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post #1 of 7 Old 09-13-2008, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Pen turning problems

I know I'm just starting out turning pens but I cannot get this type of pen to work for me. I'm trying to turn a spalted maple blank and it keeps having chips fly away from it when I get close to being done. Then the brass tube shows through and I know it is ruined. Is there something I can do to the wood? I do have a sharp tool so that's not the problem. I've seen other pens made from spalted maple so what can I do?

Donny
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-13-2008, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don716 View Post
I'm trying to turn a spalted maple blank and it keeps having chips fly away from it when I get close to being done.
How close to being done ? 3 things. Sounds like maybe you are not getting the perfect glue job on the tube/blank, even glued right this can happen, but I would try to get the best glue up possible first. The reason I asked how close to being done, close enough to put the tools down and finish with sandpaper ? That is what I have done. Finish shaping with abrasives instead of the lathe tools. Another trick some guys use is get "close" then saturate the wood with thin CA glue, let it dry and finish turning.

Last edited by Daren; 09-13-2008 at 08:46 AM.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-13-2008, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
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"Colse" is about 1/16 or more before I get to the bushings/spacers. I use CA glue. I'm thinking the wood might be the problem. I turned some different wood last night too and it did fine.

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post #4 of 7 Old 09-13-2008, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by don716 View Post
I'm thinking the wood might be the problem.
Yea, spalted wood is not stable hence my 2 suggestions on sanding to finish or "stabilizing" with the CA glue once you get close. Worth a shot right ?
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post #5 of 7 Old 09-13-2008, 03:51 PM
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Ditto on what Daren said. Spalted maple in a lot of cases is on the soft side. Make sure you use real sharp tools and take very fine cuts when approaching the finish. Or you can cheat a little and sand the rest when you get close. But you will be better off if you use a sharp tool and practice taking a fine shear cut to finish. Try and pretend you are not going to sand while turning. Try and get a nice finish cut on that last pass. Not only will your turning technique improve, but you will eliminate a lot of sanding.
Mike Hawkins
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-17-2008, 01:08 PM
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Daren,

Can you give me a little more detail on the process you do to soak the wood in CA. I was going through this same issue and want to make sure I do it correctly.

thanks
Derek
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-17-2008, 01:26 PM
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It's pretty easy on spalted wood. I have turned the blank down some to where I am getting close to the tube. Stopped and just dripped thin CA onto the wood rotating it by hand on the mandrel. It will really soak into the soft/spalted/endgrain stuff that gives us the most problem. I just dripped it on till it would not take any more. Then walk away from the lathe for awhile (I usually just found something else to do the rest of the day) Once it is dry the CA will act as a stabilizer.
Others may give you better ideas I am a part time turner at best. I know I have not even turned a pen in over a year. But what I described always worked for me.
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