Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Walnut bowl questions

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

    Walnut bowl questions

    Ok, this is the first piece of Walnut (or any wood for that matter) that I have tried to turn. This piece started out with a good size check to begin with but I mounted it anyway to gain some practice. The turning has been more difficult than expected. I'm not sure if it is my inexperience or dull tools or both. Sometimes instead of "curlies" I'm just getting dust. Sometimes the shavings are VERY hot. There have been a few times when the "curlies" have come off very smooth and I can even feel them as if they are wet or at least they are not hot. I've tried out about every different tool I own to get a feel for each of them. I would like to go ahead and try to salvage something of this piece even though it is checked real bad.
    Another question....when turning green wood.....after roughing out the bowl...as I have done here....would you remove it from the lathe and re coat it with anchoreseal and wrap it up until it is dry? Is that the process? I have noticed that this piece has checked alot more since being mounted on the lathe than when I started it about a week ago. Does this mean that when turning green wood I need to get it all roughed out at one time and then sealed up? I've kept this mounted on the lathe for the last week and worked on it in my spare time so it has been exposed to open air all week. I'm not looking to turn this into a museum piece...just something to learn on.

    Any input would be great!

    Tom
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 04 resized.jpg   05 resized.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Posts
    8,529
    Tom,
    I don 't turn much wet wood, stuff dry's pretty quick here in the desert. Turn it to almost final thickness say 1/2" of where you want it to be. Some soak the green stuff in Denatured Alchol over night other will soak it in dish soap and water. Then place it in a brown paper sack and let it dry out for a few weeks.
    In turning anything, sharp tools are your best friend. You want them sharp enough to shave with. Speed is a good ally. Turn it as fast as you dare. I'm sure ither will chime in with suggestions.
    Good luck and welcome to the abyss.
    "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
    May 2009
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Posts
    2,380
    I posted this in the wrong place. It should have been in the "lathe project" section. If a MOD could move it for me please.

    Thanks,
    Tom

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,020
    Got it moved for you, Tom.

    From the sounds of things, your tools are dull. If you're getting hot chips and dust from wet wood, they're dull. How are you sharpening them?

    When most of us turn wet wood, we try to get it rough-turned in a single session. As you've seen, if you leave it overnight on the lathe, the wood can start checking. Most folks rough turn the piece, then either seal it back up (especially the end grain sections) or otherwise do something to slow down the drying process (like putting it in a paper grocery bag or wrapping in newspaper).

    I'd highly recommend Bill Grumbine's "Turned Bowls Made Easy" DVD. There's a wealth of info in the video for bowl turners, both new and old. It'd help answer your questions now, and probably some other questions you haven't even thought of yet.
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Posts
    2,380
    Yes, I did buy and watch (twice) Bills DVD. I'm still learning and some things I will simply have to learn "hands on". I have read about roughing to shape then resealing. I just was unsure it it all had to be done the same day.
    I do not have a sharpening system yet so I'm just free hand sharping on a smooth wheel grinder. I now know that if I'm going to start a project I need to allow myself more time to work the wood then get it properly sealed.

    Thanks,
    Tom

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,448
    Rough turning a modest size bowl with sharp tools should be a job measured in minutes, not weeks. Or better, how many bowls can you complete in an evening?

    When I was doing a demo, someone asked if a bowl gouge might need sharpening after "only a couple months." For a small bowl, I do it every bowl; for a large bowl, many times per bowl. (For a small bowl I sharpen near the end so I have a very sharp tool for a smooth finish; then I continue to use it to rough out the next bowl, etc.) A jig to hold the gouge makes sharpening MUCH easier - I don't have a cheap solution, but I can sharpen my bowl gouge in about 30-45 seconds with a jig.

    If you are turning green wood, use the anchorseal on the end grain (inside and outside of two sides of the bowl, since it will want to dry faster from the end than from the side grain - that will minimize the warping and checking.
    Charlie Plesums, Austin Texas
    (Retired early to become a custom furnituremaker)
    Lots of my free advice at www.solowoodworker.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Des Moines, IA
    Posts
    854
    Can't go wrong with this info. Sharp tools are a must so you need to learn to sharpen things as one of the firsts. I am speaking from experience here as I did not learn as soon as I should have.

Similar Threads

  1. Walnut Bowl
    By Jeff Bower in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 08-22-2015, 01:50 PM
  2. Working on live-edge walnut, have some questions
    By Mike Frencel in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 09-23-2013, 11:29 PM
  3. Walnut Bowl
    By Jeff Bower in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 05-06-2012, 12:13 PM
  4. Walnut Bowl
    By Jeff Bower in forum Lathe Project Showcase
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-11-2009, 12:45 PM
  5. Bowl Blank Questions
    By Bill Grumbine in forum General Woodturning Q&A
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 12-31-2006, 05:12 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •