Turning noob question. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-10-2007, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Turning noob question.

2 years ago my father-in-law gave me his lathe, an old slightly abused Craftsman belt drive and plenty of tools to go with it.
The wife, bless her heart, scrounged up the cash , got me a Tormek and said "Have at it". I did.
I replaced the head and tail stock, cleaned it all up, sharpened all of the tools, read a few books, watched some vids and set about trying to turn a bead.

First thing I noticed was smoke coming from the tail stock, followed by a hideous squeal and finally a piece of wood ricocheting about the shop. This, in turn, was followed by a finely woven tapestry of profanity that would make even a sailor blush.

Currently I have a fixed tail stock installed, should I switch to an active or based on the description of events, can someone spot what I may have done wrong?
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-10-2007, 09:01 PM
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What kind of center were you using in the tail stock? There are two types. One is called a dead center because it does nothing. It just sits there. If you where using one of these then you would have squealing, smoke, and lord knows how much damage. The second type is called a live center. It spins with the wood on bearings inside the unit. This is the type you want for wood turning.

Mike
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post #3 of 21 Old 09-11-2007, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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What I have is indeed a dead center.
I'll pick up a live center sometime this week.
Out of curiosity though, in what situation would you want to use a dead center?
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post #4 of 21 Old 09-11-2007, 09:18 AM
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It has more uses in metalworking than woodworking... but if you were trying to drill holes perpedicular thru something round it'd work better than a live center.
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post #5 of 21 Old 09-11-2007, 10:00 AM
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In metalworking we put the dead center in the headstock (usually chuck) then put the live center in the tailstock. This is used on items with a hole thru it like a piece of pipe. Then we can turn the O.D. concentric to the I.D. or other operations such as O.D. single point threading. I do this also with my wood lathe sometimes.

Mike
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post #6 of 21 Old 09-11-2007, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Well, being the noob I am, I replaced the centers with what my in law had in there.
Perhaps it was a live center and just seized up after spending many neglected years in the garage. Wish I hadn't thrown it out now.

I'll have to ask him about it at Sunday dinner. He's still pretty spry at 81, hell, last week I caught him out there fondling my router bits

Thanks for the info guys. I'll get that center replaced and see what other mischief I can get in to.
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post #7 of 21 Old 09-11-2007, 07:37 PM
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With my old lathe all i used was a dead center but had to put wax on it or it would smoke and get squeaky. It worked fine except for when i forgot and it started smoking.
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post #8 of 21 Old 09-17-2007, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Got the live center...made a huge difference, thanks for that.

Set about making kindling from scrap 2X4's (cut to 1.75 X 1.75 to start).

Roughing and planing went OK, cutting a V was easy enough. Rolling a bead on the other hand, well....

Tried to use a skew chisle, as the book recommends, that didn't work out quite so well, many, many catches.

Another book suggested using a parting tool. I found I could control it better than the skew. Realized that I didn't need a gorilla grip to hold the tool and the motion necessary to roll the bead came almost naturally. I still need a ton of practice. Fortunately I have a lot of 2X4's

When it comes to tools for beading, which do you use?
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post #9 of 21 Old 09-17-2007, 10:18 AM
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Keep this thread going! This weekend, I finally picked up my Father-in law's lathe as well along will a bunch of other tools and various furniture items tied down in various places - we looked like the Clampetts' buggy on the highway).

Anyway, the lathe is also a Sears Craftsman. It may be a couple of months before I get it up and running. I have never done any turning, so I will read your posts and the answers with great interest!
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post #10 of 21 Old 09-17-2007, 11:16 AM
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Tweegs:
The skew can take a little time to get used to, just remember its like a plane in use, the other is always get the bevel rubbing then just bring the tool up, just that bit to take your cut, the higher you lift from the rub the thicker the shaving, hold your tools, don't grip them. I find a 3 point tool is great for rolling beads, it is also one of the most ver tools going, there are a few bits on the net about the tool but not alot, easy tool to make as well, or buy. cheers LB.
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post #11 of 21 Old 09-17-2007, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Daveb,
Quite likely it's the same critter. I just went out to find the model number but couldn't. Found out the hard way that Sears no longer carries lathe parts in the store, you have to order them online. No matter, the local Woodcraft store will have everything you need. I'd sure like to know how much I've spent there over the years...no wait, maybe I don't.

Littlebuddha...rather..Sir,
Thanks for the tip.
I did some snooping around on the net and finally got a look at the 3 point. Looks easy enough to make. I'm sure one of my machine shop buds can cough up a chunk of stock.
One thing I can't tell from the pics though, is there a slight skew to the blade or is it square to the shaft?
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post #12 of 21 Old 09-17-2007, 09:15 PM
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hOW TO MAKE TURNING TOOLS pdf, on my site has all info on the 3 point how grind it, there are some other bits on making other tools quite usefull i thought. the i find that the grind should be longer than what was done. there is a use for small size diam as well as the larger i have 2, i use on my boxes with an arm rest tool very good bit of kit as well, look for "Ian Wilkie 3/8 inch point tool" .LB.
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post #13 of 21 Old 09-18-2007, 03:45 PM
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if you go to this link you will find a video that you can watch or download by Stacey Hagers point tool creation will give you a good look at how to use, to do beads and such, does not cover all the 3 point can do but good video to learn.
http://www.woodturner.org/resources/videos/
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post #14 of 21 Old 09-18-2007, 05:16 PM
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If you want to learn to use the skew get the video by Alan Lacer on the skew chisel. It is excellent. I find new turners learn to turn beads fairly quickly with a small spindle gouge.
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post #15 of 21 Old 09-18-2007, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks fella's.
I checked out the video Buddha linked and watched some of the short clips from Alan's site.

After watching Stacy put the 3 point to work, I'm convinced that I want one. Using the same motion with the parting tool, I was able to roll over a dozen consecutive beads without a catch, just have to work on keeping them all the same size now

I noticed in the clip from Alan that the skew is rounded over at both the long and short points. Mine are not. Methinks I need to get out there and correct that. Perhaps this is why I was having so much trouble?
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post #16 of 21 Old 09-18-2007, 07:39 PM
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The oval skew is a better than the norm, well worth getting to know the skew, glad you like the 3 point tool, its one of my fav tools in the tray. Keep shaving LB.
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post #17 of 21 Old 09-26-2007, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Pardon my absence folks. Got a last minute oppertunity to hit the North woods for a little grouse hunting and took it.

To bring y'all up to speed, I made the 3 point tool from 3/8 stock about 9" long. I set the bevel at about 60 degrees, the flat on top may be around 5 degrees. After turning a nice cherry handle (which I then promptly drilled off center ) I sharpened the soft steel and gave it a try. Can't say I was pleased with the results. I had a hard time trying to control the tool.

I knew the sharp edge on the tool wouldn't last without first hardening it. Figured it would be easier to correct problems while it was still soft. Seems like I made the right choice.

After looking at the pics again, it would appear that the bevel is closer to 45 degrees. Is this true?

Second, I was planning on using a propane torch to heat the tool, then water quench to harden.
Will this be hard enough or should I take it to work and use a hotter flame with a water quench?
Maybe a hotter flame and an oil quench?
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post #18 of 21 Old 09-27-2007, 08:59 AM
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Tweegs
Making a Pyramid this should give you the pdf from my site, its a new and tells you how to sharpen from the start and how to heat treat.
Useing it is another thing, its a brill tool but get use to it like most others, it is very good for those that have diff hollowing end grain on small boxes, detail work and a host of other uses, try a smaller dia bar as well hell of a difference to be had, stick with it. LB.
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post #19 of 21 Old 09-27-2007, 12:32 PM
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I found the 3 point tool interesting. I made mine from 3/8" drill rod. I have worked with the skew so long that I still prefer it. I think the cuts are cleaner but the possibility of screwing a bead up is definitely greater with the skew.
I ground a skew with a curved edge like Alan Lacer and personally don't see any advantage whatsoever. I think it's harder to sharpen and for some of the cuts I use it is a little less comfortable to use. A lot of people seem to like it however.
I also have the oval skew and find it just as easy to use as the rectangular and even better for some cuts. The downside is using it to remove wood very quickly in a similar fashion to the way you use a parting tool. The oval skew wants to rock and you can get a pretty good catch if you don't control it.
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post #20 of 21 Old 09-28-2007, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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LB,
Got the PDF, thanks, it clears a lot of things up.
I'll regrind the tool tonight.

I've always enjoyed making my own jigs and fixtures. Making my own tools is just an extension of that. There is always personal satisfaction in making your own stuff, having a blast.
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