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How do I round over the top of this .... top?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Robb Nielsen, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. Robb Nielsen

    Robb Nielsen

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    started trying to turn yesterday for the first time. Took a weekend class a few weeks back and watched endless YouTube videos.

    But I must get 20 catches trying to turn a bottle stop and it’s rather frightening. Any time I try to make a round topper end I get catches bad enough to pull the stopper right off the lathe or at least cause major blowout. (On the piece and in my pants!) I though I was supposed to turn the gouge into the cut letting it cut on the bottom “wing” but as soon as I try to turn the corner BAM!

    RN6.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 3, 2018
  2. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    You could support the other end of the piece with the tail stock until you get the majority of the piece turned down to the shape you want. After you have the desired shape turned you can then remove the tail stock and finish turning and sanding the end of the piece.
     
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Often angles on videos are deceiving. If you are close to a local club, a mentor can show you how to do this in a couple of minutes.

    Never let the wood drive onto the cutting edge.
    Your bowl gouge looks ok from what I can see. Be sure the gouge’s edge has a continuous convex curve from wing to wing. If there is a dip you get a catch.

    The easiest way to do this with the tool you show is to roll the tool a little more clockwise.
    Keep the tool close to level
    Put the bevel on the wood an then engage the cut on the lower side of the nose.
    Then follow the cut to the center point. You may come off the wood and that is fine.
    Just go back to the top of the curve and repeat.

    This Short video is with a spindle gouge but is shows the cut the way I do it clearly

    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i5betpoP3hA
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
    Dave Fritz likes this.
  4. Robb Nielsen

    Robb Nielsen

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    I have been leaving the tail stock on there and just removed it to round over the corner. Still get catches
     
  5. Robb Nielsen

    Robb Nielsen

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  6. Robb Nielsen

    Robb Nielsen

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    B2DE6FE0-9A38-4DB2-98C7-96C212F71C06.jpeg 51412D0B-9386-4C60-AC7C-A64B250B5023.jpeg

    Here is the shape of the tool I’m using which I believe to be a spindle gouge
     
  7. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    Hmmm. The bevel angle on that tool makes it very difficult to come around the top of the stopper.
    The front profile is ok, but it looks more like a bowl gouge grind.
    If I was to make a suggestion based on the tools I see in the background of your photos I would try the third from the left next to the round nose scraper.
    That looks like a 1/4 or 3/8 spindle gouge. That may have a shallower bevel angle allowing you to use the nose ( tip ) of the tool to follow the curve of the stopper to the tip without having to touch the wing to the wood ( and get a catch ).
    The bevel angle of the tool you show would make you bring the handle way around, almost pointing back at the piece in order to keep the tip cutting.
    How about a picture of that third tool , just to see.
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  8. Robb Nielsen

    Robb Nielsen

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    F92D3B63-B54D-40A7-A398-B9B768D5D01B.jpeg 00733FAE-5638-42B0-8BCA-6DF26A7460DF.jpeg
    Thanks for all the help. Just went back at it and I’m flinching bad as I try I again because I know a catch is coming.

    But with your instruction I was able to get the tool on the bevel and swing it around. It’s a really hard move because I do end up with the handle pointing at the tail stock. And chips fill up the flute in the tool really quick so I can’t see and I have a very very narrow margin to keep the tool in the wood, engaged in the cut and not hit the upper wing.
     
  9. Robb Nielsen

    Robb Nielsen

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    Here are all the turning tools I have. The one class I took we made a bowl and a mallet. And this is how the instructor sharpened the tool. So I bought the slow speed grinder, cbn wheels and one way jugs to match it.

    Am I missing a spindle gouge with a sharp finger nail grind?

    RN8.jpeg
     
  10. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    When you start the cut from the outside going down, start with the flute pointing straight toward the tailstock. We will call that 3 oclock( if you assume that 12 oclock is the flute straight up). Wood turners call it a closed flute. Start the cut very gently until you get a shoulder for the bevel to push against. Then you can push a little harder and rotate the flute upward a little toward 2 oclock or 1:30. Probably 2 things are happening. One is when you start a cut from the outside in like that and have the flute rotated at say 45 degrees (I"ll call it 1:30) it will almost always kick back at you unless you start the cut very very gently. Starting with the flute closed or at 3 oclock it will usually start cutting without running back.
    If the catch is happening as you are cutting rather than at the very beginning then you are coming off the bevel so just the tip is in the wood. It will always run back uphill when you do that.
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  11. Mark Wollschlager

    Mark Wollschlager

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    The three tools above the big scraper are candidates. The 4th one up is a spindle gouge with a "factory" grind, meaning it is pretty useless.
    At the least I would put a fingernail grind on that one using the wolverine. The bevel angle will probably be better suited for this.
    The one below it looks more like a small bowl gouge that needs to be sharpened.
    The one next to the bottom looks like a 'continental spindle gouge'. A shallow, forged gouge, sort of old fashioned. Sharpened more like a spindle roughing gouge with a rounded nose. Not too useful in this case.
     
    hockenbery likes this.
  12. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    That is the basic definition of a catch. When a tool is presented to the wood at an angle that allows the wood to drive onto the cutting edge it it no longer cuttin the wood but going into the wood. Something has to give - stall the lathe, break the wood, break the tool rest, bend the tool, break the tool......

    Proper tool rest height and tool presentation eliminates the possibility of a catch.
     
    Emiliano Achaval likes this.
  13. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I see two possible reasons for your difficulty. From the photo I am guessing that you have the gouge horizontal and above center and are using the gouge like a scraper with the cutting edge pointing straight into the wood. The chips and dust and rough surface texture are indicators that the wood is being scraped and not cut. These are typical problems encountered by nearly everybody when learning to turn.

    Are you familiar with the A-B-C technique that is frequently used to teach new turner how to present the tool to the wood?
    • A -- Anchor, solidly anchor the tool on the rest
    • B -- Bevel, make bevel contact with the spinning wood, but don't let the cutting edge contact the wood yet.
    • C -- Cut, slowly raise the back end of the tool handle until shavings begin to come over the cutting edge.
    Using the ABC technique is good practice while learning to use the spindle roughing gouge which is the second tool from the left in your picture of your tools. When cutting, the bevel behind the cutting edge should be gliding along the surface of the wood. When you're doing that the tool can't dig into the wood.

    On the other hand, if the tool isn't making bevel contact and only the sharp edge is contacting the wood, then as John said, the tool will dig in.

    You can scrape the wood using a scraper, but the surface will be rougher. When scraping, the tool needs to make contact below center so that the wood is trailing away. If the tool is above center then the wood is being driven into the tool and the result is a dig-in or catch.
     
    Karl Koch likes this.
  14. Perry Hilbert

    Perry Hilbert

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    My live center came with removable tips. One of them is just a flat end cylinder about 3/8 inch in diameter. It could be run up against the end of the piece without stabbing a hole in the piece. It won't offer much support, but is better than nothing. You should be able to make nice even cuts off the end to round it over. It is not a perfect world, like me you are a beginner and crap happens. It is an unfortunate part of the learning process. If you get super frustrated over it, just make light cuts with a scraper. One of the beginner things not generally shown is how to determine the proper tool rest height.
     
  15. Dave DeJong

    Dave DeJong

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    I'm new here but when I was learning how to turn I ripped some short 2x4's into square spindle blanks and practiced turning them with every tool in my arsenal until I got the feel for them. It seemed to help me
     
    Fadi Zeidan likes this.
  16. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Dave, good idea. My first turning was a piece of a 2X4 and my tool was a one inch wood chisel. Been addicted ever since!
     
    Dave DeJong likes this.
  17. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Turning the final end of a small diameter spindle type piece can be challenging for the beginner, the closer you get to the center of the piece the slower or less distance the wood is traveling during each revolution. This requires using less pressure on the tool against the wood and slowing the progress of the tool into the wood piece. The angle of the lathe tool presented to the end of the piece is also critical as any error will be magnified by the slower speed of the wood at the center and the lack of support by the tail stock. A small catch moves the piece out of alignment and increases the amount of wood available to the cutting tool and pulls the piece out of the chuck quickly. Slowing down and taking your time with a sharp tool is usually the best approach to finishing the unsupported end grain. On some pieces I will increase the speed of the lathe which brings the center of the piece back up to speed so the tool is cutting more wood during each revolution while still using a light pressure on the tool.
     
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  18. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Ditto what mike said.
    Smooth cuts are all about feed rate.
    Lathe speed( surface speed where you are working), depth of cut, sharpness of tool, bevel drag, wood grain orientation - are all factors in determining proper feed rate of how fast to move the tool.
    With experience the gouge will feed itself at the proper rate and all we have to do is guide it. ( probably a better developed sense of bio feedback we don’t consciously think about)

    Another element critical on small spindles is to keep the cut on the top.
    Tool rest position is important - a little above center and close.
    If the gouge cuts close to the front center line of the turning it will get pulled under the spindle, catch and often break. The dynamics is the cutting contact moves from the edge below the nose around the nose to the edge above the nose which has no bevel contact - a catch. Usually wants to skate backwards.

    Something to watch out for whe reverse chucking to turn the tenon off a bowl or Hollow form.
     

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