Woodturning tips?

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Forum topic by tschmidty68 posted 04-10-2017 07:43 PM 899 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16 posts in 949 days

04-10-2017 07:43 PM

Hey everyone,

I recently (January) picked up a Rikon 16 inch lathe on a CL deal. I been messing around and learning how to use it, and have completed some projects I’m pretty impressed with.

I have two questions.

I turned a handle for a coffee scoop yesterday, while I love the look and how it turned out, I just cant seem to part the piece off the scrap smoothly. the top end of the handle is rough and doesn’t look like the rest of the piece. My wife says its fine and I shouldn’t worry about I, but I’m very particular with my work, as I’m sure most of ya’ll are. Anybody have tips to removing it from the scrap cleanly?

Next, I cannot, for the life of me, complete a project that has a centered hole for the scoop itself. This is my second coffee scoop handle I’ve turned and the hole where the scoop is glued in seems to always be off after I complete the turn. any ideas on this? Its not horrible, but I cant stand it being off center.

-- Haven't lost a finger....yet...

16 replies so far

View soob's profile


271 posts in 1746 days

#1 posted 04-10-2017 08:04 PM

Parting tools aren’t known for their smooth cuts. Cut until there’s 3/8” or so left, then clean it up with a skew. Look up how to do that online. You’ll still have to clean up the nub a little with sandpaper.

As far as the hole goes, drill that ahead of time and use a cone center on your tailstock. That way it will be centered on the hole.

View Wildwood's profile


2757 posts in 2672 days

#2 posted 04-10-2017 08:10 PM

Think if drill the hole for the scoop first you will leave enough wood so looks like it belongs.

When doing a project like this like to have enough wood so only have 1/” to 1/4” to part off and sanding takes care of the small nib remaining. I want enough wood so my gouge or skew lets me have an off the tool finish. So leave your blank little longer than actually need.

-- Bill

View LDO2802's profile


167 posts in 968 days

#3 posted 04-10-2017 08:45 PM

I have a drill bit for the tailstock. If you drill the hole then put a bar of the same size in it and then insert that bar in to the hole, it will keep it level. or if you have spinning tailstock, just insert in it the hole before working the outside. Like soob said, complete as much as possible with the skew, then use a 220 grit sandpaper while it is spinning (carefully) to clean it up. Then I just run a saw blade over the 3/8 nub holding it on and sand it.

View Iamjacob's profile


48 posts in 3164 days

#4 posted 04-10-2017 09:04 PM

Another tip for parting off is not to part off completely using the lathe. You end up with more torn grain as you approach the center as the surface speed of the wood slows down in the middle. Leave a stub that you cut with a saw and hand sand or reverse the part on a jamb chuck and sand the torn grain away.

Add another vote for drill first then turn around the hole too. It’s much easier to turn around the center vs try to put a hole in the middle.

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1625 posts in 2267 days

#5 posted 04-10-2017 09:14 PM

If you had a chuck, that would ease the grief a lot…. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View LeeMills's profile


684 posts in 1839 days

#6 posted 04-10-2017 09:21 PM

I think the drilling first has been covered so I won’t mention that. Opps, too late. :)

Here is a very good video by Alan Batty. Getting a smooth cut parting off with a skew is very similar to getting a smooth cut on a pommel. On most smaller diameters you can cut with the skew down to about 1/16 -1/32.

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

View JayCee123's profile


200 posts in 1302 days

#7 posted 04-10-2017 09:58 PM

Your getting a lot of very sound advice from all the LumberJacks. You should be able the center the hole eventually and get a smooth surface too. Heres an idea you might have fun with … turn the scoops in one piece, forego the metal scoop.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4262 posts in 3099 days

#8 posted 04-10-2017 10:19 PM

This is what I do.

I put the Jacobs chuck in the head stock after turning is done but not the sanding and just a small part is left on the end of the wood.
I turn on the lathe to a slow speed and advance the drill bit until I get to the depth I want and leave the drill bit in the Jacobs chuck in the head stock and keep the live center in the tail stock and finish sanding and having almost all the end turned off. I then slow the lathe down again and remove the tail stock and saw the end off and finish sanding.

The drill bit keeps the drill bit tight in the wood while doing this. I do the same with weed pots and it is finished completely when I take it off.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View tschmidty68's profile


16 posts in 949 days

#9 posted 04-10-2017 10:25 PM

Thanks, everyone for the advice.

I did drill the 1/4 inch hole first, but I “eyed” centering it on the live center. Guess it didn’t help that my son pulled it off the lathe, before I finished shaping it, to show my wife the design I did, and I had to try to re-center it… I also do not have skew or a chuck yet, just a roughing gouge, parting tool, and the Sorby turnmaster with the 3 common attachments (round, diamond, square). Those all came with the lathe. Gonna purchase more tools for it, but as you all know, they are not cheap, and i’m not big on buying cheaper tools just to re-purchase better quality later.

-- Haven't lost a finger....yet...

View LDO2802's profile


167 posts in 968 days

#10 posted 04-10-2017 11:01 PM

If you have the hole and the drill bit for the tailstock like I mentioned earlier, then when you mount the piece, place a metal dowel in the center and lock it in the tailstock. Slide it in to the chuck and tighten it down. Should return it to reasonably centered. Here is the drill bit I own:

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1625 posts in 2267 days

#11 posted 04-10-2017 11:30 PM

I’m having trouble with your statement, “I did drill the 1/4 inch hole first, but I “eyed” centering it on the live center.” If you have a live center, and it has a point, you should be able to remove and replace it thousands of times without it going off center. If your hole is a 1/4”, and your point is only 3/16”, I can see a slight problem, but not what your picture shows. Post a picture of your live center.

If your point is small, just use the dimple the live center creates to re index your piece if you take it off the lathe, ithould go back in without any measurable differences.

If the point is small, drill a corresponding sized hole, and when done, use it as a pilot to drill to the size needed. ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View tschmidty68's profile


16 posts in 949 days

#12 posted 04-11-2017 01:43 AM

It’s like this, at work so I can’t get a pic of my lathe. I can easily re-center other projects as you say. I tried with my first handle to drill the hole after I finished it, but without a drill press it was difficult getting it straight. I am new to this so I can blame a bit on experience…

-- Haven't lost a finger....yet...

View tschmidty68's profile


16 posts in 949 days

#13 posted 04-11-2017 02:00 AM

Now that I look at the first one, I centered it better drilling the hole after it was done..

-- Haven't lost a finger....yet...

View TheDane's profile


5695 posts in 4200 days

#14 posted 04-11-2017 02:41 AM

Get yourself a 60-degree cone center to use in place of your regular live center.

They are on sale now at PSI

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View tschmidty68's profile


16 posts in 949 days

#15 posted 04-11-2017 04:10 AM

It’s on the way! But from amazon, Free shipping with prime saved me 8 bucks!

-- Haven't lost a finger....yet...

showing 1 through 15 of 16 replies

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