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Thread: How to finish the foot on an uneven natural edge bowl?

  1. #1

    How to finish the foot on an uneven natural edge bowl?

    Guys, I'm working on a natural edge burl that is quite uneven. I typically use a donut chuck to mount my bowls at the end and finish the footing, but due to the very irregular rim that's not working out too well this time. I suspect I'm going to come across this problem more and more as I continue with natural edge projects. What solutions are there for dealing with this situation? I basically need something that can hold the bowl securely in the headstock while completely exposing the bottom so I can clean up a recess or spigot.

    Thanks again!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_2426s.jpg  

  2. #2
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    Hey Dawson...could you post a pic of the bottom? Vaughn is the chuck master on these IMHO...but I'd go with a long cup on a chuck to fit the inside, a piece of shelf liner or sandpaper for some traction and have at it with low speed and tiny cuts.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  3. #3
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    I use a jam chuck mounted in my chuck. I turn the end to match the bottom of the bowl with some rubber drawer liner you can get from Wally World on the end for friction and to keep it from marring the bowl bottom. I put the bowl up against it and bring up the tailstock to finish the bottom. I finish the bottom until I have the nub as thin as I dare. I remove the bowl and carve off the nub and sand with a 2" disk in my drill press and then apply the finish. Works great.
    Bernie W.

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    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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    Bernie pretty much described how I do similar pieces. I use whatever is handy for a friction chuck*, then finish cutting the foot, except for a little nub. Ill work that down as small as I dare (which is usually all the way through, these days), then finish sanding the bottom with the piece off the lathe. I will also sometimes use plastic stretch wrap to provide a little extra insurance to keep the bowl in place.

    Here are a few pics from a bowl where I did that. The bottom of this bowl is completely rounded, so there's no foot, but the technique is the same.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    And just for grins, here's how it all came out...

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    * A friction chuck (by my definition, anyway) is just about anything that the workpiece can fit into or over. It won't hold the piece without help from the tailstock, but it provides friction to turn the piece while finishing off the last few bottom cuts. More often than not, I find a roughed-out bowl that is a bit smaller than the bowls I'm working on. I'll mount the roughed-out bowl in my scroll chuck, true up the rim, the put the other bowl over it (face to face) and bring up the tailstock to hold it in place. I also use a similar idea when finishing the bottom of a hollow form, although in that case I'll find a bowl that the hollow form fits inside of.
    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
    Thanks guys, great replies. Vaughn, what type of spur do you use in your tailstock to hold it? It is a single point, three prong, or some type of screw?

    Is the goal for the bowl to not move at all (friction chuck spins with the bowl), while the tailstock side spins freely?

    Also, is there any strategy to make sure you have the bowl centered and aligned correctly? I found that you pretty much just had to do it by hand and sight?

    And finally, your bowl looks great Vaughn. Out of curiosity, how did you do the graduated coloring (red to yellow) on the outside?

  6. #6
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    Having seen Vaughn's (same thing I use since he taught me) it's a 60 deg center...you are able to trim right up to the very point of the center. I use the same live center for pens and bases.
    Last edited by Jim Burr; 05-13-2011 at 06:25 PM.
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  7. #7
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    I think he uses the same livecenter I do and that would be a oneway which is this one.

    http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/st...v_center?Args=

    They are extremely nice livecenters.
    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.

  8. #8
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    Bernie's almost right...I've got a Oneway live center, but in these particular photos I was using the one that came with my Powermatic, which is essentially a clone of the Oneway. (BTW Jim, I don't cut to the point itself, but stop at the cup surrounding the point. Also, I think the point is sharper than the 60 degree centers for pen turners.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Dawson
    Is the goal for the bowl to not move at all (friction chuck spins with the bowl), while the tailstock side spins freely?
    I'm not sure I understand your question. The friction chuck is held by the regular chuck, then the bowl you're working on is pressed up against the friction chuck, with moderate pressure supplied by the tailstock to keep it in place. When the lathe is turned on, it all moves, but it moves together.

    To answer your alignment question, when I make the tenon (when I first start turning the blank), I'm using the tailstock to hold the blank. The live center in the tailstock leaves a mark in the tenon where the point was poked into the blank. Later, when it's time to finish the bottom of the bowl, I use that little mark as a center reference when I do the friction chuck thing.

    And thanks for the compliments on the bowl I showed. The shaded coloring was done with tinted clear finish applied with a mini HVLP spray gun. I've done similar things on smaller pieces with an airbrush.
    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

  9. #9
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    "Bernie's almost right...I've got a Oneway live center, but in these particular photos I was using the one that came with my Powermatic, which is essentially a clone of the Oneway. (BTW Jim, I don't cut to the point itself, but stop at the cup surrounding the point. Also, I think the point is sharper than the 60 degree centers for pen turners.)"

    That's right...we were using mine and I had the 60 with me. I have one with the small cone surrounding the point...would it be better than the 60...more stable maybe?
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Burr View Post
    ...That's right...we were using mine and I had the 60 with me. I have one with the small cone surrounding the point...would it be better than the 60...more stable maybe?
    I like the cone (or cup) style because it prevents you from driving the live center in too deep, which can cause the nub to split once it gets whittled down. You want the tailstock pressure to be firm, but not so hard that it breaks the nub. The cup helps distribute those forces over a larger area, reducing the chance of something going south.
    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

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