LumberJocks

All Replies on Best Wood Blanks

  • Advertise with us
View wwwanabe's profile

Best Wood Blanks

by wwwanabe
posted 12-16-2018 04:33 PM


13 replies so far

View John Smith's profile

John Smith

1682 posts in 462 days


#1 posted 12-16-2018 04:58 PM

have you looked on E-Bay for turning blanks ??

.

.

-- Failure is proof that you at least tried ~ now, go do it again, and again, until you get it right --

View wwwanabe's profile

wwwanabe

34 posts in 1502 days


#2 posted 12-16-2018 05:56 PM

Thanks. No I haven’t tried ebay but can look into it. What’s the best, easiest turning wood to get started with?

View Andre's profile

Andre

2500 posts in 2106 days


#3 posted 12-16-2018 05:59 PM

Best, cheapest scrap hardwood and cut your own blanks. Pay attention to growth rings small burls, learn how to read the wood. Stick with slow speed grinder which is still too fast, if you can’t touch the metal it’s to hot!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View Steve's profile

Steve

1104 posts in 882 days


#4 posted 12-16-2018 06:30 PM

Plenty of free blanks in the woods.

View EricTwice's profile

EricTwice

248 posts in 833 days


#5 posted 12-16-2018 06:47 PM

high speed steel is not effected by heat so a high speed grinder is fine. If you are new to turning, junk wood is better than buying stuff and then throwing it away. A friend (and fine turner) recommends scrap framing timber also firewood works well. Is there a cabinet shop nearby that will let you go through their scrap pile.

You will like turning green (freshly cut and wet) wood. Framing timber is a pain but if you can turn it you can turn anything.

Have fun

-- nice recovery, They should pay extra for that mistake, Eric E.

View LesB's profile

LesB

2007 posts in 3743 days


#6 posted 12-16-2018 06:56 PM

Another alternative for sharpening is one of the belt sander sharpening set ups.
I use a 3450 rpm grinder with a white 100 grit disk. You just have to work lightly and watch for heat build up…the steels turns blue… Try keeping a container of water next to the grinder to cool the tip as you work. The hardest part is getting the correct angles, especially on gouges. There are lots of articles on sharpening and making jigs to get the correct angles.

You might consider getting a set of the carbide tipped tools which keep their edge for a long time. You can rotate the tips for a new edge and they can be resharpened (some) with a diamond sharpening stone (on their flat side). I find they are great for roughing out the blank but they do not cut as finely as high speed steel so I do my finish cuts with that.

Most of my blanks come from salvage wood (some is actually firewood). I collect it where I can and once you friends find out you want it they usually start saving it for you. Then you need to decide whether to turn them while wet or chance letting them dry and possibly developing cracks…this is a whole new topic for discussion. I particularly like fruit wood, apple, apricot, and plum are great. So you may need a chain saw, and a band saw to cut the blank to shape. For small stuff a sawsall (reciprocating saw) with a long coarse blade will also work for both cuts.

For mounting wood with your lathe chuck. I use a router with a dove tail bit and a template guide. Make a template out of 1/2” plywood, cutting circles the proper size in the plywood, then clamp it over the blank and routing a recess (dado) about 3/16 to 1/4” deep to fit the chuck. For bowls or hollow turnings I cut the recess into the side that will be hollowed out, the top. I then turn the bottom and outside (including most of the sanding); in the process i make a new recess (you could also cut a spigot instead), for flipping the turning over and remounting it to finish turning the inside. On very soft wood you may need a deeper recess but your are limited by the size of your chuck jaws. I have been doing this for years without a problem and it speeds up the mounting process…no mounting plate,.no glue, & no screws. I have a blog on this web site with pictures if you are interested.

-- Les B, Oregon

View bigJohninvegas's profile

bigJohninvegas

585 posts in 1762 days


#7 posted 12-16-2018 07:18 PM

Just about anything you can find for free, local wood works fine to start learning on.
Catch local tree trimmers. they will normally just give it away. firewood works well to.
Even 3 to 4” limbs have a use. I will still pick up a limb. make it round and practice beads and coves.
teaches great tool control. When it gets to small throw it in the fire pit and grab another limb.
Keep your eye open for it too. Some local wood, fire wood will give you great projects.

-- John

View wwwanabe's profile

wwwanabe

34 posts in 1502 days


#8 posted 12-16-2018 07:20 PM


high speed steel is not effected by heat so a high speed grinder is fine. If you are new to turning, junk wood is better than buying stuff and then throwing it away. A friend (and fine turner) recommends scrap framing timber also firewood works well. Is there a cabinet shop nearby that will let you go through their scrap pile.

You will like turning green (freshly cut and wet) wood. Framing timber is a pain but if you can turn it you can turn anything.

Have fun

- EricTwice


Thanks for the response…..maybe I just need to keep at it and get some better scraps to glue up..like oak or cherry

View wwwanabe's profile

wwwanabe

34 posts in 1502 days


#9 posted 12-16-2018 07:23 PM



Just about anything you can find for free, local wood works fine to start learning on.
Catch local tree trimmers. they will normally just give it away. firewood works well to.
Even 3 to 4” limbs have a use. I will still pick up a limb. make it round and practice beads and coves.
teaches great tool control. When it gets to small throw it in the fire pit and grab another limb.
Keep your eye open for it too. Some local wood, fire wood will give you great projects.

- bigJohninvegas


Thanks John…..more good ideas….it’s very tempting to buy store bought blanks from say Rocker but maybe I need to crawl first.

View wwwanabe's profile

wwwanabe

34 posts in 1502 days


#10 posted 12-16-2018 07:27 PM


high speed steel is not effected by heat so a high speed grinder is fine. If you are new to turning, junk wood is better than buying stuff and then throwing it away. A friend (and fine turner) recommends scrap framing timber also firewood works well. Is there a cabinet shop nearby that will let you go through their scrap pile.

You will like turning green (freshly cut and wet) wood. Framing timber is a pain but if you can turn it you can turn anything.

Have fun

- EricTwice

Thanks for the response…..maybe I just need to keep at it and get some better scraps to glue up..like oak or cherry

- wwwanabe


Another alternative for sharpening is one of the belt sander sharpening set ups.
I use a 3450 rpm grinder with a white 100 grit disk. You just have to work lightly and watch for heat build up…the steels turns blue… Try keeping a container of water next to the grinder to cool the tip as you work. The hardest part is getting the correct angles, especially on gouges. There are lots of articles on sharpening and making jigs to get the correct angles.

You might consider getting a set of the carbide tipped tools which keep their edge for a long time. You can rotate the tips for a new edge and they can be resharpened (some) with a diamond sharpening stone (on their flat side). I find they are great for roughing out the blank but they do not cut as finely as high speed steel so I do my finish cuts with that.

Most of my blanks come from salvage wood (some is actually firewood). I collect it where I can and once you friends find out you want it they usually start saving it for you. Then you need to decide whether to turn them while wet or chance letting them dry and possibly developing cracks…this is a whole new topic for discussion. I particularly like fruit wood, apple, apricot, and plum are great. So you may need a chain saw, and a band saw to cut the blank to shape. For small stuff a sawsall (reciprocating saw) with a long coarse blade will also work for both cuts.

For mounting wood with your lathe chuck. I use a router with a dove tail bit and a template guide. Make a template out of 1/2” plywood, cutting circles the proper size in the plywood, then clamp it over the blank and routing a recess (dado) about 3/16 to 1/4” deep to fit the chuck. For bowls or hollow turnings I cut the recess into the side that will be hollowed out, the top. I then turn the bottom and outside (including most of the sanding); in the process i make a new recess (you could also cut a spigot instead), for flipping the turning over and remounting it to finish turning the inside. On very soft wood you may need a deeper recess but your are limited by the size of your chuck jaws. I have been doing this for years without a problem and it speeds up the mounting process…no mounting plate,.no glue, & no screws. I have a blog on this web site with pictures if you are interested.

- LesB


Thanks Les. So I can use my old 3450 grinder just need to be careful with the blueing. I’m am going to get the One way system from amazon which should help with the angles. Also, thanks for the detailed response…...I’ve got a got to learn that’s for sure. Maybe I should have started with pens….lol

View Phil32's profile

Phil32

461 posts in 203 days


#11 posted 12-16-2018 07:37 PM

Your questions touch on several aspects of woodturning. Perhaps you need a mentor (an experienced turner) to walk you through some of the basic ideas. Otherwise you will go through a lot of trial and error. Our local Woodcraft store offers beginning classes. We also have a local woodturners club. When I started turning (as a teenager), my uncle helped me through the basics. We worked with solid chunks of various trees. Glue-ups came much later.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View Andybb's profile

Andybb

1802 posts in 903 days


#12 posted 12-16-2018 08:45 PM

The easy answer is that Rockler and Woodcraft both usually have bins full of round dry turning blanks of various species for less than $10 but I don’t know if they are in your area. I save the cutoffs from our xmas trees every year. There’s also nothing wrong with working with the glue ups you were using and developing your technique so that you don’t get catches etc.

-- Andy - Seattle USA

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

652 posts in 1601 days


#13 posted 12-18-2018 08:00 PM

JMO but you can use your current grinder. I guess an 8” slow speed with $150 wheels would be nice.
I use a setup I built back in the 80’s and it still works fine. Tools still get sharp with about 120 grit and 6”.

I don’t know where you live but maybe check with firewood guys. Probably sell you some real cheap or give you some.
Also you may want to call your local power company to find out who does their trimming for the line. Locally they grind limbs or trees over 6” but that’s it. Over 6” they stack for the homeowner to dispose of.
Also check craigslist for free wood (normally listed as firewood). Just checked my local listing and there are 81 listings current for free firewood.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com