Wood Query

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santiniuk

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Hi folks,

For some weeks now I have followed this section of the forum with keen interest.

I'm a total novice at wood turning. My interest was kick started via a donation from a friend. He gave me a Clarke CWL12D lathe minus the motor. I know this isn't a great machine but I thought it would keep me busy in the garage for a few nights !

I was lucky enough to pick up a 3phase motor and inverter from our junk area at work so it's up and running and runs quite well. Full variable speed is a bonus :)

Anyway to date I have made a few items that have impressed the wife, I can feel the addiction kicking in... Dust extraction is definately next !

But tonight I tried to turn some wood that I was told was Mahogany It was in a plank so I bandsawed a couple of round cylinders to experiment with.
Unfortunately I'm finding that it appears to have a really weird structure with voids. I'm attaching pictures as its hard to explain.

The only reason its this shape is that I thought I would eventually get to a solid structure so turned it to see how deep I had to go. But after getting to a diameter of 70mm it looks like it's all the way through. So I guess I'm wasting my time.

Any tips or advice very much appreciated. I am a total novice !

Thanks

Shaun

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Bodrighy

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Hi Shaun,

What tool are you using? Whatever it is make sure it is as sharp as possible and keep the bevel of the tool rubbing under the cutting edge. I don't know if that will eliminate the 'void' problem but they look as though they are possibly caused by catches, notice how they are all angled in the same direction.
Someone with more experience than me will be along shortly and correct me if I am wrong

Pete
 

PowerTool

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I agree with Pete - looks like end-grain tear-out.Is it all the way round or just on opposite sides ?
If you can re-mount the piece safely,try a higher speed and light passes with a freshly sharpened chisel to see if it is the timber or not.

Andrew
 

TEP

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Hi Shaun.

I agree that it would help if you had a sharp chisel, with higher speed and light cuts, it should give you a better finish.

As to the "voids" you mention. Looking at the directions of them, and the dirty colour, I think they are "shakes". You often get them in kiln dried oak that has been dried too quickly, it can also be caused when felling the tree, it whips as it hits the ground and separates the fibers. It can also be caused by the tree bending in extremely high winds while growing. I would suggest that what you have is "ring shake" where it opens around the annual ring structure.

Only my opinion of course. :lol: Not a lot you can do with it other than practice.

Also as a novice turner it is not the easiest of ways to start with face plate work. Try a piece of timber with the grain running along the bed. You'll find it a lot easier to turn.
 

CHJ

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Hi Shaun, I'm with Tam on this one, it looks like shakes (internal cracks) in the wood from some form of stress as they appear to be running across the grain direction, judging by the colour of the original surface I think this has been compounded by the wood being subjected to moisture over a period of time and some decay/frost damage starting in the voids.

As the others have said, judging by the torn fibres you seem to be cutting with a very blunt tool and little or no bevel contact, I would have expected to see a partially burnished finish on the rest of the surface from the rubbing tool. At least as good as the top face surface on the lower piece for most of the circumference.
 

Bodrighy

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I have just posted a picture of a yew vase I did today with the sort of thing Chas is describing only more so. See 'Look no holes' The crack runs with the grain from the centre out and doesn't always show until after you have started turning. Can be a pain or a feature depending on your taste.
 
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Hi Shaun
Any sign of this kind of 'damage' in the remainder of the plank?

I'd be very tempted to bandsaw through the middle of the piece in the pix... it should reveal whether it is 'shakes' or whatever...

Have you had any practical help sharpening your tools? The may be someone local to you or perhaps a club where you could get some 'hands on' help.

afterthought...
it may be one of those pieces of the 'mahogany' family which is virtually impossible to get a clean cut (Can't for the life of me remember the name) but it's a bit like tryng to get a finish on cotton wool!!
 

CHJ

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Shaun, have a read of this.

http://www.exotichardwoods-africa.com/m ... frican.htm

I think it describes what you have,

Abnormal Growth Features
Some logs may have brittleheart which can cause thundershakes, or cross-breaks, or heart-breaks. The defect is reported to be more common in figured logs.

Turning
Turning and other woodworking operations such as mortising, boring, and sanding are all reported to be satisfactory, except in woolly material.
 

santiniuk

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Hi all,

Firstly many thanks for all the replies. I certainly didnt expect so much help ! Certainly a friendly forum.

I forgot to mention that my interest are wide and varied, some things I stick with and other things slip by me... So rather than jump in at the deep end I purchased a cheapo set of chisels of ebay... Oh no I hear the cries :)

Well be assured turning is something I really will be sticking too so a decent set of chisels is next on my list.

I guess by the time I had posted the 1st set of pics the chisels certainly needed a good sharpen, I'm using the methods I have read on the net and I do notice a huge difference when they are sharp. But being cheap thats not very long .....

So all my learning is browsing for hours but I still no very little. I will investigate any clubs in the area.

But..... I guess I missed the obvious and as Oldsoke suggested I cut a few slices in the piece I had posted images of. Right down to the centre line..... I think the attached images show my problem better than I could explain :(

Since speaking to the person that gave me this 'rare' well stored piece of wood I have found out that it spent months in the back garden, probably over winter and then put in a shed to dry out and store safe :roll:

I have learnt some valuable lessons.

Again thanks, I admire all of your works and hope to be posting images I'm proud of... One day.....

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Cheers
 

PowerTool

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Well,it proves Tam and Chas were correct - you had no chance before you started :(
But at least your bandsaw cuts like it is nice and sharp :wink:

Andrew
 

duncanh

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Shaun

If you don't mind a bit of a drive the Northumberland turning club are having a demo by Gary Rance this Saturday.
It's at the Keenleysides shop in Bedlington Station (about 20 minutes north of Newcastle). It's free to attend. Can't remember the exact start time but it's around 9.30 I think. It should finish around 5.

Duncan
 

santiniuk

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Andrew, I guess it was all practise... Surprising how you miss the obvious sometimes. (I thought it was the method I was using)

Duncan, I'm afraid the kids are at a skating competition this weekend. Guess who's Taxi and general skivvy :roll:

On a promising note I spent half an hour or so tonight with a local guy who has been turning for over 20 years. It was great to see him in action.

I was introduced to a 'screw chuck' and it certainly worked well. Then he moved onto a chuck.

So I'm really keen now to get a half decent set of chisels. Any comments on the Dakota brand in the Rutlands book or the Henry Taylor and Crown set in Axminster ?

I'm suffering with Tennis elbow at the moment so having to take it easy on the practise :(

Thanks.
 

sean.brock

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hey shaun, shame you cant make it this weekend. Incidentally neither can i, again, im at a wedding in scotland.

Duncan, are you going this weekend, if so can you send apologies from me. I was in keenleysides yesterday looking at the lathes for sale on the borad, but the cheapest one had sold, unfortunately.

anyway i'll be at the next one for sure, and by then i'll hopefull yhave a lathe (albeit probably a small one). My next step while waiting for a lathe to come up is to get some chisels (i was also tempted by some cheaper ones, but will avoid them now) and somethign to shapren with
 

NickWelford

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I've seen Gary Rance demonstrating several times at the club to which I used to belong - he really is worth going out of the way to see.
 

santiniuk

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Well the addiction continues :)

I was going to order a chuck at the weekend and a better set of chisels.

As usual I never got round to it.

Tonight I received an email to say a sale at Rutlands was on.

So I got the :-

XT700 Precision Scroll Chuck Kit was £99.95 reduced to £69.95

Dakota 6 Piece Turning Tool Set - American Walnut was £69.95 reduced to £49.95

Quite a saving overall !

Cheers
 

Paul.J

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Well done Santinuk.No stopping you now :D
I got the email too.There are some good savings there.
I was looking at all the pen equipment.Which seems to be next on the list.
It's never ending :shock:
Paul.J.
 

Bodrighy

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What are Dakota gouges like? They are rather cheap compared to other makes. If they are good value then it would be worth picking up a couple.

Pete
 

santiniuk

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Pete,

I'm at the stage where I probably wouldn't know a good guage from a bad one :)

One thing for sure they have to better than my £9.99 set from ebay for 8 tools !

I'm hoping they are good enough to at least last the learning stages and the abuse I will give them learning how to sharpen them.

Thanks
 

Bodrighy

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I started turning with some cheap ones that I was given, carbon steel. The roughing gouge bent to a right angle when I had a bad dig in. Still managed to turn some things I was pleased with. Makes the job a bit harder (need sharpening a lot) but better than nothing

Pete
 
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