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Starting again

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Chuck Gardiner, May 24, 2020.

  1. Chuck Gardiner

    Chuck Gardiner

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2019
    Messages:
    12
    Location (City & State):
    Columbia, SC
    After a brief start last year, followed by a long time out due to many other priorities, I'm back on my wood turning adventure. I also got to deal with a broken finger due to a turning related accident while not actually turning. Basically, my left pinky got trapped between two logs I was collecting for turning. It broke the place where the tendon attached to the outermost bone. After 8 weeks in a splint, it reattached, but I can't bend it anywhere near as much as I could before.

    Anyway, I spent lots of time reading and watching turning videos. I feel like I've gotten to know Mike, Sam, Shawn, James, Rick, and others whose videos have been so helpful. This helped me reset my learning priorities and to better understand the set of Harbor Freight chisels I am beginning with. For example, I've temporarily suspended trying to make bowls since the set didn't come with a bowl gouge. Instead, I'm focusing on spindle work for now.

    My first two finished projects are the bud vases below. I made the one on the left for my wife for mother's day. I finished the one on the right today. They are both made of spalted birch, the stuff which broke my finger last year. The rough log was for the one I made today. The finish on today's is danish oil with a coat of wax. The wood was outside a little too long, I encountered a couple punky spots I had to firm up with CA. Inside both is a plastic test tube so they can hold live buds.
    20200524_183603_resize_89.jpg 20200524_183521_resize_56.jpg
    I plan to make more bud vases, some tops, mushrooms, and other small items to build skills. I've also been asked to make salt and pepper shakers and I want to turn some cup holders to start building skills for making boxes.

    This leads to a couple questions.

    First, other than watching videos and proceeding carefully, is there any other advice on getting comfortable with skews?

    Second, since I don't have a bowl gouge, I'm not sure which of the tools I have (spindle gouges, skews, round scraper, beading, parting), if any, I could use to hollow out a cup holder?
     
  2. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
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    Location (City & State):
    Nebraska
    A skew for some reason is one of the turning tools some beginners have the most problems with.
    Skews need to be sharp to work properly. (A skill every turner must learn)
    Pointed end of the skew points down the slope of a cove as the flat cutting edge of the tool shaves the surface of the wood. (First Rule)
    When you get to the bottom of the cove do not rotate the point of the tool past 90-degrees (vertical) on the spindle or it will catch. (Second Rule)
    The cutting edge of the skew needs to contact the work piece at the proper angle when holding the tool handle to cut a clean wood shaving. (Shearing Cut)
    You need to flip the skew tool 90-degrees when working the opposite side of the cove to meet at the bottom of your first slope cut. (Left side, Right side)

    End grain hollowing (cup holders) can be a challenge for many woodturners depending on the wood species (hard or soft), condition of the wood (green or dry).
    Some wood turners will drill a center hole in the rotating blank to speed the hollowing process.
    Some beginning wood turners will drill successive larger holes in the work piece with Forstner bits to remove most of the waste wood and finish with turning tools.
    A sharp bowl gouge is used to make successive cuts in removing the wood from inside the cup holder.
    As you get deeper into the cup a bowl gouge becomes difficult to use based on the angle of the wall and diameter of the hole in the cup.
    Some woodturners will then use a sharp round nose or tear shaped scraper along the inner wall of the cup to smooth the wall.
    Some woodturners will use a flat nose scrapper at the bottom of the cup if they want a 90 degree clean cut corner.
    Some woodturners will use the sharp point of a sharp skew plunging it straight down the wall of the cup to get a clean straight cut.
    A freshly sharpened parting tool can also be plunged straight down the inner side of the cup to get a straight cut.
    Did I mention "sharp" tools are required for end grain hollowing?
    A tool rest that fits into the cup will help support your cutting tools at the proper height inside the hollow cup.
    Most tool catches occur when your cutting tool drops below or above the center line of the work piece.
    Soft or green woods will be problematic with end grain tear-out when roughing out the work piece, you usually need to return a second time after it dries.
    There are several woodturning books available on box turning that will cover "cup holder" techniques in depth.
    Practice and more practice develops tool skills, there are no short cuts to mastering tools.
     
  3. Chuck Gardiner

    Chuck Gardiner

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2019
    Messages:
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    Location (City & State):
    Columbia, SC
    Thanks Mike. I'll digest your suggestions and give them a try.
     
  4. Dean Center

    Dean Center

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,025
    Location (City & State):
    Bozeman, MT
    For end grain hollowing, a spindle gouge will work fine. You will need to keep the grain orientation in mind as you go--end grain hollowing is NOT the same as face grain bowl making.
     
  5. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2010
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    Location (City & State):
    Brandon, MS
    I will second what Dean said. Spindle gouge will hollow cups and boxes fine. It used mostly in scraping mode.
     
  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Spindle gouge for endgrain hollowing will work well.
    Drilling a center hole to depth with the spindle gouge or a twist drill lets you cut from the hole to the side wall.
    Cut 1/8” at a time until yoU get the hang of it.
    Probably can’t cut more than a 1/4 at a time.

    if you are more adventurous the Raffan back hollowing takes huge shavings
     
    Gerald Lawrence likes this.
  7. Chuck Gardiner

    Chuck Gardiner

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2019
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    Location (City & State):
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    Thanks. It's making me more comfortable knowing this. I'm going to give it a try tomorrow morning.
     
  8. Chuck Gardiner

    Chuck Gardiner

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2019
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    Location (City & State):
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    Rafsanjani back hollowing?

    Your input reminded me I do have a Jacob's chuck and forstner bits I can also use to start the hollowing.
     
  9. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Oops raffan

    a Forstner bit can’t accurately drill ti depth as it has lead point which makes a tiny hole you have to deal with.
    A twist drill leaves a smooth curved bottom at the planned depth.
     
    William Rogers likes this.
  10. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    A spindle/detail gouge can also drill a hole, using it like one of the old spoon type drill bits. The twist bits seem to be best option for me as they are faster than forstner bits, and if you put them in a handle you don't have to deal with a Jacob's chuck.

    robo hippy
     
    William Rogers likes this.
  11. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    chuck, the video clip below will give you a better idea of what I was talking about.
    I drill with a spindle gouge. The tool rest needs to be a tiny bit low so that the tool does not touch it when drilling.
    Turn a small hole in the center then just push the gouge straight in. The spindle gouge tip is a bit below the center time of the tool bars so the twisting as drilling lets it feed more smoothly.
    the first couple of cuts are with the tip of the gouge center to the side wall.
    You can see the sawdust result because the grain is cut.
    Then I do some of the Raffan back hollowing. This is sort of peeling cut with the wing of the spindle gouge

    sound is not real good In few spots on the video but think you will get the basics from it,
    spindle gouge - end grain hollowing -

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bs4C9x9t-KQ
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2020
  12. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I need to learn that Raffen Hollowing cut. Upside down and backwards... Tried it once, and it was ugly. Watching you do it makes it look easy...

    robo hippy
     
    hockenbery likes this.

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