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Left hand in the push cut…

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I use the push cut on bowls. I can get a good cut that easily ends in almost hitting a wall or the gouge bounces back at me. I think it’s something with how I hold the left hand while moving from bottom to top rim. How light of a hold do you have when holding down with left hand?
 
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Since it's possible to do a push cut inside a bowl without using the left hand (once the cut is started), the answer might be 'not much.' Outside is probably a different story.

If you're 'hitting a wall', something isn't right. Best answer would be to have someone experienced observe your technique.
 
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Depends on what "school" you follow - Me, I anchor the tool on rest (Typically left hand, but I am slowly training myself to be able to use either hand) and press down on the tool into the rest - absolutely no force pushing into the cut, right hand holding handle anchored to hip and then use body weight to move the gouge along the rest - so pressing down only enough to just keep gouge firmly against the rest as it slides along. (That is, I don't direct the cut with anything but body movement for the most part, so stance and learning the turner's dance is important with that)

As Dean mentions, it is entirely do-able to do those cuts both inside and outside a bowl with one hand only on the tool handle (should not be pushing the tool into the cut - you just touch the tool to the wood and guide it while it cuts at its own speed) - so as I mention, I only use enough pressure on the tool (downward into the tool rest) to keep it steady and keep it from bouncing around... If you find that you are having to push the tool INTO the cut in order to make any progress, then you've got a dull tool, or you haven't mastered floating your bevel while pointing the flute (and bevel) in the direction you want to go.

Dean's final word on it really is the best answer if at all possible, find a mentor or club or someone experienced that can stand at the lathe with you and provide guidance. (Unfortunately, I do not have that luxury myself, so I am taking 5x as long to self-learn techniques that mentored beginners pick up rather quickly)
 

hockenbery

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I use the push cut on bowls. I can get a good cut that easily ends in almost hitting a wall or the gouge bounces back at me. I think it’s something with how I hold the left hand while moving from bottom to top rim. How light of a hold do you have when holding down with left hand?
Like @Dean Center said try to find a mentor.

Most likely your problem has more to do with the flute angle, not staying on the bevel or tool rest too low than how tightly you are holding the tool.
Bottom to rim is for the outside of the bowl.
Thumb and forefinger hold the gouge on the tool rest with the flute at 2 o clock FDF74884-6CC7-44A1-800B-B2ED88363B17.jpeg

The forward hand - thumb and forefinger is sufficient. With some experience No forward hand is needed inside or out.

A7172DA7-B21A-4F1F-BD8D-15F82BEBC98B.jpeg
2480F86A-1D53-45BD-8CF0-F53167DAE480.jpeg
 
Last edited:
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For a push cut the key is for the shaft hand to only apply down force, with “0” force vector to either side. Personally I have adapted Stuart Batty’s shaft grip (vids on utube), and find it best for negating side forces. Many times the tool “getting out of control” as the cut progresses is due to applying side force, resulting in changes to bevel force. Dont “ride” the bevel, “float” the bevel. As @robo hippy says the bevel should touch the wood but the wood shouldnt know it.

For interrupted roughing cuts (getting it round) hold the shaft level, no bevel contact really. Allow the flute shape to do the cut. Once round introduce bevel float cuts.

Learn to cut right and left handed. Become ambidextrous. It takes time but is a valuable skill.
 

Randy Anderson

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A friend of mine who is learning to turn but due to his work schedule has long breaks between turnings came by a while back saying he was having issues with keeping his gouge engaged along the outside bottom cuts. Your description sounds similar to what he told me he was experiencing. I watched and noticed he was standing still and "pushing" the gouge left and out rather than rotating his body to match the cut. Had him practice by putting his left hand in his pocket and try some cuts. For me that practice pushes the instinct to use the body movement to control the gouge rather than the left hand.
 
Joined
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Depends on what "school" you follow - Me, I anchor the tool on rest (Typically left hand, but I am slowly training myself to be able to use either hand) and press down on the tool into the rest - absolutely no force pushing into the cut, right hand holding handle anchored to hip and then use body weight to move the gouge along the rest - so pressing down only enough to just keep gouge firmly against the rest as it slides along. (That is, I don't direct the cut with anything but body movement for the most part, so stance and learning the turner's dance is important with that)

As Dean mentions, it is entirely do-able to do those cuts both inside and outside a bowl with one hand only on the tool handle (should not be pushing the tool into the cut - you just touch the tool to the wood and guide it while it cuts at its own speed) - so as I mention, I only use enough pressure on the tool (downward into the tool rest) to keep it steady and keep it from bouncing around... If you find that you are having to push the tool INTO the cut in order to make any progress, then you've got a dull tool, or you haven't mastered floating your bevel while pointing the flute (and bevel) in the direction you want to go.

Dean's final word on it really is the best answer if at all possible, find a mentor or club or someone experienced that can stand at the lathe with you and provide guidance. (Unfortunately, I do not have that luxury myself, so I am taking 5x as long to self-learn techniques that mentored beginners pick up rather quickly)
Great reply from you both. It really is a learning thing. I have used a mentor at the beginning and to learn some new things but it feels like gold sometimes. You get on a good run then change something up and now trying to find your way. BAck:)
 
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Like @Dean Center said try to find a mentor.

Most likely your problem has more to do with the flute angle, not staying on the bevel or tool rest too low than how tightly you are holding the tool.
Bottom to rim is for the outside of the bowl.
Thumb and forefinger hold the gouge on the tool rest with the flute at 2 o clock View attachment 44455

The forward hand - thumb and forefinger is sufficient. With some experience No forward hand is needed inside or out.

View attachment 44454
View attachment 44453
Appreciate this
 
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Sounds like you are having problems with the entry cut. I do need to address this one in a video, and it is past time for me to do more videos..... Anyway, you will be told to 'point the bevel in the direction you want to cut, and then cut'. We all do that, and we all have experiences 'I pointed it in the direction I wanted to cut, and it didn't cut where I wanted it to cut, it cut where it wanted to cut'... Still happens to me some days. To get the feel, I put the gouge inside the bowl, and make a few 'bevel adjustments' to that the gouge is taking a very light cut. Then I come back to the rim of the bowl and move the handle a bit more to the center line of the bowl. This actually has the gouge bevel at an angle that if followed would send you right through the wall if you continue.... Never make the inside of the bowl bigger than the outside..... You do have to correct your course as soon as you get the cut started. Some do like this as a design feature with the rim being slightly thicker than the inside. A lot of the time on the bottom of a bowl, for recess or tenon, I sill start the cut 1/4 inch inside the edge, then shear scraper or NRS to clean up that last little bit.

robo hippy
 
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Sounds like you are having problems with the entry cut. I do need to address this one in a video, and it is past time for me to do more videos..... Anyway, you will be told to 'point the bevel in the direction you want to cut, and then cut'. We all do that, and we all have experiences 'I pointed it in the direction I wanted to cut, and it didn't cut where I wanted it to cut, it cut where it wanted to cut'... Still happens to me some days. To get the feel, I put the gouge inside the bowl, and make a few 'bevel adjustments' to that the gouge is taking a very light cut. Then I come back to the rim of the bowl and move the handle a bit more to the center line of the bowl. This actually has the gouge bevel at an angle that if followed would send you right through the wall if you continue.... Never make the inside of the bowl bigger than the outside..... You do have to correct your course as soon as you get the cut started. Some do like this as a design feature with the rim being slightly thicker than the inside. A lot of the time on the bottom of a bowl, for recess or tenon, I sill start the cut 1/4 inch inside the edge, then shear scraper or NRS to clean up that last little bit.

robo hippy
This may be part of the problem too and this may be a great way to get that cut. By the way have watched some of your videos and look forward to the new ones as well.
 
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