Finally Found a Use for my Hand Power Plane!

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Ely Walton, May 9, 2017.

  1. Ely Walton

    Ely Walton

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    I have a Sears Craftsman hand power plane (see photo) I bought on a whim back in the 80's... Never used it much until recently when I started turning some bowls from green logs. After splitting the log in half, I use the power plane to quickly smooth the split surface before mounting a faceplate. Works so much faster than using a hand plane... Just curious if anyone else is using a hand power plane for preparing bowl blanks? Thanks!

    Ely
     

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  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the AAW forum, Ely. That sounds like a neat way to very quickly flatten the surface. I have seen the power planers. I believe that the one that Sears sold was the same as the Ryobi planer.

    The way that I flatten the surface is to mount the wood between centers and then use a bowl gouge to flatten the face. If I want to use a faceplate I make the surface slightly concave. Normally I rough the entire outside shape between centers and create a tenon for a chuck so that I can then turn the inside if I am turning a bowl.
     
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Quite a few people mount their faceplates to a flat surface.

    Quite a few also prefer a slightly concave surface on the wood.
    I prefer this for 3 main reasons
    makes a tight fit on the outer rim of the faceplate where the wood is driven
    easier to center the faceplate in a concave than a flat
    turning a concave is munch easier and faster than making a flat.
    Less important the concave provides a spaceman for wood coming up around the screws

    Also the same concave is excellent for joining glueblocks.

    I mount the bowl or hollow form blank between centers rough shape the outside then put on the faceplate or chuck with a tenon. Then refine the shape of the outside and hollow.

    Lyle Jamieson has a nice video on the method of turning the recess.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y8b35iq4LTA


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbZXEBIHVOU&feature=youtu.be
     
  4. Ely Walton

    Ely Walton

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    Thanks for the welcome and information! I usually screw a six-inch faceplate to the flat side of the blank, along with bringing up the tailstock when roughing out and turning a tenon for the chuck. I am a bit put off by that big unbalanced chunk of wood spinning around on just a drive center so the faceplate feels a bit safer... That said, attaching a faceplate is a lot more work so I will probably give roughing out a go with just a drive center and tailstock at some point. I am also learning a lot by perusing the older threads and videos... Thanks again!

    Ely
     
  5. Roger Hirlinger

    Roger Hirlinger

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    If you are uncomfortable with just the drive center, drill a hole just slightly larger that the width of the drive center and about 3/4" deep in the center of the blank. Set the drive center in the hole and even with wet, heavy, out of balance pieces it's almost impossible for it to come off the lathe.
     
  6. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't blame you for feeling uncomfortable if turning a big hunk of wood between centers. It's good to have a sense of self preservation. :D

    Just to clarify how I turn between centers, I first statically balance the piece and that practically eliminates all of the shaking and greatly reduces the likelihood that the hunk-o-wood will decide to dismount at the wrong time. The procedure that I use to balance the hunk-o-wood goes like this:
    1. I start off by putting a live center in both the headstock and tailstock so that the hunk-o-wood will be free to rotate heavy side down.
    2. I make an initial first guess for the center points on both sides and use a punch to make indentations for the live center points. While doing this, I try to get the flat face (if there is a flat face) of the hunk-o-wood perpendicular to the spin axis.
    3. Without a doubt the piece won't be balanced and on side will rotate down. Use something like a Sharpie or a crayon to mark the heavy side.
    4. Mark new center points in the direction of the heavy mark and repeat steps 2 and 3. Check the balance by spinning the piece by hand. It is very likely that the hunk-o-wood still won't be quite balanced.
    5. By the third or fourth iteration you probably will be converging on the center of mass. When balanced, you should be able to spin the hunk-o-wood and it will come to a stop at random orientations.
    6. At this point the balance will be nearly perfect and there won't be any lathe shaking or unceremonious dismounts taking place.
    Now you are ready to use your favorite mounting method whether it's a faceplate, scroll chuck, or drive center to start shaping the hunk-o-wood. I also endorse the suggestion made by Roger Hirlinger. By drilling the holes, it adds a huge safety factor if the wood is solid.
     
  7. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Ely between centers is quite safe if the wood is solid and the lathe has a good tailstock that locks in place. The heavier the lathe the better too for the out of balance blanks.

    You do need to tighten the tailstock every couple of minutes as the centers cut themselves in deeper. If you don't tighten the spur drive can become a four bladed spade bit

    In the techniques section I started a thread on working with green wood.
    It has links to a videos taken of a demo i do. One shows rough turning a green blank and starting it between centers.
    http://www.aawforum.org/community/index.php?threads/working-with-green-wood.11626/

    I highly recommended connecting with a local chapter of the AAW and getting some hands on help with a few bowls. You may have already done this. A quality week long class can give you skills that might take 2-5 years to develop on your own.
    Have fun and work safely
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2017
  8. Dave Fritz

    Dave Fritz

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    I have a power plane I bought from HF to create a flat on the bark side of a blank so I can turn between centers to begin roughing on a natural edge bowl.
     
  9. Bernie Hrytzak

    Bernie Hrytzak

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    I use a large fortsner bit ( mounted in a drill press)to create a flat area for the chuck (with screw) to attach. (The Oneway type) Then the bottom of the bowl is turned and a tenon turned for mounting in a chuck to do the inside.
     
  10. James Seyfried

    James Seyfried

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    I use a power planer to knock off corners if I didn't trim enough off large blanks so that it rotates on the lathe.
    bigspur138.jpg
    I just about always start between centers, but with this large spur drive and keeping the tailstock tight to the wood it is very dependable. If I have any concerns about the wood or bark flying off I put the guard down.
    spurdrive.jpg
     
  11. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    I tried a couple of blanks mounting between centers, and just didn't feel comfortable with it. If you are using a half log section, then a face plate is a good option, and the hand power planer will do a fairly good job of making a flat surface. If you use the chainsaw, and are skilled with it, you can get a surface that is 'flat enough'. You can cheat and use a big bandsaw to get pretty much dead flat and parallel surfaces. I prefer to mount by drilling a recess with a big forstner bit and then expanding my chuck into that. Chuck never has to come off the lathe, no screws, and no face plate. Lots of ways to do it, depending on what you have for tools...

    robo hippy
     
  12. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    I like Robo's idea fro mounting on chuck to start. I start between centers . I occasionally use the forstner to drill counterbore for punky woods. Looked for a while for a better drive spur from Big Bite to Elio and usually go back to the four prong drive. I do sometime use my Arbortech for unbalanced blank.
     
  13. Michael Mills

    Michael Mills

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    I've used a hand power plane as the OP described for faceplates. It also works well for a wormwood screw giving a flat area for the top of the jaws to seat against.
    I most often just spilt a small log in half with the chain saw to remove the pith using the kerf of the saw(<9"). If the cut was not completely accurate a few passes with the plane remove the offending pith.
    When I did use my bandsaw for rounding I found one corner often protruded due to bad technique when exiting the cut. It made quick work of knocking down that corner to fit flatter on the BS table.
     

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