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Thread: New member looking for honest criticism

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

    New member looking for honest criticism

    Hi everybody

    I'm new here and fairly new to woodturning. I took a short course on how to start woodturning and have been doing a bit of practising and would appreciate some HONEST criticism. I'd rather know what I'm doing wrong and how to correct my mistakes than be told I'm doing a wonderful job. That I can get from the LOML!

    I made a small bowl from birch which showed a small knot on what was to become the top of the bowl. When I started turning the bottom I soon found that the knot went right through and was much larger than I thought. Maybe I shouldn't call it a knot as it was actually a fairly large hole. Anyway, I got to the point where I wasn't sure that the piece wouldn't fly apart so when I started turning the top of the bowl I quit with a fairly thick rim as I was afraid it would collapse on me.

    The first picture is of the bottom and for you "foreigners" the coin on the bottom used for scale is a Canadian Twoonie ($2 coin). You can just make out, on the right side of the hole, the red towel I used as a background. Also, on the right side of the bowl you can see a very evident scratch. That wasn't there until I finished the bowl and then put it in a Donut Chuck I made to finish the bottom. Guess I'll have to figure out a better way to do that.

    Attachment 8140

    The photo of the top of the bowl shows the knot(?) and the coins are the Twoonie again and a quarter.

    Attachment 8142

    The third photo is of a couple of mallets I made for my son and son-in-law, also of birch. I'm fairly pleased with them but I'll have to learn a better way of removing them from the lathe as the ends are not as nice and smooth looking as I would like. Oh well, more practice needed, I guess.

    Attachment 8144

    Thanks for looking and any comments will be greatly appreciated.

    Also, I notice that I'm not inserting the photos quite properly as I'd like you to be able to click on the first photo and see the larger version. For some reason it's necessary to go to the bottom of the post and click on the photos listed as "Attached Thumnails". Can anyone tell me how to correct this? Thanks again. ( Fixed for you, Gord. Just "attached" the larger pics. Welcome to the forum! Greg)

    Last edited by Greg Cook; 04-30-2007 at 04:07 AM. Reason: Fixed pictures to "clickable" type

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    Welcome to the family, Gord. Nice to have another wood spinner on board. Newby turner or not, I think all three pieces look great. I appreciate your desire for honest critique...I'm the same way.

    The knot (or inclusion) adds a lot to the bowl for me, although I'm more into art than utility. I think you've already identified pretty much all the nitpicking I would have done (the scratch or tool mark on the side of the bowl and the thickness, although thick bowls have appeal to a lot of folks, too). The ring details around the lip of the bowl could have a little crisper definition, but that might be a symptom of the photo, not the turning. From what I can tell in the photos, it looks like you got a nice, consistent curve on the outside of the bowl, and the foot looks nice and clean. By the way, when I use my donut chuck, I plan to do some hand-sanding afterwards, to remove any marks the donut leaves. (Mine's not padded.)

    Both mallets look great, too. I could use a mallet like that. If I put on my nitpicking goggles, I can see some very light sanding scratches in them, but those kinds of marks often don't show up in person...only in photos, because of the lighting. Plus, they're mallets, meant to hit things with, so what's the problem with some nearly invisible scratches?

    As I said, these are all great, and we'll be looking forward to seeing more. All of us here are learning. Some of the guys have already learned more than the rest of us, but we're all still learning. Don't hesitate to ask questions.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  3. #3
    Don Taylor is offline Former Member (by the member's request)
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Welcome Gord,
    I'm not a turner yet, can't help you there, looks great to me.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Welcome Gord, glad you found us.

    While I do possess a old lathe and occasionally give it a spin, I am in no way a critique of spinny things....or flat things for that matter. There are some of the members who are much better in that regard than I.

    But.....keep posting pics of those things that you do turn, we love pictures.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    How's it going eh?

    Nice to see another turner and another Canuck at that!!

    I like your bowl with the inclusion, I thick it is a little thick, but I also understand your fear of it flying apart, that is something only you can judge the risk of while standing in front of it, so I trust your judgment!

    The mallets look good too, what is their intended use?

    Might be the pics, but one seems to have the face angled a bit, this might be of use, depending on what you plan on hitting.

    All in a a good job, and I'm sure you will improve with more time, as we all do!

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

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Taree Australia
    G'Day Gord

    Look good to me, nice wood.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Central Illinois
    Welcome Gord.

    I am in agreement with Vaughn and would only add that the coins in the photo of the bottom detracts and makes it look off center. They look good inside the bowl, though.

    That said, overall it's a very nice bowl.

    Keep turnin' and postin' pictures.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    s. Barrington,IL.
    Welcome Gord.
    I like the inclusion in the wood it adds characther.If you look at some of my bowls they have a lot on bark inclusions, good job.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
    Thank you for the kind words, guys.
    I'm trying to decide if I want to put it back in the donut chuck and see what happens if I try to get the walls a lot thinner. I also have this leave well enough alone feeling. Inclusion; good word, have to remember that one. I have another small bowl I did earlier today and will try to get some photos and post them later. I have some questions regarding the quality on it.

    Thanks again,

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Goodland, Kansas
    Welcome Gord. You have some mighty fine turnings there. I really like the bowl.
    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.

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