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Is this the wood or the woodturner?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Mike Jennens, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. Mike Jennens

    Mike Jennens

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    I'm sure this has been asked, but I don't know what it's called, so I can't do a search for it. I have a lot of oak and ash available to me. I've noticed they both get this "fuzzy" texture. Is this something I'm doing or is it the nature of the wood?
    Thanks,
    Mike
    IMG_20190814_071444.jpg
     
  2. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    That is end grain tear out. With the wood in "bowl" orientation the grain runs perpendicular to the lathe bed. So twice in each rotation of the wood the tool is cutting accross the grain instead of with it. The end grain fibers can tear instead of slice leaving that rough surface.

    Different woods and different pieces of a species are more or less susceptible. I have found cedar to be terrible and some examples of hard maple to be more resistant.

    The nature of the tool and its application are also big factors. A sharper tool typically incurs less tear out. Slicing or shearing cuts beget less tear out than do scraping cuts. And very light cuts perhaps with a bit faster lathe speed can also improve smoothness.
     
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  3. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Light cuts with a freshly sharpened gouge doing a slicing cut will cut that wood clean.
     
  4. odie

    odie

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    John is absolutely right! :D

    Something to consider, is while that wood is spinning, you're alternating between end grain and long grain. The long grain cuts much easier, than the end grain. Because of this, the resistance to the cut applies a downward force on the the tool itself, and that downward force is alternating in intensity. This becomes a factor in the control-ability of getting that fine surface you want. This is the "WHY" in how light cuts (along with sharp tools, presentation and technique) produce a finer cut than heavy cuts do.......o_O

    Mike......my best guess is you had this major tear-out while using a scraper flat to the tool rest. It's very difficult to get the best cut possible this way.......especially when turning dry seasoned, or KD wood.

    -----odie-----
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2019
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    It would help to know what tool you are using.

    The bad news is it is all you - your choice of tool or how you are using the tool.
    The good news is you can get a super clean cut on that wood by cutting in the correct direction with a bevel riding bowl gouge cut.

    Cross cutting the fibers small to large diameter will produce a clean cut
    Removing less wood produces a cleaner cut
    Riding the bevel produces a cleaner cut.
    Slowing the feed rate produces a cleaner cut.
    Slicing cuts cut cleaner.

    Back side of the endgrain- is the place to check for tearout. The top red circle.

    When you do everything right you may get a tiny bit of tear-out on the back side of the end grain
    That is because at tiny portion of the cut in correct direction will also cut in the wrong direction.
    The fibers on the back side of the end grain are only supported by air so the tear rather than cut.
    73B7D082-D40C-4454-B05A-1F700F356F65.jpeg
     
  6. Mike Jennens

    Mike Jennens

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    Thanks for all the replies. I'm suffering from being at the very bottom of the learning curve, so all advice is gladly accepted. I need to refine my skills concerning the angle at which I cut, the speed at which I cut, and the orientation of the grain. I will be concentrating on riding the bevel and keeping my tools sharp. I'll also turn with the grain oriented 90 degrees from how I have this piece. I'll have to play with different speeds too.
    Thanks again,
    Mike
     
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  7. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree with Odie's assessment and judging by the rub marks I would also think that the tool is dull. I also second what everyone else says about using sharp tools, bevel riding, slicing cuts, and very light tool pressure.
     
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  8. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Unless you're turning a spindle or a box, changing the grain orientation isn't the solution. As Al Hockenbery mentioned, the problem is technique so while reorienting the wood might reduce tear out, it would be better to work on getting clean cuts with the grain oriented as you currently have it.
     
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  9. Mike Jennens

    Mike Jennens

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    Is there a consensus on the best sharpening jig? I'm probably opening a can of worms, but I have no idea what to look for in one. I have been using a Smith's DCS4 4-Inch FINE & COARSE Diamond Combo knife sharpener by hand, but I need to either learn how to sharpener better or go to a different sharpening system.
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  10. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    No can of worms here. It's almost universal that woodturners use an eight inch slow speed bench grinder. Slow speed is sort of misleading, but it means a four pole motor (1750 RPM) as opposed to a two pole motor (3550 RPM). Also, most everyone uses a Oneway Wolverine fixture. For sharpening bowl and spindle gouges, a Oneway Varigrind jig is the tool holder of choice.

    While you could theoretically do hand sharpening, you would be spending most of your time sharpening. Tools get dull quickly when turning dry wood.
     
  11. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Yup on the dull tools, and grain orientation. You do need a grinder, and the 8 inch slow speed grinders are the normal. I prefer a 3/4 hp model and there are many. Rikon is probably the best priced one, and their 1/2 hp model does the job, but is underpowered for the way I use them. CBN wheels are the best ones you can get, but they cost more, and last far longer, so best deal for the money. Most people use grinding jigs for sharpening, and the Oneway Wolverine system is by far the most popular. Tool presentation and technique are necessary for reducing your sanding time... I have a bunch of bowl turning videos up on You Tube, mostly aimed at bowl turning. Being up in ND, I am not sure if there is a club anywhere near you or not, but that is the best learning adventure you can go on. Symposiums are great too. I know there is one in Colorado coming up. It will be information overload, but lots of fun. If they had Star Trek transporters, I would invite you over for a play date....

    robo hippy
     
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  12. Mike Jennens

    Mike Jennens

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  13. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I have been told if you think a tool needs sharpened, you are overdue. I use a low speed grinder to start a turning and touch up with the fine DMT diamond file. I have the Wolverine setup and love it.
     
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  14. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Our local Woodcraft and Rockler's stores give a 10% discount to members of my turning club. There might possibly be a similar arrangement where you live. You might be able to get a package deal on a Rikon grinder, Wolverine, and Varigrind ... it wouldn't hurt to ask. Also, I recommend the original Varigrind (the one that you linked). There is also a Varigrind 2 and most people say that they don't like it as much as the original.
     
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  15. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    There are various copies or renditions of the Wolverine system out there with various prices. Look at Ron Brown's Best and Woodturners Wonders to give two examples.
     
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  16. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Mike,

    I use an 80 grit CBN wheel on my bowl gouges.

    There is an excellent pre-CBN video on sharpening.
    Bonnie Klein, John Jordan, Johnston, & Lacer

    First go to the second section by Jordan(about 25 minutes in).
    He has a great presentation on the Side ground bowl gouge, a little on it uses, how to sharpen it freehand and then how to use the Woulverine and Vairgrind.

    You will probably want to watch the whole video several times.

    I recommend a slight variation to what John shows. most beginners will find it easier to sharpen each wing twice and then roll from wing to wing like John shows. I sharpen the way John does and like he says I lift up slightly as the nose goes over the wheel. This is hard to do for many and the nose is easy to over grind making a dip at the nose - making the gouge nearly unusable.

    You can find this and many other videos that have been reviewed by AAW volunteers for safe and effective practices.
    http://aawvideosource.org/

    The video link
    http://aawvideosource.org/php/link.php?t=video_detail&f=link&i=254
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
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  17. Emiliano Achaval

    Emiliano Achaval Administrator Staff Member

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    You have taken the best step towards a fun and productive turning career, joining the club in September. Congratulations!
     
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  18. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Mike, you mention that you are absolutely at the beginning of the learning curve, so let me take a chance and ask something that all the other excellent comments have assumed you already understand.

    Up to now, have you been turning between centers, in spindle orientation? If so, do you understand the difference in how the wood fibers are oriented when you change to face/flat orientation, as shown in your picture?
     
  19. Mike Jennens

    Mike Jennens

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    Hi Dean,
    We're almost neighbors ;). To be honest, you'll need to explain "between centers, in spindle orientation." I don't understand a lot about wood fiber orientation. I've watched several tutorials,but haven't picked up anything in depth about wood fiber orientation.
     
  20. Mike Jennens

    Mike Jennens

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    So, I'm working on riding the bevel last night. Slow and steady wins the race, right? I was using a skew and trying to smooth the rough areas and get "the feel" for riding the bevel and the overall feel for handling a tool. Here's what I learned... keep a very close eye on how the skew is contacting the work piece. As careful as I was being, the tip caught first, and that was the end of that. It snapped in half where the blade enters the handle. Fortunately, the blade didn't come in contact with me once it left the handle. It had a bit of velocity, so it could have done some SERIOUS damage. I contacted the Robert Sorby company to see if there is any kind of warranty against a skew breaking, even in the case of serious operator error. I received an email from them asking for some information about how it broke. I would be very surprised if the skew is covered in this case, but I figured it can't hurt to ask. Fortunately, I have a set of carbide tools I can use while I'm waiting on a sharpener and new skew. Ugh... learning curves suck! :)
    I learned a valuable lesson with minimal loss. I'll be back at it this evening, being extra careful and using my carbide tools. Meanwhile, I'm watching a few tutorials on how to put the knife on the work piece.
    Thanks for all the advice thus far!
    Mike

    I just received an email from the Robert Sorby company. As I already knew, it wasn't an issue with the tool. The issue is with the tool user. Here is the email:
    "Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the email and pictures.
    I would suggest that the problem lies with you, your blank looks like it is laminated from cross grain sections. A skew chisel, like the Spindle Roughing Gouge, should only be used on a spindle project where the grain runs along the bed of the lathe, it should never be used on cross grain projects. If you follow this link it will take you to our youtube channel where you will find many videos on woodturning, one shows how to use and sharpen the six basic tools that come in our popular starter set, the 67HS. This includes the skew. https://www.youtube.com/user/robertsorbyengland

    Having said that as a gesture we will send you a replacement tool. Could you send me your full name, address, postcode and a contact telephone number and I will arrange to send one to you."

    This is GREAT customer service. I will be buying more tools from Robert Sorby!!!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  21. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    You definitely want to use the heel of the skew there. It also helps to have a bigger skew so the tip can be further away from the area in contact. The dig in the picture looks like there was no angle to the rotation. Was the edge pulled in like that when the tip caught or were you presenting the edge square to the rotation as you were cutting? Running the edge at an angle allows much better slicing control than a straight facing peel.
     
  22. Russell Nugent

    Russell Nugent

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    I would say you don't want to be using a skew there at all unless as a negative rake scraper. Might be just my eyes but that does not appear to be a spindle orientation with the grain running the length of the bed.
     
  23. Mike Jennens

    Mike Jennens

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    HI Gary,
    I believe I was coming into the cut square. I appreciate the advice and will certainly put it to use.
    Thanks!
    Mike
     
  24. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The folks at Sorby said what I was going to say. You were extremely fortunate that you weren't seriously injured ... or worse.
     
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  25. Mike Jennens

    Mike Jennens

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    When I saw how the broken piece stuck in the mat on which I was standing, I turned off the lathe for the evening and said a prayer of thanks. My wife wasn't home, so I was alone. I had mental pictures of the piece being stuck in my neck and me ending up very badly. Like I mentioned earlier, I learned a great lesson at minimal cost.
     
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  26. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    This is one of the best skew videos I have seen:


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfeLAHQSbqk


    As for CBN wheels, you want the 1 1/2 inch wide wheels. That would leave D Way and Jimmy Allen, also know as Boxmaster Tools, or Woodturner's Wonders and Ken Rizza. Ken's are the less expensive versions, and are lighter in weight (Aluminum and plastic hubs). Jimmy's are all steel. The lighter ones will work okay on the 1/2 hp Rikon. Me, I want more heavy duty tools, and went with the 1 hp Rikon.

    robo hippy
     
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  27. egsiegel

    egsiegel

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    he should not use any part of the skew on this piece. As Sorby pointed out, the Skew is for spindle turning ONLY
     
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  28. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Mike you should only use a bowl gouge on the laminated pieces of wood you had on your faceplate.
    Never cut with a skew on side grain! Never use a spindle roughing gouge on side grain.
    JUST TOO DANGEROUS! You can damage yourself irreversibly or worse.

    I will look for a better video but the seed jar demo i turn two discs of poplar in the same grain orientation.
    It may be a little advanced because I do a lot of pull cuts. But you will see the tear out clearly on the back side of the endgrain when I stop the lathe. It will all disappear when I do the final finish cuts.

    You can skip ahead to the 10 minute mark to see the turning of the disc. It would be done the same way if there were 4 discs glued together. In about 8 minutes the outside is shaped and a tenon made.

    Video of demo for Tri County Woodturners, January 2018

    View: https://youtu.be/i-odbgyJvrQ
     
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  29. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    At that point his work is basically a fat spindle. Using the appropriate technique it will work quite well if all the usual precautions and practice are done. Otherwise skews are dangerous for any hollowing. If you think about it the wing on a bowl gouge functions like a skew when doing a slicing cut to clean up tearout on the outside of a bowl.
     
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  30. Tom McClellan

    Tom McClellan

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    Especially if you have any confusion about grain orientation, I would stop using the lathe until reading a book that covers safety practices. I would recommend "fundamentals of wood turning" by Keith Rowley. All the sharpening in the world won't help if you have an accident.
     
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  31. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    I have been following this thread. There is a trainload of information here regarding wood grain, grain orientation, tools and sharpening. FWIW, our AAW chapter had a demo a couple of weeks ago. The fellow obviously had sharpened his gouge as he was turning spindles. He paused and touched up the edge with the fine DMT diamond file. I do this on an ongoing basis while turning. Need to polish my skew skills.
     
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  32. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Gary, that is wrong. It might look like a spindle if you ignore the grain orientation, but it is the grain direction that makes using a skew or SRG dangerous ... NOT THAT IT MIGHT LOOK LIKE A FAT SPINDLE. It's not the shape, it's the grain direction.
     
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  33. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    I see your point. I suppose I got lucky the few times Ive tried it, got a decent shear cut to clean up, though I was using a high angle instead of a flat even presentation of the edge and working from the heel and avoiding the tip like the plague.
     
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  34. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Look more closely. Not a spindle. This is an illusion it is a round cylinder but not a spindle.
    Spindle the grain runs parallel to the ways.
    The cylindrical face grain turning the grain runs perpendicular to the ways.

    Wood likes to be cut across the grain with turning tools. Whenever we try to rip cut with turning tools we get catches or tear out,

    Never use a skew to cut on side grain. The end grain will drive onto the cutting edge.

    This is an excellent point!

    When I demo the pull cut I usually compare it to a skew cut on a spindle.
    The shear angle of the cut is similar to that of skew used point down.
    The wing of an Ellsworth ground gouge has a bevel angle similar to a skew.

    The pull cut with a gouge cannot make a catch if the turner follows two simple rules.
    1. Keep the handle down ( if keeps the handle comes up it becomes a peeling cut)
    2. Keep the nose out of the wood.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  35. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    An experienced turner can use a skew to make a shearing cut, but it's living dangerously,

    The wing of a bowl gouge may look somewhat like the bevel of a skew, but the bowl gouge is round so the contact width is smaller and most importantly there is no sharp heel or toe corner to dig into the wood. A bowl gouge is great for spindle turning, but a skew isn't a good tool for face grain work.
     
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  36. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Once you master the skew it can be a very useful tool for various spindle type cuts, for the beginner the skew is the tool that seems to produce the larger number of catches until they master its proper use. Once you understand how the skew tool can make a catch you then understand what not to do with the tool to create the catch. It helps many beginners to practice on a small spindle piece creating a catch so they understand and remember the angle that is required to cause the catch. Once you learn the limitation of angle of cut of the skew you can use it to make very clean cuts on spindle work and other various work pieces on the lathe. The woodturner only needs to understand that the tool works just fine reaching a 90 degree vertical position in the cut but if you exceed the 90 degree position by one degree to the 91 degree vertical position the tool turns into a thread cutting tool and the tip of the skew plunges into the wood and creates the nasty catch every time.
     
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  37. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Practicing with the side ground bowl gouge on spindles is practice for bowl turning.
    The photos below show the relation ship of the wood grain in the spindle and the bowl

    Roughing the square to a cylinder
    Bevel points straight in the fibers are parallel to the ways the wood is cross cut
    77C00187-E517-4723-8E08-C5A0471D2DB9.jpeg

    A bowl partly turned from wood with the grain mounted perpendicular to ways has the sides cut off to show the relationship to the spindle.
    How the outside is cut
    9E8AB34F-6533-417F-B145-B0369A3DECA9.jpeg
    How the inside is cut
    4A6FB9C4-7A75-476F-89D6-3AF9FF569226.jpeg

    Practicing the pull cut
    4C927507-4D4B-43C8-ACE9-AFC44C280617.jpeg
    Close up of the pull cut
    08CD4085-579D-46B8-96D6-DC4D0CCE67FC.jpeg
     
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  38. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    @Mike Jennens , I'm glad you were not injured, but a safety related question for you. Do you have a phone in your workshop so you can call for help? We don't talk about this much, but it's an important safety issue.

    At our home we have maintained our land line primarily for 911 purposes (part of the internet package). The ringers and answering machine are all switched off, so unwanted calls are not a problem. I have a couple of cordless handsets in my workshop.

    In the event of a 911 call, 911 services automatically get accurate name and location information. You can use a cell phone, too, but this is less optimal for the 911 operators.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
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  39. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    You have a choice spend half an hour and learn the proper use of a tool or call 911 and spend $5000.00 on a rescue squad ride to the ER.
    One of these choices has a life time pay back.
     
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  40. Allen Howell

    Allen Howell

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    Mike, so far, no one has even asked whether you had a face shield on or not. Please check out all of the AAW safety information, as it may save you from other near-miss or actual impact situations. It is not just the tool that can come at you, but a chunk of wood flying off the lathe can be an awesome (read that as awful) experience. Be safe and have fun!
     
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