1. Welcome new registering member. Your username must be your real First and Last name (for example: John Doe). "Screen names" and "handles" are not allowed and your registration will be deleted if you don't use your real name. Also, do not use all caps nor all lower case.

Turning Bowls

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by John Fino, May 2, 2020.

  1. John Fino

    John Fino

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Messages:
    13
    Location (City & State):
    Bakersfield, CA
    Another Newbie just trying to learn the ropes. So I bought a used 10 X 18 Harbor Freight Lathe from a guy that said he only had it a few years and only turned Pens and Bottle Stoppers. I spent the 1st. month turning spindle projects just getting the feel of the tools. After making handles for every file I own as well as a few for a friend, I decided to try my hand at bowls. I bought a PSI 4 Jaw Utility chuck, a PSI live Tailstock Center, and a PSI Spur Drive. I thought I would turn one segment at a time so I threw on a blank and morticed a cavity for my chuck, reversed it into my chuck and made it round and flat, no issues at all. My 1st. Segment was then glued onto the plate without removing the chuck and put back onto the lathe. 1st problem I noticed is the banjo dosen't pull out for enough to turn the outside edge of a 10" round. After removing the bowl, I slid the banjo up to the headstock and remounted the bowl and was able to smoth out the back that way. I assume this is the downfalls of a small lathe. The real issue I have is with vibration even after I turned it round and that's just the 1st. segment. Also, the motor bogs down pretty easy. I'm using it on the center pullys which should be 1600 RPM according to the manual. Am I turning with it to slow or to fast? Any help or input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
    Messages:
    146
    Location (City & State):
    Hoschton, GA
    Hey John.
    I think you may be trying to turn too fast. When I'm roughing out a bowl, I'm usually in the 500 -700 rpm range. If this is your first bowl, you need to start with a single piece of wood. I mount the bowl blank on a faceplate or woodworm screw if it's a small blank. Turn the outside of the bowl and put a tenon or mortise on the bottom. I like a tenon. Turn the bowl around and mount it in the chuck. Then turn out the inside.

    Segmented turning is another whole rabbit hole involving cutting tiny angled pieces of wood and glueing them into rings, then glueing the rings together. Glueing up boards on the lathe is not the way to make a basic bowl. You could glue up several boards into a bowl blank, cut it round and turn that. For your first bowl, you probably want to start with something in the 8" diameter range, preferably green wood. Kiln dried wood can be dusty, very hard and unforgiving. If you've got access to a band saw, I'd recommend cutting the bowl blank round before mounting it on the lathe. If you put your drive belt on the slowest speed pulley, it will increase your torque and stall less. The better the blank is balanced, the less vibration you will get.

    Look around and see if you can find a local woodturning club. Perhaps they have a workshop or classes to get you started safely in the right direction.
     
  3. John Fino

    John Fino

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Messages:
    13
    Location (City & State):
    Bakersfield, CA
    I'm not gluing on the lathe, i'm using a press to glue a single segmented ring to my blank that basically will become my bowl bottom. I will try your suggestion tomorrow and slow it down and see if that helps. Thank You for taking time to help.

    John
     
  4. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1,924
    Location (City & State):
    Nebraska
    You might try a new belt on the lathe, you are pushing the limits of the machine which was designed for turning small spindle projects. Larger diameter pieces require slower lathe speeds as the lathe tool is trying to cut the wood that travels past the cutting edge these forces will slow the motor or cause the belt to slip. A dull tool will also generate more drag on the motor and belt slowing the process down.
     
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2004
    Messages:
    6,702
    Location (City & State):
    Lakeland, Florida
    Home Page:
    I suggest you try the low speed pulley.
    add some sandbags or other weight to the lathe stand.

    You are pointing out a common misconception. A 10” lathe is not well suited for bowls larger than 8”.
    You are pushing the limits of the machine and have to do lots of extra steps to turn the 10” piece.
     
  6. John Fino

    John Fino

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Messages:
    13
    Location (City & State):
    Bakersfield, CA
    Thanks for the suggestions, i'll be ordering a new belt for it. I can take the blank to the disc sander and take it down to 8.5 then true it up on the lathe, my daughter will just have to be satisfied with a smaller bowl.

    John
     
  7. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2018
    Messages:
    732
    Location (City & State):
    Ponsford, MN
    Slow down and practice on small scrap wood say 4" diameter by 2" deep and leave the segmenting until you have mastered the the turning process, and find the nearest AAW chapter. I have not looked but I would think that there should be a chapter in the Bakersfield area.
     
  8. robo hippy

    robo hippy

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,067
    Location (City & State):
    Eugene, OR
    Not familiar with that lathe, but my first lathe had 4 pulleys and a 1/2 hp motor. First modification I did was to upgrade to a 1 hp motor. That helped a lot. I always started on the low speed range, which on that lathe was 500 rpm or there about. I would also suggest starting on scrap type pieces before trying to do some thing fancy that you put a lot of work into, which includes just about any form of segmenting, unless you have lots of scraps. I do have a You Tube channel, most of which is about turning bowls. You can't beat hands on instruction, and I think all clubs have mentors.

    robo hippy
     
  9. John Fino

    John Fino

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Messages:
    13
    Location (City & State):
    Bakersfield, CA
    I have searched for a woodturning chapter but couldn't find any. As far as segments being difficult, I actually find them to be realtively easy and relaxing, besides I have a good supply of scraps. I have over 40 years of Construction Experience as well as 25 of that in Cabinetry and Woodworking in general. I just never was interested in a Lathe until I retired. I kick myself in the head every day for not giving it a shot years ago. I'll check out your you tube channel a little later when I head in for the day.
    Thanks Again
    John
     
  10. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,096
    Location (City & State):
    Peoria, Illinois
    According to the AAW chapter locator;
    Kern Woodturners Contact For Location 1624 Country Breeze Pl Bakersfield, CA 93312-6363 UNITED STATES Bakersfield CA United States
     
  11. John Fino

    John Fino

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2020
    Messages:
    13
    Location (City & State):
    Bakersfield, CA
    Great, i'll try and get ahold of them tomorrow. Thanks for that, I tried to find in through google but didn't find anything.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice