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Discussion Starter #1
I am working on a segmented bowl.
Part of the bowl is Tulip wood. This is not easy to work because of it's fiber makeup, and my problem is ' Tearout '. I know part of the answer is very sharp tools but it is still a problem.
Anyone with any thoughts ?????

Apart from " Don't use Tulip "
 

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Im not sure but would running a different speed help.Also John Lucas is very knowledgeable so you may want to ask him for advice directly.
 

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I'm already here. I don't find tulip wood to be that bad to turn. Since it's a segmented piece you may be turning uphill into the grain on that section. Just for giggles take a light cut in the opposite direction and see if it improves. Usually what happens is you get less tearout on that spot but 90 degrees from that spot you get tearout. Sometimes this will be less than the other tearout so you have to decide.
The other thing I find is sharp tools are only part of the process. Not forcing the tools to cut is just as or more important. lighten up on your forward pressure and see if you can feel how the tool cuts. With the right pressure and a sharp tool you should get a pretty good cut.
You might also try rotating the tool at an angle that gets more of a shear cut. Imagine sharpening a pencil. If you keep the blade perpendicular to the pencil you cut fast but not as clean. If you tilt the blade about 45 degrees you get a cleaner cut. So if you look at the edge of your tool and see how the wood comes across it. If it's coming across the edge at 90 degrees you won't get as clean a cut as if you can change the angle and get the wood coming across the edge at less than 90.
 

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tulip wood are we talking tulip poplar?
doesnt faster speed and less pressure give better cuts with less tearout?
i know the other posters know way more than me so im kinda asking here too
 

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I just did some tulipwood last night and it turned with the skew to near glass. No tearout. Each piece is different though. Post some pics if you can, that might help. (Plus we love pictures)
 

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yep never had any of that
now i wanna try turning it just to smell it lol
i love nothing more than working in the shop and smelling the wood
 

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When I'm laying up segments I try to make sure the end grain joint is really good, and use alot of glue.
This prevents a lot of tearout on uphill grain side of joint.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Tulip tearout

Thanks guys for the tips. I felt confident that someone could help, having come acros the problems before.

Reading your replies have now got me thinking. The bottlestop that Texastimbers displays is not like the wood I am using, it's more like the one front of the one he is indicating.
Yes there is a smell, but I thought that was just my feet !!!!!!

I am wondering if it is tulup popular, its off white and fiborous. As you can appreciate, I am a virtual beginner in woodturning. I have only been at it a couple of years, even though I am an old man. Although my intro says I am a junior !!!!

But thanks again guys, I will give it try and post a Pic of the outcome :laughing::laughing:
 

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The one in front of it is Flame Boxelder but the flame is on the other side. I have a piece of Tulip Poplar - I know because I remember seeing a piece of some labeled in one of my barter boxes I traded for. I'll try to find it. I've never worked with it though so I can't comment on it.








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tulip wood

For roughing, use the sharp point of a skew. Tulip Wood has an unusual grain which tear out is a problem.

Don't use any scrapers!!! or tear out will rear its ugly head. As has been related to you, try the skew point going either direction.

The skew must be 90 degrees to the wood at any point in the curve. PM me for any questions...
 

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Tulip poplar grows around here where I am in central Georgia. I do not have a pic of it here, but I do at work. Will post a pic of an awful bowl, the first I ever turned was out of tulip poplar, on Monday.
 

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I've turned tulip poplar quite a bit since last year. The county was widening our road, and cut down, hackberry, poplar, oak, pecan, and elm. So, being right outside my house and all, me and another fellow just followed along behind them and collected about 4 truck loads, haha.

This is tulip poplar, with some spalt. If not spalted, it is pretty white/silver, with a greenish heart.

The only solution i had for the tearout, (which happened no matter what tool i used, or how sharp), was with sanding. It goes away, and leaves you with a great finishing surface. The wood is really soft, and light. Probably the softest wood I've ever turned. I guess that is the contributing factor to the tearout, cause it's not very dense. Or, this particular tree wasn't, anyway.
 

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thanks! you just have to make it thin, so it don't crack. And put plenty of ca glue on the center, haha. The tall carved flower in my first post is made from the same tree.

I've found that as this wood cures, it gets harder to turn, and tears out to the point of absurdity. The last thing i tried to turn out of it, was a large vase, and on the underside of the top rim, it not only had tearout, but entire chunks of wood were being ripped out. It looked like a landmine. So i sharpened up my gouge, and same thing. Took a shear scraper at a 45, and still happened.

It's now some of that "pretty firewood" we all make from time to time, lol.
 

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i must also say that all the poplar i've turned came from a very moist "holler", where it had all the water it could get. The tree wasn't much older than 30-35 years, but was about 25" round. I figured that was why it was structurally unstable, compared to a tree grown on drier land, where the grain would be tighter, and the size, smaller.

Just my theory anyway:shifty:
 
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