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Forum topic by KerryP posted 09-26-2018 04:53 PM 805 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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KerryP

4 posts in 298 days


09-26-2018 04:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lathe turning question

I’ve made a few projects at a makers shop and have had mixed success. I’ve been using a midi lathe and when my work gets fairly thin it either starts to wobble and a couple times my projects have broken. What’s breaking isn’t that thin and I want to get thinner – think shawl pins. Is my bad luck due to a lathe that’s too big, tools that are too big, or lack of experience?

I want to work with hard woods like ebony and pink ivory. is a 1/2 HP motor robust enough to work on small projects or would it be better to get a tougher machine? I’m debating between getting an Excelsior and a Rikon mini.

Next, where do you LEARN this stuff?? There are beginner classes at Woodcraft and Rockler, but it’s expensive to take enough classes to get some confidence. Are there good videos you’d recommend?

Thanks!


11 replies so far

View LittleShaver's profile

LittleShaver

554 posts in 1040 days


#1 posted 09-26-2018 05:28 PM

I recently read a post from a guy who makes magic wands, could have been here at LJ. He had some tips and tricks in his post that might help.

-- Sawdust Maker

View sepeck's profile

sepeck

402 posts in 2561 days


#2 posted 09-26-2018 05:37 PM

You may be pushing to hard (taking to heavy a cut) or cutting with a lack of support on something thin. Dunno, I make wands but those are thicker then what you are going for. Check this search on YouTube out. Honestly I may try some of those. I will note I’ve broken a wand or two midway through it. Also SHARP tools. Sharp is incredibly important when turning.

I took one class at Woodcraft to start with mumble years ago. It gave me the foundation basics to continue on and understand most of what I see n the YouTube videos. I keep an eye on their class list and if they have one for something interesting I will probably take it because it cuts the learning curve down enough to make it worth it.

Check for any wood turning clubs in your area, most places have flyers at the local Woodcraft (and perhaps Rocker store. My nearest Rockler store is an hour or so drive)

YouTube suggestions. There are tons more but these are the three I check first when looking looking for ‘how to’ videos.
CaptEddie Wealth of resources
Carl Jacobson Nicest guy on the Internet and tons of how to videos
Mike Peace Lots o fhow to, tooling videos, etc

-- -Steven Peck, http://www.blkmtn.org

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

7405 posts in 2619 days


#3 posted 09-26-2018 06:32 PM

Are you talking thin as in wall thickness, or thin as in diameter? If the later, then you may want to look into buying or making a steady rest.

A 1/2hp motor should be way more than you need. As for learning – just keep watching and practicing.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View KerryP's profile

KerryP

4 posts in 298 days


#4 posted 09-26-2018 07:21 PM

Thank you littleshaver, sepeck and MrUnix -You guys are great! I will check out those videos and links and I’m going to sign up for a bowl class next.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2673 posts in 2555 days


#5 posted 09-26-2018 07:34 PM

If watch Nathan Cummings video he addresses tailstock support when turning thin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nyXZ4OgVPU

You could also make smaller hair & shawl pins like Shaune shows in her video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7uQiuZsaIY

If make allowance for waste at each end having head & tail stock support will not have lot of wobble until part one end off little if not afraid to use hand support. If using hand support have to use light cut parting the other end off, or stop the lathe and just saw the other end off and hand sand.

Never turned either hair or shawl pins think will give it a try! Thanks for posting your question and welcome to the message board.

-- Bill

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

670 posts in 1721 days


#6 posted 09-27-2018 12:43 AM

I would think mainly lack of experience rather than the lathe or tools. That said you do not say what tools (and sizes) you are using.
A lot of breaking may be due to the selection of the wood, not the wood type but the grain direction. In the video by Nathan above it show the item broken with the grain. You need to select stock with straight grain or either rive your own from larger stock. If it is rived then even small diameters such as pencil lead size will be hard to break with a little support from the fingers.
As to tool I would suggest a very sharp skew because you can make the cuts easier towards the head/tail stock and not perpendicular to the wood.
You may want to look up videos on finials, especially for Christmas ornaments. These tend to be very thin and delicate. Much much more so than a shawl pin.

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

View KerryP's profile

KerryP

4 posts in 298 days


#7 posted 09-27-2018 03:39 AM

All of these videos have been really helpful thanks everyone! Tomorrow I’ll check out ornament videos – I hadn’t even thought of making those.

I didn’t know you could use hand support, that is going to be very useful.

View LeeMills's profile

LeeMills

670 posts in 1721 days


#8 posted 09-27-2018 01:08 PM

Here is one video showing using hand support in the overhand. Some folks also use an underhand. Much has to do with the width of the tool rest and the length of the turning. With overhand you may hide a lot of the detail for short items; with underhand you are limited by the length of the tool rest before hitting the post.
Robust tools have their regular rest but also offer a Low Profile for folks wishing to reach under the tool rest rather than over. http://www.turnrobust.com/tool-rests/

If you do a youtube search for “turning thin spindles” you will find a bunch showing each method.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceGFl_Ic4EU

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

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1581 posts in 2150 days


#9 posted 09-27-2018 04:03 PM



Here is one video showing using hand support in the overhand. Some folks also use an underhand. Much has to do with the width of the tool rest and the length of the turning. With overhand you may hide a lot of the detail for short items; with underhand you are limited by the length of the tool rest before hitting the post.
Robust tools have their regular rest but also offer a Low Profile for folks wishing to reach under the tool rest rather than over. http://www.turnrobust.com/tool-rests/

If you do a youtube search for “turning thin spindles” you will find a bunch showing each method.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceGFl_Ic4EU

- LeeMills


The youtube video proves that you can turn one handed. WWT is pretty good at wood turning. .......... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View KerryP's profile

KerryP

4 posts in 298 days


#10 posted 09-28-2018 01:48 AM

I’ve watched all the videos you all have linked – and all the ones those led to – and I’m feeling much smarter!! I think I may have been using tools that are too big. I need to invest in some smaller ones.

The other side effect of watching all the videos is that I’ve seen a lot more toys I cannot live without…

View sepeck's profile

sepeck

402 posts in 2561 days


#11 posted 09-28-2018 04:08 AM



I’ve watched all the videos you all have linked – and all the ones those led to – and I’m feeling much smarter!! I think I may have been using tools that are too big. I need to invest in some smaller ones.

The other side effect of watching all the videos is that I’ve seen a lot more toys I cannot live without…

- KerryP

Welcome to turning.

-- -Steven Peck, http://www.blkmtn.org

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