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Spindle turning problems

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edmund

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Hello everyone!

I am now up and running with my lathe and have been practising and experimenting (including cock ups :D ) with spindle turning. I'm doing a practice run for some legs I'm planning for my next project and have a bit of a problem. The spindle blank is 1 1/4" square and about 26" long. The problem I'm having is that the blank "wobbles" in the middle when I'm roughing. I lowered the tool rest a bit and slowed the speed both which seemed to help a bit. Is there anything else I can do, or what am I doing wrong?

Thanks in advance, E
 

PowerTool

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Not necessarily doing anything wrong - you can get intermediate supports for some lathes,don't know which lathe you have.
And you will always get some wobble,as it is a long,thin piece of wood :(
Have you taken the corners off on a saw first ? i.e. make it octagonal rather than square before you start roughing out.
Otherwise,just try to leave as much bulk as you can,for as long as you can.

Andrew
 

paulm

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Hi Edmund,

A couple of things to try that should help.

Make sure that you have tightened up the tailstock enough to hold the spindle securely of course, but not too tight. If you overtighten then you end up flexing the spindle slightly which then manifests as wobble when it is spinning.

Also, when taking cuts, particularly towards the centre of a longer spindle, make sure you take fine cuts and are quite gentle with it using a really sharp gouge, rather than taking heavy cuts. Heavy cuts or a blunt gouge again apply pressure against the spindle and cause it to flex away from the tool and induce wobble and spirals and all sorts of problems !

Once you have roughed off the corners you can use the fingers of the left hand (assuming you are right handed) to support the rotating spindle gently against the pressure of the tool and this helps also, but too much pressure from your fingers will hurt as they will heat up pretty quickly !

Suggest you try the above before worrying about special supports etc.

Let us know how you get on.
 
A

Anonymous

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Can be fun to make your own... roller blade wheels and mdf/ply

I've seen some plans/pix on this site and others but can't remember where :roll:
Take a look atthis

modedit: I have shortened the link to make the post easier to read (no sideways scrolling :D ) DaveL
 

SVB

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If it is still a problem then dump the gouge and pick up the skew. The cutting action is then parallel with the piece rather than perpendicular. This will help remove most of the 'bounce', esp if combined with the suggestion re use of fingers to support the work at the rear.

Simon.
 
G

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If you try to use a skew to rough out start with the chisel flat on the work and very slowly raise the handle until the chisel just starts to cut.With practice this is the best way to rough a piece but it does take practice and a bit of confidence.
 

SVB

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As jaymar says - I should have emphasized that, however, once mastered it is a really good skill to have in the box. I rarely use a roughing gouge for spindle work now as I like the fact I end up with an A1 finish on the plain cylinder to start with!

Good luck and stick with it!
 

edmund

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Thanks for all the tips. I've had a couple more practice runs and finally braved having a go at the legs for the table I'm making as my current project. I'm pleased to say that I've managed to do all six legs and get them right without having to scrap any of them :shock: I had a few close calls with the beads on two of the legs (had a catch) but fortunately avoided gashing the smooth part of the leg (whew!).

I only had slight wobble problems with one of the legs but nothing major. I've noticed that if the spindle blank is slightly off centre between the head/tail this exagerates the wobble (or is this coincidence??).

Think I'll need a practice using the skew rather than the roughing gouge (I have visions of chunks of wood and tool flying everywhere :) ).

I'll post some pics of my efforts soon. Thanks all, E
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi again Edmund

The skew is superb at what it does but involves a long steep learning curve for beginners. (well worth it!)

The roughing gouge can also be used to produce a 'planed' surface equal to the skew ...not easy to successfully describe 'how' in words , it's better that you get someone to show you if poss.

There are numerous factors that can poduce a 'wobble' ... not least, too much / too little tailstock pressure. The more you do the greater the insight that will develop enabling you to devine and overcome any probs.

Meantime there's a wealth of experience and and knowledge that you can tap into on this site... go for a spin :p
 

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