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Thread: I bow to you bowl turning gods!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Lafayette, Indiana
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    2,380

    I bow to you bowl turning gods!

    So tonight was my first attempt at a bowl. I have watched many videos, read many threads on how to do it, bought myself a larger lathe, bought a chuck, got it all set up, cut some bowl blanks, mounted it tonight and started turning. Wow...this is not as easy as it looks. I have much admiration for those of you on here that turn out such great looking projects. I have so many questions now that I don't know where to begin.
    1: The first thing I noticed was the amount of shavings produced. Pen making was not like this. Also I don't mind getting dirty but I never imagined getting completely covered with shavings. I have it in my hair, down my back, shirt was tucked in so now it's down my pants as well, in every pocket and shoes. Do you all wear something?
    2: If blank is mounted on a faceplate...do I need to use the tail stock?
    3: Once I had the bottom of the bowl to shape I added a tenon and then removed the faceplate and reversed the bowl and mounted it in my new chuck. I also removed the tail stock at that time and worked on the inside of the bowl. I used several tools to gouge out the inside of the bowl but none of then seemed to be real comfortable. Wanted to catch all the time. I found the smallest gouge to work the best.
    4: Now that I have the inside turned to how I want...how do I get rid of the tenon? I have seen the adjustable plates that hold the outside rim of the top of the bowl.....I don't have that....do I have to have one of those too?
    This bowl blank had several cracks in it to start out so it isn't anything that I plan on saving. It was just my first practice piece. The wood is apple.
    Any tips would be great. It didn't feel comfortable at all. I felt like it could catch at any moment and go flying across the room. I tried to keep my tool rest close all the time but....Am I even on the right track?

    Tom
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Resize 01.jpg   Resize Wizard-05.jpg   Resize Wizard-07.jpg   Resize Wizard-11.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
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    Hey Tom, That is actualy very good for a first bowl. As for the tenion I used to use a parting tool and just turn is off. Kinda fun and if you stay out of the way you can make your bowl into a frizzbee... Now I don't bother with turning off the tenion. I just take the bowl over to the band saw and cut it off. Interms of catching the tools. I make sure my gouges etc are real sharp and I turn at as high a speed as I can stand. If the bowl is very big I keep the tails stock ingaged as long as it is not in the way.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    11,825
    You need make not apologies, well done.
    Only 'but'...but I would have knocked off those corners with a bandsaw before starting the spinner and using gouges.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lufkin Texas
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    105
    You are doing fine, just enjoy.
    1. Lots of shavings - very normal, I fill up the contractor clean up bags pretty fast. My neighbor's horses get the shavings for bedding.

    2. Most of time you should not need the tail-stock when using a faceplate but it does not hurt anything while you are roughing the outside. A little extra security can not be a bad thing.

    3. Cutting the inside is definitely more challanging than the outside. Try to take small cuts until you get the hang of the tools. It may seem counter-intuitive but turning faster is easier (as long as the lathe is not shaking).

    4. I use a chunk of wood mounted on a faceplate for reverse chucking. This chunk is just slightly rounded on the end. The bowl goes over this chunk (with a thin cushion, mouse pad works) and the tail stock holds it in place. Friction transmitts the turning force. This method works with almost any shape bowl and does not require any expensive tools.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Looks good for a first, Tom. Mine was a lot worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baugues View Post
    ...
    1: ...Do you all wear something?
    Naked turning. It's not only to impress the neighbors. It's comfy, too.

    Yep, lots more shavings than a pen. It's not unusual for me to fill one of these weekly:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baugues View Post
    2: If blank is mounted on a faceplate...do I need to use the tail stock?
    As Dennis said, it's not vital, but it does add a bit of security and relieves a bit if the stress on the lathe spindle and bearings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baugues View Post
    3: Once I had the bottom of the bowl to shape I added a tenon and then removed the faceplate and reversed the bowl and mounted it in my new chuck. I also removed the tail stock at that time and worked on the inside of the bowl. I used several tools to gouge out the inside of the bowl but none of then seemed to be real comfortable. Wanted to catch all the time. I found the smallest gouge to work the best.
    Bowl gouges take some time to get comfortable with. (Just ask Frank.) Speed helps, but it's largely a matter of practice and sharp tools. For me, once I figured out that you don't just stick the gouge in there at 90º to the wood, things got quite a bit easier. If you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend Bill Grumbine's "Turned Bowls Made Easy" video.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baugues View Post
    4: Now that I have the inside turned to how I want...how do I get rid of the tenon? I have seen the adjustable plates that hold the outside rim of the top of the bowl.....I don't have that....do I have to have one of those too?
    This article by Larry Hancock has some pictures starting on page 5 that illustrate the method Dennis suggested. (I don't necessarily agree with all of his methods -- like reversing the direction of the lathe for finishing cuts on the rim -- but his "friction chuck" (a.k.a. jam chuck) method is pretty straightforward.)

    Another fairly simple and inexpensive method for reversing bowls is the donut chuck. Here's an article by Art Liestman that shows how to make and use one.

    I gotta respectfully disagree with Don on the bandsaw approach for removing the tenon. Unless you have a good jig for holding the bowl, it's a potentially dangerous cut, and in the end, the bottom looks like it was just sawed off. I don't do anything fancy, but I like the bottom to be a bit concave and look a bit more finished.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baugues View Post
    Any tips would be great. It didn't feel comfortable at all. I felt like it could catch at any moment and go flying across the room. I tried to keep my tool rest close all the time but....Am I even on the right track?
    You're on the right track. I think we all had some of that same uncomfortable feeling at the beginning. As I mentioned under item #3, practice will be the biggest help. Over time, my bowl gouges have become second nature to me. Last night I roughed out a couple large oak bowls, and was kind of disappointed that I was getting the insides hollowed out so quickly. I was having too much fun shooting curlies halfway across the shop.
    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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baugues View Post
    You already gotten answers from others, but will add my little tidbit of knowldege also..
    1: The first thing I noticed was the amount of shavings produced. Pen making was not like this. Also I don't mind getting dirty but I never imagined getting completely covered with shavings. I have it in my hair, down my back, shirt was tucked in so now it's down my pants as well, in every pocket and shoes. Do you all wear something?
    My shop is covered with wood shaving they fly in ALL directions... as for wearing something.. I wear a long sleeve turning smock from Lee Veritas ... not for the shavings down the clothes so much, but I'm a little sensitive to some woods so the smock is for protection from that.

    2: If blank is mounted on a faceplate...do I need to use the tail stock?
    I leave the tail stock up as long as I can, even with the face plate, but when I cut the tenon or sometimes I like to cut an recessed tenon (wrong terminology, but can't think of right word right now) I back the tailstock away or remove it from the ways completely.
    3: Once I had the bottom of the bowl to shape I added a tenon and then removed the faceplate and reversed the bowl and mounted it in my new chuck. I also removed the tail stock at that time and worked on the inside of the bowl. I used several tools to gouge out the inside of the bowl but none of then seemed to be real comfortable. Wanted to catch all the time. I found the smallest gouge to work the best. I use a bowl gouge to hollow most of my bowls, but on occasion I have used a round nose scraper and one of Don Pencils scraper tools.
    4: Now that I have the inside turned to how I want...how do I get rid of the tenon? I have seen the adjustable plates that hold the outside rim of the top of the bowl.....I don't have that....do I have to have one of those too?You've had some advice on removing the tenon...I have the Cole Jaws.. also have built a donut chuck and a longworth so not a problem for me... but if you do a recessed tenon (again wrong terminology... you know..)... you can reverse chuck the bowl in the recessed tenon (you know) then nothing to be removed.


    Any tips would be great. It didn't feel comfortable at all. I felt like it could catch at any moment and go flying across the room. I tried to keep my tool rest close all the time but....Am I even on the right track? One tip here, when you start inside the bowl, turn your tool rest into the bowl, the end of it just past the center of the bowl... you'll be cutting across the inside of the bowl with the shortest possible reach over the tool rest.

    Tom
    BTW, that's a really nice first time bowl.
    Chuck
    Tellico Plains, TN
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/TellicoTurnings
    My parents taught me to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder to find any.
    If you go looking for trouble, it will usually find you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
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    Great looking first bowl. I would finish it, date and sign it. Then a year from now compare it to what you are doing then. I use a faceplate with screws right into the bowl blank with the tailstock up. When I return a bowl after it dries I have the tailstock mark to center it by. I use a donut chuck for now but have a vacuum chuck ready to setup. I turn the tenon off the bottom and make the bottom slightly concave so it sets nicely.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: That’s when you return from work one day
    and say, “Hi, Honey, I’m home – forever.”

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

  8. #8
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    May 2009
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    Thanks guys for the advice. I turned nearly all of this using just my spindle gouges...because thats all I have. I will need to look into getting a bowl gouge. I have seen 1/2" bowl gouges on e-bay for under $20.00 and wondered if it would be ok as my first bowl gouge. All of my projects will be from about 4-10 inches. I will also take a good look at that donut chuck. It seems like cutting it off with the lathe would be what I want to do as I too think that a concave bottom makes sense.

    Finish it? Never even crossed my mind. I really thought of this as only practice. At one point I wasn't even sure it would be bowl shaped. However now that I have looked at it some more...maybe I will. I only hope that a year from now I'm much better at it.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Baugues; 06-30-2009 at 08:24 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Baugues View Post
    Thanks guys for the advice. I turned nearly all of this using just my spindle gouges...because thats all I have...
    Ah, there's the vast majority of the problem. (But don't feel too alone...I suspect lots of us have done the same thing.) Spindle gouges typically don't have the right profile for the inside of a bowl. More importantly, they aren't designed to be strong enough to withstand the forces a bowl can put on them during a catch. It's not too hard to break a spindle gouge with a bowl blank, and when it happens, it can be ugly.
    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
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
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    4,944
    Hi,

    I am right there with you. I have turned one bowl. It was not on my lathe. I didn't have the lathe yet.

    Got the lathe. However, Vicmark chuck on back order.

    Played chicken and did the $80 set of HF turning tools. Figured I could do some learning with them without worrying about messing up a ($80 for a single tool) tool.

    Oh yes, I did sign and date my first, and only bowl. I still have the first lost wax gold ring I made, the first high-fire slab ceramic piece, and the first pot I threw. I'm sure there are some other firsts that I'm not thinking of...Oh yes my first oil painting and my first, prize winning, photograph. That's me...the typical jack of all trades and master of none.

    I liked your bowl.

    Enjoy,

    Jim
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.
    VOTING MEMBER

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