Reply by Dustin

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Posted on Pen blank just catches, doesn't cut?!! HELP!!!!!!!!!!

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689 posts in 1133 days

#1 posted 07-17-2017 06:17 PM

Let me start by saying welcome!

Now on to the matter at hand:

How are you presenting the gouge to the blank? To find the “sweet spot” when I first started, I’d elevate the cutting edge of the gouge in an exaggerated fashion above the blank, with the bevel above the piece. I would then gradually lower it down, riding the bevel (or following, as some folks think “riding” implies applying pressure) while gently lifting the rear of the handle. Once it starts cutting, you’re in the “sweet spot”.

And how are you sharpening your gouge? Practicing on a 2×4 isn’t much of an indicator, as they are usually very soft and have a high mositure content and a dull tool could still work to some degree on them. Did you sharpen the gouge? Are you using it straight from the box with the factory edge? I think you’ll find that on many lathe tools, being new-in-box doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be sharpened.

When the gouge catches, is the motor stalling, or are the bushings for the blank slipping? If it’s the latter, maybe try tightenting those (thought not too much: if you’re using a standard mandrel/bushings combo, that could bend the mandrel). If the motor is stalling, then it’s likely to be one of tool presentation, tool sharpness, incorrect speed, or some combination thereof.

Hope this helps, and let us know how it goes!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

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