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Journey into Woodturning #88: 1st Cup

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Blog entry by MovingChips posted 01-11-2022 03:06 PM 393 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 87: Gel Bead Pot Part 88 of Journey into Woodturning series Part 89: Candy Dish from Macassar Ebony »

This project was on the books for a while. I decided it was time to crab a piece of wood and turn a cup. Sapele was handy and so I got to work.

Roughing the round wasn’t hard and once secured in the chuck I grabbed the forstner bit to hallow the inside. This was the toughest part of the project. I slowed the lathe. I sped it up. I gently advanced the bit. The wood was tough on the end grain and started to smoke or it would bind the motor. I don’t know if its dull bits, hard wood, me or the moon aligning with Jupiter, who knows.

Eventually I got through the depth and width, but it was straight down into the cup. I wanted a gradual cone shape on the outside and inside. I started with a bowl gouge, but I quickly gave up and switched to the curved carbide tool.

I have not been very successful with the curved carbide tool, I thought I was about to destroy this work. For some reason I managed to get it to work as I expected. Did I finally figure out how to use this tool? With the inside completed it was time for the outside.

The outside of the cup was easy to shave down. I created a little design feature in the cup for creating a non-slip or better grip with a bump out little more than halfway up. Added a lip ring. Nothing special for the bottom.

After sanding I knew I was going to be putting resin over the piece, to make it watertight. I wiped off the dust with denatured alcohol and started mixing the resin. My mind was thinking about what color I wanted to mix for the inside, while I left the outside clear. I decided on orange, for no reason.

I painted the outside clear and with the remaining resin I added orange color. I turned the lathe down low, to reduce any droplets. There were a few factors working against me though. One issue was the garage was cold and the other was the resin would inevitably roll out the inside. So I spun the chuck off the lathe and took it inside the house to cure standing upright.

The next day I quickly realized the errors of my ways. I had forgotten to use sanding sealer after the denatured alcohol wipe down. I was so fixated on the resin I forgot to seal the wood. The resin had bubbles from air trying to escape the wood and other areas where the resin appeared to be sucked into the wood. Bottom line, the finish was awful.

Luckily it was still on the chuck, so back on the lathe it went. I sanded it back smooth, on the outside, but I believe there was still a layer of resin. I grabbed the Acks Wood Paste and gave it a high-speed rub down. Followed by the Acks polish/restoring paste, which brought the piece to a super shine.

Time to take it off the chuck and I didn’t leave myself any room for the parting tool. I had to saw the piece off the chuck. Then I place a homemade sanding disc on the lathe, spun it up to speed and gave the bottom of the cup a good sanding. Finished it with Acks paste and polish.

For my first attempt at turning a cup on the wood lathe, without a liner, I think it turned out great.

This weeks video: 1st Cup



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