First attempt with Pecan

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Project by mgburr posted 09-06-2011 06:42 PM 1388 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was how I spent my labor day weekend. I have some logs of Pecan from the In-Laws property, and have never turned any before. So figured they were dry enough, I’d chuck one up and see how it came it. I cut the log in half along the core, then trimmed the edges so that it was square. Drilled the mounting hole through the core, and turned the bowl from the natural curve of the log.

The first picture tells the tale of what happens, when you are trying to do thin work and forget to make sure the tools are SHARP. :-}. I was trying to smooth the inside a little when I went to check the outside with my hand. Found that it was no longer round, and after stopping the lathe, I understood why. The second and third show a bit of the grain for the second attempt at the bowl. After sharpening the scraper and bowl gouge, it came out much nicer. I still have a bit of a spot where chatter got in the way. But I also leanred to leave it thick on the outside, get the inside the way you want and then work back again on the outside.

And always, always, always, sharp tools and light shearing cuts. :-D

3 comments so far

View peteg's profile


4299 posts in 2852 days

#1 posted 09-06-2011 11:42 PM

I am reminded of Robert The Bruce watching the spider..& the rest is history. I think everybody with a lathe knows exactly how you feel. The main thing is to learn something from it which you have, well done
Welcome to the world of green turning ::: )))))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Michael1's profile


403 posts in 2689 days

#2 posted 09-07-2011 08:42 AM

Nice looking bowls. It is really frustrating when you take a chunk out of your turning. happens to me all the time. But all of the bowls look great. Even the one that has the chunk taken out, I would call that charicter. What size of lathe do you have? I have tried mounting green logs on my lathe before and have found my lathe isnt strong enough to spin the log. Also I have a hard time getting a log to be balanced and not vibrate the lathe bench to death since the log is never a true radius. any suggestions?

-- Michael Mills, North Carolina,

View mgburr's profile


50 posts in 2821 days

#3 posted 09-07-2011 02:05 PM

I wouldn’t say green turning :-). They’ve been sitting in my garage, in FL for about 3 yrs. So they’ve pretty well baked out most of the moisture. :-) Didn’t have to twice turn, the logs were already splitting from being dried, and really light. I’ve had some catestrophic failures on different things in the past, so when this one didn’t fail, but just cracked, it took me by suprise.

@Michael1 I’ve got a Delta 1440, 14” swing with a 40” bed. It’s about 7 yrs old, and has been pretty good to me so far. Although I think I’ve got a set of bearings going in the headstock, I’m seeing some issues with turning small pens etc. One thing I have done in the past, when working with a block that seems too lopsided, read my lathe doesn’t spin slow enough, is trimming off the corners and making it into a Hexagon. That usually helps me out quite a bit.

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