for my turkey calls, duck calls, pens, bottle stoppers, etc. For larger items like bowls, that just depends on what you can find. Nothing's more fun than rough-turning a bowl from green fresh-cut material, but you have to leave it very thick and set it aside for a year or so before finish turning it. I lack that kind of patience, so I go after dry lumber more often than not.

Many hardwoods dealers will happily sell you a foot or two of a piece of 16/4 stock if the piece they put back in their inventory is long enough. Might be worth asking around.

Also, hit up tree companies in your area. Most of them have wood lots that are a goldmine for free wood.
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-10-2010, 07:05 AM
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dry wood

Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
As you stated, bowl blanks and larger chunks of wood are nearly always sold at varying states of dryness, rarely dried enough. Most turning wood will come with wax on at least the end grain. Some blanks will be fully waxed, which prevents any moisture loss at all. If you order a pen blank you're pretty much always dealing with dried wood. Bear in mind that pen blanks are the biggest rip-offs in lumber that there is. Always better to buy a board and rip your own blanks from it, and save a lot of money in the long run. You mentioned 2x2 spindle stock...That varies depending on supplier. Most suppliers send it out waxed and at an undisclosed moisture content. Basic domestic hardwoods are often sold dried, but ask if you're not sure. Imported hardwoods, not so much. That's a crapshoot.

In your dry climate you will be able to dry lumber faster than most of us can. For a piece of wood to be considered dry enough for turning into a finished product without pre-roughing and then drying, you're going to need something in the 8% or less moisture content range. Your best bet is to talk to the supplier and ask them if their wood is dried. If not, buy it anyway and let it sit for several months!!!

Welcome to the turning vortex.
it pays to remember that if its a rough bowl blank its 2years per inch is its normal drying speed but micrwaves do it faster oh and storage of blank should be like its a tree vertical oh and if you dont have mistakes malfunchions and piles of shavings then you arent doing enough lol

Last edited by woody woodturner; 07-10-2010 at 07:12 AM.
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post #11 of 17 Old 07-10-2010, 07:40 PM
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The best place I have found so far for wood is Woodworkers source. There is a store in chandler, I do believe it is on Kyrene and Elliot. And there is another one off the I17 just south of Bell on the East side of the freeway. They have just about anything you can think of and the prices aren't too bad. As for pens, I get my kits from Pennstate, and I made most of my own blanks out of whatever I have laying around. I really enjoy turning, if you look at my photos you will see some of the stuff I have turned. I have some pens I will be posting this weekend. Happy turning, I hope this helps.

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post #12 of 17 Old 07-11-2010, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Termite, I've been to the source near I-17 got some pretty good wood there. I may have took look around a bit, here in AZ for tree lots :) I'm on the other side of the country atm so I'm away from my lathe which is a bummer :/ I want to turn!
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post #13 of 17 Old 07-11-2010, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bneff View Post
I have the same lathe. It's a solid lathe. My only issue is lack of variable speeds. Mine has four speeds via belt changes, but the slowest is around 900rpm which is too fast for a large out of balance blank. I've been trying to figure out a way to make a jackshaft with to drop the speeds. SWMBO doesn't see the need for me to spend $$ on making it variable. (Maybe she's trying to collect insurance if I do something stupid!)

Bill
change the pulleys check the speed of your motor most of the lathes at my club the motors are spinning at 1400rpm and the pulleys bring it back down to 300 rpm at the head stock
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post #14 of 17 Old 07-11-2010, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Thanks Termite, I've been to the source near I-17 got some pretty good wood there. I may have took look around a bit, here in AZ for tree lots :) I'm on the other side of the country atm so I'm away from my lathe which is a bummer :/ I want to turn!
Let me know what you find. It may be a crap shoot, but definitely worth a shot.

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post #15 of 17 Old 07-12-2010, 01:33 AM
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I have found my dry firewood pile to be a good source for blanks.
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-12-2010, 08:14 AM
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check out your neighborhoods for trees that have fallen or taken out its a good source of good free timber and you get to know your neighbors

Old wood workers never die thay just get dry rot
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post #17 of 17 Old 07-12-2010, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I've been keeping an eye out now, usually what I did see was mesquite so better then nothing :)
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