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CHJ

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Consider me a total novice at wood turning, variable speed lathe, centres,(revolving/hollow tail) faceplate, and basic Supa Nova chuck,

Can make tool handles and a few knobs and get on OK with external forming. Having difficulty mastering hollowing bowls etc. (only practiced with wood from garden tree felling so far, soft pine/fir and a few bits of harder cotoneaster, beech etc. and still prone to digs. Am due for some one to one tuition offered by gifted amateur soon but I think he wants to see how I tackle these pieces to give him some measure of potential.

Have been presented with these two logs, Laburnum and Yew, both long term stored, hard enough to give my plane a hard time trying to clean up end grain. (rule is 150mm, didn't notice scale not showing until posted)

Laburnum has some small radial cracks apparent in core wood (not from centre), Yew has larger radial crack one end going about 50-60 mm into log as far as I can tell.

Any advice on how to tackle making something without producing just a pile of shavings.
Thoughts so far are:

One big item such as vase from each,
Cut into discs and produce shallow dishes,
Cut in half lengthwise and make small bowls,

I would like to make the most of colour contrasts.
 

Taffy Turner

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CHJ,

Those are two very nice looking pieces of timber.

The Yew would make a very nice natural edge vase / deep bowl, although would be difficult to hollow, especially now it is dry. I would have thought that a specialist deep hollowing tool would be essential for that, although I stand to be corrected. Definitely not a job for a novice though, although I suppose given adequate supervison by an experienced turner, it would be possible. Has your friend got a deep hollowing tool that he would be prepared to lend you, and supervise you while you use it?

As for the Laburnum, I personally would cut it a flat surface on the top parallel to the one on the bottom, giving you a board about 4" or 5" deep, which you can then cut up into bowl blanks. The piece you cut off the top could be used to make some shallow bowls or platters. They would show a very nice contrast between the heart and sap woods, because you would be cutting them at a fairly shallow angle, if you see what I mean? :?

Obviously these are just suggestions, and I am sure that others will have other suggestions.

Alternatively, you can send both to me, and I will ensure that they are put to good use! :D

Whatever you decide to do with them, I wish you well, and hope that they come out as you plan.

Regards

Gary
 

jasonB

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I would avoid cutting them into discs, you will find it easier to turn if cut into slabs so that the grain runs at right angles to the lathe center line.

What tool are you using to hollow your efforts with :?: , a good quality bowl gouge will be the most useful.

You could take the pieces with you to work on when you go for your lessons, that way you will get guidance on how to make the most from them.

Jason
 

CHJ

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Taffy Turner":9owyygaq said:
As for the Laburnum, I personally would cut it a flat surface on the top parallel to the one on the bottom, giving you a board about 4" or 5" deep, which you can then cut up into bowl blanks. The piece you cut off the top could be used to make some shallow bowls or platters. They would show a very nice contrast between the heart and sap woods, because you would be cutting them at a fairly shallow angle, if you see what I mean? :?
Thanks, placed in the options column for consideration.

Taffy Turner":9owyygaq said:
Alternatively, you can send both to me, and I will ensure that they are put to good use! :D
I'm not that green Gary:)

jasonb":9owyygaq said:
I would avoid cutting them into discs, you will find it easier to turn if cut into slabs so that the grain runs at right angles to the lathe center line.

What tool are you using to hollow your efforts with , a good quality bowl gouge will be the most useful.
Thanks, had realised the disc idea did not fly well with my practices so far, Have one reasonable HSS bowl gouge and large 3/4" scraper, hoping friend will enlighten me where/what I am doing wrong.

jasonb":9owyygaq said:
You could take the pieces with you to work on when you go for your lessons, that way you will get guidance on how to make the most from them. Jason
May have to do just that but he is one for turning maximum size from a given piece so do not know how he would take my mutilation of stock. Although he does cut up larger pieces and reassembles stems bowls etc. rather than waste wood in turnings.

He does not live locally to me but in the South Wales valleys and it came as a complete surprise to me when he offered me the use of his lathe and guidance whilst I was discussing the timber in his workshop. It will be an all day job for each visit and I am very concious of the generosity of his offer.
 

Argee

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Chas,

I winced a bit when I read your question - well, not so much the question itself, but your proposed options.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but attempting a vase as a first project is - in my opinion - not a good idea. Hollowing dry wood takes quite a bit of effort, requires robust specialist tools (and ideally a specialist tool rest) to achieve safely and is not only prone to error but extremely nasty if it goes wrong.

I favour the bowl blank option as a reasonable place to start. Shaping the outside of the bowl will give you an idea of the sharpness of your tools and if you get a dig-in, it won't be too bad (just keep the trailing edge clear of the wood at all times).

Hollowing out gives you many chances to practise technique and - providing you've got a reasonably strong gouge, shouldn't prove difficult. Getting the internal shape will prove to be more challenging, especially achieving a nice rounded dish shape, but equally as difficult is getting the bottom smooth and ridge-free.

A shallow bowl gives ample opportunity to practise all of these techniques which, once achieved, could be a confidence-builder for tackling hollowing out.

Not trying in any way to be a kill-joy here, simply asking you to think carefully about putting one foot in front of the other before trying a sprint. If you're as keen as I was when I started turning, I know that this isn't what you wanted to hear, but it's offered honestly and in the hope of getting you safely into what will most likely become a really absorbing interest.

Ray.
 
A

Anonymous

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Hi Chas
some sage advice in the other contributions

couple or three or more things to add:
every cut is a learning cut :idea:

Check the local library for any books on turning, it'll help you build a knowledge base :!:

do what YOU think is best with any timbers you have... u can't please all the people all the time so don't bother trying :p

When it comes to cuts, take the lightest possible cut.... and watch the result... make minor adjustments to angle/presentation until you achieve a sweet catch free cut... as argee says try it on a simple bowl... it'll help you build a practical knowledge base

Feel free to mail me (e-mail is out at the moment pending host transfer but you could always pm me) if you have any Qs ... I don't have all the As but one or two that might help. A bit of self indulgence here... I'd love to have a crack at cyber tuition!! :wink:

Final bit... find a local club and tap into a wealth of expertise tempered with the know it all twits... u'll soon suss the difference...
 

CHJ

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Argee":140gnwo5 said:
Chas,

I winced a bit when I read your question - well, not so much the question itself, but your proposed options.

Please don't take this the wrong way, but attempting a vase as a first project is - in my opinion - not a good idea. Hollowing dry wood takes quite a bit of effort, requires robust specialist tools (and ideally a specialist tool rest) to achieve safely and is not only prone to error but extremely nasty if it goes wrong.

I favour the bowl blank option as a reasonable place to start. Shaping the outside of the bowl will give you an idea of the sharpness of your tools and if you get a dig-in, it won't be too bad (just keep the trailing edge clear of the wood at all times).

Hollowing out gives you many chances to practise technique and - providing you've got a reasonably strong gouge, shouldn't prove difficult. Getting the internal shape will prove to be more challenging, especially achieving a nice rounded dish shape, but equally as difficult is getting the bottom smooth and ridge-free.

A shallow bowl gives ample opportunity to practise all of these techniques which, once achieved, could be a confidence-builder for tackling hollowing out.

Not trying in any way to be a kill-joy here, simply asking you to think carefully about putting one foot in front of the other before trying a sprint. If you're as keen as I was when I started turning, I know that this isn't what you wanted to hear, but it's offered honestly and in the hope of getting you safely into what will most likely become a really absorbing interest.

Ray.
Thanks Ray I certainly was very reluctant to try any form of deep hollowing, having watched others at demos do it and comparing it to my struggles to do the same with much shallower subjects and giving it further thought as I awaited comments I had already come to the conclusion that these two pieces would best be sectioned for shallow bowls or dishes, now trying to determine how best to to it and retain as much of the colour contrasts as possible (and get up enough energy to saw them by hand)
 

CHJ

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oldsoke":1o4uvr6f said:
...snip...Feel free to mail me ..snip... if you have any Qs ... I don't have all the As but one or two that might help. A bit of self indulgence here... I'd love to have a crack at cyber tuition!!
Thanks Graham Will take you up on that with pics of problem if I am unsure or stuck

oldsoke":1o4uvr6f said:
...Final bit... find a local club and tap into a wealth of expertise tempered with the know it all twits... u'll soon suss the difference...
Would love to do so but like all retired persons I hardly manage to get a free hour to myself let alone join a club(note the time of this post) If I can manage to combine some trips for a couple of days at a time to the valleys and include a day with the guy in the valleys with with some countryside walking and retail therapy with the boss I think it will be the nearest compromise.
 

Rosco

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Hi Oldsoke,
sorry to barge in on this thread but I have been reading these posts with interest as I am a total newbie to turning and I was thinking I might get a few good tips. I have tried your suggestion of going to my local woodturning club for advice and it was a complete waste of time. I found a group of middle aged men who I tried to talk to but because I was in my wheelchair found it very difficult to reply to me they nearly all ignored me and talked to the wife as if I wasn't there. I was only trying to get advice on what type of lathe I should get as a beginner, now you have to understand I am 51 married and we only get my pension to live on and to fund all our hobbies so I was looking at spending about £500-£600 on a lathe. So I started to ask the gentlemen for advice every single one of them advised either a hegner or myford lathe yet when asked what lathe they had used to turn the articles that they had on display over 50% who would give an answer said that they had used record lathes and the majority of work that was on display was fabulous.
The point I am trying very badly to get across is if you have got a friend who is good and willing to help follow his advice or better still do a two or three day course with a professional and while you are there pick the instructors brain's I have found most are quiet happy to have a good old natter with you while you are having a cuppa and sarnies and do not be bullied into doing something you are not happy with or into spending more than you can afford. I know hegner lathes are about the best you can get but I couldn't justify the cost just to learn on one.
Again sorry for having a rant on this thread and rambling on.

All the best,

Rosco ( Chris ).


oldsoke":35zr35tn said:
Hi Chas
some sage advice in the other contributions

couple or three or more things to add:
every cut is a learning cut :idea:

Check the local library for any books on turning, it'll help you build a knowledge base :!:

do what YOU think is best with any timbers you have... u can't please all the people all the time so don't bother trying :p

When it comes to cuts, take the lightest possible cut.... and watch the result... make minor adjustments to angle/presentation until you achieve a sweet catch free cut... as argee says try it on a simple bowl... it'll help you build a practical knowledge base

Feel free to mail me (e-mail is out at the moment pending host transfer but you could always pm me) if you have any Qs ... I don't have all the As but one or two that might help. A bit of self indulgence here... I'd love to have a crack at cyber tuition!! :wink:

Final bit... find a local club and tap into a wealth of expertise tempered with the know it all twits... u'll soon suss the difference...
 
A

Anonymous

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Chris... I did mention the wealth of expertise... tempered by know-it-all twits...
seems u've been unfortunate to meet the latter :roll:

better still do a two or three day course with a professional
As a tutor (and registered professional turner) all I can say is thanks for the plug :D

I'll send a pm so that we can chew the fat without bunging up the forum :wink:
 
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