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Alan Sweet
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am impressed by the turned finials that I have seen on ornaments, boxes and some furniture. While I have found a some videos and explanations how turners are able to do this, I have not been able to turn the quality of finials that I would like. I do not think I'll ever be able to match Drozda Finials but I sure would like to get a lot better than I am.

Any information source that anyone can point me would be appreciated.

Thanks
Alan
 

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Alan,

One of our club members has done a couple of demonstrations on finials and similar long pointy things (wands).

His technique is fairly straightforward: after rounding the blank, clamp one end in a chuck and bring the tailstock up to support the other end.

Then work the piece about an inch at a time, so you are always working on an area that has thick support between your skew and the headstock. He goes all the way -- sands and finishes -- in steps of about an inch at a time, starting a little way in from the tailstock (so there's a button to remove from the pointy end of the finial after he parts off the 99%-finished item.)

Note that the tailstock must be very light pressure on the end-- enough to hold, but if you're actually squeezing the wood, it will crack when it gets thinner. DAMHIKT.
 

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Alan Sweet
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163 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks duncsuss

I tried the approach you suggested and was pleasantly surprised. While I don't have a lot to show, I can see how if I work with this for a bit I'll see some definite improvement. Easier and more importantly controllable. Thanks again
 

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I tried the approach you suggested and was pleasantly surprised. While I don't have a lot to show, I can see how if I work with this for a bit I'll see some definite improvement. Easier and more importantly controllable. Thanks again
That's great news -- glad I was able to pass along some techniques that helped.

Thought of another thing -- if you're able to sneak one finger around to the back of the spindle as your working on the front, supporting it almost exactly at the place you're cutting, it can reduce the tendency to flex and chatter (which all thin spindles have).

I was a little uneasy doing this the first couple of times, but it made it much easier to take very light cuts because I could feel exactly how much pressure I was applying with the tool -- if my finger started to burn, I had to lighten up :yes:
 
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