So you want to be a bowl turner? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 09-12-2007, 09:23 PM Thread Starter
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So you want to be a bowl turner?

Go out and buy a $2000 computer lathe, a bunch of tools you don't know how to use (or sharpen, from what I have read here)...Or get you a leather strap,a willow pole and a couple other odds and ends . Easy build, the plans have been around for a few hundred years.
I have not kept my biases a secret, sometimes I even come off as a bit of a stiff leg/old school woodworker who believes tools don't make the craftsman/woman. You either have it or you don't, buying tools is some woodworkers hobby...whether they master them or not, it is their hobby . To each his own. New tools are cool, don't get me wrong. But for me it is about the wood and enjoyment of the hobby.
That was kinda a long wind up for this cool (in my opinion) video of a dude bowl turning. It's worth 5 minutes of your time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz7PJ2WuLWA
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post #2 of 24 Old 09-12-2007, 09:48 PM Thread Starter
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sometimes I even come off as a bit of a stiff leg/old school woodworker who believes tools don't make the craftsman/woman.
Notice the "bench" he sets on to put his makers mark. Let's see a show of hands of who has a shaving horse in their shop . I have one. Those are not "store bought" cutting tools either. He either made them, or another local craftsman the blacksmith did (most likely)...and they are sharp.
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post #3 of 24 Old 09-12-2007, 10:11 PM
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What no Jaw dropping smiley?????
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post #4 of 24 Old 09-12-2007, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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What no Jaw dropping smiley?????
... I give up . You have to listen to the video as well as watch, he is. "A little change in tune, ready?"
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post #5 of 24 Old 09-13-2007, 01:21 PM
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Notice the "bench" he sets on to put his makers mark. Let's see a show of hands of who has a shaving horse in their shop . I have one. Those are not "store bought" cutting tools either. He either made them, or another local craftsman the blacksmith did (most likely)...and they are sharp.
Darren does this mean you don't have sharpe tools.
If a tool is not sharp, learn to sharpen or its only fit to eat your dinner.
Its called a hook tool by the way i made one from a 4" nail great for hollowing out. If you lay back any more your going to need a pillow happy wood dreams my friend. LB
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post #6 of 24 Old 09-13-2007, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Darren does this mean you don't have sharpe tools.
If a tool is not sharp, learn to sharpen or its only fit to eat your dinner.
Its called a hook tool by the way i made one from a 4" nail great for hollowing out.
Yea I have sharp tools , I also make my own when necessary. I have made most of my turning tools for smaller stuff I guess. I have a full set of "store bought" ones for the large lathe and the mini lathe, but sometimes to need a special tool for a special task. You are right a dull tool is not just a waste of your time, it can even be dangerous . I mentioned how sharp his tools where to illustrate how much easier the work is when they are sharp.

Last edited by Daren; 09-13-2007 at 03:13 PM.
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post #7 of 24 Old 09-13-2007, 01:45 PM
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Nice bit of wood and work on your sit Darren, wood your lucky over there to get some great stuff and big. the uk is crap really and when you do get it its so dam expencive, think i will have to start turning uvpc hell doors and windows why not turning.....Keep um sharp mate...LB
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post #8 of 24 Old 09-13-2007, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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LB, since you went to my site...I guess you figured out I do have sharp tools (or should have at least). I have been out of bowl turning for awhile probably 2 years, just got bored with it, maybe I need a foot powered lathe .
I did get into segmented turning for awhile. I found some stuff drawing dust in the corner of the shop, rejects I was not very proud of. The 3 little bowls on the 1/12 scale table that I turned are smaller than a U.S. quarter, I of course turned the table legs too. The picture is kinda fuzzy, but you get the idea. Why I would show my rejects instead of my best work . I reckon just to show at least I have used a lathe in the past .
I made some nice bowls in my turning days (where is that "patting myself on the back smiley thingy"), just sold them/gave them away without pictures. I did alot of lidded boxes like you do (I went to your site the day you joined) I will not even try to say my work was as nice as yours is, good stuff .
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post #9 of 24 Old 09-13-2007, 04:19 PM
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Darren, i think its always good to see work good or bad and most of us will think we are not as good as someone eles, there's guys out there that do work that knock my socks of, my work i think not bad needs a lot more work, mainly daft things and a better light setup than i have. I keep trying to get the time to do some segment work, some open segment stuff as well some great stuff about, one thing with small boxes is less wood, big reason for segment turning i think, i have a thing about seeing so much shavings on the floor and thinging it was such a gorgous bit of wood awhile ago, hee hee i need to get a life.
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post #10 of 24 Old 09-18-2007, 05:20 PM
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I love to watch Robin turn. I will be turning on a spring pole lathe this Saturday for a video on Appalachian crafts. I built this lathe to be a treadle lathe but the drive arm broke so I'm converting it to a spring pole for this video. I'm not nearly as good as Robin Wood.
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post #11 of 24 Old 10-12-2007, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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a dude bowl turning.
OK, he is not just a dude, he is a member here, Robin Wood. I know he is not shy...he wrote a book about it . I found his website fascinating http://www.robin-wood.co.uk/ , the tools/his work. I really don't want to pump my own lathe though, I am trying to work out a way to hook up my wifes stairclimber exorcise machine to a headstock? I mean we could both benefit, she likes to work out and I could use her calorie burning time to spin out a little gift for her, win/win? I just have not figured out a way to keep her from eating as many shaving as I do (I like it yummy, she doesn't)

All silliness aside. I have worked a spring pole lathe (once) it was an enjoyable experience in Zen way...after that wore off I got a cramp . Robin can really work it though. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDgIGzw4VtA
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post #12 of 24 Old 10-12-2007, 10:45 PM
 
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I agree when some buy tools as a hobby. I'm a "guitarist" like that. I enjoy the gear as much as the playing.

When I watch the video you posted I really enjoyed it. I also started to think that at one point they didn't have THOSE tools and had other methods of making a bowl. That's an advance in methods, or "technology" if you will. So is the way in the video not as pure as whatever came before, or whatever came before that?

I think that if you get lost in the "technology" and not the craft that is when the pureness of it diminishes. If your craft is sincere then the methods and technology you use matters little.
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post #13 of 24 Old 10-13-2007, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thought provoking post for me WonderMonkey . You are right a lathe like that was "high tech" 800 years ago (more?) I borrowed these pictures from this site, http://www.historicgames.com/lathes/ancientlathes.html


"I think that if you get lost in the "technology" and not the craft that is when the pureness of it diminishes. If your craft is sincere then the methods and technology you use matters little."
I am guilty of that, my lack of enthusiasm (for the lack of a better term) for "bigger/better/more expensive" tools being the only way to get the job done well is a little flawed. You are right, we would literally have to go back to before the stone age if we wanted to eliminate technology from woodworking.

In my defense I do agree if you are sincere and enjoy your work the tools do not matter, sort of my point in the very first post in this thread (in my own way of saying you don't need the computer controlled lathe that the catalog is trying to sell you, it is not going to make you a good turner) . I do however find something like the videos very entertaining as an observer.

So with your post you weakened my technology argument, what is high tech ? A sharp rock ? I will lighten up on that. High tech-low tech...the videos are cool. Robin has my respect as a craftsman as do many others here, there have been some recent turnings posted by other members that I was very impressed by. We all have our biases, good or bad, I just like the unusual.
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post #14 of 24 Old 10-13-2007, 10:22 PM
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Daren you sound like you might be passionate about what you do. I can't relate.
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post #15 of 24 Old 10-14-2007, 09:58 AM Thread Starter
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Daren you sound like you might be passionate about what you do.
Who, me? This stuff is too fun not to get excited about it sometimes. (Sure beats having a real job )
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post #16 of 24 Old 10-14-2007, 08:35 PM
 
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That image you posted looks like torture devices.
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post #17 of 24 Old 10-14-2007, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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That image you posted looks like torture devices.
Ever run a foot powered lathe ? Torture device would be one way to describe them , maybe that is an exaggeration. Not for the faint of heart for sure.
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post #18 of 24 Old 10-15-2007, 03:50 AM
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Thanks for posting the video darren, glad you enjoyed it and thanks everyone for the comments.....and yes I am a bit passionate about what I do too.

Littlebudda I have to disagree about Uk being "crap" for timber. There is more standing timber in the UK today than there has been for 500 years. Sadly much of it ends up going to waste since in the last 50 years we have lost most of our small local mills. Having said that so long as you can deal with buying trees and converting them yourself it is virtually free and plentifull. Try your local tree surgeons, they are cutting trees every day and guranteed 95% of it goes for logs or chip.
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post #19 of 24 Old 10-15-2007, 05:25 AM
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Hi Robin

I would agree with your coment to littlebuddha abou tree surgeons. I have just contacted one local to me and he is more than happy to keep me supplied with yew logs, elm burl and anything else that he has lying about. Due to the older ticker trying to check me out last month I havn't been able to take him up on his offer yet. But Soon...Very Sooooon

Littleb

A quick search for tree surgeons in the coventry area showed quite a few hits.. they may be worth a call as some advertise logs and woodchippings
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post #20 of 24 Old 10-15-2007, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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There is more standing timber in the UK today than there has been for 500 years. Sadly much of it ends up going to waste since in the last 50 years we have lost most of our small local mills.
Robin you used to work in forestry correct?
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