Projects, the backstories #2: Open form in oak, day 1

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Blog entry by PASs posted 155 days ago 561 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Slotted coin displays Part 2 of Projects, the backstories series Part 3: Open form in oak, day 2, oops day 1 (part deaux) and day 2 »

Seth (my daughter’s boyfriend) does yard work for spending money and got some oak logs for me (about 4,000 pounds worth).
I decided to try an open form with a (small) piece of it.
Since it was green it was heavier than I wanted to try lifting onto the lathe. Besides that’s why I have a chain hoist and trolley.

Seth was doing the hoisting…lots of pulling to bring it up…but he’s young.

Initial mount to the headstock is a 4” faceplate, the biggest I’ve got.

There was minimal sag with just the faceplate, but I didn’t want to even try starting it up without the live center supporting it. I didn’t feel like setting up the chainsaw so I just used the large cone on the live center to start the turning.

Mounted, safety cage in place, ready to rumble.

5:57 p.m. Starting the debarking process.
I could have just knocked it off, but wanted the practice so I used my 1” roughing gouge.

6:26 p.m. After half an hour the bottom is starting to come into shape, at least the angle is coming off.

6:35 p.m. Taking the sides to round. Too bad the picture is out of focus, there’s a puddle of water in the gouge.

And there was water dripping off my face shield. As a side note I wear either a hard hat with full face shield or a full face respirator when I’m turning. I like my face the way it is and I personally think wrinkles are preferable to scars. And the pocket on the t-shirt is full of shavings.

6:41 p.m. All the rough edges off. Water dripping everywhere.

6:41 to 7:15 p.m. took a break for supper or something.
The plan was to leave the 4” faceplate on as the center support for the top of the form and to put the Nova Titan chuck on a tenon on the bottom.
So I started to form the outer contour of the form and to cut in for the tenon. I switched to the Sorby Sovereign. I pulled the middle joint out so the round cutter was attached directly to the bar, like a straight gouge.

It really started pulling off the wet wood. Seth said I was throwing shavings all the way across the garage.
I got a couple of them off the floor, about 1/4” wide and 5 feet long. Things were going well and fast.

8:36 p.m. The outer shape was rough turned and the tenon was cut.

8:39 p.m. I turned down the end off the tenon as far as I felt comfortable. The piece was round, but not balanced. It was easy to tell because the tailstock extension was wobbling around (flexing) when I was turning.

8:42 p.m. We sawed the nub off the tenon so the chuck could snug up against the bottom of the form.

8:44 p.m. Titan chuck on the tenon. Ready to swap ends.

8:49 p.m. Back to the hoist. Took the strain off the headstock and unscrewed the form.

8:54 p.m. Turned the form around, screwed the Titan chuck on the headstock, screwed the faceplate on the tailstock…ready to hollow.

Closeup of the 4” faceplate screwed onto the live center threaded adapter.

9:06 p.m. A couple of inches in.

Breaking the blog entry at this point, continuing day 1, and adding day 2 in the next entry.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

7 comments so far

View BTimmons's profile


2113 posts in 1117 days

#1 posted 155 days ago

That is some seriously hardcore turning.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

7683 posts in 2684 days

#2 posted 155 days ago

That sucker is WET & Heavy!

How far are you going to go before you set it aside to dry?

Awesome piece… Project!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5352 posts in 2217 days

#3 posted 155 days ago

The problem with cutting a whole log this way , is that you end up cutting into endgrain ,and lots of it too.You are making life difficult but hey it has all been done before.I always cut my logs through the middle and then cut a circle in a half of the log at a time coming in fron the centre to the bark and this way you cut with the grain and get a better finish less dig ins etc.I see lot’s of people do it your way especially when making hollow forms.I don’t envy your task still you’re doing great so far KIndest regards Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View PASs's profile


561 posts in 1730 days

#4 posted 155 days ago

Thanks all.
You are right about the end grain turning, but I want the look of the whole log hollowed out.
Scotsman, this is actually a smaller hollow form for me.
Here's the first one.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View Roger's profile


14373 posts in 1436 days

#5 posted 155 days ago

Ok, now THIS is an icecream bowl

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View stefang's profile


12938 posts in 1966 days

#6 posted 152 days ago

It’s always a little exciting to turn big pieces. The cage is a great safety feature for those large pieces.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View PASs's profile


561 posts in 1730 days

#7 posted 152 days ago

Exciting is a good word.
Closest thing to an adrenalin rush I get nowdays.
My general rule is if the shield with fit over the piece I use it.
Same thing with the hard hat and face shield.
Especially since this happened.

I noticed you removed a comment about faceplates, but it was a good one.
The 4 inch is the largest I own.
I have a 6 inch mounting ring that fits on the Titan chuck. but It under a larger pine bowl right now.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

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