Burned Lines on Faceplate work

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by Alan Van Art, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Alan Van Art

    Alan Van Art

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    Could somebody offer me some advice creating burned lines on faceplate work, like platters or other flat pieces? What do you use when you can't wrap a wire around it? I've tried slivers of wood filed to a sharp edge, but results have been poor. The edge quickly wears flat and then if I get a burned line at all it often will be wider than the original groove. All I want is a crisp burned line like you get when using a wire on spindle work.

    As a side note, Nick Cook recommends using a piece of tempered hardboard to burn the hatbands on snowman tophats. I can't seem to get crisp lines using this method either. Again, the hardboard quickly wears down or flattens.
     
  2. Tom Cadwalader

    Tom Cadwalader

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    Burnin

    Typically I cut a line with either a parting tool or the point of a skew. Then I rub inside the groove with a Formica Sample. The lathe speed needs to be pretty fast. The closer the line to the center the faster it needs to be spinning. For the outside edge I am at 1200 or more. Be careful not to put too much pressure far away from the center. Light pressure at higher speed.
     
  3. Dwight R Rutherford

    Dwight R Rutherford

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    I have used the free "Formica" samples you can get at Home Depot and Lowes. They will leave a sharp line.
    Ops, Tom beat me to it!
     
  4. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Since the groove and grain direction relationship changes between burning into end grain and burning along the grain, you will have a very difficult challenge. Also the results varies considerably from one species to another. Tempered hardboard today bears no resemblance to tempered hardboard that I could get in the 60's and 70's and the closest thing to the real tempered hardboard would be Formica. I also use phenolic sheet electrical insulation material. It is a little thicker than a sheet of paper and very stiff and burns a great line.
     
  5. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Formica (or plastic laminate if you don't want to use a brand) works well. I also use dark woods such as ebony, Wenge, etc. You have to carve a sort of knife edge but it will work. Also the longer the edge that is in contact with the wood the better. Of course it can't be too long because it has fit in the arc. usually 1/4 to 1/2" is enough.
     
  6. Tony Pridmore

    Tony Pridmore

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    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
  7. Joe Greiner

    Joe Greiner

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    Dental Pick

    I've used the elbow part of a dental pick on the inside walls of bowls. It's at least as hard as wire, and about the same size. Use it like a miniature Oland tool, supported by the tool rest. And freehand without grooves.
     
  8. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I wasn't familiar with the name Oland so I Googled it (I guess that Googled can now be used as a verb) and fount that Knud Oland was the person who came up with the design and it apparently is the granddaddy of the hollowing scrapers that are now very popular.

    I have a set of tools that I got at Rockler Hardware that are somewhat of a copy of real dental picks, but not as slender or sharp as the real ones. I have used the straight one to make a fine line, but I wouldn't have thought that the one with an "elbow" could get hot enough to actually burn the wood ... but then I'm a slow turner.

    I watched the Harvey Meyer video and it reminded me of a demo at SWAT where David Nittmann did the same thing with the sandpaper to burn lines.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2015

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