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    Bowl Turning-----HELP

    I finally got around to trying to turn some bowls. The first was a 6" diameter lace-wood bowl with a bowl gouge. I muddled through it (the bowl turning class at NCSU was cancelled; not enough participants) and got a reasonably smooth bowl. The problem is the end grain areas. I can not get those areas to sand smooth. Second bowl is cherry turned with Easy Wood carbide tools. (I bought the carbide inserts and made the rest) I am experiencing the same problem with the end grain.

    I started with P100 grit, then 150, then 180, 240, 320 and even went to 400 on the cherry. No luck. Decided to go back and try 50 grit, and then go through the other grits. No luck; just have a lot more scratches everywhere to sand out.

    Suggestions?

    David Turner
    North Raleigh

    P.S. You would think with the last name of Turner, I would be good at this turning!

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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    Sanding takes sealer and a light touch.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    For each grit, hand sand any problem spots after you sand under power. This should help. When sanding with the lathe running, lowering your RPMs will help some too.

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  6. #4
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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    Do you have reverse on your lathe? Do you have a sanding disc on a drill? Both of those help a lot, but you'll still get tear out on the end grain. The Easy wood tools are scrapers, so you should see more tear out than with using the bowl gouge. Try taking your final cut after you put a good edge on the gouge and only take a very small cut. Sometimes you can improve the surface by putting some finish on the piece and sanding after it dries. The finish can stiffen the fibers so they sand easier. Were the blanks dried or were they green? Green blanks are a pleasure to turn and dried ones sometimes are a royal pain.

    Roy G

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  8. #5
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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    David----------take a rag and saturate it with mineral oil and wipe over the end grain to the point you have moistened the end grain pores then with a sharp bowl gouge take a very light cut. I saw this tip on Utube a while back and it worked for me. It will drastically reduce the tearout. However-----it may affect the finish if you use anything other than mineral oil afterward.

    Jerry
    We make a living by what we get...............We make a life by what we give

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  10. #6
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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    Sharp tool, light cut, don’t scrape. Easy wood tools can work but not the way most people use them.



    One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard

    WWFD

  11. #7
    User Flute Maker's Avatar
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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    Quote Originally Posted by David Turner View Post
    I finally got around to trying to turn some bowls. The first was a 6" diameter lace-wood bowl with a bowl gouge. I muddled through it (the bowl turning class at NCSU was cancelled; not enough participants) and got a reasonably smooth bowl. The problem is the end grain areas. I can not get those areas to sand smooth. Second bowl is cherry turned with Easy Wood carbide tools. (I bought the carbide inserts and made the rest) I am experiencing the same problem with the end grain.

    I started with P100 grit, then 150, then 180, 240, 320 and even went to 400 on the cherry. No luck. Decided to go back and try 50 grit, and then go through the other grits. No luck; just have a lot more scratches everywhere to sand out.

    Suggestions?

    David Turner
    North Raleigh

    P.S. You would think with the last name of Turner, I would be good at this turning!
    Naaaaaaaaaaa David the last name Turner doesnt work for me either lol!!!!

  12. #8
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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    Received a lot of great suggestions and now I need to try and experiment and see which one(s) work for me.
    Thanks guys !

    David Turner
    North Raleigh

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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    David--------Spritzing with water will soften the end grain fibers also----------it just takes longer for the fibers to soften. If you are going to finish with something other than mineral oil you may want to go with water.

    Jerry
    We make a living by what we get...............We make a life by what we give

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  15. #10
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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    After re-reading this thread I noticed some questions that I never answered.

    Roy G: Yes my lathe is reversing and variable speed (Jet 1642). I do not have a sanding disc for my drill motor. Are these available at Woodcraft/Klingspor? All of the blanks I have in house now are dried but I want to try turning some wet materials. That was one reason for signing up for the NCSU bowl turning class as our own Jim Wallace had prepared some red maple blanks for the students to turn.

    Two major hurdles I need to overcome and the reason for the training is 1. how to sharpen the bowl gouge and 2. what part of the cutting edge(s) to use. Those were the items I had hoped to learn in the class. Jim has graciously asked me to come to his shop and he indicated he would help with these items.

    Again, thank you for your suggestions.

    David Turner
    North raleigh

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  17. #11
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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    Getting up with a turner should help the most.
    In the mean time....
    What other said about sharp tools and very light cuts.
    I use thinned shellac as a sealer since most any finish will go over it and it dries in minutes.
    I thin with at least 50% DNA and usually 2 pts DNA to 1 pt shellac.
    I agree it is hard to get a clean cut with most carbide. Brian Havens has a pretty good video on sheer scraping with a bowl gouge or if you have a standard scraper, sheer scraping with it. I normally use a scraper myself in sheer position.
    I don't know how you are cutting. Bowls are cut the opposite of spindles on the outside meaning you cut from the low area to the high. Cutting high to low the grain is unsupported in normal bowl orientation and results in much more tearout.
    You may also want to look up Lyle Jamieson on youtube; both he and Brian have several very good videos on the four types of cuts with bowl gouges.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jrp3mrAMFSs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDIvtr7StuA
    Lastly I like Vince's for disc sanding supplies but Klinspor is good also. I find Woodcraft lacking in quality and overprice but maybe I just bought the wrong ones from them.

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  19. #12
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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    Quote Originally Posted by David Turner View Post
    After re-reading this thread I noticed some questions that I never answered.

    Roy G: Yes my lathe is reversing and variable speed (Jet 1642). I do not have a sanding disc for my drill motor. Are these available at Woodcraft/Klingspor? All of the blanks I have in house now are dried but I want to try turning some wet materials. That was one reason for signing up for the NCSU bowl turning class as our own Jim Wallace had prepared some red maple blanks for the students to turn.

    Two major hurdles I need to overcome and the reason for the training is 1. how to sharpen the bowl gouge and 2. what part of the cutting edge(s) to use. Those were the items I had hoped to learn in the class. Jim has graciously asked me to come to his shop and he indicated he would help with these items.

    Again, thank you for your suggestions.

    David Turner
    North raleigh
    David, If youd like to take a quick trip to mcleansville one night after work, Id Gladly show you all you need to know.

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  21. #13
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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Mills View Post

    I agree it is hard to get a clean cut with most carbide. Brian Havens has a pretty good video on sheer scraping with a bowl gouge or if you have a standard scraper, sheer scraping with it. I normally use a scraper myself in sheer position.
    I have used a round carbide like the EZWood tool in sheer scraping mode with great success.



    One machine can do the work of 50 ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man." -Elbert Hubbard

    WWFD

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  23. #14
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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    David, to learn to sharpen turning gouges, it would be to your advantage to get a sharpening system like the Wolverine that Oneway sells. This way you would get a good edge consistently, which is hard to do free hand. Klingspor sells the sanding discs that fit on a pad which goes on your drill.

    Roy G

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  25. #15
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    Re: Bowl Turning-----HELP

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Davis View Post
    I have used a round carbide like the EZWood tool in sheer scraping mode with great success.
    Mike is correct of course. My mind did not click to a round cutter I was just thinking of square or slightly radiused (and catching a corner). A round carbide in a sheer scrape should give just as good results as a bowl scraper or gouge.
    I present my scraper between 45 an 60 deg and Mike can tell you if that is an appropriate angle for the carbide. You can go steeper but I find, depending on the growth rings, the tool can tend to "walk" and follow the hardwood/softwood if you get too close to 90.

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