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Staying within my limits

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Patrick Hunter, Jan 26, 2020.

  1. Patrick Hunter

    Patrick Hunter

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    Hello everyone. I'll be posting on this forum for the foreseeable future, as I turned for the very first time about 11 days ago.

    I have an Excelsior lathe and pen carbide set from Rockler, as well as a Nova G3 chuck. So far I've turned two slimline pens and a few tops for my kids.

    I attempted a bowl with a 7"x3" blank of curly maple. It was going well until I started hollowing the inside. As I was working, I noticed that the bowl had moved slightly in the chuck. I stopped to re-secure the bowl to the jaws and heard a cracking sound. I removed the bowl from the chuck to find that a section of the foot had broken off. I believe it was caused by not having a deep enough recess to allow the jaws to grip the bowl properly. However, I've also been wondering if I was to ambitious in attempting a bowl like that with the tools I have. Is it even possible to turn a decent looking bowl with my current setup?
     
  2. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    Patrick,

    When using a recess for mounting the work piece on a bowl chuck you might try using the tailstock for additional support for as long as possible until the final portion in the center of the bowl needs to be removed. A bad tool catch can crack the bottom of the bowl depending on the thickness and wood type when mounted in a recess. An external tenon can tolerate a few bad tool catches and in most instances the work piece can be remounted on the tenon and tightened back down and complete the bowl turning process along with using the tailstock for additional support. Everyone starting out loses a few until they figure out the limits of the equipment, tools, materials and skill sets.
     
  3. Tim Connell

    Tim Connell

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    Patrick, if I'm reading your post correctly, you were turning the bowl using the 9 1/2" carbide pen tools? While I'm sure that someone could turn a bowl with those tools, IMO they are way too small for that job. I would want a much larger tool designed for the "rigors" of bowl turning.

    I dont use carbide tools, but I'm sure someone will be along shortly who can recommend some that would be more appropriately sized for bowl work.
     
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The mortise or tenon must have a proper shoulder so that the top of the jaws rests squarely on the shoulder ... otherwise, there's nothing to keep the wood from rocking side to side when you apply tool pressure ... no matter how sharp your tools might be. Even though your small carbide scraper will work in the hands of an experienced turner, I would recommend using a bowl gouge. Here is am excellent video by Stuart Batty on making a proper mortise or tenon.


    View: https://vimeo.com/68649135

    Here is an example of a bad tenon

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Like has been said using the expansion mode may be a little ambitious for the first bowl as catches are predominate at that time and the expansion will not stand much of that. Try a regular tenon and use a regular bowl gouge as the pen turning tools are too short for use on bowls and will give you no leverage to get thru a problem. Maybe a good bowl turning video would help to get you started and we have a few members with some good ones .
    As to your lathe a bit under power but should be able to handle a small bowl but will take longer than what you will see in the videos.
     
  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I much prefer a tenon for bowls. See bill’s post
    Also a gouge is my choice of tools.

    In the working with green wood thread is derived from a demo I do.
    The first part PowerPoint on why green wood and how it moves.
    Then I rough turn a green bowl for drying - video
    Then I turn a dry bowl to finish- video

    http://www.aawforum.org/community/index.php?threads/working-with-green-wood.11626/

    if you want to do a bowl to finish you can follow the steps in both demos just turn the walls to finish thickness and turn off the tenon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2020
  7. Karl Loeblein

    Karl Loeblein

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    Save the curly woods until you get more experience because the unusual grain patterns can be harder to cut. Some suggestions that come to mind are straight grained maple, cherry, popular, walnut, birch, elm, ash or sweet gum. Also, green wood blanks can be easier to turn as Hockenberry suggests above.

    Biggest tip is search AAW for a local woodturning club in order to get some hands on training especially before buying tools.
     
  8. Patrick Hunter

    Patrick Hunter

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    Thanks for the advice everyone. Sorry it's taken me so long to respond, I've had some log in issues. I'll just stick with the smaller stuff for awhile. I made a pen that I'm really happy with tonight. Rosewood is beautiful and cuts like butter.
     
  9. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Welcome to woodturning! Lyle Jamieson has a great video on bowl turning. It's four hours but I digest it one hour at a time. Plus it is divided so you can pick a particular topic and bypass the other material. Remember, one good turn deserves another!
     
  10. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Do be careful with the rosewood, it is one of those woods that eventually you will become allergic to. Not if, but when... I also have a bunch of bowl turning videos up on You Tube, and mostly about bowl turning, including one about mounting things on the lathe. Sounds like it is too late to warn you about falling into the vortex... Your small lathe would work great for small bowls. The one you attempted would be pushing it to its limits. Have fun.

    robo hippy
     
  11. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    Welcome! Everyone is happy to see another soul start the slide down that whirling, slippery slope that is wood turning ;-)

    Hockenbury posted one of Stuart Batty's instructional vids on Vimeo. Here's the link to the full set:

    https://vimeo.com/woodturning

    Stuart's vimeo vids are great and well done. But they're like service training vids that old vets still laugh at when they remember one. Very dry.

    The demo is very good and way more entertaining.
     
  12. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    It always amazes me. People stop at a demo and think, "Sure, I'll try turning a pen," not realizing that one pen is enough to create a full-blown turning addiction. LOL
     
  13. Steven Wright

    Steven Wright

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    Hey, Glad you are here. I am newer to turning, and very new here. This is a great place to learn. I have been very impressed by the help, and humbled by the quality of work shown here. I bought the easy wood tools easy start set, but it was really to small as well. I now have the woodpeckers fullsize set as well. Hopefully this fall I can afford a slowspeed grinder and a set of real HSS tools. They amaze me.
     
  14. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

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    Location (City & State):
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    I too am pretty new to woodturning. Last April, I tried to turn a bowl on an old Rockwell/Delta lathe I had picked up cheap years ago. The lathe worked fine. It was me and the tools that were the problem. I was determined that I was going to turn a bowl, somehow. I did a lot of research and got some excellent instruction from my local turning club, Chattahoochee Woodturners.

    Now have a giant 500 lb lathe and a bunch of tools, chucks and other gadgets that most people wouldn't even recognize. I learn something new with every bowl. Yes, it's a slippery slope that is a lot of fun. Enjoy the ride.


    This is the bowl I just finished.
    IMG_2399.JPG

    This was my first bowl back in April. This is as far as I got before I broke off the tenon.
    IMG_2410.JPG
     
  15. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    That's a pretty bowl.
     
  16. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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  17. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    Looks like you can rescue that bowl with the broken tenon as you still have a solid looking recess on top. Turn a spindle with a tight fit and jam it in the hole. Mount that in the chuck, run up the tail stock and make a better tenon.
     
  18. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

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    I think it makes a better example of what not to do. I keep it on a shelf in my workshop to remind me of where I started. I actually signed and dated the bottom. It's also a good place to store my tennis ball.
     
    Fadi Zeidan likes this.
  19. Gary Beasley

    Gary Beasley

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    I wouldnt waste the wood, shelf space or nostalgia on it. You have the experience points now and are good to go!
     
  20. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    Robert, that is a remarkably good shape for a first bowl. Almost everyone else made a dog bowl on their first effort. Good job.
     
  21. Bruce Perry

    Bruce Perry

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    Noting the advise above about shifting from the little carbide set to a "bowl gouge" (I've never liked that name, they have so many other uses.) it would have been kind to point out that from bowl gouge comes grinder comes Wolverines, comes vari grind, comes lessons that cost more than that lathe, comes more long and strong gouges comes scrapers, etc. etc. and then the new chum is really on his way down the slope.

    I will comment that the Excalibur lathe has many personality problems when you get very big at all, I doubt the bearings, or their housings will stand up long to anything but a small bowl. This,of course, is a good reason to graduate to an American Beauty, or some equivalent. ;)
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  22. Charles Cadenhead

    Charles Cadenhead

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    You can turn quite a bit with an Excelsior Mini Lathe. I turned these on a Excelsior. My lathe is 3 years old and still going strong. :)
    IMG_20170829_092828.jpg IMG_20180517_074819.jpg IMG_20181026_173443318.jpg
     
    odie likes this.
  23. Bruce Perry

    Bruce Perry

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    Conner, and everyone,

    Of course you can turn quite a bit on the excalibur, or any other of the similar machines, but, and this is a serious problem, it is way to easy to put a chunk of wood on these machines that, particularly with a beginning turner on the other end of the tooling, will overload the machine.

    Obviously you are working well, and within the machines limits. Equally obviously many turners will stay happy forever working within those limits. All very much to the good.

    I had hoped to add to the, very long standing, gag about how addictive wood-turning is, and how we "tool junkies" get sucked in, not to insult anyone.

    Sorry if I did offend.

    Bruce
     
    Charles Cadenhead likes this.
  24. Charles Cadenhead

    Charles Cadenhead

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    You didn't offend me. I was just showing a different opinion, I hope I didn't tick you off. I upgraded to a bigger lathe (a laguna model) so I can turn larger bowls (and have variable speed control, and a digital readout, and a longer bed....) The Rockler lathe went into a box for when my son's ready to set up his own shop.
     
  25. Mike Adams

    Mike Adams

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    FTFY ;)
     

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