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What’s on your lathe?

Michael Anderson

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I have a couple of embellishment-heavy projects going on, but I’m still working on the mini-calabash project to satiate my turning appetite. This one is about 1.5” diameter and is Argentine Lignum Vitae. Very dense and oily, and has some of the wildest grain I’ve ever seen. Almost like laminated feathers. The scent is also one of the pleasant I’ve ever experienced. Hard to describe, maybe floral-camphor-cherry, and reminds me of something but I don’t know what.

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I have a couple of embellishment-heavy projects going on, but I’m still working on the mini-calabash project to satiate my turning appetite. This one is about 1.5” diameter and is Argentine Lignum Vitae. Very dense and oily, and has some of the wildest grain I’ve ever seen. Almost like laminated feathers. The scent is also one of the pleasant I’ve ever experienced. Hard to describe, maybe floral-camphor-cherry, and reminds me of something but I don’t know what.

View attachment 60048
That is a beautiful specimen Michael. You did it proud!
 
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This Thuya burl bowl will be on my lathe tomorrow morning for finish sanding.

It is approximately 10 inches in diameter and 2.5 inches tall.

Yes, it looks like a pepperoni and cheese pizza.

I once-turned this piece from a green blank and then slow-dried it in a paper bag with Thuya wood shavings for one month. Its weight has stabilized to 478 grams and there are no cracks or warping in the piece.

Thuya wood smells absolutely amazing, with a smell quite like aromatic cedar yet more complex! I kept most of the shavings from this turning to use as “potpourri”.

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Michael Anderson

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I have a couple of embellishment-heavy projects going on, but I’m still working on the mini-calabash project to satiate my turning appetite. This one is about 1.5” diameter and is Argentine Lignum Vitae. Very dense and oily, and has some of the wildest grain I’ve ever seen. Almost like laminated feathers. The scent is also one of the pleasant I’ve ever experienced. Hard to describe, maybe floral-camphor-cherry, and reminds me of something but I don’t know what.

View attachment 60048

Thanks Paul! These little ones are fun. Takes longer than it should to get the form just right.
 

odie

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There was discussion about using coarse grits for power sanding of interior surfaces yesterday. I took this pic of a curly maple bowl last night, just prior to sanding the interior. This is a tooled surface, and you'll see there is absolutely no tearout to deal with directly from the tool! I am currently experimenting with some new negative rake scrapers of my own design, along with a new "task-specific" tool rest to accomplish this......so far, so good! The interior surface is almost, but not quite perfectly flat on the bottom, and the transition to the curved sides up underneath the undercut rim needs some help, too. When I use power sanding on interiors, it does speed things up when I need to true up interior surfaces like this.

For exterior surfaces, everything is different because of that pesky need to have perfect geometry....and, using any power sanding at all is not in the cards! :)

-o-

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My Thuya burl bowl is sanding nicely. Frequent and liberal application of lemon oil is helping to prevent gumming up my abrasives. I’m also using an abrasive eraser and that is helping a lot. I’ve gone from 80 to 120 grit with a sanding disc on my power drill and this is the current result. I’ll bring it to around 1500 grit.
 

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There was discussion about using coarse grits for power sanding of interior surfaces yesterday. I took this pic of a curly maple bowl last night, just prior to sanding the interior. This is a tooled surface, and you'll see there is absolutely no tearout to deal with directly from the tool! I am currently experimenting with some new negative rake scrapers of my own design, along with a new "task-specific" tool rest to accomplish this......so far, so good! The interior surface is almost, but not quite perfectly flat on the bottom, and the transition to the curved sides up underneath the undercut rim needs some help, too. When I use power sanding on interiors, it does speed things up when I need to true up interior surfaces like this.

For exterior surfaces, everything is different because of that pesky need to have perfect geometry....and, using any power sanding at all is not in the cards! :)

-o-

View attachment 60060 View attachment 60061
Yeah power sanding tends to mess up the chatoyance of highly figured woods as well. Much as in furniture making, using a card scraper or scraper plane yields a much better finish. That is one pretty piece of timber Odie!
 
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Leo I tried the polymerized tung oil from Lee Valley today on two smaller natural edge bowls today. Really like the finish and color. One was honey locust and the other horse chestnut. Just wondering are there any special notes on application of this tung oil, nothing noted except for fumes and making sure nothing gets on hands or eyes. Sorry for the poor photo quality, was in a hurry.
I use T&T Varnish Oil almost exclusively for finishing bowls, and like it a lot. Just recently I used it over a bowl where I had used walnut oil while sanding. I think I didn’t wait long enough for the walnut oil to fully cure (it’s a long time), and my T&T wasn’t fully cured for many weeks. At least this is my theory. Usually I put bowls in a sunny window to cure for a few days, but we’ve had so little sun recently, that hasn’t been possible. So something to consider depending on your finishing method.
 
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don’t you need a flat surface? How do you do a bowl interior or exterior? Are the scrapers malleable?
Not at all - Card Scraper, Scratch Stock, Bowl Scraper - whatever- will all consist of a piece of steel (typically tool steel, M2 HSS, Carbon Steel, Spring Steel, etc) that has been cut & polished to have a sharp edge (90 degrees or less) and then a Burr (also known as the Hook) is rolled on that edge to create the cutting edge of the tool - So they can be made in any shape imaginable (and on which you can roll or grind a burr) Often a well honed scraper with a quality rolled burr can give a superior finish cut in difficult grain than a keen sharp edge (which often wants to lift out the grain, resulting in tearout) so Scrapers are nothing to sneeze at...
 
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Last summer, my wife and I were headed out for a week's vacation. We were delayed by this large sugarberry that blew down across the driveway. I cut it up and left it on the ground to spalt. I should have rotated the logs every couple of months but I didn't. Last week I decided to check on the spalting. Looks pretty good. The non-spalted bowl is from this sugarberry before it spalted. I'm not obsessed with sugarberry, but it sure provides a lot of opportunity. The largest bowl is 8". The pretty one is small, maybe 4". The large crotch I split is 20" across. I'll save that until I get my new lathe in March. I haven't yet split the large crotch pictured. It's a lot of work for my little 16" chainsaw (and an old guy).

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My first use of color. I wanted something subtle (ha!).

I had this small blank of spalted bugged beech hiding in my basement for 20 years. It was time to turn it or burn it.

My plan was to dye it and then sand it back leaving the bug holes and dross channels as red spots. Didn’t work out that way…. After some light sanding at 120 I had pink streaks and pinkish dross. It was a mess. I also wasn’t prepared for red sawdust all over the lathe. Looked like I had a horrible accident.

i covered it again with red dye (water based) for the pic. It was fun experimenting. I’ve got some rattle can finish to experiment with next …
 

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Flat surfaces for flat card scrapers, and there are many curved ones for just about any other shape you can think of, and if you don't have one that fits, then make one, or 'repurpose' one.... Michael, with that lignum, as far as I can tell, the more a wood smells, the worse it is for you. Take care!

Odie, when you say 'no tear out' does that mean no visible tear out, or can you still feel a tiny bit with your fingers. I have seen more than one demo where the turner claimed 'no tear out' and while there was no visible, or highly visible tear out, put your fingers on it and for sure there was tear out....

robo hippy
 
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My first use of color. I wanted something subtle (ha!).

I had this small blank of spalted bugged beech hiding in my basement for 20 years. It was time to turn it or burn it.

My plan was to dye it and then sand it back leaving the bug holes and dross channels as red spots. Didn’t work out that way…. After some light sanding at 120 I had pink streaks and pinkish dross. It was a mess. I also wasn’t prepared for red sawdust all over the lathe. Looked like I had a horrible accident.

i covered it again with red dye (water based) for the pic. It was fun experimenting. I’ve got some rattle can finish to experiment with next …
welcome to my world.......o_O
 
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Probably the last time you buy from that seller! That is most certainly not walnut. It is a white oak of some sort. If not already aware, just know that oak must be dried VERY slowly. My description of oak is it cracks if you think about it too much.
good to know. Came dry, allegedly 12%, cuts dry. Seller refunding $10 of the $40. Says it was sold to him as walnut . . . me, I know little, but it does look different from the English walnut I’ve turned. Thanks!
 

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good to know. Came dry, allegedly 12%, cuts dry. Seller refunding $10 of the $40. Says it was sold to him as walnut . . . me, I know little, but it does look different from the English walnut I’ve turned. Thanks!
Looks to me like a piece of walnut-stained wood. I'd never buy any blanks whatever from eBay/Amazon/Etsy sellers... and this just reinforces/ adds to my reasoning as to why.
 

odie

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Odie, when you say 'no tear out' does that mean no visible tear out, or can you still feel a tiny bit with your fingers. I have seen more than one demo where the turner claimed 'no tear out' and while there was no visible, or highly visible tear out, put your fingers on it and for sure there was tear out....

robo hippy

Nope, robo......No tearout at all......none, zip, zero, nada...... :)

-o-
 
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This is what’s on the lathe
Piece of old cherry with some cracks and worm hole here and there!
This is my first lidded bowl or should I say box.
I added some copper wire in the holes in the lid that were for the first mounting on the lathe I think it wall add value (lol) not sure that feature might be changed! Thinking of maybe making a crushed stone ring instead, never used it before but theres always the first time.

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odie

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Odie, when you say 'no tear out' does that mean no visible tear out, or can you still feel a tiny bit with your fingers. I have seen more than one demo where the turner claimed 'no tear out' and while there was no visible, or highly visible tear out, put your fingers on it and for sure there was tear out....
Nope, robo......No tearout at all......none, zip, zero, nada...... :)

-o-

Howdy robo....

The bowl spins in a counterclockwise direction while the tools are cutting away material in a clockwise direction. Since this is so, if you were to rub your fingers in a counterclockwise direction over the surface of the bowl, you would normally feel a tiny bit of roughness in that direction, but a perfectly smooth feel if you rub your fingers in a clockwise direction....(the same direction in which the tool cuts.) This isn't tearout at all, as I would define it. It's on the surface, and immediately removed when you begin sanding. This slight roughness could also be removed by reversing the direction of the tool's cut, and cutting in the other direction. It's S.O.P for woodturners to cut in a single direction, so you can feel it, but it's simply the result of cutting in a single direction. Actual tearout is not just on the surface, but disrupts the grain structure BELOW the surface. This is why aggressive sanding is required to remove tearout.

Robo, I feel we might need to re-visit the definition of what tearout is, and what it isn't...... :)

-o-
 
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odie

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These pads I'm using to lean on while turning have sure been a back saver for me.....still working on the Brown Mallee burl bowl last night.

-o-
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