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Aragorn

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I am not a very experience woodturner. I've have so far done quite small pieces such as table legs and spindles.
I have a large table leg to turn. It's 6" diameter (about 29" long), solid oak. It weighs 11kg. Well...it's large for me. And I'm scared!
Couple that with not being entirely sure how to attach this thing to the lathe and I think its about time I got some advice.
I plan on using a 6" faceplate, screwing the oak to that with 1¼" screws. At the tailstock I just have what looks like a point in a "cup". Are these things suitable? I'm never sure exactly how tightly to bring the tailstock up to the timber.
Also can you give me any advice on turning speeds? I'm not doing much more than making it cylindrical - it will have a slight curved taper.

Any advice and reassurance most welcome before I start.
Thanks

Aragorn
 

Taffy Turner

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In the absence of any replies from more experienced turners than myself, here goes:-

The method of fixing that you propose should be fine - just make sure that the screws have a good hold in the end grain - spax screws work very well for this.

As far as the center goes, I presume that you have what is called a live center (it has a bearing), as opposed to a dead center (which is just a lump of steel effectively). If you do have a live center, then wind it in until it feels tight, and is secure enough to stop any movement in the wood. (It always pays to check for tightness after about 10 mins of turning, as it sometimes slackens off). If you have a dead center, then things are slightly more tricky - wind it in (or drive it in with a mallet) until it makes a good indentation, the wind it out, apply some wax as lubrication and wind it in again until you can't wind any more - then back off by half a turn. Again, keep checking it to make sure it hasn't gone slack!

As far as speed goes, on a big lump like that, I would start off slowly (!), say about 300 rpm (or even lower if the blank is unbalanced). When you have it nicely round and running smoothly, you could probably go up to 700 - 800 rpm if your nerves will stand it!

Good luck!

Gary
 

Aragorn

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Many thanks for your help Gary.
It is a live centre that I have in the tailstock. I'll be starting this in the next day or so... just waiting for a few more replies just to be sure!!
 

blurk99

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Hi Aragorn,
I'd agree with taffy turner - one of the first things i played with on my big lathe was a 3 foot long 4 inch square oak gatepost and i used the 4 prong drive with a live centre on the tail stock end. It was fine, but it did make the shed rattle a bit whilst bringing it down to round, just remember to start it slowly (my slowest speed is 520 i think) and i didn't go over 800rpm.

jim
 

Taffy Turner

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Aragorn,

At the risk of starting a huge argument (this subject is one of the most contentious in woodturning), you may want to take the corners off on your band / table saw before starting turning.

Generally, for small stuff I don't bother, but for large pieces of hard timber, I find it quicker, and less tiring, to take the corners off, so that I am starting with an octagonal piece of timber.

It reduces the amount of teeth (and shed) rattling whilst getting it round, and also you have 4 useable (although small) bits of wood, instead of a 2' deep snowdrift of chippings.

Regards

Gary
 

Aragorn

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Thanks Gary - already done! The "waste" amounts to about 1.5m of 2x2 oak. No way am I turning that into sawdust!
 

cambournepete

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I would not use a faceplate - if it's not exactly square then when you attach the wood to the lathe the middle of the fare end won't meet the point of the live centre - and then disaster will ensue. :shock:

Pete
 

Aragorn

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Crikey! - And I am only about 30 minutes away from starting!
I have a 4-prong drive centre not unlike this.
Would that be suitable instead of the faceplate?
 

blurk99

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Hi aragorn, that's pretty much what i used for my gatepost turning, i used a fostner bit to sink a shallow recess in the centre where i was going to mount it, i did the same at the tailstock end but that was really just to get into clean 'good' wood instead of roungh sawn end grain.

have fun

jim
 

Aragorn

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Thanks again everyone.
This is on my list of things do to tomorrow now, so if you don't hear from me for a little while, I hope you'll start to worry!
Perhaps phone my SWMBO to tell her I'm lying on the workshop floor knocked out by a large lump of oak :wink:
 

Taffy Turner

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Hello, hello....

Are you still with us Aragorn, or are you nursing a broken nose and two black eyes????

How did you get on - are all your fingers :-
a) in the same place they were before you started
b) roughly the same shape as before you started - no extra joints appeared anywere?

Seriously, how did it go - any problems worth mentioning?

Regards

Gary
 

Aragorn

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Hi Gary
Thanks for your concern! I'm still here and all fine... but only coz I never got started on the turning :oops: :oops:
Bit of a slow day today, and my morning's work has only just finished.
There's always tomorrow.
I'll let you know how I get on.
 

cambournepete

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Aragorn":2fxsuh2k said:
Crikey! - And I am only about 30 minutes away from starting!
I have a 4-prong drive centre not unlike this.
Would that be suitable instead of the faceplate?
That's exactly what you need, and blurk's suggestion of drilling a shallow recess for it to sit in is a real good 'un.

As always, be careful and good luck !

Pete
 

Aragorn

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Just wanted to thank you folks again for your help. I have finished the turning now. Went quite smoothly.
At first I used a faceplate, but as Pete warned it wasn't rotating exactly square, so there was a little bit of play when offering up the cutter.
Switched to the 4-prong and it was much improved. My lathe only has three speeds - fast, very-fast, and what-would-I-use-this-speed-for?
At the slowest speed everything was wobbling about right up until near the end when it all started taking shape.
Here's the piece after a quick sanding.



It's an oak table leg that's having two turned maple discs fixed top and bottom. The oak tapers from about 6" to 4". The table itself is an unsupported walnut "kidney" shape for a shop reception - well, unsupported except fo this leg that is.
 

DaveL

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Aragorn,

Nice leg, grain is good, looks like you are working up a good finnish. :D

Bean,

I think Photobucket may be on its knees :shock: took ages to load even on broadband :?
 

Taffy Turner

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Aragorn,

I'm glad that you are in one piece, and the job looks like it went well. You certainly have a nice finish on there.

It seems that you are a better turner than you give yourself credit for!
 

Aragorn

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Thanks for your kind words - and help!
Just got back from holiday, so only just seen your replies.

I don't know what the problem with the photo was/is - it loads fine my end.
 

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