Russian Wood turning

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Considering the level of success, there was nothing wrong with his methods and likely plenty wrong with ours.
1. Razor sharp skew and double edged hook tool
2. Suitable wood
3. Years of practice

Impressive work. Like watching Steve Jones doing a spindle.
 

awldune

Sam
User
I think there was an earlier thread on this video.

I didn't notice before that he uses the hook tool to cut on the "upstroke" side. Is that standard practice? I haven't used a hook tool before.
 

BWhitney

Bruce
Corporate Member
I think there was an earlier thread on this video.

I didn't notice before that he uses the hook tool to cut on the "upstroke" side. Is that standard practice? I haven't used a hook tool before.
I think the earlier thread was where I first saw it but I couldn't find it on a search of the forums. I am in no way an experienced turner but thought it might be interesting.
There are other videos from the same and other sites on Youtube. There is even one showing how to make the hook tool.
 

Steve Martin

Steve Martin
Senior User
I learned about hook tools when I started building and using a pole or foot powered lathe. But in my 20+ years in working with electric powered lathes I have not heard any "expert" recommend using a hook tool with an electric powered lathe, but as you can see some people have figured out how to do it with outstanding results. His style of introducing the edge of the hook to the wood is probably akin to rubbing the bevel of straight edged tools as you feed the edge into the cut. I'm not positive but I suspect that there is a bevel on the outside of the hook tool.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Both of the tools used are high carbon steel and very likely made by someone that knows steels and how to work them so the cutting edge is hard and somewhat tough. I remember when making hook tools was the rage in the late 1990s but that didn't last long. As Steve Martin points out, using carbon steel tools with electric power lathes creates way too much heat with the wood used in the USA and the tempered edge goes away quickly. The turner in the video was using some wood about as soft as basswood that would not create the heat as maybe poplar or even harder woods.

The video does show how smoothly turning can go when one has sharp tools and cuts instead of scrapes.

Scary to me was that rag over the spinning headstock. I kept expecting it to catch and become a floppy fan blade.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
The turner could also have been using somewhat green wood. Makes a great demo at the time, but an hour later it may evolve into something different. He sure wouldn't do that with a piece of dried osage.
 

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