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Need to finish a bowl or else

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Brian Grenia, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. Brian Grenia

    Brian Grenia

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
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    Location (City & State):
    Lake St Louis, MO
    Ok, so I've yet to finish a bowl--only rough turned to date. If I don't finish a couple bowls for my family, I'm .... Well I just need to finish a few. Plus I'm out of big wood and need to wait for maple to spalt

    1) Should I start power sanding or is that pretty aggressive for newbies. 2) I like the looks of that abranet-- thoughts. 3). Do I just use a HF throw away power drill?

    I don't have comp air in my closet/shop. Have DC. Bought airstream (best money ever spent)

    Pics of my rough turnings (dec thru current) 16 inch nested walnut/cherry
     

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  2. gary rock

    gary rock

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    Location (City & State):
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    Brian

    If you don't have a sanding pad that fits into a drill chuck, you can still sand your pieces. The slower you run you lathe to sand the better it will be. Cut your sand paper into quarter sheete then fold into thirds. Start with 100 grit, run the lathe around 500 to 700 rpm. Moving the paper up and down the piece, then (if your lathe has reverse) place the selector switch in reverse and sand with the 100 grit. While you are sanding the outside of the piece in forward or reverse sand the inside. By the looks of the pictures that you posted their aren't any tool makrs. After a minute or so move to the next grit-120,150,180,220,320 then 400. Making sure that there is no build up on the sand paper. Use fresh paper for each sanding. Have a very strong light and shine across the grain to see if there is any scratches letf in the piece. If so go back to the lower grit and start again. Also you can dampen with mineral spirts to see how you did on the sanding. Be sure to wear use protective mask ( a good one) while sanding to protect your lungs!

    Next, if you want to have the solf feel on the bowl, wet sand with Danish Oil starting out at 600 then moving up through the grits to 2000. Using Danish oil as your lubricant while going through the grits. Wipe the piece down with a clean piece of paper towel after you finished the wet sanding. Be sure to let the paper towel dry completely before disposing of it.

    Again depending on the kind of finish you want on the Walnut, you can use a grain filler to fill the open pours that the Walnut has. Let dry a couple of days then sand with 400 grit checking that the paper isn't clogged, then brush off and apply stain if you want. Also depending on the type of finish that you want. You can use Lacquer, Sheliac to Polyurethane- producing either a high gloss or satin finish.

    This ought to get you on the road.

    Gary:cool2:
     
  3. MichaelMouse

    MichaelMouse

    Joined:
    May 16, 2005
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    Recommend power sanding. Trouble with sanding round-and-round is that you cut in the same direction with the gouge and the previous grit, so you will have a long time reducing any ridging, and a nearly impossibly time reducing any proud area on an otherwise fair surface. With a sanding disk you will be cutting across the ridges, and by pausing with the proud area under the contact portion of the disk, you can regain that fair surface.

    Low rpm selection is folklore, except that certain setups have a max recommended for the mandrel. Reversing direction to pick up what was laid down is also folklore. If the disk is rotating, it is sanding across the surface of a rotating work. Depending on which portion of the disk is in contact, and the differential rpm, you can decrease the angle to approximate sanding round and round, though you'll never get there. Take advantage of the inevitable and sand first with any grade close to 6:00 or 12:00 on the disk to clear ridging with the most aggressive removal. Move toward 9:00 (clockwise disk rotation as you view it) to finish each grade.

    You may continue the process through any number of grits you choose, or you can realize that the human 20/20 can't really tell scratches lower than about 320 line pairs/inch if they do not make great contrast with their background. When you get done with the 320 (P400) on the disk, sand by hand, along the direction of the grain to reduce those visually high-contrast cross-grain or circular scratches by removal and blending. You can use artificial high contrast to verify your quality by shining a bright light at a low angle, accentuating any ridges against their shadow. I like to wet, then sand with the grain, wet a second time and re-sand up the grain.

    Whatever you do, DON'T PRESS as you sand. It ensures you will make the deepest grooves possible with that grit if you do. Takes longer to get them out with the next. If you sand real hard and heat the surface, you get a slick "case-hardening" to shine with your scratches as background (remember that contrast thing?) to frustrate you doubly on the next grit. Deep scratches will demand you get as deep, and a hardened surface that won't allow the next grit to bite as easily. If you have this circumstance, damp rag, make sure you have a dull and dry surface, and start from there.

    Use what you have for now to spin the disks. I like my flex shaft, because I can support it on the toolrest like all the other tools, and only kiss the high spots as I work. Sort of like the folks who use scrapers fresh from the grinder, the grit only contacts the high spots until they're gone.
    http://s35.photobucket.com/albums/d160/GoodOnesGone/?action=view&current=150Sand-1.mp4 Drills work, but they're heavier since they don't rest on any support but you and the work (remember, don't press), and they are run by DC or universal motors which make more noise, heat and - are you ready dust explosion believers(?) - sparks than a nice induction run motor.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  4. john lucas

    john lucas AAW Forum Expert

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    Location (City & State):
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    Don't recommend using the cheap HF drills. I went through 2 $29 black and Decker drills really fast. I purchased a $60 Dewalt (year I know they are made by B@D) and it's lasted for 5 years. I use 2 hands to support the drill so I can control the movements better.
     
  5. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Aug 14, 2007
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    Location (City & State):
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    My favorite abrasive supplier. He also explains a lot about sanding and abrasives. Slow speed or high speed? I think it is more of a personal preference rather than one works better than the other. I prefer slow speeds on both the drill and lathe, but with my warped bowls, I really have no choice. Light pressure is preferred. The weight of the drill is easily enough, and some times too much. A dust collector and sanding hood really help get most of the dust out before it gets into the air, your lungs, and the shop. Dust mask as well.

    I also don't like the throw away drills. I tend to abuse my tools, and want ones that will hold up better.

    http://vinceswoodnwonders.com/

    robo hippy
     
  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Brian,

    Before you get to sanding get the best tool finish you can. I put the best curve i can on my rough outs so I take as little wood off the outside as I can and that curve is there. I also try to get a surface that needs little sanding. A lot of sanding will mess up your curves. Good sanding starts with a good tool surface.

    Below are my steps for bowl turned rim to center bottom to bark.

    Centering is important and relatively simple. I usually have Center hole in the tenon from the roughing process. If t he grain is fairly even this will be the center of the tenon. If I have to mark center on th tenon I mark the middle end grain to end and middle of the side grain to side grain on the tenon
    I generally mount he opening over a 4 Jaw chuck opened a bit an the tail center in the middle of the tenon.

    Now I check the rim for center.
    I hold my thumb on the tool rest rotate the bowl an see how the end grain edges of the rim line up. If one is further away from the head stock, I rotate the bowl so that point is straight up loosen the tail stock a tiny bit and let the bowl rotate on the tail center. This moves the two end grain rim points relative to the base. You may have to repeat this 2 or 3 times. Then I do the same thing with the side grain centers of the rim. If the grain is fairly balanced this second alignment won't disturb the first alignment since the end grain an side grain Axes are close to perpendicular.
    Now the bottom is centered and the two high spots on the rim ( end grain ) and the two low spots ( side grain) are centered and equal distance from the headstock.

    Next I true the rim to flat since this I the most out of balance part. Then True the tenon, then I true the outside foot to rim. Then true the foot.
    Shear scrape the surface with a side the outside as ground gouge or square nosed scraper. Sand it o 320.

    Mount it in the chuck

    Finish cut the rim,

    Turn the walls to finished thickness. I usually do this is in 3" steps so there is a lot of meat left in the bottom to prevent vibration..
    The first 3 inches are my trouble spot. It tend to be it too aggressive with cuts and get a bit of end grain tear out. So I take my last 3 cuts with a 1/4 bowl gouge.
    The smaller gouge is a wee buy sharper than the big one. It forces me to take lighter cuts. 3" is limit or the 1/4 gouge so I do the rest is done with my bigger gouge.
    If I've gotten a good clean gouge cut to bottom I don't use a scraper. But sometimes I use a round nose scraper to remove a bump or ridge. A light sweeping motion gets the high spots.
    Then sand the rim. Sand the inside.
    No I put a padded jamb chuck in the chuck an d reverse mount he bowl like it was when we started. Turn woff most of the tenon leaving a 1/2 inch tenon. Finish cut and Sand most of the base. Then cut the tenon a bit more. Take he bowl off the lathe remove tenon with a carving gouge.

    The sand the base and do the next one...

    Havefun,
    Al
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  7. KellyDunn

    KellyDunn

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    Brian, My god man. power sand. And has been said dont get a cheap drill. I tend to use Makita 3/8th in variable speed.With a keyless chuck. I think i paid 60 or so for the last one. You will change out brushes now and again(no matter the brand) but one should last many years. If I were only air drying I would clean up the outside and sand that 1st. I like 5 inch psa Mirka Gold discs. I get the blue Norton pads at I think Home Depot, if not then Lowes. I stop at 320 grit. I start at 100 but can go as low as 40 if the wood is really nasty. That said I have done a really good tool job now and again and started at 220. thats very rare. I am a full time production turner so have a disc for each grit. Once you take down the inside on your size bowls three inch velcro discs should work just fine. I tend to start with 60 grit to clean up undulations real fast. Either my heartbeat or age translates into regular little bumps when finish cutting. I also keep a disc for each grit and stop at 320. At that point get the work damp to raise grain. When dried take a look at how much was raised. In some cases you may need to go back a few grits and clean up some spots. I keep a 220 and 320 grit 5 inch disc on a soft foam pad. In BOTH forward and reverse hand sand with no more than around 500 rpm. If you do not have reverse rotate the bowl by hand. It will knock the grain off. Then you have lots of choices in how to finish the bottom. As for 3 inch disc brand A very good all purpose is Rynogrip. i buy the 1 yard sheets from Industrial abrasives and cut my own. The disc holders can be purchased from a number of places. As can replacement velcro, like from Sanding Glove. I have a problem finding a velcro disc that will stick to abranet. The blue discs from Vinces(if thats what he still carries) does not last as long as the Ryno. But if your buying precut discs they are cheaper. So its probably a wash. Get a disc cleaning pad or stick. Kind of like a soft rubber. If you dont when a disc gets loaded you have no choice but to get a new disc. You will not be sorry you power sand over hand sanding. The speed alone of getting the job done is worth every penny you will spend. You can go to 2000 grit like some do. But why? For an art piece maybe. For your bowls 320 will be plenty shiny.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  8. odie

    odie

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    Dec 22, 2006
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    Location (City & State):
    Panning for Montana gold, with Betsy, the mule!
    Wow! How can you stand it, not taking any of those to completion! :D

    I must see about 50 roughed bowls there.....way to go! Now you've got enough there to really learn something!

    How do you determine if the moisture content has stabilized, and the roughed bowl is ready for finish turning? If you just started roughing bowls in December, then they might not be ready to finish turn yet, and all your bowls look pretty big......they take longer.

    You know......you can go down to any lumber yard and pick out some kiln dried 2" thick commercial hardwoods like walnut, ash, maple, oak, cherry, etc. These woods can be finish turned right away into great bowls. It would be a shame to "jump the gun" on those nice big air-dried bowls you've got started, and end up being disappointed. It sounds like you are really anxious to get going with some finish turning, and the commercial kiln dried lumber is a great way to always have something you can throw on the lathe at any ol' time!.........

    As others have said, power sanding is the way to go. It's perfectly OK to get a HF sander, if that's what is affordable, but you will end up getting a quality sander/drill if your enthusiasm sustains for the long term. I prefer the Milwaukee and Sioux close quarters angle head drills, myself.......but, others do quite well with a regular drill, like the Makita corded drill.

    If I were to suggest, I'd get an assortment of 2" and 3" power lock discs and backing pads available from CSUSA. Get a few of all the disc grits that are available......60,80,100,120,150,180,220,320, and try them all. (I stop at 220 and seldom use 320, and hand sand with 220,320,400, and sometimes 600...... but you should have some first hand experience with all the grit choices, so you make your preferences based on your own experiences.......not mine, or anyone elses.) Here's a link:
    http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/store/Abrasives___Power_Lock?Args=



    ooc

    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  9. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    If you can afford it, get a decent right angle drill. If not, a HF or pep boys will work fine, or one from The Sanding Glove.
    With the lathe running in the "normal" direction, and the part of the pad you intend to contact running in the same direction, sand between 9 & 6 o'clock. Personally, for bowls up to about 12" or maybe even greater, get 2" disks, they are cheaper and will conform to the curve of the inside better.
    There are a lot of good sanding products on the market today, I am partial to what I sell, Mirka Gold and Abranet for this. If you want to try some free, drop me an email or PM, I will be happy to oblige.
     
  10. Brian Grenia

    Brian Grenia

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
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    Location (City & State):
    Lake St Louis, MO
    Odie, I have some "practice" bowls that I roughed last May when I bought the PM. They are nice walnut bowls, 12 to 14 inch, but have a lot of sap wood. They have stopped losing weight.

    I honestly have had so much fun roughing that I didn't know when I would finish a bowl. Seemed "too slow" cause i thought it would take hours and hours of sanding. but now with all this advice, I'm gonna get a few started. Of course that's gonna lead to finish questions but I'll wait until I get some sanded.

    My game plan up until now was to rough out about 150 to 200 bowls per year for 20 years then retire and have an inventory of 3 to 4 thousand bowls to work on. Maybe I'll have to revisit that goal.
     

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  11. Steve Worcester

    Steve Worcester Admin Emeritus

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    As you get more proficient with the tools, there is far less sanding. Depending on the finish you want to use and the wood, you may only need to go to 320-400 grit.So, only a few sanding steps.
     
  12. Martin Spence

    Martin Spence

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    Jun 28, 2011
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    3
    Location (City & State):
    St. Louis
    Brian,

    I see you are in Lake St. Louis - I'm in Eureka. I'd love to know your wood source - I have been looking for a green wood source for a while (not that hard mind you). I tend towards segmented stuff but would like to try some green wood bowl turning.

    Looks like you have been super busy with roughing out blanks.

    Martin
     
  13. Scott Barton

    Scott Barton

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    Location (City & State):
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    If you are in the STL area, go to Hibdon hardwood in downtown STL...like 14th street just north of the casino. My favorite part is the cutoffs they sell that would work great if you are a segmented type of guy.
     
  14. Brian Grenia

    Brian Grenia

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2011
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    29
    Location (City & State):
    Lake St Louis, MO
    I just follow the sound of chainsaws and ask. Occasionally I'll get something off of CL but that's usually a crap shoot. I have one tree trimmer that is getting me some walnut if the mills won't buy his log. Just random efforts
     
  15. Thomas Stegall

    Thomas Stegall

    Joined:
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    Location (City & State):
    Niles, IL
    You have been given lots of advice here on sanding, most of it good. And like John Lucas said, when you return your rough blanks to final thickness, make sure you work at getting a surface completely free of tool marks. That tool control will save you a great deal of time and effort in the sanding dept.

    One thing I have learned to do that has made sanding bowls SO much better and easier is that I use a Foredom carving tool with a foam sanding pad on the end of the flex shaft. (From Craft Supplies or the Sanding Glove) It allows for the most control of sanding at any angle inside and outside the bowls and even down inside open ended vases. The abernet that you mentioned works better on material that quickly loads paper like when sanding certain types of epoxy, and other specialized materials. For sanding strickly wood, other high quality sandpapers will perform better for you.
     

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