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First Bowl - Chunk Out

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Scott Ross, Dec 9, 2020.

  1. Scott Ross

    Scott Ross

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2020
    Messages:
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    Location (City & State):
    Wexford, PA
    Hello, New woodturner - have done some pens, bottle stops, salt and pepper shaker, and general spindle practice. Am now attempting my first bowl. While turning, a chunk of a knot came out (see picture). Can this be safely turned at this point? Should I belt-sand it down to minimize the gap before proceeding? And should I have not started turning with a visible knot? This is dry wood. Thanks for your help.


    Chunk Out.jpg
     
  2. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Feb 6, 2010
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    Yes you can turn that out. Just remember for about a 1/100 second on each revolution you are turning air. So do not force the cut , just take it east and steady. Starting above the knot also may make the cut easier to do.
     
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  3. Dave Landers

    Dave Landers

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    When you have a knot or similar potential defect, it's a good idea to explore it before (and during) turning. Poke it with a screwdriver, wiggle it with your fingers, etc. to get an idea of how "stuck" it is in there. Poke at the border - how solid is the bark or whatever that's holding it in place. Try to visualize what might be going on under the wood, and what will change as you go from square (or whatever) to round.

    Often you may not be able to see anything in the blank. Or you might see something, but not enough is exposed to be able to evaluate. Get in the habit of stopping the lathe and inspecting occasionally just in case.

    And listen to the wood. Sometimes things are going along just fine but then you hear a little tick,tick,tick or some other change in the cutting sound - stop and check it out.
     
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  4. Clifton C

    Clifton C

    Joined:
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    Location (City & State):
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    Scott, good info on turning this piece so far, I'm sure you will get more. In the meantime, it looks like you have a safety drive in the tailstock. One of the parts/pieces that came with your lathe should have been a "live center", as in the little pointy end spins freely or is "live", that's the one that goes in the tailstock. If you don't have one, your local wood craft store might, or online.
    Here's a pic of a safety drive safety center.jpg



    Here's a pic of a live center. live center.png


    Of course, if you search "live center" and "safety center" you will find a bunch of different brands and styles...
     
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  5. If the blank is structurally sound, keep turning. Either incorporate the knot hole into the bowl design or turn the bowl shape to remove the know hole. - John
     
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  6. robo hippy

    robo hippy

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
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    3,049
    Location (City & State):
    Eugene, OR
    That should turn out no problem. You may be able to put the piece back in, if you can find it, and use some medium CA glue to hold it in place. If not, no problem. You may want more of an ogee shape on the outside of your bowl, a slight inward curve near the foot of the bowl, and then round out to the top of the bowl. You can also turn off most of it and leave a very slight 'dimple' where the knot was for a 'texture' feature. 'Defects' like this are frequently called 'design opportunities'.

    robo hippy
     
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  7. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Location (City & State):
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    Design modifications? One could use something to fill the knothole with a number of things. Need to experienced turners to chime in here.
     
  8. Scott Ross

    Scott Ross

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2020
    Messages:
    15
    Location (City & State):
    Wexford, PA
    I will switch to my live center and will turn out the knot with light cuts. Thanks as always for sharing your time and experience.
     

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