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Thread: Highly Figured Bowls - Your Technique

  1. #1
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    Feb 2008
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    Highly Figured Bowls - Your Technique

    So, I second turned a highly figured hard maple bowl today. I found the extreme grain movement to be more challenging then previous curly wood I have turned. With many super light passes I was able to cut through it cleanly. But it brought this question to mind: How do you make it through really tough grain?

    Hutch

  2. #2
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    bethel springs TN, but was born and raised in north east PA
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    Matt as i'm still a rookie i only know what i do not the right way.What i do is get it close then use my #4 hunter to finish it off with very light cuts.
    Steve

  3. #3
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    Matt what I use is a #3 or #4 hunter tool or most times after watching Mike Mahoney at two of his demo's I use a P & N 3/8" or 1/2" bowl gouge with a conventional grind. That's what he called it. It is ground kinda like a roughing gouge on a wolverine jig. I now use a Tormek to sharpen and hone. Then make some super smooth cuts. Most times using those two different tools I can start sanding at 150 or 180 grit.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  4. #4
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    The only advice I can offer Matt is two fold: 1) sharpen the crap out of your tools and then sharpen them again and 2) technique. It doesn't matter if your tools are sharp as razors, if ya ain't doin' it right...it won't work. Or, you could be Dale Nish with a dull screwdriver for a chisel and get nuthin' for your effort because your tools suck. Based on what I've seen of your past work, your doing just fine
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  5. #5
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    I use a bowl gouge ground like Bernie says, I like the 3/8" size, that takes care of it most of the time. When I really get stuck I pull out my Eli Avisera bowl finishing scraper, and that thing will more often than not save my bacon, but my last shaved knuckle in the hole is a flap sanding wheel/disc on my 4" grinder

    I know, I know, but sometimes, it just works
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Ablett View Post
    I use a bowl gouge ground like Bernie says, I like the 3/8" size, that takes care of it most of the time. When I really get stuck I pull out my Eli Avisera bowl finishing scraper, and that thing will more often than not save my bacon, but my last shaved knuckle in the hole is a flap sanding wheel/disc on my 4" grinder

    I know, I know, but sometimes, it just works

    As Bill Grumbine always says get out the 80 grit gouge.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  7. #7
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    Grand Rapids, MI
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    Ah yes....the 80 grit gouge

    Gotta love modern abrasives!

    I have never had the pleasure of using a Hunter, or similar, tool. But right now my 3/8 Kryo Henry Taylor bowl gouge is doing quite a nice job. I haven't used scrapers for my bowls, though I own one, but I may start using it on my non-fancy bowls (especially once I put the negative rake on it).

    Hutch

  8. #8
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    Westphalia, Michigan
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    Hey Matt, How's it goin. I use a custom scraper made with a cobalt enhanced HHS lathe cut off blank. The size is 1/8 x 1/2 x 4 " long. It is fitted into a heavy steel handle about 30" long. It tames that crazy wood as well as end grain. The mass of the handle helps.

  9. #9
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    Hutch, usually what I can't clean up with a scraper on fancy woods I can finish pretty easily with the abrasives. I intend to try the conventional grind on a bowl gouge and see how that works for me, but with a big heavy scraper I can get some real angel breath wisps of wood coming off the blade. I agree with Paul that the mass makes a world of difference.

    BTW, if you like the Kyro Henry Taylor tools, you'd love Doug Thompson's gouges. The time between sharpenings is incomparable.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Doug Thompson Tools

    Yeah, I wouldn't use a scraper for figured woods. But I have been wanting to get Doug Thompson tools for a long time now. My current tools have plenty of life in them, so I am trying to excercise self control, especially since there are so many other things that I want to get for my shop! Although, I am at the nub of my large bowl gouge. Hmm......

    Hutch

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