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First bowl - Wenge

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Project by lightcs1776 posted 05-20-2014 02:30 AM 802 views 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First, please feel free to leave tips on how to improve.

I received a block of wenge from my wife as a gift. She wanted me to try out bowl making on her lathe. I have been trying to learn the basics of furniture and box making. It was a lot of fun making the bowl. It is finished with Shellawax. The biggest thing I learned is that I really have a lot to learn. I definitely need to see how to hold the tools and how to sharpen better. The bowl gouges are too long for the sharpening jig I made for the grinder. The bowl was supposed to be about an inch taller, but that changed when a chunk flew off while trying to get the sides right. Oh well, that’s the way it goes.

Thanks to all who have helped my wife and I learn more about turning.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **





19 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

15496 posts in 1089 days


#1 posted 05-20-2014 02:45 AM

Very cool. Any health issues with the wood?

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View lightcs1776's profile

lightcs1776

3797 posts in 405 days


#2 posted 05-20-2014 02:46 AM

Not yet, Monte. However, I do need to get the dust collector soon. I wasn’t aware there were potential issue with wenge. Thanks!

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

5885 posts in 608 days


#3 posted 05-20-2014 02:52 AM

Looks like a change bowl or key bowl. You’re a braver man than I. I got scared of my lathe when a spindle I was making blew up and didn’t hurt me. Promptly finished my spindles and determined turning wasn’t for me. No doubt if you learn a little of how things should be done, you’ll be far ahead of me in no time. Good attitude to have, “oh well, that’s the way it goes.” Sounds like you’ll do it again.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

View lightcs1776's profile

lightcs1776

3797 posts in 405 days


#4 posted 05-20-2014 02:55 AM

Thanks Bill.I hope you try turning again. It is relatively safe. Wear a face mask and go for it. I’d love to see what you can make on a lathe.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

14630 posts in 1426 days


#5 posted 05-20-2014 03:01 AM

Gorgeous piece of wood. To bad that it didn’t want to play nice!!!

As a new turner, there is not much help that I can offer, except to say….

Watch as many videos as possible. When watching them, don’t watch the work piece, concentrate on the tool and it’s cutting edge. Look at how the cutting edge is addressing the wood & how the tool’s movement effects the shape.

You joined a turning club, correct? My club has a “mentoring” program, where skilled turners provide “one on one” coaching. I would try to get a few lessons from a fellow club member.

My first bowl also came out shorter than originally planned. Like you said though, “Oh well, that’s the way it goes.” These are not mistakes, just educational opportunities and design modifications.

CONGRATS, on your fist bowl!!!

Carry on….

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

View j_dubb's profile

j_dubb

196 posts in 560 days


#6 posted 05-20-2014 03:16 AM

That looks great! Perhaps not as a bowl for food, but I could totally see that on a table in an entryway to toss keys into or somesuch.

I know it’s only a matter of time before I give turning a shot, but I’m looking forward to it!

-- Josh // "If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason." - Jack Handey

View William's profile

William

9287 posts in 1593 days


#7 posted 05-20-2014 12:17 PM

It looks like a good start.
I won’t get too deep into suggestions because I still consider myself as learning to turn bowls.
Just one thing though.

Especially on woods such as this that cost a little bit, glue on a waste block.
On what you want to be your bowl bottom, using some cheap scrap wood, usually cutoffs from another project, glue a piece of wood on the bottom. You have to experiment and figure out which glue you prefer for this. I prefer tight bond II or III for waste blocks.
Then, after turning your bowl, turn off the waste block.
This does three things:
1. It allows you to make the bowl deeper because you do not have to have such a thick bottom to accommodate a hole for your chuck.
2. It allows you to make your bowl bottom the same thickness as your sides and give it a cleaner look.
3. If you prefer, it allows a deeper hole so you can have it further onto the chuck jaws, ensuring a better grip. This is real handy of you ever get into more difficult pieces to hold such as live edge turnings from logs and such.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View lightcs1776's profile

lightcs1776

3797 posts in 405 days


#8 posted 05-20-2014 12:25 PM

Thanks William. I’ll try that with the next one. One question though. Well, there will probably be more than one. Do you just part off the waste block when done or is it safe to put a piece of paper between the waste and good wood?

Thanks to all of you for your comments.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

3860 posts in 591 days


#9 posted 05-20-2014 12:35 PM

Beautiful, Chris! I’ve read that wenge can be toxic and to remove splinters immediately. I have a few small pieces that arrived in an LJ care package. Hmmm may glue them up with something else to make a turning block. I hope my first bowl turns out as well. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View lightcs1776's profile

lightcs1776

3797 posts in 405 days


#10 posted 05-20-2014 12:38 PM

So, Candy, I can tell Sherry that you said I absolutely must go out and get that dust collector I’ve been looking at? Grin!

Thanks for the compliment. I’m looking forward to seeing the bowls both you and your husband turn.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View William's profile

William

9287 posts in 1593 days


#11 posted 05-20-2014 01:06 PM

I’ve tried putting paper in between. I had a bad catch and created a wooden projectile, so I don’t trust that.
I’m not saying it’s wrong. I just won’t do it.
I glue waste blocks straight to the wood.
When I’m ready to remove it, I chuck the bowl upside down in the soft jaws (like you have it in the third photo) and turn it off.
I don’t use a parting tool. I use gouges. I use a half inch gouge to take it down to about a sixteenth of an inch thick. Then I switch to a freshly sharpened quarter inch gouge for a smooth finish. Just turned it off by taking multiple passes as if you would to face up a bowl blank. Once you get used to doing it, you can remove a three quarter inch thick waste block in less than a minute.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View lightcs1776's profile

lightcs1776

3797 posts in 405 days


#12 posted 05-20-2014 01:07 PM

Sounds good. Thanks, William. My concern was whether the paper method was safe enough. If there’s a way to make it dangerous, I’ll find it.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

3860 posts in 591 days


#13 posted 05-20-2014 01:28 PM

Chris, I know you were joking, however I had a respiratory scare in January that coincided with cutting some cedar on the bandsaw. A “cold” took a turn for the weird right about the time I cut a ~ 30 year old log my BIL sent me for Christmas. It wasn’t pneumonia, allergy, asthma or anything with a name, I just was breathing like I had just run up a couple of flights of stairs ALL the time. Even eating made me MORE breathless. I was on bed/recliner rest for 3 weeks!!
You never know what you may react to. This was just a common cedar log.
So YES, tell Sherry I said you HAVE to get that DC system!
Rant over.

-- God bless, Candy

View lightcs1776's profile

lightcs1776

3797 posts in 405 days


#14 posted 05-20-2014 01:34 PM

Actually, Candy, I was only half joking. I look at DCs every day now. I was browsing PSI’s catalog this morning. They have a 1 micron at a good price. The search continues.

-- Chris ** If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. — Tom Paine **

View boxcarmarty's profile

boxcarmarty

9834 posts in 1111 days


#15 posted 05-20-2014 09:06 PM

Bowl, tray, coaster, paperweight, firewood, good job Chris…..

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

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