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Thread: Ringmaster

  1. #1

    Ringmaster

    Does anyone have one of the ringmaster tools or know anything about them?
    any and all info appreciated...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    Don't know much about them. Except, know a local fellow who has one and he makes bowls by the boatload from scrap with his. Sells them at a flea market for about $10.00 with a not so good finish. Claims it takes only a few minutes each to make a bowl. I dunno, never watched. Personally, I believe the result falls far short in the beauty department compared with a turned bowl.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Never heard of one before. Don't much see the point if one already has a lathe, but to each his own...

    On the other hand, I found this on that site:

    "I have developed a finish for my bowls that I thought you might like to have for future reference. The procedure is simple and allows a bowl to be finished entirely in one session.

    I make friction polish using equal parts of clear shellac, alcohol and linseed oil. To apply, use a cloth saturated with this mixture and apply while the bowl is turning, use inside and out. the mixture dries extremely fast and hard. Several coats may be applied within minutes of one another and produces a very hard surface. Let dry for 15 minutes then apply paste wax, let dry another 15 minutes and buff with a soft cloth."


    I'm still looking for a good finish for turned objects (for some reason, we can't get antique oil around these parts). This sounds a lot like the finish I use for flat work(1/3 poly, 1/3 naptha, 1/3 BLO). Anyone ever tried this?

    Thanks,

    Bill

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Indianapolis area
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    I think the result depends on the effort and materials used. I have seen some really nice outputs from a Ringmaster. They can be faster than a lathe; as we all know speed sometimes kills. Proper planning and good technique give a nice product. In fact, if you have one for sale (I'll even take one for a ShopSmith) let me know.
    ________

    Ron

    "Individual commitment to a group effort--that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
    Vince Lombardi

  5. #5
    Thanks for the input guys, in doing art and crafts shows with mostly pens for sale i have decided that i need to have more of a variety of products so i have a new project i am thinking about doing and for it i think the ringmaster would be good mainly due to the lack of waste of wood... i have only seen one used one for sale on ebay and it sold for almost the price of a new one.. i am still fighting with the cost of the ringmaster but i think i will prob go on and get one before too long i will keep you all updated

  6. #6
    I went to the website and am not sure what the ringmaster does that you can not do with a thin parting tool on a lathe already. It is also sold as an attachment for a lathe. I did this vase on a lathe in an afternoon using the same technique. (I probably should have waited longer on the glue, but it was a Texas summer and the glue dried really fast.) Same idea though and same amount of wood used as on a ringmaster.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Image00003.jpg  

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    ABQ NM
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    Never heard of one, but I found this intro video:

    http://www.ringmastertool.com/IMAGES..._trim_ISDN.mov

    Interesting concept, but the video makes it sound like working on a lathe is about as fun as root canal. It also seems ideally suited for making more straight-sided utilitarian objects than nice art forms, at least based on the examples they showed. With the exception of a couple nice pitchers, the other pieces they showed looked sort of clunky to me. (Robert's piece is an exception to that, too.) There didn't seem to be a lot of flowing curves, and any that there were, you know had to be largely the result of lots of sanding. I'd rather cut the wood curved in the first place. Like most tools, I suspect successful results are directly tied to the user's skill and creativity.
    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
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    I couldn't open Vaughn's link without downloading something. But, the bowls our local guy makes with his Ringmaster are rather uninspiring. Upside, he makes them from scrap and sells quite a few at $10.00 each. He admits it is not real 'turning'.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Beaverton, Oregon
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    59
    Quote Originally Posted by charles bryson View Post
    Does anyone have one of the ringmaster tools or know anything about them?
    any and all info appreciated...
    I just got one and the comments here are way off, there is a hugh group of professional artists that use them. They have been around for 25 years but just recently were reintroduced to woodworkers. www.woodenpost.com has lots of information about them including 100's of beautiful objects made with them. The unit as shipped can make bowls, hollow vases, rings, picture frames and many other things out of 1 or more wide boards by up to 1" thick, with little waste. If you wanted to make a 10" solid bowl the waste would be hugh.

    It does require some understanding of math or some really good software like "ProtoShaper" to do anything complex. If you happen to own a ShopSmith (or some other large lathes) you can get one relatively cheap, vs the ones with the built-in motor. After you get make the rings which is very quick, you glue them up (carefully) and then mount the bowl on a lathe (or a motorized RingMaster) and complete shaping, sanding and finishing.

    Depending on you accuracy with making the rings you MAY be able to skip the shaping unless you want to do something fancy.

    You can get a free video from Porta-Nails, who makes the machine.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,008
    Thanks for the first-hand input, Paul. As I said, I suspect the success with the Ringmaster has a lot to do with the user's skill and creativity. Nonetheless, I'm still not wowed by many of the examples I've seen of finished products. Straight-sided bowls and vases seem to be the norm, and I'm not very fond of those types of forms.

    But what I think matters not...if the folks using the Ringmaster (and their customers) are happy with the pieces they make, then it's all good.
    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

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