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Thread: just a hello and a little background

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    just south of the LA/MS border off of I-55
    Posts
    445

    just a hello and a little background

    My name is of course Hu as my handle states. I have a few toys for woodworking but have always spent more time with metals and plastics, a bit of time on a cue lathe too which is closer to a metal lathe than a wood lathe. My brother and I bought out a two car garage size woodworking shop about six months ago and we got a bunch of DVD's with the purchase. That is where the trouble started. I moved to the middle of nowhere, just me, a TV, and those DVD's to watch over and over. One had a section on green wood turning. Somehow it seemed the thing to do so I rooted around in the back corners of my storage and unearthed this old lathe. A bit frustrating, I can't find any of the four or five sets of turning tools or the nice individual tools I have bought at one time or another. Had the itch to make chips and PMI is only about thirty miles from me. I scored a bowl gouge to go with the cheap parting tool, the only thing I found in storage, and fired up the lathe.

    Zero experience using chisels and gouges so I started cautiously. I turned a couple of six inch sections of 1.125x1.50 dark mystery wood from a friend's attic sorta round. Sure was easier when I was just watching it on the video!

    With all this experience behind me I was ready to turn a natural wood bowl and I had some natural wood, four or five year old cedar I had saved for another project. It is only six or eight inches around so I decide for this practice turning I would ignore the pith and just turn. Got the wood mounted sideways between centers and went to power whittling. A given the bark was gone but I was hanging on to the modest wings on the piece and it soon looked something like a vessel. Out of daylight, I went inside. My "shop" is the back porch at the moment. The next morning I scraped a little on the outside and saw the wood had held it's shape well. Still took a good bit of wood off the bottom to carve away a spot where old wood was showing. That'll matter later.

    I have a live center, a drive center, and a face plate. I have at least one wood lathe chuck with multiple jaws, AWOL too. However I am turning this shape for experience and I want to hollow some. Something else that is much easier watching than doing! I do get things going a bit but about thirty minutes into hollowing I get a catch. A bit confused, I was watching the corners of my straight cut gouge, not a fingernail cut yet, and didn't see what caught. I went back in several times trying to figure what I was doing wrong. The big wing is history and this is no longer a natural edge vessel but still a fair sized salad bowl can be had. Another thirty minutes and both wings are damaged, looking more like this may be a cereal bowl. I think I am just trying to work too big of a tool in too small of an area and the square cut gouge ain't helping any, it is about 5/8" or a little bigger US measurement, 1/2" English. Finally have my little dessert bowl hollowed out and as a plus the holes left by the pith are gone.

    I have a little bit of wobble to the bowl for some reason, not too bad. I also have an uglier curve where bowl wall meets bowl bottom than what I had last night. Things are pretty thick down there, I should be able to sneak a nicer curve onto there. A few more minutes work and I discovered why they call it a blow up instead of a less dramatic sounding term. Things weren't going badly when it happened and I didn't catch. Heat? Vibration? Offending the turning gods? I don't know but all of a sudden my little dessert bowl is in five or six pieces. None hit me or damaged anything else so all I have done is get a lot of firsts out of the way. I retrieved some hopefully spalted oak later this evening and am going to try to figure how to split and cut it tomorrow to make a decent bowl or two after watching a few more video's. I'm thinking start with more bowl and less hollow vessel next time.

    All my posts won't be quite this long, this one included my entire woodturning career!

    Hu

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,020

    just a hello and a little background

    Welcome aboard, Hu! And welcome to woodturning. By now, you likely understand why they call it The Vortex. You have also seen now why the vast majority of us wear face protection. There are two types of turners: Those who have been hit in the face and those who have not...yet. Always better to be wearing protection when it happens.

    I would recommend sweeping back the wings of your bowl gouge. It makes things easier and also gives you more options for different types of cuts. And it's probably been mentioned in the videos you've watched, but sharp tools are essential. I highly recommend getting a sharpening jig like the Wolverine system made by Oneway. A jig makes sharpening much easier and more consistent.

    Lastly, the saying "you have to walk before you can run" holds true in woodturning. Natural edge bowls and hollow forms are both pretty tricky projects. They are good goals, but very challenging for a beginner. I'd suggest working up to them instead of starting with them.

    I think you're the first member with a pool cue lathe. We have several avid pool players here, including me. Feel free to share photos of it and stories about using it.

    Again, welcome, and fire away with any questions you might have.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    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

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    just south of the LA/MS border off of I-55
    Posts
    445
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Welcome aboard, Hu! And welcome to woodturning. By now, you likely understand why they call it The Vortex. You have also seen now why the vast majority of us wear face protection. There are two types of turners: Those who have been hit in the face and those who have not...yet. Always better to be wearing protection when it happens.

    I would recommend sweeping back the wings of your bowl gouge. It makes things easier and also gives you more options for different types of cuts. And it's probably been mentioned in the videos you've watched, but sharp tools are essential. I highly recommend getting a sharpening jig like the Wolverine system made by Oneway. A jig makes sharpening much easier and more consistent.

    Lastly, the saying "you have to walk before you can run" holds true in woodturning. Natural edge bowls and hollow forms are both pretty tricky projects. They are good goals, but very challenging for a beginner. I'd suggest working up to them instead of starting with them.

    I think you're the first member with a pool cue lathe. We have several avid pool players here, including me. Feel free to share photos of it and stories about using it.

    Again, welcome, and fire away with any questions you might have.




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    Thanks for the Welcome!

    Running before I learned to walk is why I still have so many scars. I am moderately safe around rotating equipment as indicated by still having the issue number of fingers, toes, and eyes, but I was misbehaving today. I did have the decently rated bubble type safety glasses on, bi-focals. I have a face shield buried somewhere seventy miles away that was used in a woodworking shop, not sure of the quality but as a beard wearer for all of my adult life I hope to purchase one of the helmet, face shield, air filter, assemblies. Past experience tells me that nothing but fresh air is effective with a heavy full beard.

    I'm short on pictures right now although I do have a few of the lathe. Where can I store them online? My real tale of woe started with Isaac. My brother and I had bought out a two bay woodworking shop the week before and fortunately hadn't had time to move it when we lost much of our tools in our shop and I lost the battery charger to my DSLR camera. Hoping the lens and camera are still good, unfortunately the charger was laying on the floor when we flooded after 23 years of no problems. When we finally moved the shop we had purchased four of us were loading and much of what I know was in the shop can't be found now. Household goods were placed in front of shop stuff and old and new repackaged and combined in containers so a 12x20 bay with lots of shelves and bins needs to be totally gone through which means dragging it all out into the hall of the storage facility. Much of a three bedroom home and three workshops went into that bay. Can you say jammed floor to ceiling? Frustrating to know I have things and can't find them. I'm pretty sure I saw a Wolverine system in the shop we bought, didn't know what it was so I don't know if we got it. Trying to get set up to meet and look through things we left behind but things have been kinda hectic. I moved sixty miles away and the house I lived in was just bulldozed yesterday. Got to move my stick built storage shed from there, got to move my cue shop building from another place. Fortunately the cue shop was up the road high and dry.

    The cue lathe is or was a Hightower Cuesmith Deluxe. Lots of extras. I wasn't happy with it so I built a base for it using over a sheet of 3/4" MDF and two large pieces of cold roll flat stock. I also modified it so it can be trued, something that isn't practical with the original design. It still is quick and easy to use, far more accurate, not as portable! If somebody buys it they will get the original base too and can use either set up. It isn't for sale or trade at the moment but may be in a few months if I like natural wood turning once I get my feet wet. A little NC mill too, maybe 25"x39"?

    I am retired with time to spend turning wood once all these storm related headaches are out of the way. If I like it I will almost certainly be looking to sell or trade off cue building equipment and supplies to buy and upgrade the woodturning stuff. Of course I could make some most beautimus finials on that cue lathe and the NC router is a carving and inlaying machine.

    I plan to sweep the wings back on the gouge but thought I would wait until after the second Saturday of next month. I do have multiple benchgrinders I can find, one a fairly nice tool grinder, but I'm hoping to see what sharpening systems I have and attend a Bayou Woodturners meeting before I cut on it. They are the local AAW chapter and they seem to be a pretty large and active group. The meet the second Saturday of each month.

    A few more larger tools than I need at the moment shipped towards me from Colorado today, gifts from a friend. Somewhere there is a container too. I remember a set of shearing chisels, several sets of standard chisels, and I once had two sets myself. I remember a chatter tool and I think a carbide insert type roughing tool, some of the loose tools were almost certainly bowl gouges too. I cleverly put most of this stuff in one plastic container for efficiency. That way instead of losing things one at a time I was able to lose them all at once!

    Right now my sharpening choices are a file, I think the chisel is harder, a 4.5" side grinder, or some little diamond stones. I have been carefully using the diamond stones being careful to maintain the original bevel for now.

    Hu

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
    Posts
    15,808
    Welcome to the Family Hu!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amherst, New Hampshire
    Posts
    10,604
    Welcome Hu !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    DSM, IA
    Posts
    5,719
    Welcome to the Family Hu!
    A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone. -Henry David Thoreau
    My Website


  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,464
    Welcome aboard Hu!
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Yorktown, Virginia
    Posts
    5,022
    Welcome Hu. Glad you found us. Sorry Isaac was so mean to you and hope you get things straightened out soon.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    S E Washington State
    Posts
    3,777
    Glad you joined up and in. Hope you post pictures of your work soon.
    "We the People ......"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Thomasville, GA
    Posts
    6,000
    Welcome to the Family, Hu!
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
    NRA Life Member and Member of Mensa
    My Weather Underground station

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