So is this the fastest way....?

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Jamie Straw, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Since I'll be turning spinning tops at OPCAAW's booth at the county fair soon, I took a look at YouTube to see how others do it. I'm using a spindle gouge and, for quick-cheat purposes, a parting tool. This video, however, seems to present a faster way to turn one (and solidify basic chew chisel technique). What say you?:D
     
  2. Steve Krumanaker

    Steve Krumanaker

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    I would say do it how you're comfortable doing it, especially if you're not already proficient with a skew. I turn a lot of tops(two piece) and generally use a 3/8" bowl gouge, a 3/8" bedan, for the same reason you are using a parting tool, and a 3/8" spindle gouge.

    Steve
     
  3. john lucas

    john lucas

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    that's a pretty good method. I tend to use my Thompson detail gouge but have also used a skew. I would leave out the step where he trues up the cylinder with the skew after using the spindle roughing gouge. Your going to take off that wood anyway when you start using the skew in a paring cut (that's what we call using it like a parting tool). When I was demoing at the Southwest woodturners symposium Richard Raffen and Micheal Hosaluk were trying to turn a spinning top the fastest. Each one won once. The record was 15 seconds. Yep you heard me right. Now that didn't include sanding and finishing. When I do tops all day I get them down to about 3 minutes each depending on the wood choice. I do most of the roughing out to shape using the spindle roughing gouge. Then it's just a matter of doing the final cuts with the detail gouge or I might use the skew. I noticed the guy's skew was ground with a rather blunt angle. That probably helped him turn that little cove in the handle. Most of my skews are ground a lot sharper.
     
  4. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    The first professional demo I ever saw was Alan Lacer demonstrating skew technique. He warmed up by making a couple of tops. Seeing him produce a 1/2" diameter top entirely with his great big skew (the size of an oar) was quite dramatic. And he took about 5 minutes.
     
  5. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I like turning tops with the blank mounted in a Chuck like the video.

    Use the tools you are compfortable using.
    Have fun, chat with the people, don't work too fast.
    Tops are great because the folks can see the whole thing in 10 minutes.

    My wife Sherry turns Binnie Klein style tops with chatter work and colored rings when we demo at fairs and such. She always gets a group of kids watching, gets them to participate in choosing the colors, then gives them each a top.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  6. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    My first ever demo in front of people was at an art show in a shared sales booth.
    I had 4-5 people watching me turn a top. The turning was going great!
    Mistake ONE : I scratch the handle with the tip of the skew as I was cutting it free.
    Mistake TWO: I pull too hard on the sandpaper fixing the handle that was nearly cut free.
    The top pops free and goes straight up about a foot.
    LUCKY Recovery: I catch the top and the people actually applaud
    If only they knew....
     
  7. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    I won't be trying anything new for the fair, was just intrigued by Matt Monaco's technique. Over time, I want to become very proficient with the skew. What kind of grind do you use on the bowl gouge? Re: the 2-piece tops, at first I was mystified why one would do the dowel-in-a-board thing, but now I see it's advantages, most notably using less good wood, but also less turning time, at least for me.

    The main thing I need to practice is not using "French" when I make a mistake.:D The ol' "Pardon my French" saying when one slips into sailor-talk after messing something up.:rolleyes:
     
  8. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    I'd be happy to get down to 13.:p
     
  9. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Yep, from what I understand, that's the way it goes at our fair. I'm not down to 10 minutes yet, but am working toward it. Didn't know Bonnie had changed her name.:D:D:D
     
  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Oops! An appleism
     
  11. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    And here they thought it was all planned out. Is it rude to say that story reminds me of a horse I used to have? When she was two years old, I had her loose in the arena, running around like a fool, and she slipped and fell. She raised her head to look at me for just one second, and then proceeded to roll as if the "SPLAT" fall was totally intentional.:D
     
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Binnie is her brother. :D

    Here is another YouTube video by Nick Cook showing two styles of tops. I have made a few that looked like his first one.
     
  13. john lucas

    john lucas

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    when I was doing gymnastics in High school I was going to do a parallel bar routine at one of the pep rally's. When I was approaching the bars I tripped on the mat and fell flat. I started doing pushups so it looked like I did it on purpose. Everyone laughed.
     
  14. Steve Krumanaker

    Steve Krumanaker

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    I think there are many advantages to doing them two piece. Most importantly to me, the ones I make are 100% left overs from other turnings or projects. I have a little video of my method if you're interested
    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZETvmEEluQk


    Steve
     
  15. robo hippy

    robo hippy

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    Well, all of the roughing cuts are pretty much peeling cuts. You can do peeling cuts with any tool in the arsenal, from the bedan, to the SRG, the skew, and yes, I use scrapers. Finish cuts are pretty much the same. I prefer wood as straight grained as I can get for strength as much as anything else. Any cross grained pieces want to break easily when you turn the stem/handle. Surprised the young man in the first video got away with that one on the piece of mesquite... I do prefer to use thin CA glue to firm up the point in any open grained wood, or any softer wood. My favorite wood to use is hard maple. I got a pallet load of 3 inch by 36 inch maple baseball bat blanks. This size of top does require a two handed spin, starting between your palms and use a push/pull motion to start them. 5 year olds can pick this up, though most younger than that may have difficulties. The smaller tops spin for maybe a minute or so, while these bigger ones spin for 2 or 3 minutes. Fun projects...

    robo hippy
     
  16. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    What kind of grind does he have on the bowl gouge he uses for most of the roughing? Is it an "Ellsworth grind" specifically, or something different? I have a small bowl gouge that's doing nothing these day, and would like to get a versatile grind on it, would be good to use on tops methinks.
     
  17. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Steve, I enjoyed your video. Besides learning your general technique for 2-piece top making, watching you use the bedan was very informative. I've been wanting to get one, and it seems more efficient and versatile than a parting tool. Thanks!
     
  18. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    Hmmmm, ran across a video where the turner uses 2-4" log to turn the tops from, obviously including the pith. Is that not a concern with something as small as a top?
     
  19. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    A 1/4" bowl gouge is generally used for detailed work so I would guess that the nose angle is more acute like a spindle gouge.
     
  20. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I believe Nick uses something like an Ellsworth grind. It looks a lot like my no name Sorby copy spindle gouge. I use the Wolverine jig to sharpen it with the same setting I use on my bowl gouge except I slide the V arm forward about 3/4" to give the nose angle a more acute angle. Mine is about 35 degrees.
     

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