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Chris152

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If you were going to buy one, which would you go for and why? Thinking about getting one for my RS lathe.
Thanks, Chris
 

Duncan A

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Here are a couple of - quite old - links discussing the options:
http://greenleafwoodstudio.com/2012/02/ ... g-systems/
http://www.aawforum.org/vbforum/showthr ... ng-Systems
The Woodcut Bowlsaver is now available in two sizes, sold by Axminster. Seventhdevil on the AWGB forum has used both sizes, I believe.
I have the McNaughton but have only used it a couple of times so can't really comment on it's capabilities other than to say that the key to getting the most from it is to learn the methods to control its path within the wood - don't just wing it!
Duncan
 

Chris152

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Thanks Duncan - I was thinking McNaughton vs easier (but more limited form) to use system. I'll check out those links.
Cheers, C
 

Duncan A

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Ah, that's what comes of rushing things. Looks like both sites have had a clearout or disappeared altogether.
Here's a synopsis of the Greenleaf Wood Studio link.
MODS - please remove this post if there are copyright issues here.
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I guess it is time to put my thoughts and observations about the various available bowl coring systems on (virtual) paper.
There are 3 regularly available bowl coring systems, the Bowlsaver by WoodCut, the Easy-Core system by Oneway and the Centre-Saver system by McNaughton. I have used all 3 three of these and have made a view observations and developed some opinions. I’m going to list the pros and cons of each. Ready? Let’s go!
The first of these systems I used was the McNaughton. The reason I went with it was because I could buy it locally at Lee Valley Tools and it is not too expensive ($330). The biggest plus of this rig is the variety of core shapes you can take. It is very flexible. The other nice features about it are that it breaks down for easy storage and the cutting tip is really durable. The downside is the learning curve is very steep. I worked with it for a few months, studied both of the instructional dvd’s (from two different woodturners who I respect very much) and I was never happy with the results I was getting. I was wasn’t able to make the best use of the wood I had. The biggest thing against the McNaughton for me was FEAR. I dreaded using it and never got comfortable. I cannot recommend a tool that scares me, that I stopped using for safety reasons and that I returned.
Thankfully, I was able to pick up a used Bowl Saver by WoodCut off one of the internet forums. I was in bowl-coring heaven. The pluses of the WoodCut are many… It is really simple to set up and very safe to use. The knives enable the user to form nicely shaped cores and the cutting tip is really tough. It also costs under $300 making it the least expensive of the 3 systems. The downside of the WoodCut is it is a pain in the butt to store unless you take it apart and with it, you are limited to taking about a 10″ core. This is adequate for a lot of woodturners but I really wanted to go bigger so when I had an opportunity to pick up a used Oneway Easy-Core system, I jumped at it.
The Oneway Easy-Core system is easy to use and built like a tank. The knives have a great curve and produce very nice cores. The support fingers mean the knives are fully supported making for a very stable, solid tool with minimal vibration. Also, you can take cores up to around 17″ if your lathe is big enough. I see two downsides to this system. #1 is the cost. The base unit sells for about $200 and each knife/support cost between $150 and $200 depending on the size (there are 4 sizes each doing bowls approx 37mm bigger or smaller than the nominal knife size). The largest drawback of the Oneway system is the cutter. I think it is a piece of garbage. Oh, it does a nice job but it is made of terrible steel. Seriously, it needs to be sharpened after every 1 or 2 cores (depending on the size). Sharpening the cutter is easy enough but still… The frustrating this about this is that there are so many great tool steels available these days that, to me, this is an easy fix for Oneway. I hope they do it.
Here is the bottom line… I cannot recommend the McNaughton rig. It scares me worse than any tool I have ever used. The Oneway does a great job but its price makes it prohibit for a lot of folks and the cutter is garbage (replacements are around $35). That leaves the WoodCut. If I could have taken larger cores with the WoodCut, I would still be using it today. I know the company is working on a new, larger version of the Bowl Saver and when it is released, I will take a serious look at it to replace my Oneway system (unless Oneway comes up with a better cutter). In my opinion, the Woodcut Bowl Saver is the best bowl coring system available, especially if your lathe swings 16″ or less. This flies in the face of what a lot of “experts” say. That’s fine. I would rather know what works for me, in my shop.
 

Duncan A

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MODS - as previous post, please remove this there are copyright issues.
Here's the meat of the other link
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There are 3 bowl coring systems out there, the McNaughton, the Oneway, and the Woodcut. I have all 3 and prefer the McNaughton.

The Oneway is the most expensive. It is on a pivoting center, and the big blade I think is an 8 inch radius. Plus side, it is the most stable for coring big bowls. Down side, it sets up on a plate, which involves a wrench, not the banjo. There is a support finger that goes under the coring blade, which you have to advance for about every 2 inches deep you go. This means turning off the lathe, advance the finger, which involves a wrench, then turning the lathe back on again. Also, you have to remove the tip to sharpen it (you can buy a jig, or just hold it up to the grinder).

The Woodcut is a nice little unit, emphasis on little. The big blade is a 5 inch radius, so, you can core a 12 inch bowl fairly easily. It mounts in the banjo, and you move the tailstock up to the back end, and it attaches there as well. It is on a pivoting center and easy to use. Changing the blades out isn't too bad, but not simple as you have to move both blades. It will chatter a bit on dense woods like locust or osage.

The McNaughton is the only system that is free handed as in you do the aiming. You also have to keep it on track as it does tend to drift to the outside of the cut as you core, which can make it bind up in the cut, and you have to learn how to correct if it drifts off a bit. It has the widest selection of blade shapes, from a straight parting tool to a flat curve blade which is about a 20 or so inch radius. This blade is good for coring shallow platter type forms, or deeper vessel forms, which the other systems can't do. You can probably get by with only the standard set of blades. I use the medium curved blade for about 90% of the cores I take. Randy Privet of Monster tools makes an excellent laser pointer that will go on the McNaughton, and Kelton makes one as well. This really lets you know if you are off course, and need to correct your aim. McNaughton does make a micro set of blades, which are the only coring tools made specifically for the mini lathes. The McNaughton is by far the fastest and most efficient to use, but it does have a learning curve. Mike Mahoney has a DVD, and I do as well. He cores rough turned bowls and returns them later, I turn green to final thickness, and let my bowls dry and warp. Slightly different styles.

All of the coring tools cut as scrapers, and with the exception of the McNaughton micro set, the cutters are about 3/8 inch wide. So, if you can take a 3/8 or 1/2 inch scraper and take a full width shaving, you can core.... But... 1 hp motors are considered kind of minimal, 1.5 hp is better, and 2 hp 220 volt or more is best. Do core on slow speed range, and for first attempts, use some green wood that you don't really care about. Fruit woods have great texture/grain for easy coring, not too hard, not too soft. You don't want black locust for your first efforts.

I just did a 'Saw Dust' session for the Willamette Valley Woodturners in Salem, OR, with the bowl coring systems. The most interest was in the McNaughton, and the Woodcut.

I figure I get about 1 core per 1 1/2 inches thickness of wood. You can take that one last little bowl, but unless the wood is special as in very expensive, and/or sentimental, it isn't worth the effort.

If you sell, it is a necessary tool, you do save time and money. Or you may just need another excuse to buy another tool for the shop.
 

Chris152

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Very helpful, Duncan. I saw a McNaughton go for £220 last night on ebay, glad I didn't buy it having read the above and having seen a video about how it's used - from what Ive now read/ seen, it's good if you want to hone the skills and use it lots, but my plan's more occasional use when I have some nicer wood that I don't want to waste. Occasional use for me means that new prices are too steep, so I'll be looking out for the Woodcut (and they now do the larger size, too) or Oneway used - could be a long wait, I know.
Many thanks, Chris.
 

Mark Hancock

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Chris

The system I use is the Slicer which was originally part of the Stewart System and is now sold by Sorby. It's basically a parting tool style tool and used freehand so without any pivot point you can core any size you like. There was one for sale recently from Paul Hannaby's sale of Ray Key's tools which will be on the AWGB forum site.
 

Chris152

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Thanks Mark - is that tool fairly easy to get the hang of? I'm assuming you do a straight cut removing a cone rather than a curve like the others, is that right?
 

Mark Hancock

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Chris152":1ytqtsx6 said:
Thanks Mark - is that tool fairly easy to get the hang of? I'm assuming you do a straight cut removing a cone rather than a curve like the others, is that right?
Yes you're right in that it's more of a cone that comes out. I've never had a problem with the tool. Just used like a parting tool making relief cuts the deeper you go. I use it with the arm brace handle.
 

BertD

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Several years ago I bought the Mcnaughton system and was intimidated with it until I watched Mike Mahoney do a demo with it. It was an "ahha" moment when he said don't force the tool, actually be ready hold it back. The most important part was setup and entry, after that just let the wood come to the tool and let the pins and curve guide the route. I have since got the mini and micro cutters in addition to the standard cutters. I love it because it is so versatile I now core out even the smaller wood pieces down to 4". Keep it sharp with a card hone and take your time.
 

Chris152

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Well, I think I just bought the one they had in stock in Cardiff, for collection - but it didn't take my money, just reserved it. So hopefully it'll be at the reduced price. Really appreciate the heads up, Duncan!
Chris

edit - oops. reading the blurb and reviews, it turns out the minimum power requirement is 1hp, which my lathe is (I thought it was 1.5) but I'm afraid that might be over-loading it with anything like frequent use, especially when it starts getting bogged down - and if I limit it to occasional use, it's hardly worth the cost. Maybe it was a good thing they didn't take the money - back to wading through piles of shavings til I upgrade the lathe, I guess.
 
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