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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When turning a bowl does it matter if you work from headstock to tailstock or tailstock to headstock? Is it personal preference and comfort? Does grain orientation have something to do with it?
 

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Well you didn't tell us which way you mount the bowl. My personal choice is to mount a bowl blank between centers. Then I turn the outside. The important thing is to turn downhill or with the grain. If it's a side grain bowl, which means the grain runs perpendicular to the bed ways, then you turn from the foot toward the rim on the outside. You would turn from the rim to the bottom on the inside.
If it's an end grain bowl meaning the grain runs parallel to the bed (imagine and log mounted between centers) the it's the opposite. You turn an end grain bowl from lip to foot on the outside. On the inside you would turn from the center bottom out to the rim.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
John, thank you once again for your input and help. I mount the stock using a waste block and the tailstock as support until I get it balanced. I turn the foot of the bowl at the waste block and the tailstock end the lip of the bowl, so if I understand you correctly I am working correctly by going from headstock to tailstock.
I want to thank you for help with another post on another forum. I had asked about carbide turning tools and you had suggested the Hunter Hercules and referred me to your You Tube videos. I watched the videos and it took a little time to save up the extra money but I purchased a Hunter Hercules and turning has become much more enjoyable for me. If not for this tool I probably would have given up turning all together. THANK YOU!!!!!!!
 

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I mount the stock using a waste block and the tailstock as support until I get it balanced. I turn the foot of the bowl at the waste block and the tailstock end the lip of the bowl, so if I understand you correctly I am working correctly by going from headstock to tailstock.
I think you misunderstood what John was saying. The method of mounting the piece on the lathe isn't the question -- it's the orientation of the grain with respect to the lathe bed.

Imagine the piece of wood oriented exactly as it was during its years as a growing tree. The grain is vertical.

Now cut it into a bowl blank. Is that grain still vertical (perpendicular to the axis of rotation)? This is called side-grain (or face-grain) turning.

Or does the grain run from the headstock to the tailstock (parallel to the axis of rotation)? This is called end-grain turning.

These are the two orientations that John was referring to, which one of them you are using is what determines the direction of cut.

HTH
 

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What they said about grain orientation.
I think most people work from the tailstock to the headstock. The headstock tends to get in the way a lot more than the tailstock and it is usually easier to stand out of the line of fire in case of a dismount.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
John,I am sorry. I read duncsuss's post and went back and read your post again and I completely overlooked the the fact of grain orientation. I was focused on the turning from foot to lip.
duncsuss thank you for setting me straight!!!!!!
 

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Since I mount mine between centers first it is much easier to work from tailstock to headstock, for side grain bowls. If you glue the wood to a glue block and mount that to your faceplate or chuck it's kind of nice to work from headstock to tailstock because you can turn the outside and then turn the inside and never change the bowl orientation. Then just part off the waste block and figure out a way to reverse turn the bowl to clean up the bottom.
What I used to do was to glue the block toward what would be the top of the bowl (or use a screw chuck). Then turn the outside and leave a tenon on the bottom that I could glue into a waste block (or today put it in a chuck). This gave me total access to the outside of the bowl because I could move the tailstock out of the way once I got the bowl roughed out. My headstock really got in the way on that old lathe.
This does lead to some missalignment issues from time to time when you reversse the bowl turn the inside however usually it's small enough not to matter.
Here is a link to lots of ways to reverse turn a bowl. go to this link and down toward the bottom you will see
tips and methods for reverse turning bowls. Hopefully you will find a method that will work for you.
http://www.cumberlandwoodturners.com/tips--links-and-projects.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Y'all probably think I am insane but I am self learning wood turning, bowl turning and segmented bowl turning all at the same time. I have researched on different forums and You Tube for months before I actually started. So far I have turned 3 bowls from soild blanks, one did not make it because I turned the bottom to thin and it flew off the lathe when I parted it from the waste block. To answer a question before anyone asks I have a 3M full face shield with respiration that I put on before I even think about turning my lathe on. I have also made 1 segmented bowl out of pine. I am not really proud of any of my bowls thats why I will not post pictures.
Getting back to turning. I sand one side of the blank to 120 grit and glue my waste block to it and mount my face plate. I screw face plate to the head stock and and use a revolving center on the tail stock and rough out the bowl until it is balanced. Then I remove tail stock from the lathe and work on inside, sand it down, part it off and finish sanding base by hand.
I do not have a chuck yet (hoping Santa brings me one) so I will look at the link and try to find a reverse chucking method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Should have also mentioned all of my turnings so far have been side grain. I am having enough problems right now with tear out, I don't need to do any end grain right now.
 

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Don't feel bad about being self taught--that's how I started on my journey into the turning vortex. :yes:
Mine started when I wanted to use my Shopsmith to do all the things they said it could do. As it "turns" out I really liked turning after doing research on the web and watching videos. I outgrew what the machine could comfortably do in no time so I now have nice lathe(s) to let me make things. I also use a lot of carbide tools (as long as it looks nice and you're happy--who cares?), but I can use the traditional tools too if I choose.
I also started with waste block turning but now use face plates and chucks.
This forum was a Godsend to me--can't tell you how much I've learned.
Oh, apologies for the digression---+1 about the grain and direction of cut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for your inspiration cuerodoc. I know there is a learning curve for everything and I have not lost faith because I know I can do this!!!!!! Right now I am learning the speed of the chuck for various cuts,and how various cuts work on soft and hard woods. My 2 biggest problems are taming tear out and I am not sure if I am trying to take to deep of cuts or if my feed rate of the chisel across the rest is not smooth enough. I get many ridges when I am done roughing a bowl,both inside and outside, and they seem to stay there all through shaping. they don't actually go away until I focus on getting rid of them with a scraping cut. Some of these ridges are very noticable but some you can't tell until you rub fingers across the bowl.
But like I said it is all a process of learning and with technological advances of computers and internet, information is just finger tips away and I take full advantage of it. If I would have taken up this hobby in 80's, I probably would not have lasted 2 weeks
 

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Most of your problems will go away as you learn to control the tool more. Use your body, not your hands. I brace the back of the tool against my body and control the movement of the tool by moving from the floor up. We call this the turners dance. Get your feet further apart and your knees bent a little so you can easily move your upper body in a small arc to control the tool. That should help a lot with the ridges. If I remember correctly your using a scraper which also makes it more difficult because you don't have a bevel to rub to guide the tool.
If you learn shear scraping you should be able to level the surface and probably get rid of tearout as well. Here is my video. It shows a lot different ways to do it so you'll have to pick the one that works for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks John, you are absolutely right!!!!! I only use my hands, not my body. I normally have 2 left feet when it comes to dancing:laughing: This is one dance I will have to learn.
Just to clarify, I am using the Hunter Hercules tool. I know you show 3 different techniques for using this tool so i will be watching your videos for a while until I learn everything. I will not make it back to my shop for a couple of days so I will study your videos as much as possible for the next couple of days.
 

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Thanks for that Video link John. That was one of yours I hadn't seen. Every time I watch one I find some thing I am doing wrong. I go fix it and turning becomes even more fun.
 

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It takes practice to use the Hercules as a bevel rubbing tools but it's worth the practice. You steer with the handle and if you use your body you can get a really smooth clean arc without tool marks. It's just like using the nose of a bowl gouge as far as steering the cut but it leaves a better finish. It won't remove a lot of wood the way it does when used in scraper mode however so I it's best to sort or rough out the shape and then switch to bevel rubbing.
for now your best bet would be to switch from scraper mode to shear scraping with it to fine tune the shape and clean up tool marks.
 
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