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Learn from experience

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I have been practicing piercing. My first piece I thought I turned thin enough, but not really. I did pierce it, but did it ever take some time. This is elm about 7" tall and 3-1/2" wide. Again first piece.
IMG_1131.JPG

The second piece I made a bowl as it was easier to measure wall thickness. This piece is cherry.
IMG_1129.JPG

So then for the third piece I did another hollow form about the same size as the first piece, paying much more attention to the wall thickness. Turning went fine. I cut the tenon off, however when trying to put the foot on the bottom I had a catch. That spelled disaster. This is pear and yes there is a tight crack that may have played a part, but I could have come up with a different way to put the foot on.

IMG_0999.JPG IMG_1004.JPG

So I may turn a sphere, use my woodburner to darken the breaks and call it a natural edge piercing piece. I stuck a scrap finial in it, but a sphere would be better if I really did this.
IMG_1006.JPG
I consider all of these pieces practice and do enjoy the challenges that piercing presents. Just having fun. My next turning is not for piercing, but will line up one after that to see if I can do one similar to the one that broke.
 
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The first one made me chuckle. On the others, I felt your pain.

The one that made you chuckle I think was the most pain. I was trying to use the figure 8 calipers to measure the thickness. As you can see at the top the thickness was a 1/4"+ and took forever. The cherry bowl didn't come out too bad. And the last one I took a risk that didn't pay off. I'll use that to maybe do some texture on the leaves and some dye on the leaves. So not all is lost. The piece I have in the lathe now I am doing a two piece hollow form. I want to practice with my system on hollowing where I can see what I'm doing instead of hollowing in the blind through a hole. I watch videos, but real practice experience is necessary for me.
 

john lucas

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One tip I was taught when hollowing pieces that are going to be pierced was to drill several holes with a small bit in an area that will be pierced. This way you can check the wall thickness visually as you go. Of course using the video camera systems that are becoming popular makes it pretty easy to get less than 1/4" walls.
 
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One tip I was taught when hollowing pieces that are going to be pierced was to drill several holes with a small bit in an area that will be pierced. This way you can check the wall thickness visually as you go. Of course using the video camera systems that are becoming popular makes it pretty easy to get less than 1/4" walls.

I’m using the video camera Hope Hollowing System. My biggest concern is speed and angle of cutter. I actually bent a cutter insert, not the boring bar but the cutter insert holder about 5/16” diameter. Not sure exactly what I’m doing to cause this and is why I’m doing an open vessel to play with speed and cutter angle. I’m setting the cutter just above center angled slightly down. These cutters are similar in style to Hunter cutters and very aggressive. I’m unsure of a good speed to run as none of the videos give much information.
 
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hockenbery

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I’m setting the cutter just above center angled slightly down.
I was going to suggest just this. You would have gotten a catch to bend a tool holder

If I were standing close by I could help for sure.

Another possibility is that you have the cutter tilting. It should be flat. If it tilts it will cut fine in the direction toward the low side with the lower edge leading. Cutting in the direction of the high side lets the wood drive onto the tool and you get a big catch. Especially bad if you come into a curved top or bottom.

With any hollowing or turning in general you must avoid putting the cutting edge in contact with the wood in such a way that the wood can drive onto the tool edge. Because it will. Once it does the tool will continue to feed into the wood until something breaks usually a chuck of wood.
 
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hockenbery

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@William Rogers

Lyle Jamieson sells Hunter carbides held a fixed angle.
These are unidirectional cutters. His standard cutter must cut only to the left.
He also sells a reverse angle cutter that cuts only to the right
Trying to cut backwards toward the high side of the carbide will get a catch.

Lyle wrote a nice article on using the carbides.
https://lylejamieson.com/wp-content/uploads/press-carbide-cutter-winter2009.pdf

He also shows a nice photo of catch trap where the angle to the wall invites a situation that will push the jig side into the wood.
 

john lucas

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With the carbide cutters like Lyle uses ideally you need to tilt the cutter down. This will make them more catch free. I built a cutter holder similar to lyle's but it holds the cutter at a downhill angle. The cutter is mounted flat so it is not directional and will cut in either direction. It doesn't cut as clean in this configuration but still mighty good for the inside of a vessel. Tilting the cutter so it's directional makes a much cleaner cut but as Al said if you try to go backwards it will try to self feed and take a bigger cut than you want or push itself backwards. Here is the cutter that is similar to Lyles and how I use it.
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0v7-HMuCvvM&t=10s
 
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I couldn't leave this unfinished. I turned second small pierced vase with leaves using more care removing the tenon. Not overly happy with the foot, but I didn't break it. If I turn another vase that is pierced I will try a internal dovetail. Also open to suggestions.
Edit: Wood is boxelder, 7" tall, 4" wide.

image1.jpeg
 
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