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Needing some turning help and advice

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Forum topic by MedicKen posted 07-10-2010 04:28 AM 1115 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MedicKen

1610 posts in 2928 days


07-10-2010 04:28 AM

Being that I am a newbie when it comes turning I need some help and advice. I have an older Delta lathe that I have completely restored and some basic tools. I know there are some very talented wood turners here and I am looking for a good book or site I can go to to some of the basic info. A little on techinque would be good but I think more on sharpening would be better. I do have ” The Complete Guide to Sharpening” by Leonard Lee, but it leaves a little to be desired when it comes to turning tools. I know there must be a better resource. Unfortunately we don’t have any local turning clubs so that won’t be of much help. Any turners out there up for offering a little assistance?

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com


13 replies so far

View 76winger's profile

76winger

151 posts in 2583 days


#1 posted 07-10-2010 04:56 AM

Welcome MedicKen, I’ll bet that Delta lathe is going to be sweet to use. Currently, I’m using an old Shopsmith that I rebuilt a few years back. It’s only been about a year and a half that I’ve gotten into turning, first pens and now I’ve added bowls and a couple spindles.

I read one book dedicated to turning pens that got me started with those, and I’ve started looking for other things to turn, I picked up Taunton’s Complete Illustrated Guide to Turning by Richard Raffan and have found it to be a great resource describing and illustrating many of the different types of turning. Spindles, bowls, faceplate and end-grain are covered as well as boxes and hollow vessels. It touches on finishing, but leaves a lot more unanswered than answered on that subject (probably so they can sell their finishing books). It also has sections on lathe and tool selection, sharpening.

Overall it was a great read and I keep it handy in the shop to refer back to and ensure I’m using the right technique when I do something new. I’m sure others will offer some recommendations as well, but that one is one I recommend.

-- Dave, See some of my creations at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/76Winger

View Bothus's profile

Bothus

439 posts in 2642 days


#2 posted 07-10-2010 05:27 AM

Hi Ken,

The only things I ever turned were the spindles and the finial for the grandfather clock I made. The tools didn’t get a chance to get dull.

I’m glad you posted this question though because I really enjoyed what little turning I have done so I will benefit from the LJers who reply to you.

Our local community college has 7 or 8 lathes set up but at the time I took Woodshop there I wasn’t interested in turning. I may take a class now though if I ever get any free time.

Jerry

-- Jerry Boshear, Professional Kitchen Designer, amature woodworker.

View Alan's profile

Alan

443 posts in 2870 days


#3 posted 07-10-2010 07:28 AM

When I sharpen turning tools I just touch them to the grinder a little, no jigs, nothing fancy, very fast. Nothing like sharpening the blades on my hand planes to a mirror finish. Interested to know what others do.

-- Alan, Prince George

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2800 days


#4 posted 07-10-2010 12:32 PM

I have to agree completely with Alan. Most turning tools need frequent touch-up on the grinder. I use my tools straight off the grinder with the exception of my skew chisels, which I do take the time to hone because a skew chisel can give a finish that doesn’t even need sanding if done properly. That said, I don’t use it a whole lot for faceplate turning.

It may take you awhile to get used to sharpening free hand, but the rewards are enormous in terms of convenience and speed. You will no doubt be tempted to buy a sharpening jig, many of which do a great job, but learning to sharpen by hand is no less a skill than learning to turn and I believe they go hand-in-hand and give you a great feeling of freedom and flexibility. You would also greatly benefit from learning to do a fingernail grind on your gouges, also freehand.

There are articles and videos available to teach you these things. when it comes to turning I think the videos are best because they show you the proper body and tool movements, and that is everything when it comes to turning and sharpening. Good luck with your turning journey!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 2675 days


#5 posted 07-10-2010 01:40 PM

Freehand is great if you have the time and patience to learn and can afford to go through the steel while you learn to sharpen. Freehand sharpening is an art and takes time to perfect. But if you want consistent edges (very important, especially when you are learning to turn) I suggest getting a jig like the Wolverine system or look around online for instructions to make your own.

View mckenziedrums's profile

mckenziedrums

118 posts in 2524 days


#6 posted 07-10-2010 02:16 PM

I know I need to learn to sharpen my tools properly… but I am sorely tempted with the Easy Finisher and a few other carbide tipped tools. Yes, HSS is going to be sharper but that’s only for a little while when you’re talking hard exotic woods, etc. Plus I have some soft metal here I’d like to turn into a pen and without a machinists lathe that means a carbide cutter. The Easy Finisher is $88 for the mini but there’s a place selling a VERY similar tool for $44. Hoping to get a picture of the profile on their cutter before I pull the trigger one way or the other. On a limited tool budget it makes more sense than updating my grinder and purchasing other supplies to properly sharpen HSS tools I think.

View brunob's profile

brunob

2277 posts in 3636 days


#7 posted 07-10-2010 03:45 PM

I’ve been turning a few years and use the Wolverine almost all the time. It’s fast and the tools are always perfect. When I turn bowls from wet wood I sharpen every five or six cuts even with the best tools – mostly the Ellsworth gouge.

-- Bruce from Central New York...now, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View lew's profile

lew

11344 posts in 3221 days


#8 posted 07-10-2010 04:06 PM

Ken,
Here are some resources that may help. Also, when I started, I found the book “The Lathe Book” by Ernie Conover to be helpful; it has a chapter on tool sharpening (ISBN 1-56158-057-0 Taunton Press). The only bad things about all books are that some of the “physical moves” of turning are difficult to describe. Videos do a much better job of this. There are numerous short videos on You Tube that are extremely helpful.

http://www.woodturningonline.com/

http://www.woodcentral.com/articles/turning/articles_485.shtml

http://www.davidreedsmith.com/Articles/WoodenFaceplate/WoodenFaceplates.htm

http://www.woodturnerpro.com/software/downloadsoftware.html

http://www.turnwood.net/

Hope this helps.

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View MedicKen's profile

MedicKen

1610 posts in 2928 days


#9 posted 07-10-2010 05:38 PM

Lew…. I also have the book by Ernie Conover. I was a lttle disappointed as it seems to be more of a lathe for dummies, which I guess I might be, as opposed to a good resource on how to turn. I will look for more videos and see what I can find. I did join woodturningonline a few weeks ago but have noticed they are not very active.

-- My job is to give my kids things to discuss with their therapist....medic20447@gmail.com

View lew's profile

lew

11344 posts in 3221 days


#10 posted 07-10-2010 06:06 PM

When I got my lathe, I hadn’t turned anything but the obligatory “lamp from a bowling pin”, in 10th grade (almost 50 years ago). I needed something that covered the basics and I found the book at the same place I bought the lathe.

The Woodturningonline publishes a newsletter about once a month. A year or so ago, I had the good fortune to meet a local turner- Ruth Niles (http://www.torne-lignum.com/) and she told me about these folks http://www.woodturner.org/

Lew

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View stefang's profile

stefang

15512 posts in 2800 days


#11 posted 07-10-2010 07:41 PM

Just a comment on learning hand sharpening again. I learned to hand sharpen and I still have all of my hss turning tools that I bought and have been using the last 14 years. Yes the Wolverine is a great sharpening jig, but you can’t do a fingernail grind on it, and that’s hands down the best grind to use on gouges. No disrespect meant, just my two cents. Also for wood turning carbide cutters are not the best, and don’t give nice enough cuts for detail work. You can’t sharpen them on a grinder (except for one with diamonds). I imagine they are great for metal working though.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View brunob's profile

brunob

2277 posts in 3636 days


#12 posted 07-10-2010 07:49 PM

Actually, you can do the fingernail grind on it. That’s what it’s best at. I tookl a course from David Ellerson and use his tool. Sharpen it on the Wolverine veri jig.

-- Bruce from Central New York...now, if you'll pardon me, I have some sawdust to make.

View mckenziedrums's profile

mckenziedrums

118 posts in 2524 days


#13 posted 07-10-2010 08:29 PM

stefang: Have you tried the Easy Wood tools? The detail cutter is amazingly flexible. On my trip to WoodCraft today I ended up grabbing the mini rougher and it’s absolutely amazing. It’s not designed for detail work but I don’t have to worry about sharpening a gouge and this removes material faster and cleaner anyways. Try one out sometime and see what you think.

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