square rimmed, live edge bowl question. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-23-2011, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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square rimmed, live edge bowl question.

hey guys. so i decided to do something completely different from what i normally do. I wanted to do a square rimmed, live edge bowl. So i picked a piece of spalted butternut i found. real pretty actually. i did alright with getting the general shape down and whatnot as you can see in the pictures. however i'm having trouble with getting a clean cut on the spalted wood. theres a ton of tearout, and it's deep too. I'm using a fingernail gouge very sharp too. could it be because the lathe is running so slow? I was also having trouble sanding because it was just clogging up my sandpaper, rendering it useless. any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I'm still fairly new to turning. this is only my third green bowl.

-Tyler
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-23-2011, 10:57 PM
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Been fighting tearout myself on some spalted maple. Here's what I do. First of all is sharp tools. Sometimes sharp isn't enough, you need a more acute angle to the tool. My bowl gouge is sharpened at 50 degrees. When I have trouble I change to gouge that is 40 degrees. If that doesn't work I change to a spindle gouge that is 35 degrees. Of course that assumes you can still rub the bevel.
Now the next trick is to not force the cut. When you turn at slow speeds it very hard not to push the tool too fast. speed up the lathe, relax and let the tool do the cutting. That and the sharper cutting angle usually does the job but no on really problem woods.
If that doesn't work try putting wax on the wood. Make a pass. It usually helps. Next is to use either thin CA or thinned lacquer. If it's just one small area I go with the CA. If it's larger then I use the lacquer. The lacquer almost always works but sometimes takes multiple applications. The downside is it clogs the sandpaper. You can unclog it with a file card used to clean files. It's kind of like a wire brush with short bristles.
I haven't tried it but I've read that soaking the bowl in dilluted white glue will work. It takes overnight.
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-23-2011, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the tips john. I can't turn the lathe up any more because it's not bolted to the floor, so i get some hopping. i think i will try the different angle gouge as well as applying either wax or lacquer. a lot of good ideas. i'm going to have to experiment a little bit i think with these tips. we'll see how it goes. thanks again

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post #4 of 7 Old 10-24-2011, 07:19 AM
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Just slow down the feed rate of the tool. That accomplishes the same thing as speeding up the lathe. The only difference is you need more control of the tool because you are moving at a slower rate.
I used to have a dancing lathe. I went from a crappy stand to an MDF stand made by stacking layers. It helped but not perfect. On my next lathe I built an A framed stand on both end connected by a hollow square. I filled it with sand. The lathe didn't walk at all but the apparently the wood to metal connection flexed and the lathe still vibrated. However it did allow me to turn at higher speeds.
Now I have a 750lb powermatic with 300# of gravel in bags below the lathe. It will still vibrate when you run an out of balance piece very fast but is way better than anything else I've had.
Let me say, speed is a relative thing. by that I mean a heavy out of balance piece may only go up to 3 or 4 hundred rpm before it starts to vibrate. High speeds of course are dangerous so you need to know your skills and the quality of the wood before you increase the speed so be careful. With proper tool control you can turn really clean curves at fairly slow speeds and get clean cuts by simply slowing the feed rate of the tool.
Here is a picture of 5 1/2" hand mirror I just finished. This is the finish straight off the 40 degree gouge. Shear scraping actually degraded the finish since the wood was really tearout prone. I started sanding at 220 but only because there were 2 very small tearout areas.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-24-2011, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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thanks alot john. i didn't know about the moving the tool slow thing while the lathe is going slow. I gave a few things a try today and it seemed to help. i waxed the bowl and then i did what you told me to about going slow. i got a much cleaner cut. still not perfect like your mirror which is gorgeously flawless even before sanding haha it's much better than before though so thanks

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post #6 of 7 Old 10-25-2011, 12:25 AM
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I use thinned shellac rather than lacquer just because I get along with the smell better. I usually put on a heavy coat, when close to dry I rub with a cloth dampened with DNA to remove any runs/lap marks.
Very light cuts and light touch when sanding or the paper will follow the hard/soft areas of the wood.

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post #7 of 7 Old 10-25-2011, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john lucas View Post
Just slow down the feed rate of the tool. That accomplishes the same thing as speeding up the lathe. The only difference is you need more control of the tool because you are moving at a slower rate.
I used to have a dancing lathe. I went from a crappy stand to an MDF stand made by stacking layers. It helped but not perfect. On my next lathe I built an A framed stand on both end connected by a hollow square. I filled it with sand. The lathe didn't walk at all but the apparently the wood to metal connection flexed and the lathe still vibrated. However it did allow me to turn at higher speeds.
Now I have a 750lb powermatic with 300# of gravel in bags below the lathe. It will still vibrate when you run an out of balance piece very fast but is way better than anything else I've had.
Let me say, speed is a relative thing. by that I mean a heavy out of balance piece may only go up to 3 or 4 hundred rpm before it starts to vibrate. High speeds of course are dangerous so you need to know your skills and the quality of the wood before you increase the speed so be careful. With proper tool control you can turn really clean curves at fairly slow speeds and get clean cuts by simply slowing the feed rate of the tool.
Here is a picture of 5 1/2" hand mirror I just finished. This is the finish straight off the 40 degree gouge. Shear scraping actually degraded the finish since the wood was really tearout prone. I started sanding at 220 but only because there were 2 very small tearout areas.


I've always turned wood like John. Check out his videos.

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