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Thread: Proper cutting of bowl blanks???

  1. #1
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    Question Proper cutting of bowl blanks???

    I see lots of bowls being turned out of smaller type logs and was wondering if you have to remove the pilth(core) or not? I know when cutting boards it is wise to box it as to keep the boards from haveing tons of stress in it. But will that be a problem when makeing blanks for turning? The reason is if you to remove it, then the siz of useable wood for a blank will only be about half the width of a the log. So, if you need a 8" square blank then you will need a tree over 16" wide. I am just really confused and need answers as the sawyer will be here in a few week to start cutting.

  2. #2
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    Yep, the pith of the log can cause all sorts of problems to turners. Most folks cut the log down the middle to remove the pith, then make the turning blanks from the half-round log sections left over. You're on the right track...to get an 8 inch thick blank, you're looking at about a 16" log. I'll see if I can dig up some pics or diagrams.
    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
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    Thanks Vaughn. That would help out alot.

  4. #4
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    I found a site that shows how to cut the log up. Here is the link if anyone else is intrested.http://www.enter.net/~ultradad/logcutting.html

  5. #5
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    Eh, that's just Bill Grumbine*...what does he know about bowls?


















    * For the uninitiated, Bill is a member here, and he's also the creator and star of two well-regarded videos on bowl turning. Many of us
    have learned a whole lot from Bill.
    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

  6. #6
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    Just a few thoughts

    While many people remove the pith of a log section for bowl blanks not everyone agrees with that. Of course you can do whatever turns your crank........err lathe. Some turners leave the pith and turn the bowl thin- to the point where you get a red glow through the bowl with a back light. It will usually distort some but that is dependant on species and how dry the blank was when you turn it, and also how you dry it. I have only turned one end grain, a cup, and it was realy nice. I just finished cutting up a bunch of blanks of red boxelder and I will be turning most of them on the end grain. I do most of my bowl turning with scrapers because I don't like the catches I get using the gouges.
    Some day I hope to spend some time with some of the more experianced turners I know and hopfully figure out the gouge better. Make sure you always have the face shield on. You don't want a nick name like bowl face.

  7. #7
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    In Bill's video and elsewhere I've read and or seen that if you are turning the blanks soon, then you do not have to cut out the pith, as on the lathe you can turn the pith of of the bowl. If you are cutting up blanks to set a while before you will get to them, cut out the pith.

    You can see how I did this in one case....

    Processing Bowl Blanks

    Hope this helps!

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

  8. #8
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    These blank will be for sale. I would like to get a lathe, but there are many things I need first. There will be a post in the classafieds Listing what size logs and what type. Then if someone is intrested I will cut them up. If not then they will get used for boards. I just want to make sure the wood is going to have a use before wasteing time cutting it up. Thanks again for the help with this.

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