? for you box elder turners - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 07-02-2011, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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? for you box elder turners

I'm turning a fair-sized bowl from a big blank I got from TT and I'm a bit surprised at the amount of end grain crushing I get even with a sharp carbon steel bowl gouge turning at moderate speed (and it's slightly worse with the HHS ones). I did have a bit better luck using my home-made EWT-Ci1 knockoff with a new insert but even that was not free of end grain crushing.

How have you guys fared? Looks like I'm in for some sanding.

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post #2 of 16 Old 07-03-2011, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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What, nobody here turns box elder?

EDIT: Oh, wait. I thought I posted this on Friday but it was only late yesterday. I'm jumping the gun assuming no answers.

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post #3 of 16 Old 07-03-2011, 05:36 PM
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I turn a fair amount of box elder. If your getting a cleaner cut with your C1 scraper then your tools aren't sharp enough. What most people have a problem with is forcing the cut. You have to let the tool do the cutting at the rate that it needs.
First sharpen your tools. Then turn the speed of the lathe up a little. Now when you cut with the bevel rubbing push the tool gently into the work. Try not to push on the bevel any harder than you have to. I call it gliding on the bevel. Let the tool do the work. don't push it harder than needed to make the cut. If the tool is sharp it shouldn't need any pressure at all. You should be getting little curls.
If it's still not cutting freely try putting some wax on it. This seems to make it cut cleaner. Sometimes you can spray it with water instead of wax. If this doesn't work try using lacquer thinned about 50/50 with lacquer thinner. Put on several applications and let it dry. This will stiffen the fibers. You could use thin CA but it's pretty expensive for this purpose.
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post #4 of 16 Old 07-03-2011, 05:42 PM
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Hey how about pictures for us beginners trying to get ideas by following different threads.

I'm talking more about what the problem is so we know it if we see it.

Your cooperation is appreciated.
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-03-2011, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks John, I'll give that a try.

Richard, the problem is already gone, but due to sandpaper, not sharp tools.

I'll post a pic of the bowl when I'm done but you WON'T see the crushed end grain

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-04-2011, 12:33 AM
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Thanks John, I'll give that a try.

Richard, the problem is already gone, but due to sandpaper, not sharp tools.

I'll post a pic of the bowl when I'm done but you WON'T see the crushed end grain
Oh well I have been noticing there are so many different things that can happen and I'm trying to learn what I can from others to avoid as many problems as I can.
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post #7 of 16 Old 07-04-2011, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Oh well I have been noticing there are so many different things that can happen and I'm trying to learn what I can from others to avoid as many problems as I can.
Actually now you mention it, I wish I HAD taken some pics of the crushed end grain ... I could have used one in my glossary.

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post #8 of 16 Old 07-04-2011, 09:27 AM
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Anyone know where I can buy box elder? The Woodcraft and Rocler around me "rarely" get this stuff in.

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post #9 of 16 Old 07-04-2011, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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TT, you want to jump in here? (slicksqueegie, if TexasTimbers doesn't post here, send him a PM. He sells the stuff).

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post #10 of 16 Old 07-04-2011, 08:16 PM
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Phinds,
along with John L. said, box elder is pretty soft, borders on being punky at times. You can hog out the inside of the bowl but leave the last 1/8" for some fine cuts with SHARP tools like John said. I have had the best luck sheer scraping my last few passes with one of Doug Thompsons bowl gouges. When sheer scraping, you have to have a very sharp tool, and take extremely light cuts. Your shavings should be continuous and look like fine angle hair. Patience is of the essence with box elder.
Mike Hawkins
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-04-2011, 11:47 PM Thread Starter
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Phinds,
along with John L. said, box elder is pretty soft, borders on being punky at times. You can hog out the inside of the bowl but leave the last 1/8" for some fine cuts with SHARP tools like John said. I have had the best luck sheer scraping my last few passes with one of Doug Thompsons bowl gouges. When sheer scraping, you have to have a very sharp tool, and take extremely light cuts. Your shavings should be continuous and look like fine angle hair. Patience is of the essence with box elder.
Mike Hawkins
What you've said fits exactly w/ my experience. Thanks, Mike.

Wish I had one of Doug's big bowl gouges but a chuck has been the next thing on my list and I finally got a baraccuda since I needed it to turn the box elder bowl. Doug comes next.

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post #12 of 16 Old 07-05-2011, 08:34 PM
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You don't need a real big gouge. I do most of my work with a 3/8" and a 1/2" bowl gouge. They both work well and will do just about anything you need.
Mike Hawkins
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-05-2011, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by firehawkmph View Post
You don't need a real big gouge. I do most of my work with a 3/8" and a 1/2" bowl gouge. They both work well and will do just about anything you need.
Mike Hawkins
Yeah, I have a PSI 5/8 gouge and used it with better effect on the bowl than the scrapers but I've heard that Doug's are much better.

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post #14 of 16 Old 07-06-2011, 12:21 AM
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Doug's tools will hold an edge longer and may have some other advantages due to shape of the flute. However your tool should do the job just fine if sharpened and used correctly. The Thompson tools will simply allow you to turn longer without sharpening.
If you give me the cheapest tool out there I can turn successfully with it. I may have to completely regrind the tip to get the angles that work and if it's crappy steel I will have to sharpen often. It's too easy to blame the tools and buy new tools. That's how the tool companies stay in business.
Don't let them fool you. Practice practice practice with what you have. When you get good with it, buy a good tool. Then you'll get better and appreciate the good tool more.
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-06-2011, 07:20 AM Thread Starter
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Good advice. thanks

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post #16 of 16 Old 07-06-2011, 09:17 AM
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Gosh I just reread my post it kind of sounded like I was being nasty or smart ellic. it was not intended that way. I was just trying to say we (myself included) need to learn to use the tools we have.
A good example of that is a gouge I have ground to the Stewart Batty 45 degree grind. My tool has the same grind as his. I have sharpened it to the "Nth" degree and I still don't get as good a cut as he does. so it has to boil down to the feed pressure, speed of the wood, and bevel pressure. Obviously I'm not doing it exactly the same as he does.
I remember at the first symposium that I saw him he had picked up a punky piece of wood. His comment was a properly ground tool used correctly will leave a clean cut even in the crappy piece. He then turned the piece and it was incredibly smooth. He went on to turn the project he planned out of better quality wood. On this piece he left the bottom unsanded, straight off the tool. Then he sanded the other side to 600 grit. You could barely tell the difference. Well I'm here to tell you I can't do that. I've tried. I can usually get it to 220 or even 320 grit but often have to back up to 150 or 180 to get out some little tool mark or tear out.
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