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Thread: What's your success rate?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    St. Joseph, MO

    What's your success rate?

    Just curious (average-type turners) what is your success rate on the lathe? In other words, how many objects get thrown, busted, or otherwise made not good enough to show off, compared to the number of beautiful pieces you turn?

    You guys who do the fantastic work aren't necessarily excluded from this question!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    I'm unable to do large pieces because my lowest speed is too fast. So, limiting my work to small stuff cuts down on the throws. An occasional item blows up, call it under 5%.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    That really depends, I just about always get my bowls done, I've gotten fairly proficent at them (I did NOT say "Good") but when I try new stuff, well a lot of that becomes interestingly shaped garbage

    Sorry, I do not really have a number for you.

    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    s. Barrington,IL.


    Don't have a percentage but in the last few months have completed about twelve bowls had 2 fly.With more practice and remembering to concentrate and not get the tip of the gouge in in a upright position .Things work out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Northville, MI
    I put my success rate at aabout 75%. Now by success I am refering to an object that doesn't get destroyed past usability. Many/most of my successful pieces are less than perfect, that's why I don't post many projects.

  6. #6
    Sandy, I can't give you a number but over the past 12 months my "throws" or "throw-aways" have decreased dramatically.

    I started turning February a year ago. EVERYTHING was a "trash" item. By last November I was selling bottlestoppers. My latest was my first HF and I had people offering to buy it. Still, though, once in a while you chuck up a piece of wood and the tenon breaks while you are turning it. My bowls haven't had as much success rate. My main types of free wood I use for bowls are fruitwoods and it's difficult to keep them from cracking during the drying process. I have managed to save most of them by using epoxy and crushed instant coffee crystals to fill the cracks. I've tried the DNA method for drying wood on the fruitwood and still have the same problems. I've been told by very experienced turners that IF I come up with a way to successfully dry fruit wood, I could becme a millionaire!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    33.8736N, 117.7627W
    My output lately breaks down about like this:

    10% "throw-away": stuff that breaks or is too ugly to see the light of day.
    25% "learning experience": stuff that will probably get tossed eventually as I get better and/or run out of storage space.
    30% "ok, I guess": stuff I don't mind giving to friends/relatives who have seen enough of my pieces to know it's not my best work.
    25% "good": good enough to sell or give away to people who might be judging all my work by that one piece.
    10% "keepers": stuff good enough for my personal collection.

    The "keepers" and "throw-away" percentages are fairly constant, but the ratio between "good" and "ok, I guess" goes up as I get better and down as I discover new forms/techniques.

    The low throw-away rate is biased by the fact that almost everything I do is with dry wood. On the one hand, it's more difficult (physically harder) to work with...on the other hand, it's easier to work with because I'm not dealing with a lot of movement/drying/cracking issues.

    (Just a question of low standards, I guess. )
    Last edited by Lee DeRaud; 03-24-2007 at 03:23 PM.
    Where are we going? And what am I doing in this handbasket?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    North Ogden, Utah
    Coincidently I decided to go browsing the woodturning websites for some inspiration because yesterday afternoon I had one of those days...100% destruction. My success rate seems to correspond with the amount of time I get to spend at the lathe. I've been working 60-70 hours a week the last few weeks so when I get at the lathe I tend to hurry and that usually means I destroy things.

  9. #9
    I haven't blasted , screwed up, distroyed a single item on the lathe in the past 3-4 months.... (oh wait, I haven't used the lathe in 3-4 months, Bummer!!! my failure rate is great but my success rate sucks... )

    When I plan ahead for my projects, I usually result in success, when I just chuck up a chunk and "Let the piece tell me what to do" I usually result in some failure but often I recover to some sort of "Art Form" piece. However there are several Art Forms in the Kindling box.

  10. #10
    Sandy, this was a great question. I have just started in the world of turning and my one and only piece was a success, but I too was wondering what kind of turning success was the average. With every new thing you learn there's always a learning curve along with some luck. I know I'll have a hard time when I start turning and I have this great piece of wood and its coming along and then suddenly something happens to it, but hoepfully I'll learn from it and get better each time. Good luck!!!

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