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Fighting the fight.....
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Just got my lathe setup (NOVA 1624-44) and was wondering what types of wood are the easiest to turn? I have many common species laying around the shop to include Red Oak, Pine, Poplar, Soft Maple, Hard Maple, Cherry and Angelique.

I turned a small piece of Hard Maple and I got a lot of tool noise. I am uncertain if it was me, the wood or the tool sharpness. I took the tool right out of the box. May not have been sharp enough and I don't have my sharpener setup yet. A job for the morning.....

What types of wood are good for turning?

Fred
 

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Tools are rarely sharp enough right out of the box. They often don't have the proper angles either. Try the soft maple or Poplar. Those are fairly soft and should turn very well. If you still have problems then it might be the tools, how you use them, or it could even be the lathe.
 

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Fighting the fight.....
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
John,

You were right about the tools. I got my Wolverine sharpening system setup and boy did it make a difference on the cuts that I made.

I also noticed that some of the noise was caused by me and my novice techniques. I got a lot better just turning some junk pieces today. A couple of more pieces and hopefully I will get much better. Good thing I have lots of cutoffs laying around from other jobs.

Fred
 

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I've been learning on pine scraps, meself. I ventured into some oak the other day and failed miserably. I learned that my tools were not sharp enough, so I sharpened them and tried again on some oak. They worked much better!

I started turning some Padauk this evening and it seems pretty soft and nice to turn. It's pretty too! :laughing:
 

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PT,
When I first started, I used to take scrap 2 x 2's, construction grade pine, and practice turning coves and beads. You can turn a bunch of beads, then flatten them out and do it all over again. Good for getting the feel of the tools and practicing on your presentation angles and most of all learning how to ride the bevel of the tools that are designed to do that.
Mike Hawkins;)
 

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What wood is easiest to turn

One of my favorite is Cherry ,Holly ,maple.When I started I turned a lot of waknut,cause it is free and I have more than I can ever turn.Then I graduated up to the burls.I have some burls that I am still afraid to cut,cause I know I'm gonna screw em up. :yes:
 

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John,
I haven't figured out why the factory does such a lousy job on the tools. They have to grind it anyway, why not do it right. Especially when you are buying something like a Sorby and spending 70 or 80 bucks. Maybe they do it because they know they can get away with it. Or maybe they are doing it on purpose to make sure we learn how to sharpen our tools. :huh:
Mike Hawkins;)
 

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Awwww crap. Seriously, I've got to reshape my Sorby's? I contacted Sorby about that and they said they were ready to use right out of the box. However, my skew has a pretty bad burr the will have to be removed first which means it is not ready to be used out of the box and this isn't the first time I've heard this. I could sharpen them myself I'm sure with some good jigs but I wouldn't know how to reshape them. I may try to find a sharpening class before I try it and maybe even pay to have them reshaped the first time. This is alot of the reason I have had a lathe for 4 mos. and haven't used it. I need to buy a sharpening setup. That and I haven't run electricity to the shop yet.:no:
 

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Hey guys, good topic. I am a long time woodworker, but new to the lathe, and starting to turn bowls and trying to figure this out on my own. Of domestic hardwoods, I find cherry to be just about the best for turning. I think it is easy to work, end-grain finishes well(I have real problems with walnut end-grain) nice figure against the lighter color, and not too expensive if you have to buy it.
About sharpening: For you guys sharpening on a standard bench grinder(6, 8, or 10") that produces a hollow grind; do you then hit it with a stone for a slight micro-bevel? I have watched a Richard Raffin DVD and he goes right from the grinder to the lathe. I am using a slow-speed 8"(white wheel) ginder with home-made tool rest...Sorby and WoodRiver tools. Also, concerning Raffin...he seems to be able to cut very aggressively, even on a fairly long piece in a chuck unsupported on the right. Is his lathe powerful? Sharp tools? 40 years experience? And another thing; Does anyone finish with beeswax right on the lathe like he does? God he makes it look easy. Thanks, Kirby
 

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I
I started turning some Padauk this evening and it seems pretty soft and nice to turn. It's pretty too! :laughing:
Just curious... did you have red/orange dust everywhere ?? :laughing:
 

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John,
I haven't figured out why the factory does such a lousy job on the tools. They have to grind it anyway, why not do it right. Especially when you are buying something like a Sorby and spending 70 or 80 bucks. Maybe they do it because they know they can with it. Or maybe they are doing it on purpose to make sure we learn how to sharpen our tools. :huh:
Mike Hawkins;)
The reason the factory does such a "lousy job" is because they dont know what you are going to be using the tool for. In the simplest example a bowl turner may need a 40 degree angle on his tool to begin the inside of the bowl but he may neec something closer to 60 as the bowl gets deeper and the angle changes. So why put an angle and waste the steel when they can just leave the turner to sharpen as they desire. Thats why tools are never sharpened from the factory.
 

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He nailed it. We all eventually find an angle on tools that we are comfortable with. There are also many styles of turning. The early bowl turners liked a tool ground more like a U with somewhat square front. Modern turners tend to like swept back wings on the sides of the tool. Some (like me) use a long sweep, some use a short sweep and some still use the older traditional grind. So what is a company who sells tools to do. they tend to leave the tools ground somewhat flat and then the customer puts the grind they want on them. Some try to put a grind that they think customers want but be aware that Sorby comes from England so they are using grinds the english use and may not be the same we use.
I have never seen a flatter spindle gouge come with the corners ground back which is the first thing I do with my tools. Same with round nose scrapers. The corners are blunt and sharp and can get a nasty catch. I ground those round also.
A burr on a skew will be gone after just a few revolutions of the wood. However I doubt many of them come as sharp as they should be. The skew is typically my sharpest tool and the burr left after I sharpen those is very small and probably won't last an inch into the wood.
 

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A 2nd or 3rd+ for the manufacturers letting you grind your own. If you are brand new I would use the grind they came with until you learn the why of different grinds. You do need to sharpen them in most cases.
The skew is the only one I hone or strop but this is because of how it is often used.
Here is a one page article than describes the why of bevel angles on bowl gouges. Swept back wings and other modifications are another consideration.
http://www.woodturningdesign.com/askdale/14/14.shtml

kng... your ? about Richard Raffan... 40 years experience mostly IMHO. I bet he could do good with $8 chisel or a $180 chisel.
 

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Anything soft really. As long as its not to sappy. I consider most things practice so even if you mess it up the first couple times or the wood is hard to work with it will just make you better when you get to work with the good stuff. As long as you don't hurt yourself or break anything have at it haha

Sent from my SCH-I535 using woodworkingtalk.com mobile app
 

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The woodsman said:
Thats why I buy Doug Thompson gouges,those suckers come out of the box ready to use. I have had Sorbys and would never trade my DT tools for any of sorbys.Plus they will hold an edge far longer.
+ 1. I just bought my first Doug Thompson gouge. It was sharp when I received it and cuts great.
Tom
 

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When I started, my fear was having enough wood to turn. I decided to visit the local county brush disposal site - unlimited wood. If you are just starting, turning green wood for practice IMHO is great. It's a lot more forgiving and you get those long ribbons shooting over your shoulder. So you can already feel like you're Jimmie Clewes.
 
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