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I know that for spindle turning and the outside of bowls the lathe needs to turn so that the work passes the tool post in a downward direction but why are lathes not designed to turn the opposite way for the inside of bowls etc. I know some three phase machines do have the capability to reverse but I have never seen reverse turning advocated. It seems to me that working where one can see the tool cutting edge would be a big advantage.
 

ctb

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Could be something to do with the thread direction on your chuck, turning a bowl in the opposite direction would / could undo the chuck and your bowl would become a missile.
 

trevtheturner

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Hi jaymar,

Exactly as CTB says. However some lathes, including my Hegner HDB200XL, do have the reverse facility. This can be useful if used carefully to assist with sanding of e.g. a difficult piece of end grain. It can also be safely used on a workpiece held between MT mounted centres. I don't find any difficulty in seeing the cut when turning the inside of a bowl, particularly when using the swivelling headstock facility. As far as I can see ( pardon the pun) the cut only becomes not visible, and will always be thus, when hollow turning through an orifice in the end of the workpiece, e.g. when turning an urn or vase.

Cheers,

Trev.
 
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Thanks guys, I knew there must be a reason, I just couldn't think of it.
 

Hans

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When there is a lot of tear-out and nothing else helps I sometimes put the lathe in reverse and cut on the "wrong" side.
With my lathe, a Wivamac, it is possible to secure the chuck by a pair of setscrews. As far as I know just a few lathes have this provision. I would strongly advise against reverse turning or sanding without fixing chuck or faceplate in some way.

Hans
 

Duiker

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I turn the inside of bowls regularly by reversing the drive on my Myford. Its easier and no more difficult to turn this way round than conventionaly. My chucks are also held by large grub screws.
Failing this my head can be turned 90 degrees to the bed. This also makes life easier to "get inside" pieces.
 

La Truciolara

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Reverse turning is sometimes quite useful, bur I must say that despite the fact all my Vicmarcs lathes have reverse turning capabilities (they even have the thread done in the other direction therefore you do not need to fix the chuck with the available bolts) I rarely use facility.
Some of my beginner student, left handed like it… Though I always recommend to learn how to turn with both hands, that is certainly the best way to proceed.

Now, should one look at the tip of the gouge? I know many do, but if you realy want to see what you are doing you have a much better view on the opposite side of the piece of wood. Try it, and retry, you will see how easy turning becomes when you see better what you are doing. :wink:
 
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