Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Burly Friends

sometime good things just happen. A friend to whom I owe a favor dropped by with a coupe of burls, one spruce and one maple. The small one is about 16" diameter and she wants a fruit bowl turned. The large one is from a friend of hers and she just wants something interesting.The price is later to be determined. Beautiful wood and this should be a lot of wood turning fun.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Craft Fair

Yesterday my wife and I attended a craft fair at one of the local churches. Sales were ok but the day was fun. I always enjoy meeting the people. Christmas sales are looking good. One of the folks there is coming over this week to put some items in his Farmer's Market. I thought you might like a look at the display. You can get a fair variety on a small table.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sharpening Bandsaw blades

just a quick note today folks. I put a video up over at YouTube on how I sharpen bandsaw blades on the the saw a la Steve Russel's method. It works great. I figure a 3 pt 3/8" blade takes me about 5 minutes including set-up. I will have more info on the web site at Around the Woods in a couple of days.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wood Turning Friends

One of the great aspects of wood turning is the friends you make along the way. One of the fellows at church was talking about things with another friend as they stood by the wood pile. As the friend commented on how dry the wood was he picked at a piece of bark to real bird's eye underneath. The log was about 12 feet long and around 9 inches at the butt. My friend said I could have it if I wanted. Now the log was 2 years old and had surface cracks but I still said, "sure."

I took out the saw and cut it into manageable pieces and brought it home. Even though the log was 2 years old I Anchorsealed the ends.

One of my intentions is to document the using of this log to give folks an understanding of how you might work with something like this. Everyone does it a little different but it should be fun to compare notes as I go.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

New Project: Whisk Handle

Hi folks. I am attempting to write a new section on the web site for
beginners. Here is a project for it that has a way to center a handle on a
tool while making it. The project is a whisk handle for the kitchen and a
simple stocking stuffer to make.
Whisk handle
One of the great difficulties that wood turners run into is making sure the hole for a handle is concentric to the handle and fits the tang. This method of using a very simple friction drive ensures that the handle is properly on center.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Tools for a Beginner

As I was considering the roughing tool, I was also thinking of the perennial question of what tools a beginner should get, since most lathes come without tools. The following article has a few suggestions.

Wood Turning Tools: getting good ones may be beginner’s Luck

As wood turning has become more popular in recent years the manufacturers of wood working tools have developed a bewildering array of tools for the wood turner. This already bewildering array has become even more confusing for the beginner than for the experienced turner who has a few special tools that are used all the time. Beginners have yet to discover what direction their turning will take them and what tools to use on the journey.

Wood turning is split into two general fields, spindle and face plate turning. While most lathes come supplied with the rudimentary holding devices for the wood, they rarely come with cutting tools. A good, general, beginner’s set would include:

  • a 3/4" or 1" roughing gouge for making spindles round

  • a 3/4" or 1" skew for making those round spindles smooth

  • a 3/8" or 1/4" and a ½ “ spindle gouge for beads and coves

  • a 1/8" parting tool for separating work

  • a ½" to 1" round nosed scraper for some finish cuts

  • a 1" straight scraper for facing off some work

  • a 3/8" bowl gouge for face plate work

Most beginner sets on the market will have some combination of the above although they seldom have a bowl gouge included. Again, most beginners start with spindle turning and become proficient at it before attempting bowls. There is no particular reason for this and a basic bowl is no more difficult to turn than is the typical candle stick. While a 3/8" bowl gouge may cost as much as some beginner’s sets, an Oland tool suitable for the beginner and advanced turner alike is easily made in the home shop and a simple on-line search will bring up the directions for construction and use.

One of the greatest changes in wood turning tools in the last hundred years or so has been the metal used to make the tools. Unfortunately it has also become a source of confusion for inexperienced turners. There are three main groups of steel used for the tools; carbon, high speed, and powdered. The best buy for both beginners and experienced turners is M2 high speed steel, usually written as M2 HSS. Since this is also the most common type available it is easy to buy and a good deal. Carbon steel is harder to sharpen without losing its temper and powdered steel is likely overkill at a premium price.

The important thing to do is to get the tools and start making shavings. Some experience will develop a preference for certain tools in certain settings and will also develop a lot of enjoyment.

Once again feel free to post the article elsewhere as long as due credit is given.

&copy;Darrell Feltmate,<a href="http://aroundthewoods.com">Around the Woods (aroundthewoods.com)</a>; used by permission

will work well in the html code or just

©Darrell Feltmate, http://aroundthewoods.com, Around the Woods, used by permission

in straight text.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Roughing Gouge: getting started

I am beginning a section on the web site about Wood Turning Basics. Here is an article I wrote about the roughing gouge which will be updated with pictures and video for the site. Any comments are appreciated.

Wood Turning Tools - Roughing Gouge

The wood turning tool first reached for by most beginning wood turners is a roughing gouge. While it is obvious that most things produced on a wood lathe are round, wood tends to arrive in a more of less square fashion. Even it comes to the shop in the form of a log, it is generally cut more or less square before mounting on the lathe so it must be roughed round. Hence the use of a roughing gouge for the first wood turning tool.

It should be pointed out that the roughing gouge is a spindle turning tool, not for bowls and other face plate work. As most lathes come with a spur center and a tail center for spindle turning and most beginner sets of wood turning tools do not contain bowl gouges, most people begin their wood turning obsession with spindle turning.

A roughing gouge will look semi circular when viewing it from the tip. It should have a deep flute and even thickness walls. For normal turning needs seventeen or eighteen inches from handle end to cutting tip is good and a 3/4" or 1" width should made a good general purpose tool with the 1" more versatile for most turners.

The tool should be sharpened straight across with a 45° angle. Every part of the edge can be used by rotating the tool. In past years the wood turners would continually roll the tool and found that there was more time between sharpening sessions because the work was distributed over so much of the tool tip. With the advent of modern high speed steels this is not as great a need because they stay sharp so much longer than the old carbon steels, but it still gives a greater length of time between sharpening the tool.

For your first cuts with the roughing gouge

  1. a wood block about 10" long and 2" to 3" square is mounted securely on the lathe

  2. you are wearing a face shield

  3. the lathe is set to a low speed, between 400 to 600 rpm

  4. with the lathe OFF, place the shaft of the tool against the tool rest with the tool nearly vertical and the tip of the tool well above the top of the wood

  5. rotate the wood toward you with your left hand while holding the tool with the right

  6. notice the tool does not cut the wood

  7. continue to turn the wood as you slowly raise your right hand pivoting the tool on the tool rest. When the tip of the tool is about 45° to the floor, the tip will begin to contact the wood and cutting will start.

  8. repeat the motion with the lathe turned on. The tool should be approaching the wood about 1/2" from the right side of the wood.

  9. as the wood begins to cut, roll the tool to the right while slightly raising the handle and the wood will cut

  10. continue with another cut beginning a bit farther left and a bit farther left and so on until you are about 1" from the left end of the wood

  11. repeat the motion but rolling a bit to the left starting from the left end of the wood

At this point you will likely find that the wood is not yet round but is a bit far from the tool rest for comfort. With the lathe off, move the tool rest closer to the wood and repeat the above exercise until the wood is round. Very likely the surface of the wood will be fairly rough from the roughing gouge. While experienced turners can get a fairly smooth surface from the tool, it is better at first to use the roughing gouge as its name implies and quickly get a round albeit rough surface.

Feel free to use this article as long as acknowledgment is given.

&copy;Darrell Feltmate,<a href="http://aroundthewoods.com">Around the Woods (aroundthewoods.com)</a>; used by permission

will work well in the html code or just

©Darrell Feltmate, http://aroundthewoods.com, Around the Woods, used by permission

in straight text.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Wooden Spoon video (7)

One of these days I have to get my life in order. There are too many things to fill too few hours. Finally I got the last video up about turning the spoon. Next I have to get some prepared on carving the bowls, maybe. Along with sanding, this one has the parting off of the spoon from the lathe. I like to do this with a skew and I like to part from the drive spur. Simply, once the piece is cut from the spur drive it stops turning whereas, if the spur has forced into the piece too far or hard and you part from the tailstock, it keeps turning and you have an awkward moment of trying to turn the lathe off while holding the turning piece or of pulling the piece from the turning spur center. I am awkward enough without working on it to be more so.

Lately I have been turning a couple of whisk handles. This is a great beginner's project and I will get a page up soon.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wooden Spoon Video Part (6)

As I continue on with the wooden spoon, the handle is finish turned and decorated with a couple of burn lines using a wire. Interestingly,as I look at the video again I realize that I have used the chuck for this spoon and somtimew "forgot" and simply turned between centers for others. What can I say, both methods work well. I often get asked by beginners about what chuck to buy, given the high cost. Generally, I point out that the chucks are very recent additions to at least a 3,000 year old craft and not really necessary. Nice but not necessary.