Crossroads

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Derrick Young, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Derrick Young

    Derrick Young

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    So a month or two into learning how to turn wood I am finding myself at a bit of a crossroad. My little used Delta Midi LA-200 may not be big enough for some of the items I am now finding I want to start learning to do. I will just blame the blasted Wood Turners Guild for having so many talented people and demonstrators.

    At only a month into this I would rather not buy a bigger lathe. And even if did the Budget would limit me to to yet another Midi Lathe with slightly large Over Bed height, albeit with variable speed.

    So I was wondering about adding riser blocks to my LA-200. I have access to a Machine shop and a machinist at no charge. My question is how functional would this be? What are the limitations. My intent is not to jack it up to spin large Green logs. But rather plates and platters that would have a finished diameter of about 10".

    Is this a feasible endeavor? How big a riser can I safely add?
     
  2. Dwight R Rutherford

    Dwight R Rutherford

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    Derek,
    You included an attachment that looks like private information you may not want to share.
     
  3. Derrick Young

    Derrick Young

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    I have no idea how that got there. Thank you
     
  4. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Yes you can. I've made wooden riser blocks for 2 lathes. It works. The biggest problem will be vibrations because your lathe doesn't way very much, and you don't have a lot of horsepower so you can't take big cuts. I think we all have turned bigger items than our lathes were designed to handle. That being said it's kind of like my friend John Jordan said about turning thin. Do one and get over it. His message was, do one, so you know you can do it but after that you turn the thickness the vessel needs to be, which may or may not be thin. Turning large items is the same thing. 99 percent of all I turn could be done on a mini lathe. Sure I've turned 20" bowls and platters but I don't really enjoy it and I can't sell them or give them away. So I turn what I like, which is usually small even though I have a lathe that will turn large.
     
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  5. Derrick Young

    Derrick Young

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    Thanks John, I will take a stab at it. I really have no intention of turning monster items. But I think and extra 2 inches would buy me a bit when it comes to plates. At least for what I want for myself.
     
  6. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    You can turn a lot of stuff on a 12" lathe, but it is possible to increase the swing a bit. I wouldn't increase the swing more than one or two inches. The problem is that a larger swing needs a larger motor and then things start to snowball. The biggest problems will be maintaining tailstock alignment with the headstock, figuring out how to lock the tailstock and getting tool rests with longer posts. You also might need to get a longer drive belt. Keep in mind that the lathe power will be slightly on the wimpy side when you increase the swing. Then there is the issue that John Lucas brought up about the sturdiness and mass of the bed of the lathe.

    Where are you located? Somebody might have an old lathe that would fit your needs.
     
  7. Derrick Young

    Derrick Young

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    Thanks Bill. I am in Toronto and I have been watching the ads for a Used Jet/General/King but have not found anything so far. Seems most the used stuff that I see advertised are lower end lathes that may have 36"-40" beds but still 9".
     
  8. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The Delta midi is one sweet lathe, but I suppose that we all want something a bit bigger. I know that I did so I wound up with a Robust American Beauty. So far, it has done quite well in scratching my itch for a lathe that can turn large chunks of wood..
     
  9. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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  10. Derrick Young

    Derrick Young

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    I tried to buy that 46-460 but unfortunately they will not ship to Canada. Or at least not for that price. I have been monitoring the Classifieds here and will look for something that is slightly bigger with variable speed. In the interim just keep learning with the midi.
     
  11. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Ah sorry to hear that. you are probably aware of this, but one of the problems with larger wood blanks is the price. Prices for larger 10"+ blanks starts going up significantly. Unless you cut your own of course.

    I'm a new turner as well, I only turned four pieces at 10" or more, two failed experiments, but I doubt I will do many more due to cost. 12" wood blank can cost as much as $50 each if you factor in shipping. I now stay around 4" to 8". Anything over 8" is becoming a plate for me, or shallow bowl due to blank thickness.

    There is a level of satisfaction in larger sizes when I started out and that is because I'm new to this. When I went through the gallery here I was surprised how small the pieces were. Some folks posts the dimensions of their work and found stunning pieces around 4" wide. Now I am learning to scale down the designs.
     
  12. Derrick Young

    Derrick Young

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    This whole exercise is really to satisfy a desire to turn a few plates, one can only own so many large salad bowls ;-)

    I really like the look of live edge square plates/platters. Because they never get round the max of 10" Corner to corner makes for a smaller plate/platter
     
  13. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    That makes sense :) I have a piece that I want to make and needs 15" swing, it is annoying me not to be able to as well.
     
  14. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I guess that I won't mention the roughly 32" diameter at the widest point piece of mesquite that I have. If it holds together, it is destined to become a natural edged platter.
     
  15. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    That is the one nice feature of a lathe that has a head stock that can be rotated to turn outside the bed.
    With an extension arm for your banjo you can turn some fairly large platters on the smaller lathes.
    You are still limited by the horsepower of your lathe and the wood types and platter size you can work.
    Sharp tools and slow process for the bigger diameter platters on the under powered machines.
    .
     
  16. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Get jimmy Clewes video on the pagoda box.
    These can be done on a 10" lathe. With the lid and base you get to turn 8 square corners for each box.
    These boxes make great gifts and they are a challenge as you develop your skills.

    Once you get good at these boxes the square plates and bowls will be easy when you have a larger lathe.
     
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  17. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I went through the big turning phase. I can't sell them at all around here so I quite. Still it's worth the experience just to see what the differences are. One problem I ran into with swinging headstocks is the tool rest is either way out or cantilever. Either one made it hard to get a clean cut do to vibration of the banjo. ON my Nova lathe I put a long All-thread rod between the banjo and floor so I could put tension on the banjo to stop that vibration. I now have a Powermatic with 20" swing but need 22". I want to turn some hand mirrors out of one piece of wood and the handle will just about an inch longer from the center of the mirror than my lathe swing.
     
  18. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    i'm new so this could be totally me and not the lathe, but I've tried to turn natural edge bowls using 10x5 blank and the lathe just vibrates too much to get proper cuts due to them not being of consistent thickness.

    I assume because of smaller lathes are light in weight. I tried 3 times, failed 3 times. Will try again on Saturday. Square blanks will turn better.
     
  19. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    @Fadi Zeidan
    If you start with a nearly round 1/2 log section and center it the blank should be in balance enough to turn it on a mini lathe. A heavy lathe makes it easier. The interupted cut on a 10 x 5 will require more skill than an interrupted cut on a 7x5. I like using blanks 2" longer than wide for my students first few NE bowls.

    This is how I start a NE bowl

    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZ0fC5Rk6h4
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  20. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Thanks hockenbery,

    I will try the 2" variation, I may have a blank for that. I need to take 2-4 day class with someone when I find someone close by.
     

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