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Bowl turning advice for Complete Novice please?

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Anonymous

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Hi, first post.....

I recently bought myself a cheap lathe to do a few craft projects, and decided to try making a simple bowl.
Managed to get a lovely shape and finish on the outside using a faceplate, but never realised how difficult it is to stay concentric once you turn the damn thing round!

What's the best way to go about this bearing in mind:
a) I'm a complete beginner
b) I don't want to spend a fortune on expensive chucks.

Finally, anyone know of any wood turning classes in Hertfordshire?

Thanks in advance,
Roohster
 

cd

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Hi Roohster,

Welcome to the forum,
you could do a lot worse than a copy of Keith Rowley's book Woodturning:
A Foundation Course
You could also try here they have some very good articles.
Personally I don't finish the outside of a bowl until its "turned round" but then I almost always mount on a chuck either using a tenon and spigot jaws or with expanding dovetail jaws into a recess.
Before I had the chuck I often used to rough turn the outside of the bowl, then glue a block on the bottom. When the glue was dry I would square up the block to the same diameter as my faceplate. This would make it easier to realign the bowl to turn the inside. I would then just part off the bowl and sand the bottom flat. It worked for me until I got a chuck :)
As for courses I understand UKTony also lives in Hertforshire and is starting a course soon (mentioned in a thread here somewhere).

Good luck and beware Turning can become very addictive :D

cd
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks CD, I'll try gluing a block to the base as you suggested for now.

I realise that if I want to get more serious I'll have to but a scroll chuck or something like that, but for now I'll go with your suggestion.
Will any type of woodglue do the job?

I shall now do a search for UKTony...
Thanks again for the advice :D
 

trevtheturner

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Hi Roohster,

Welcome to the Forum.

Nothing to add to cd's advice - but bet it won't be long before you're asking "what's the best chuck to get" :wink: :lol:

Keith Rowley's book is excellent for starters.

Cheers,

Trev.
 
A

Anonymous

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Go on then, I'll take the bait...
"what's the best chuck to get?"
 

Hans

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Hi Roohster,

welcome to this forum.
I have the impression that most turners think the chuck they use is the best.
I am no exception and think the Oneway and Vicmarc chucks are among the best.
I think the what is the best chuck depends on what you expect to do with it.
Recently there was a thread about choosing a chuck for a Perform lathe.

https://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=107&highlight=chuck
Better check what thread you have on your lathe.

Hope this helps.
 

trevtheturner

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:shock: Blimey! I know it's addictive, but that was quick!

I'm with Hans - no easy answer and it's a matter of personal choice really. Most of the well-known brands such as Supernova, Oneway, Vicmarc and Axminster's own all seem to be well thought of. I have a Multistar Titan, which I am well pleased with, but they did go out of business for a while although I understand they are now back.

Best to get some brochures and try to have a good look around before you buy and then choose one that suits what you want to do. This can avoid an expensive mistake!

FWIW I would definitely go for a geared chuck with a chuck key for tightening/opening rather than one with two levers (tommy bars). With the former you only need two hands but with the latter you could do with three hands. :roll: Also a good range of readily available accessories is important as your needs develop and, of course, accessories will generally only fit the same brand of chuck.

Suggest that a browse at the Axminster chucks/accessories in their catalogue might be a start, plus a bit of searching the brand names on the web, to give you an idea of what is available.

Good luck. Any more questions? Please ask - somebody here will have the answer or, at least, be able to point you in the right direction. :wink:

Cheers,

Trev.
 

cd

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Two days to go from some advice on bowl turning to a new lathe and chuck :D :D thats got to be a record !!

I'd agree with with whats already been said on the chucks I have the precision combination from craft supplies good value when I bought it 15 years ago and I can still get accessories but its the two lever type and you really do need three hands :D . If I were buying again it would probably be the supernova or axminsters own 4 jaw, both have a good range of accessories and I've spoken to turners who've used both and are very happy.
whatever you do buy the best you can afford or you'll be changing it soon.

cd
 

Woodythepecker

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Roohster, I am sure these other members can advise you a lot better then i can. Just to say welcome to the forum.

Regards

Woody
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks for all the useful advice and the warm welcome guys!
As soon as my finances have recovered from Christmas, I'll take a look at some of your suggestions.
Also looking into the best investment - some tuition.
 

Hans

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Roohster,

just one more thought. When there is a possibility that will upgrade your lathe in future, make sure you buy a chuck that has a threaded insert.
That way you limit the cost when your your new lathe would have a different thread.

Hans
 
A

Anonymous

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you know that bit where I said I didn't want to buy expensive chucks?
:oops:
I've ordered a Supernova which comes with 50mm jaws as standard and a set of Cole jaws...should sort me out!
The supernova has a threaded insert so I can change it over when I upgrade the lathe.
Still looking for lessons locally (Herts) but thought I may as well just get stuck in!
I'll let you know how I get on....
 

UKTony

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Roohster

Just a point did you measure by hand (ie ignore the manual) your thread on the Clarke, i had one last year which i purchased 2nd hand and it had a 12 tpi thread on it even though the manual said it was 16 tpi. I understand after talking to them on the phone that some of the older models had 3 different threads but where not always sent out with the correct manual.

I trust you got my PM on the Stevenage course, i also spoke to the AWGB and there is only only guy operating in Herts listed with availability soon maybe worth casting your net further a field for a course Peter Child in Chelmsford is a good bet at £70.00 per day

Tony
 

DaveL

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I found this link for a woodturner in north west Essex while looking for something else. :)

I know nothing about the chap just use to drive through Elsenham on the way to Stevenage everyday before they opened the new A120. :D

Might be worth getting in touch with him. :)
 
A

Anonymous

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:wink:

When you've acquired your chuck: an easy way to mount the blank is to use a saw tooth bit (same size or bigger that your chuck jaws) and bore a recess in what will be top of the bowl... complete the outside and reverse... saves a lot of S O deeing about...
 
A

Anonymous

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Thanks Oldsoke, is that the best way to go about it?

So.... I would drill, reverse the blank and use the chuck to reverse grip inside the hole...turn the outside with a spigot on the base....reverse the bowl again (gripping the outside of the spigot), turn the inside?

I also ordered a set of Cole jaws for the chuck so I can get a nice flat finish on the base....
 
A

Anonymous

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:arrow:
Hi Roohster
I prefer to turn a recess rather than a spigot... it can be made 'presentable' with a few lines (usually in pairs) with the corner of a skew/beading/parting tool... or a 3 point tool if u have one.
The whole of the process for the outside of the bowl, including finishing, can be done before reversing it on to the chuck... less time = more bowls!!
I have Cole jaws but seldom use them... too much pfaffing about changing over if u only have the one chuck. I'm down to me last five so with me it's probably just idleness!!
gb
 
A

Anonymous

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Hmm,
Id kinda like to get a completely flat bottom on the bowl...i.e. no recess.
 
A

Anonymous

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:D
Hi roohster
Everyone has their own ideas about what constitutes a good bottom... long may it be so!
 
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