Turning bowls - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 02-05-2009, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Turning bowls

Having a hard time holding stock tight to the plate when turning irregular stock for bowls. Are there better fasteners than others? Just using lag bolts now and I don't want to go too long because that limits a lot of things as well. Hoping for some good suggestions, thanks.

Steve
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post #2 of 19 Old 02-05-2009, 07:15 PM
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Turning bowls

Not sure how your doing it,but lets see if this helps.First you shouldn't need lag bolts.I use 1 1/4 masonary screws,with the hex heads,cause they don't strip as easy as screws,I forget the dia.bout 1/8 I think.Anyway are you using the tailstock to hold the piece steady untill you get it round?because if the piece is to out of balance,it can actually come loose and crack you in the noggin,then bad words will be said and make sure where you screw the piece to the faceplate is as flat as possible.Then turn your ft for the jaws and make sure that when you clamp it in the jaws that you have the jaws flush against the wood.Hope this helps,although I am sure others will chime in.If you want you can look up Bill Grumbines site www.wonderfulwood.com/dvd.html It is a great site and you can learn a lot from him.Good luck
Ken
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post #3 of 19 Old 02-05-2009, 10:01 PM
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Hey Steve;
Ken is right on about using the tail stock to help hold the piece in. The only other thoughts I would have is to trim it with a band saw, if you have one. Also start at a very slow speed untill you get it rounded pretty good.

Mike

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post #4 of 19 Old 02-05-2009, 10:54 PM
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Steve,
are you having a hard time with the rough blanks trying to turn the outer edge round at first? Like Woodsman said, check out Bill Grumbine's site. When he demoed at one of our club meetings, one of the things he talks about alot is turning a rough blank. When you first try it you have a tendency to want to make the outside round first. I did the same thing myself. Couldn't figure out why I was beating myself and my tools up. Bill has you start from close to center on the tail end, with a tailstock in place, and work the bottom of the bowl first. You are doing a pull cut from the center towards the outside edge. As you start rounding the bottom, you gradually come up and around the outer edge a little at a time. Before you know it, the outer edge is round, and you didn't beat yourself silly doing it. Makes a lot of sense, especially when you see the video. I have never had a blank come off a faceplate. One thing is DON'T use drywall screws. They are too brittle. The coated deck screws they are making now work well. (not the gold plated drywall screws). Good luck,
Mike Hawkins
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post #5 of 19 Old 02-06-2009, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help and yes I do use the tailstock, even when I begin the hollow out process. The loosening of the bowl starts to show up later in the project and I notice it in the fact that the thickness of the walls of the bowl are uneven. It's subtle not like you can even notice it when you wiggle it. I'll try the deck screws. Does this seem to be more of a problem in softer wood, maple is all I've really worked with so far.

Steve
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post #6 of 19 Old 02-06-2009, 10:11 AM
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turning bowls

You shouldn't have a problem with maple,but It can depend a lot on if the wood is really wet,but yes soft woods may not hold as well.You stated that the piece started wobbleing towards the end of the project,if so then it seems that you don't have a flush face for the plate to draw up against and after a while it will start coming loose.I used to use a face plate to start all my turning when I would first mount it on the lathe,untill I was invited to this turners house in NC for a lesson using the KeMcNaughton coring tool,he would mount the piece with a screw chuck,then slide the tail stock up against it,square up the face,then mount the faceplate,switch it around an your ready to go and these were 16" ambrosia maple blanks.That give you a perfectly flat surface.
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post #7 of 19 Old 02-06-2009, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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That's an idea I hadn't thought of, I'll give a spin (pun intended). I'm using large branches from a silver maple that were given to me. There are harder maples out there but it's quite a bit harder than pine. It cured in my garage for over 1 1/2 years before I tied into it.

I use a chain saw to rough out the stock, so I'm starting in a rather raw state. Which brings me to another question. These branches are all about 4' long and vary from 4-14" in dia. What's the best way to cure these to eliminate some of the splitting?

Steve
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post #8 of 19 Old 02-06-2009, 03:43 PM
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turning bowls

Hmmmmm if your gonna leave the log round for hollow turning,then about all you can do is seal the ends and let em dry.I just leave em long enough to allow for waste,or cutting the splits off when your ready to turn the piece.Others may have a better clue,but this is what I read about how to cure them.Hope it helps.
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post #9 of 19 Old 02-09-2009, 07:41 AM Thread Starter
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What do you seal them with?
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-09-2009, 09:38 AM
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I've had my best success by splitting the log at the heart, sealing the ends with endgrain sealer and storing them off the ground out of the weather. Lately I've been trying to go ahead and cut them into bowl blanks and sealing them completely with wax. I have an old electric skillet that I have the wax in. I dip the flat ends in the wax and then roll the piece around to seal the sides. I'm running a test right now to see how long this lasts. I have 2 pieces, 1 cherry and 1 apple that are sitting on the shop floor. I'm going to see how long they sit before they start to check.
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post #11 of 19 Old 02-10-2009, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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If you split them, doesn't that limit the size of the round stock you have to work with for turning? I had heard once that pealing the bark right away helped because it allowed for more even drying, a technique I haven't tried yet.

The limbs I've been working with to this point would be too small to bother with if I split them and then squared them up for turning.

Steve
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post #12 of 19 Old 02-10-2009, 09:27 AM
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It does limit the size bowls you can turn but if you leave the heart in the wood it will most likely split there. Some species are better than others but 90 percent of the woods out there will split if the heart and pith are left in.
Here is one way around it. I hope you can follow this. If not I'll try to do a photo demo this weekend.
Put the limb between centers. Turn a ball shape with small tenons on each end. The pith will run through these tenons. Use a parting tool and hand saw to cut the tenons off. Now you have a ball.
Put the ball between centers with the pith going from you to the back of the lathe or perpendicular to the lathe bed. Turn away any of the tenon that is left and then use a parting tool cut cut the bowl in ball in half through the heart. You now have 2 side grain bowls with no pith.
Mount the bowl between centers with the big end toward the headstock. turn either a tenon on the bottom or a place for the chuck and turn the outside of the bowl. Now reverse mount the bowl on the tenon and turn the inside.
Clear as Mud. Make a drawing and you might understand better.
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post #13 of 19 Old 02-10-2009, 10:03 AM
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holding bowl

it sounds like you are putting the screws in the end grain of the bowl blank, they will not hold on a face plate.
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post #14 of 19 Old 02-10-2009, 10:39 AM
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Screw can hold in endgrain, it depends on the species, but they are less likely to hold. If you turn a limb end grain you are leaving the pith in the bottom and it will most likely crack.
I turn end grain hollow vessels but usually only out of half the log. To make the screws hold better you can put the screw in then back it out and put some thin CA on, then screw them back in.
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post #15 of 19 Old 02-10-2009, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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First of all John I'll definitely need pictures and a map to grasp what you described, and second what is CA. Like I said before I'm greener than the wood on this stuff.

I never thought about splitting it and then turning it from the other direction (cross grain to the face plate). But like I mentioned before that gives you quite a bit less than the diameter to work with, and the depth would be predetermined as well.

Steve
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post #16 of 19 Old 02-11-2009, 12:37 PM
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I'll try to set up a photo of the bowl turning set up. There are probably a lot of people who have never seen that done.
CA is Cyanoacrylate Glue, commonly known as super glue but that is just one brand. You can get it in thin, medium and thick. it drys very quickly and has a lot of uses in the turning world.
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post #17 of 19 Old 02-11-2009, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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I've kind of fallen in love with Gorilla Glue. Have you ever tried that for this purpose?
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post #18 of 19 Old 02-12-2009, 10:02 AM
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I despise Gorilla glue. I have not found a single job that it will do that some other glue will not do better. It will not fill a gap, it forms a foam so it's useless for that. I use epoxy in these cases. If you need waterproof, either titebond111 or epoxy works equally well and is much easier to clean off your hands and other surfaces. If you get Gorilla glue on your hands it will have to wear off. Nothing I've found will clean it off.
It will not fill the same purpose as CA glue, it's not fast curing, won't fill gaps like the CA Medium and won't penetrate wood like the CA thin.
I've also never been able to use up a full bottle of Gorilla glue. It starts going bad in the bottle.
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post #19 of 19 Old 02-13-2009, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
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The last place I used Gorilla Glue was to hold down some transition strips on my concrete basement floor between tile and carpet. Haven't budged yet? But I give the CA a try.
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