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Thread: end grain tear-out problem

  1. #1
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    end grain tear-out problem

    I'm trying out my new Don Pencil hollowing tool on a small vase. The hollowing part went OK and was a learning experience. But the vase is cut end-grain, it is an unknown spalted something. On the outside curves the end grain tore when I turned it, wouldn't skew smooth and even lots of sanding didn't bring it down smooth. What is the normal solution to something like this?

  2. #2
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    Wax

    When this happens for me, I rub in Clapham's wax which reduces the tearout to a minimum. As the was only sits on the surface, it doesn't affect the finish you can apply afterwards. Mineral oil helps as well but that limits what you can finish it with as it penetrates the wood.

  3. #3
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    I watched Mike Mahoney do what Gari said a couple of weeks ago, except he used Johnson's paste wax. Oh, and make sure the tools are as sharp as you can get them.

  4. #4
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    Texas-The Greatest State
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    I've found that most wood that tears is not dry. Not sure if that helps you any though.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2006
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    Kutztown PA
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    Frank, there are a couple of different ways to deal with tearout. Sometimes you can change your cutting technique. I have added a picture from my website discussing a cut I call the tangent cut. This pic just happens to have some spalted wood in it.



    The tool is oriented so that the bevel is rubbing and the long edge is slicing the wood like a handplane. There is also the vertical shear scrape, but I don't really have a good picture of that (except movin' ones).

    The wax treatment mentioned will often work to alleviate tearout, but sometimes on spalted wood, stronger measures are required. It all depends on how spalted the piece is, and how bad the tearout is. I have used Minwax wood Hardener to very good effect on pieces so rotten most people would throw them away. You can get the stuff at the local home center. It is made for repairing structural rot in wood construction, but it works great on turnings too!

    As a final solution, if you have just a wee bit of tearout left that you just can't cure, sand it with some of the finish you will be using - oil finishes like Danish Oil work best for this - and let the slurry of oil and dust fill the holes. It will harden as it dries, and most people will never see it. This does not work for huge tearout, but it will fix minor problems.
    Bill Grumbine

    www.wonderfulwood.com

  6. #6
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    Thanks, those are good tips. I'll save for future. I did try sealing with Myland's sanding sealer but that didn't help. Then I sanded and tried finishing. First with a pickling finish, looked awful. Then put a light gold oak over that, looked worse. Then tried a dark walnut, got even worse. Then I tried removing the tear out on the curve with a skew, not too bad. Then I tried smoothing up the mouth with a round nose and got results shown. Not sure if I'll glue together, resand and try a save or maybe cut down to a small bowl or pitch in scrap pile. Enneyhow, it's an exercise and learning piece. BTW, that looks like a bowl gouge you are using. Bowl gouges are like ice skating backwards. Can't be done. I know because I have tried both.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails broken vase.jpg  

  7. #7
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    Heck it has been 20 plus years since I've skated, wonder if I remember how

    Dunno if I'd reglue that one Frank, might try cutting it down, if not, you have some of that interesting firewood
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
    It appears part of the problem is wall thicknees or lack of it. I normall finish hollow forms in 1/3 increments. The wall thickness at the mouth seems way thicker than at the throat where it appears the fracture may have occurred. On the other hand it seems some pieces just want to be something else. Pretty wood, mabe you can make a bowl. I use an Ellsworth with a similar grind to the one Bill shows. I finish cut with the tool turned in the almost closed position which makes the gouge cut similar to a skew. If done correctly sanding starts at around #320.
    Hope this helps,
    Jim

  9. #9
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    Well, I tried reglueing and it didn't turn out badly. Except, I filled the voids left by the break with a green putty epoxy thinking that color would add interest. Lucky me -NOT- it dried white and looks lousy.
    Since this project is, essentially, a learning experience with the Don Pencil hollowing tools, which, BTW, has performed well as one would expect, I'm not too upset. Next time you see this little vase, it will be a littler bowl kinda thingy. The end grain parts still take a lousy finish and actually turned black with the laquer. Per Bill's suggestion, I was able to turn some down, mostly with a skew and got rid of 90% of the problems but small edges are still pretty unslightly.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails broken vase.jpg  

  10. #10
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    Too bad the green stuff turned white, it might have looked neat, looks like Bondo now

    Oh well, you win some and you lose some, but, as you said, you can always learn some
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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