What am I doing wrong trying to turn this bowl? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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What am I doing wrong trying to turn this bowl?

Iíll try to make this question as brief as possible but I do know there is probably not a simple yes or no answer to my dilemma.
My question is: how do I stop my lathe chisels from grabbing into the wood when I am turning? I can only think it is the type of wood I am using as I have done several turnings before and I have never had this happen to the degree it is happening to me right now. I have tried adjusting the speed from approx.. 1,200 down to about 850 rpm. My chisels are sharp right off the oil stone. My tool rest is as close to the stock as I can make it without touching the wood. But it seems that the chisels get grabbed by the stock as it is turning. Itís pretty violent when it happens and it is not because I am being too aggressive with how much I want to remove at a time, I am being very cautious.
I recently bought some Curly Walnut and one of the first things I wanted to do was make a segmented bowl. The wood itself is very dense and very heavy for its size, but it is dry to about 10% moisture content. I glued up all my segment pieces and prepared the bowl for the lathe. I am using a Nova G3 chuck which I bought brand new. I have a 12Ē x 36Ē Craftsman bench top lathe which although I didnít buy it brand new it had never been used when I bought it and it is on its own dedicated table/stand.
Things I am not sure about: is my tool rest high enough or too low? Am I holding my chisels at the right angle?
I appreciate any help or advice you could offer. No tidbit of knowledge or insight is unwanted.

John.

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post #2 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 02:26 PM
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First off, are you sharpening on a flat oil stone? If so, get yourself a slow speed grinder and a good sharpening jig (Wolverine by Oneway is the one I use). Next is tool rest height and orientation of the tool. Also important is how deep you are trying to go and the angle of grind on your tool. Without pics, it's very hard to know what you're doing wrong.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #3 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 03:04 PM
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try changing the tool angle and if the tool is round, like a bowl gouge, try turing it so it just takes off a dusting . Ive noticed that if the wood is kiln dried, you tend to get alot of tear out, theres not much ive found to do to stop it but take lighter cuts and keep the tools super sharp. The tool could be sharpened at the wrong angle or degree.
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post #4 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 03:08 PM
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just one more thought sawdustfactory covered most of the ones I would have guessed but when I first started turning this used to happen to me all the time until I made sure that the headstock was completely tightened down. Sometimes the vibration can loosen the bolts and when that happens even slightly it can cause some pretty serious tear out! Hope you get it figured out, let us know how it goes, happy turnin,
Bond
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post #5 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 03:50 PM
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I have the same issues and as you know it can get pretty frustrating.

I started getting gun shy whenever I turned anything - just waiting for the tool to catch - which made me jump like a jackrabbit each time it happened. In my situation, I started using a modified drill press milling vice to feed the tool into the work. At least that system enabled me to continue making stuff without the stress.

Anyway, it sounds like you are doing everything correctly as it relates to setup.

I read somewhere that you have to make sure that the cutting edge of your tool is right at the horizontal center line of what you are working on.

Other than that, you just have to practice practice practice on your technique.
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post #6 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 05:31 PM
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John, you said you are doing a segmented piece. If you glued the pieces together on the end grain you now have to treat this piece differently than if you were using a normal side grain bowl blank. I believe you would use a spindle gouge instead of a bowl gouge. Senior members please correct me if I'm wrong...
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post #7 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 06:13 PM
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I wouldn't use a spingle gouge inside a bowl unless it's a very small bowl and you can get the tool rest very close to the wood. There is just not enough mass to the tool and it will chatter like crazy, or worse.

That bowl was perfect right up until that last cut...
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post #8 of 14 Old 02-20-2012, 09:07 PM
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Well, if any tidbits are welcome, I guess I can add to this one. I had a similar experience after about a month or so of turning.

I did a little research on the angles commonly used for bowl gouges and found that I had slowly ground mine way off target over time.

Also, I had to relearn the angle that I was holding the tool. I think I was beginning to let the flute face up and that was causing nasty catches.

I almost gave up turning bowls, but I regained my confidence by touching the blunt side of tool to the wood first, and then slowly angling the sharp edge into the piece until it started cutting (this after correcting the grind and the angle at which I held the tool).

Hope you get it figured out soon.

Rob
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post #9 of 14 Old 02-21-2012, 07:22 AM Thread Starter
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Guys thank you all for taking the time and sharing your input, I canít tell you how grateful I am. So after reading your posts I think I have a mix of things going on that need to be corrected. I think the angles on my chisels may not be the right angles, but I think the biggest thing maybe what Bond pointed out that my headstock may not be absolutely tightened down which may be causing vibration. I will start with those two points and progress from there.
I spent about an hour last night lamenting my plight and looking everything over and checking all my bolts were tightened etc. I will take a day or so to read up on the correct angles for chisels (well I have to work in-between doing what I love to do) and get everything ground and sharpened to the correct angles. I will resume my turning later in the week or this weekend and I will certainly share how I progressed.
Thank you for all of your input.

John.

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post #10 of 14 Old 02-21-2012, 07:46 AM
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John Lucas ( the Mayor of our woodturning society) has several really informative videos on here about sharpening.
Well worth a visit.

Learning more about tools everyday
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post #11 of 14 Old 02-21-2012, 11:00 AM
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Are you taking care of the fundamentals?

As in: A - B - C ... Anchor ... Bevel ... Cut.

If your tool is anchored on the tool rest, and the bevel is rubbing the wood, the most likely reason you are getting a catch is that you are letting the cutting edge of the tool cross the median line so the force of the turning wood is applied the "wrong side" of the fulcrum.

(Also ... Working the outside of the bowl and the inside of the bowl need to be approached differently, you didn't say which part you've been having problems with.)

edit ... I honestly don't think the angle of grind on your chisel is what is causing the trouble, unless they are ground way too acute. I've got 2 bowl gouges, one ground about 45 degrees, the other ground about 70 degrees -- and neither one catches until I use it wrong.

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post #12 of 14 Old 02-21-2012, 11:32 AM
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I would agree John Lucas has some nice video s on this stuff. Bowl are different then anything else because the tool presentation has to be changed doe to grain changes and curve of the bowl.

I have also found that until I got a variable speed grinder, proper wheel and jigs I only thought my tools were sharp.

My money is it's a combination of presentation and sharpness of tools.
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post #13 of 14 Old 02-27-2012, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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I was able to complete my turning this weekend. Thank you for all the help and pointers. After reading your responses and watching a couple fo John Lucas videos I think my main problems were not having the material securely anchored into the chuck, using the wrong chisel to remove material and I was going towards the center instead of going from the center to the edge. It is all done and I coated it with Danish Oil and it looks pretty nice. I just have a small stand to make for it and then I will post some photoís later in the week.

John.

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post #14 of 14 Old 02-27-2012, 11:14 PM
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John,
I always recommend trying to hook up with a turning club if you have one in the general area. We have a few guys who drive 1 1/2 -2 hours to come to the meetings. You'll learn a lot faster and avoid a lot of the self taught bad habits. Plus you'll meet a lot of fun-loving friendly people with a lot of good ideas.
Mike Hawkins
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