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Thread: Parting is such sweet sorrow...

  1. #1
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    Red face Parting is such sweet sorrow...

    Today I turned a 3" pepper or salt shaker in the end of a 15" piece of Butternut. Everything went marvellously until I went to part it off. I had mismeasured the depth of the hole for the salt container, and cut into it with the parting tool, with dramatic effect. The shaker bounced off my shoulder and disappeared, and the long part of the workpiece scurried under the frame of the lathe and hid in a corner. The shaker itself cracked and a chunk came off the base, and it fell, appropriately, into my firewood box.

    Now, I know the mistake I made with the measurement, and I won't do it again. I've parted off a number of things in my short turning life, but I'm wondering with a piece like this, which has a long straight span beneath the piece, couldn't I just take it off the lathe when I am finished shaping the end piece, put it into my table saw and cut it off at right angles? This is what I did to remove the stub from the long part, and it is perfectly at right angles. It would have saved me a lot of trouble if I did, and I would actually have a salt/pepper shaker to show off to my friends and adoring relatives.

    Parting definitely makes me nervous, although I do it with an appearance of professionalism and insouciance. When I part things with my Benjamin's Best parting tool, it cuts nicely through the piece, but usually leaves me with a nub that I have to trim off. Is this normal?

    OH, BTW, my sharpening must be OK, because I am definitely getting shavings from my tools, and not dust.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Tulk View Post
    ...and it fell, appropriately, into my firewood box...
    Sorry to laugh at the pain of others, but that's funny stuff right there.

    As for cutting a round piece (a cylinder) on a table saw, it can be done, but the workpiece should be held firmly to the miter gauge - clamped preferably. There is a real risk of the piece rotating when it meets the blade, and if that happens, things can get dangerous quickly. It's also important to control the off-cut. Since it'll be round, there's a risk of it rolling into the blade and becoming a missile. Personally, I'd stick with the parting tool.

    Parting has always been tricky for me on a piece that's held between centers on a lathe. When the one piece becomes two, I don't enough hands to catch both pieces and hold the parting tool. For that reason, I don't part anything off with the parting tool unless one end of the workpiece is held in a chuck. If I'm running between centers, I'll use the parting tool down to about the last 1/4 or so, then stop the lathe and use a flexible flush-cut saw to finish the cut. Here's the one I use:

    http://www.amazon.com/Shark-10-2204-...ords=shark+saw

    (And don't forget to loosen the tailstock pressure a bit before starting the saw cut. It helps keep the blade from binding as you cut.)
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    ....Parting has always been tricky for me on a piece that's held between centers on a lathe. When the one piece becomes two, I don't enough hands to catch both pieces and hold the parting tool. For that reason, I don't part anything off with the parting tool unless one end of the workpiece is held in a chuck. If I'm running between centers, I'll use the parting tool down to about the last 1/4 or so, then stop the lathe and use a flexible flush-cut saw to finish the cut. Here's the one I use:
    http://www.amazon.com/Shark-10-2204-...ords=shark+saw
    (And don't forget to loosen the tailstock pressure a bit before starting the saw cut. It helps keep the blade from binding as you cut.)
    Ditto on how Vaughn does it. Also don't forget that pepper mills have that nice hole in the center which you can slide on an appropriately sized mandrel to fix mistakes or finish/sand the top after you part it off. I prefer the band saw for trimming these small pieces, with the caution to feed slowly and hold the piece firmly against the miter gauge so it doesn't spin. Less dangerous than the table saw.
    Last edited by Ted Calver; 08-04-2014 at 04:00 AM.

  4. #4
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    All part of the ABC's of turning...

    Section 24, article 13, paragraph 5 of my personal copy of 'Using the Parting tool'...
    A> assume, B> beware, C> caution, D-&-E> DEparting for take-off .........
    The perception of perfection is perfectly clear to everyone else

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Cook View Post
    All part of the ABC's of turning...

    Section 24, article 13, paragraph 5 of my personal copy of 'Using the Parting tool'...
    A> assume, B> beware, C> caution, D-&-E> DEparting for take-off .........
    The thing broke off again!
    Last edited by Charles Hans; 08-04-2014 at 11:11 PM.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  6. #6
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    Slip a peice of white PVC sewer pipe over it to use as a catchers mit maybe??
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott R Smith View Post
    Slip a peice of white PVC sewer pipe over it to use as a catchers mit maybe??
    So now instead of having two loose pieces when the cut goes through, he'll have three.

    As I mentioned earlier, the easy solution is to use a chuck (and a tailstock) instead of turning between centers. That way you only have to catch one piece, and it's possible to have a free hand available to do it.
    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

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    So now instead of having two loose pieces when the cut goes through, he'll have three.

    As I mentioned earlier, the easy solution is to use a chuck (and a tailstock) instead of turning between centers. That way you only have to catch one piece, and it's possible to have a free hand available to do it.
    Yep, agreed...
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  9. #9
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    It can be. Pic's would be appropriate...and stuff like speed, angle, diameter...unless you were looking for something else???
    Your Respiratory Therapist wears Combat boots

  10. #10
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    I didn't get that he was turning between centers, but like Vaughn, when I turn peppermills, I'll turn the blanks round between centers, but always add a small tenon for a chuck... I usually mark the lengths of the mill and will use the parting tool to divide the blank into the two pieces, then I use a chuck to drill the blank.... after I've drilled the mill, I switch the body to a couple of jam chucks that I made specifically for pepper mills... the top piece gets put back on a spigot chuck to turn the ball I use on the top of my mills.
    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.
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