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Forum topic by tadmaz posted 11-29-2021 09:46 PM 805 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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tadmaz

12 posts in 1278 days


11-29-2021 09:46 PM

Any obvious reasons why my bowl is not smooth? Sanding does nothing to smooth this out. Dry box elder. 1/2” bowl gauge.


19 replies so far

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

9380 posts in 1905 days


#1 posted 11-29-2021 11:50 PM

I’m not a turner, but I would question the sharpness of your tools?

But if sandpaper doesn’t work I would next ask is this green (wet) wood, or dried? Because my understanding of Box Elder is it’s quite easy to work with. Wet is shows as being quite stinky.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Aj2

4217 posts in 3128 days


#2 posted 11-30-2021 12:22 AM

Yes there’s reasons This is why I recommend wood turning for a beginner woodworker.
What your learning will transfer over to all aspects of the craft. Keep pushing forward

-- Aj

View drsurfrat's profile

drsurfrat

1214 posts in 517 days


#3 posted 11-30-2021 12:40 AM

Box Elder can be kinda stringy, so you will need very sharp tools. it is also indicated by the tearout you have on inside and out. Yes, sanding that would take days to get smooth…

I have found that the bowl gouge is the best for clean cuts. But you have to steer it by the far end, and keep the bevel in contact with the wood. If you free-hand it, it is not much more than a scraper. I scribbled a drawing in case you are inexperienced with the bowl gouge. Sorry if you already know this.

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27229 posts in 4436 days


#4 posted 11-30-2021 02:21 AM

Look up a sheer scrape cut for the finish cut on You Tube. Jimmy Clewes has some good videos of a sheer push cut to make a clean surface too. It will clean up a lot of the open end grain. When it is that open from tearing, you would have to sand forever to smooth it out if at all.

And have a real sharp bowl gouge for the finish cut.

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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Davevand

313 posts in 2167 days


#5 posted 11-30-2021 03:29 PM

As already stated, dull tools. With softer wood you need very sharp tools and correct edge presentation to the wood to cut clean and smooth and not get tear out. Also speed is your friend once the piece is balanced and spinning true, BUT if you get a catch or the piece has weak spots speed can become your enemy very quickly

View LesB's profile

LesB

3232 posts in 4773 days


#6 posted 11-30-2021 06:19 PM

You did manage to remove a lot of the inner wood but I’m seeing end grain tear out and some gouges that were probably the result of catches. Also unevenness probably due to lack of good control of the tool. For smoother cuts try to move with your whole body not just your hands and arms. Arms against your side when possible for stability
.
The first things I would ask if I were there is what speed are you turning at. Faster speeds are usually good when turning (but not when sanding). Depending on the size of the item 800 to 2000 rpm.
Sharp tools are a must. Note, sanding is better at slower speeds to allow the grit to dig in instead of sliding over the wood surface.
For beginners the bowl gouge is fine for removing quantities of wood but a sharp round nosed scraper works better for the finishing cuts. It takes time to learn the best gouge techniques.
You will find that some items cut better in one direction than another.
To reduce tear out on end grain use the highest speed you are comfortable with and a sharp scraper. If your lathe has a reverse try a few light passes in the opposite direction which pushes the end grain the other direction.
If you are unable to remove all the tear out (which is likely) revert to 60 or 80 grain sand paper. On some soft woods some turners apply something to stiffen the grain for better cutting action, like clear shellac or CA glue.

When it comes to scrapers the newer carbide tipped ones work well for beginners and making rough cuts with no resharpening needed. The HSS scrapers generally produce a smoother cut but need frequent resharpening.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Kerux2's profile

Kerux2

682 posts in 3062 days


#7 posted 12-01-2021 03:54 AM

Keep your tool sharp.

Check your rest height.

Looks like your may be allowing your tool to skip:

Hold the tool down on the rest, don’t let it jump…. don’t push any direction with the hand your holding the tool down on the rest. (probably your left)

Ride the bevel of the bowl gouge.

You may need to put a secondary bevel on your gouge.

What grind is your Gouge? As a beginner using bowl gouge, I had trouble using the Elsworth grind. 40-40 grind may be easier for you to find the bevel. If using a 4040 you’ll want to switch to a bottom feeder the bottom inside of a the bowl.

If any of the terms is confusing… you may want to watch this guy. He does a pretty good series for beginning bowl turners.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoJyGhc4_JBGw341nZp1aH20N4v-_dlbt

-- Hey I'm Dyslexic! I don't have all day to check and re-check forum post.

View Teesquare's profile

Teesquare

47 posts in 71 days


#8 posted 12-01-2021 12:40 PM

OP-
If it is AT ALL possible…find a mentor. Someone in your area that is an accomplished turner can show you – hands on and in person – more than we can here in this forum. Hands on woodturning instruction is truly one of those things that will save you countless hours and months of frustration trying to figure out many things. And -videos are nice…but until you have the basics down, they are not nearly as useful.

Get some local instruction and you will speed up your progress by a factor of 10…...

View Kerux2's profile

Kerux2

682 posts in 3062 days


#9 posted 12-02-2021 09:35 PM



OP-
If it is AT ALL possible…find a mentor. Someone in your area that is an accomplished turner can show you – hands on and in person – more than we can here in this forum. Hands on woodturning instruction is truly one of those things that will save you countless hours and months of frustration trying to figure out many things. And -videos are nice…but until you have the basics down, they are not nearly as useful.

Get some local instruction and you will speed up your progress by a factor of 10…...

- Teesquare


Good advice.

-- Hey I'm Dyslexic! I don't have all day to check and re-check forum post.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8755 posts in 2718 days


#10 posted 12-03-2021 04:06 AM

+1 on sharp tools. You sometimes have to sharpen multiple times while turning a single bowl. If you think about it, cutting on a 6” bowl turning at 500 rpm for one minute is cutting almost 800 feet of wood so it stands to reason that the blade will start to dull after several minutes of use.

I would set this piece aside for a while and practice on something less interesting (expensive?) and easier to turn. Turning green wood is easiest to learn on but you have to rough turn it and then let it dry before you finish turning. One of the best woods for learning to turn, IMO, is Bradford pear (aka Callery pear), if it is available in your area. Other fruit trees turn pretty nicely too. The Bradford pears are prone to breaking in storms and ice and were over planted in landscapes so I can find free turning wood after nearly any storm. The wood sort of looks a little like an orange black cherry. It really is a joy to turn and you can sometimes get some cool figure in crotches. Anyway, once you get a few simple bowls under you belt and get good a sharpening, you can return to this one.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View tadmaz's profile

tadmaz

12 posts in 1278 days


#11 posted 12-04-2021 02:42 PM

Thank you all for the tips. Here is some more info and what I’m thinking.

-I noticed similar looking tear out when I cut the the blank into an octagon on the bandsaw.
-My lathe is homemade by a neighbor’s machinist friend, is extremely heavy (140+ lbs), and the speed isn’t really adjustable. There are 2 pulleys like a drill press, but there is really only one combination of pulleys that isn’t super loose or tight. The speed is basically 1:1 with the motor, which is 1725rpm. It does not seem too fast.
-I am considering getting a chuck. As I turned the inside there was a ton of chatter with the tool. The faceplate screwed into the tenon was not perfectly centered. The rim width is not even. I will bring the faceplate to Fastenal, it’s either 7/8-9 or 1-8.
-I made a sharpening jig similar to the “wolverine” system. I had my dad inspect my set up, he thinks I am sharpening just fine and the bowl gauge is sharp after sharpening. I sharpened about 5 times during the turning of this bowl. My tools are PSI Benjamin’s Best, HSS. -http://aroundthewoods.com/sharp.shtml
-I may get a shear scraper.
-The next bowl will be green.
-If the next bowl turns out similarly, I will try to find someone nearby to mentor.

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

8755 posts in 2718 days


#12 posted 12-04-2021 03:18 PM

1725 would usually be a little fast to me for a bowl over a few inches across but I am kind of chicken.

Benjamin’s Best are good tools. Did you buy the 8 piece set? Which tool did you actually use for this? The bowl gouge is the only tool in that set that is suitable for this stage of hollowing and shaping a bowl. You can use the scrappers in the later finishing phase but that is usually not necessary if you use the bowl gouge properly The bowl gouge can be used to shear scrape at the end (search for videos on shear scraping with a bowl gouge). The other tools in the set (parting tool, skews, roughing gouge and spindle gouges) should never be used while turning bowls. From the pictures, I think that you mostly just need to practice long smooth cuts with the bowl gouge.

Also, you mention that the rim is not even. If this is green wood and you didn’t turn this all in one session, the piece will often warp as it starts to dry. I have had this happen when I take an hour break for lunch. If that happens you will have to reshape the rim to make it round, inside and out. If you cannot get a nice continuous cut around the entire diameter for example, you will never get a smooth finish.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View drsurfrat's profile

drsurfrat

1214 posts in 517 days


#13 posted 12-04-2021 10:20 PM

Everything you said seems to be right. it is hard to tell with text and still pictures, probably any of us standing behind you could get you set up. Finding a mentor is probably a good call. What Reginas of the country are you in? For instance, there is a New England turners association. Ha, there are three in this half of the state.

-- Mike (near Boston) ... Laziness is the mother of invention, necessity is the mother of exhaustion - me

View tadmaz's profile

tadmaz

12 posts in 1278 days


#14 posted 12-07-2021 03:16 PM

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tadmaz

12 posts in 1278 days


#15 posted 12-28-2021 10:33 PM

I got a chuck and inboard scraper. I turned some green box elder that unfortunately had some rot that blew through the bowl. Overall it was similar to the dry box elder, I am now convinced it’s not good for turning. I then turned a green walnut bowl, overall good results. Inboard scraper allowed me to clean up the inside of the bowl acceptably. I am unable to move the tool rest to be 90 degrees to the bowl, so my tool isn’t as close as I would like. I am considering cutting the 3/4” steel of the tool rest slide a few inches shorter, it’s quite long and isn’t necessary. I get some chatter when getting to the last 1.5 inches towards the inside center of the bowl. Here is a video. Ideas?

https://youtu.be/qSiu9BBNEq4

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