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Bad catches turning green wood. What's going on?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Steve Perrone, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. Steve Perrone

    Steve Perrone

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2020
    Messages:
    2
    Location (City & State):
    Andover, MA
    Hello everyone, my name is Steve. I am brand new on this forum and basically brand new to woodturning. I started off practicing spindle turning and the started making some handles for bottle openers. Those were turned using dry wood that I had purchased and the process seemed to go smoothly. I made about a dozen or so. I then wanted to start trying some bowl turning. I had no dry wood around that could be made into a decent bowl blank so I went with green wood that I found locally. I was able to make 2 bowls without too much trouble but did experience some catching, some fairly aggressive. When I went to make my third bowl, it seemed to be a much bigger issue and I was hardly able to work at all without catching badly and sometimes actually stopping the lathe entirely. Overall this happened dozens of times even if I tried to cut extremely lightly. This was very alarming and I'm worried I have damaged my lathe. It seems to stop more easily every time I use it now. It is a Rikon 70-220vsr. Also, I am using carbide tools as I heard they are easier for beginners. Is it possible that these tools are so sharp that they are digging too far into the soft green wood? It just seems like it is way too easy to catch and entirely stall the lathe, I haven't come across any others on the web with this problem. Any insight into whats going on is much appreciated! Thanks for reading this.

    -Steve
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  2. Dean Center

    Dean Center

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,050
    Location (City & State):
    Bozeman, MT
    It's probably not that you are using green wood, but that you are needing to use quite different methods from your previous spindle turning work. In order to offer the best help, the forum members will need more information.
    What variety of wood are you using?
    What direction is the wood grain oriented when you mount it?
    What method of mounting are you using?
    Which tool are you using when it happens?
    Are you working on the outside or the inside of the bowl?
    What are you trying to do at the time the catches happen?

    Normally, this would be when I would strongly recommend you spend a couple hours with a turning coach from your local turning club. Under current circumstances, doing so is not so easy, but you might want to search on the AAW web site for clubs in your area and make contact with them regardless of the coronavirus. They will be wonderfully helpful over time and may be able to help even now. (There's a club in Woburn, multiple AAW members in Andover, and Donna Zils Banfield, one of America's best woodturners, is in Derry, NH--you're in great shape)
     
    Bill Boehme and hockenbery like this.
  3. John Dillon

    John Dillon

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2019
    Messages:
    34
    Location (City & State):
    Illinois
    Steve- In addition to what Dean said....if you aren't already using one you might want to consider a safety drive center until you get some help. This type of drive center in your headdtock "will slip" when you get a catch and may help temper serious or dangerous damage to yourself or your lathe. They are also good for beginners since it will basically force you to take light, non-aggressive cuts. Heavy cuts will tend to make the drive slip and the wood basically stops turning.

    Stick with it! Once you figure it out you'll have a blast. Welcome to the forum.
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  4. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location (City & State):
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    Hard to help without seeing what you are doing.
    1. The wood is rarely to blame.
    2. there is virtually never ever a problem caused by a tool being too sharp.
    3. Some softer woods do not scrap well and you get tear out resulting in a poor surface
    4. Catches occur when the wood can drive onto the tool edge with carbides this can occur with the tool hand lower than the cutter or with the tool rest too high or too low. Also is you have the cutter at an angle you need to be cutting with the lower edge. The high edge can catch.

    Suggestions
    if you are scraping with the carbides - keep the tool level to the floor. Keep the cutter level with the floor.
    Out side of the bowl set the tool rest so that the tool is contacting the wood below center.
    Inside of the bowl set the tool rest so that the tool is contacting the wood above center.

    as you work move the tool from side to side avoid making straight in cuts that can bind on the tool.

    good luck
     
  5. Russell Nugent

    Russell Nugent

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2019
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    164
    Location (City & State):
    Bashaw, Alberta
    As for the lathe stopping/stalling when you make a cut you may have streched the belt or loosened off the motor.
     
  6. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    If you can video what you are doing, then post that to Youtube and post a link here, we could better help you once we know what you are doing. Or, upload the video to Dropbox of Google drive, then give us the link. Al is right, sharp tools are not a problem.
     
  7. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Probably most beginners go through what you are currently experiencing, but things will get better. I was mostly self taught and experienced many heart stopping catches. At first, instead of stopping and trying to figure out what I was doing wrong, I just doubled down and steeled myself for the next hellacious catch as I repeated the same mistake over and over. Eventually, I decided that I needed to revise my strategy.

    Since one on one mentoring isn't an option right now, I would search for AAW approved videos on basic bowl turning skills. Try to analyze why you are getting catches. And, ask for help on this forum. There are lots of experienced turners who are eager to help beginners because we've all been where you are now.
     
  8. Roger Wiegand

    Roger Wiegand

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    AAW is sponsoring a video demo on live edge bowls by David Ellsworth in just about two weeks; that will certainly be worth watching. (he probably won't use carbide tools, but the principles will apply, and he's about as good as they get.)

    There are now many live remote demos where you can see something being done and ask questions. Increasingly people are getting set up to do one-on-one remote coaching, I don't know if any of our A.R.T. (the above mentioned Woburn-based AAW chapter) mentors are currently set up to do that, but if you have a smartphone you can set up a Zoom chat with someone and have someone more experienced watch what you are doing and offer advice. 20 minutes with a mentor will solve many problems.

    https://www.revolutionary-turners.com
     
    Bill Boehme and hockenbery like this.
  9. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Location (City & State):
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    Well, I do all of my roughing with scrapers, and have a bunch of mostly bowl turning videos up on You Tube. I haven't met a lathe I can't stall yet. That being said, it depends on what you call a catch. Generally it is a dig in of the tool. With scrapers, most of the time it is trying to bite off more than your lathe can chew, which causes the lathe to stall. If the catch is yanking the tool out of your hands, then speed and grip can be an issue. Try going with more dainty cuts, especially when beginning. This helps you figure out what your lathe and your tool are capable of. For roughing, I take heavy cuts. For finishing, I take feather light cuts. I don't use a scraper for the final finish cuts other than shear scraping, and I have a video on that as well.

    robo hippy
     
  10. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    A little while ago, when the forum members were discussing where to find videos with another novice turner, I did as Bill suggests. And found nearly no basic, introduction to bowl turning videos. Reed, give the AAW a goose and get some of yours screened and in the database. If anyone knows of other videos that would fill this niche, please let the AAW home office know about them and request they review them for inclusion.
     
  11. Steve Perrone

    Steve Perrone

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Andover, MA
    Thank you all so much for the quick responses! It is much appreciated. I would love to find some in person instruction at some point, but right now with covid I'm not really comfortable doing so. And as for some of the questions asked above, I am using oak and maple because thats what I have been able to find in the woods. Luckily a local trail service chainsawed up a bunch of fallen trees after we had a storm and I swooped in and got some logs. I made bowl blanks on my own with my small electric chainsaw. I made the blanks vertical ( I believe this is called cross grain?) instead of the typical way you would saw up fire wood (end grain?) I learned this was a common way of doing it from browsing youtube for a bit. I was using a faceplate for roughing and switched to a scroll chuck for hollowing. I bought the nova g3 bundle. Like I said I was actually able to make 2 decent bowls before this problem became a huge issue and then the problem got progressively worse on my third attempt, hence why I'm worried I may have damaged the motor of the lathe. Is it normal for the speed to slow down during a cut and then rev back up following the cut? Because even when I'm not getting catches this happens. I am running the belt on the slowest speed of the 3 pulleys because I have heard this gives the most torque. Thanks again everyone!

    -Steve
     
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Without actually seeing what is happening, my gut feeling is that your bowl gouge is dull and you are pushing it hard into the wood to force it to cut. That would easily bog down your lathe because your Rikon uses a DC motor where speed is inversely proportional to load torque.
     

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