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"Whipping" effect when turning

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Pipster

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i have just taken up woodturning again after about 7 years break.. I play the drums and would very much like to make my own drumsticks... I have been successfull so far but I get this annoying whipping / vibrating effect from the job once I have turned the spindle down to the right thickness.. the girth , (in relation to the length) is quite thin so the spinning force of the lathe creates an effect like a skipping rope so the whole thing wobbles when i put even the slightest pressure on the middle sections of the "stick".. any suggestions on how to remedy this.??. I have found that higher speeds help a little but it really is VERY noisy when this happens ! and a real danger of the job splintering off in my face... i have even thought of fabricating some kind of "roller" system that keeps the job in line and give me something to kind of push against.. any comments ?
 

nev

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check out this months (the one thats out already) 'woodturning' magazine, the one with richard on the front, there is an article in there concerning just this problem and making steadies to sort it out.
 

loz

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Slow down ( to reduce centrifugal effect ) ,
ease up on the tailstock pressure ( to stop the pressures bowing the piece ) ,
and support the work with your fingers behind. ( search here for photos by Richard Findley turning walking sticks )

You shouldn't need a "roller system" - a "steady" , for drumsticks.
 

Spindle

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Hi

I agree with Loz above with the exception of slowing the speed - I would suggest varying the speed to get away from the harmonic freequency.
I actually cup the work with my non tool holding palm and control the tool between fingers and thumb.

Regards Mick
 

jumps

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if it's only a response to the pressure of the tool then the simple answer is to minimise that pressure!

however, I do feel for you as I have been struggling with some 900mm/10mm pieces recently, to the extent that a pair of roller blades are about to be converted to a steady centre - when I get time.

all the other advise is relevant - but there's only so much it can assist.
 

Richard Findley

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Hi

I think mostly the guys have got it covered. In my experience a lower speed is better, you'll need to experiment for your application, you need the balence between running smoothly, running fast enough to get a good finish and running slow enough not to burn your supporting hand!! For my walking canes that falls between about 750 and 1200 rpm, getting faster for finishing cuts.

Don't put pressure on the work, if you apply pressure anywhere do it tool to toolrest not tool to wood. Just let the wood come to a sharp tool.

To avoid to much between centres pressure, hold it in a chuck and just apply enough tail pressure to hold it, don't crank it up cos this will deflect the centre.

Use your front hand as support, whether this is just your finger tips or your palm and/or heel of your front hand. If you are not comfortable doing this then use a steady, no shame in it!

Also, pick straight grained timber, anything "interesting" will just be hard work!!

HTH

Richard
 

Bodrighy

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I have just completed this for one of my daughters, something she wanted for a wall decoration for her new house. The button is 25cm diameter, not sure exactly how long the needle is but it is approx 4mm dia and about 100cm long. It was done at 400rpm and using a skew with my fingers supporting it from behind. All the advice given is good and this shows that drumsticks should be no problem.



Pete
 

jumps

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now that's showing off Pete.... :)

very nicely done
 

Pipster

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Thanks for all your advice.. I have ajusted the speed and tried supporting by hand and , while not Perfect the results are much better and easier to work with...
I think part of my problem is that i am using old table legs to make the drumsticks from (I think that would be beech?) when in fact i really need Hickory. drumsticks are always made from hickory as this doesnt flex ( drumsticks need to be rigid like a hammer handle to withstand impact) anyone know where i can get hold of Hickory spindle blanks long enough for this kind of project? so far I have only found pen size blanks and short batons and i need minimum 18" x 1" x 1"
 

Silverbirch

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anyone know where i can get hold of Hickory spindle blanks long enough for this kind of project?
How about axe/pickaxe handles? They`re often made of hickory, I believe (although I`m not sure how you would tell for sure) and one decent sized handle could be cut on a bandsaw to yield several suitable blanks.

Ian
 

nev

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a lot of hammer shafts/ handles whatever you want to call 'em are made from ash which is a lot easier to get hold of. dont know what the acoustic properties are like though?
 

bosshogg

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You could try "Dickery Dock" for your hickory...sorry that was terrible. Old wooden shafted golf clubs were made of hickory just about the size/thickness you require, just make sure they are not of a rare value in the golfing fraternal, could be worth a few bob, I don't know could just be another hobby looming there...bosshogg :wink:
 

chipmunk

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Hi Pipster,
This may be a useful document for you... http://www.conradfp.com/pdfs/ch4-Mechanical-Properties-of-Wood.pdf

It's from the USA but it does include data for US native and imported timbers as well as hickory.

You may be able to find some exotics which have similar or better properties than hickory in the stiffness area since hickory isn't a very usual import because it's so boring ;-)

One thing I imagine is that for drumsticks you probably need riven or very straight grained stock to ensure there is little or no short grain.

HTH
Jon
 

AndyT

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One extra little snippet - I saw a 'How it's made' programme recently about drumsticks (also available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nJ4aHOrwW8 )which showed how, after a mechanised turning process which you'd think would produce consistent results, it's still necessary to pick out pairs of sticks which weigh the same and are acoustically matched as well. But please don't let that put you off making some!
 

TobyB

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I haven't seen anything of the like for real ... but if the wood is flexing in relation to it's spin, and perhaps enhanced by it's compression ... can it be put under tension? A second chuck on the tailstock spinning on neutral bearings, under tension from the (more usually-used tailstock compression screw) in distraction? Is anyone doing this? Does anyone have the kit sorted? Seems better mechanically than the centre-steadies for medium-sized pieces ... some one-piece snooker/pool cue's or similarly long-thin work might need a centre=steady as well?
 

flh801978

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I was in craft supplies in bradwell this morning and they had some hickory planks in stock
about 4" x 1.5" x 48 if I remember well
That would make a lot of drumsticks

Ian
 

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