Question for turners again

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 03-11-2013 04:45 PM 845 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3103 posts in 2256 days

03-11-2013 04:45 PM

I plan on turning square blanks. I plan to leave them square and just hollow out a bowl from them.
I’m concerned about the spinning corners, so I had an idea that might help me keep an eye on where those corners are at when it’s spinning.

Now most people might want to consider the possibility of a seizure by doing this so I’m not endorsing it, but rather asking is anyone has tried this or perhaps something else to keep an eye on those corners while you turn.

My idea is to get a strobe light mounted where it can shine on the corners as they spin. I think it would make it much easier to see where your tool is in relation to the corners.

Any thoughts?

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

9 replies so far

View MNgary's profile


298 posts in 2386 days

#1 posted 03-11-2013 05:37 PM

I suggest you mount one of the squares, turn on the lathe, and then decide if the strobes are needed. I rely on sight, sound, and feel without accessory lighting, but maybe the strobes are an added plus for you. By sight I include the appearance of the blank in addition to the shavings as they are generated.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View TheDane's profile


5405 posts in 3632 days

#2 posted 03-11-2013 05:40 PM

Russell—I don’t think you’ll need strobe lights … the ‘ghost’ will be visible enough to stay out of trouble.

You’ll be turning a lot of air, so take very light cuts.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2256 days

#3 posted 03-11-2013 05:48 PM

TheDane, I thought maybe put some white paint on the corners would work. And maybe a line down the sides to keep an eye on them as they turn.
I have a gooseneck light and a halogen mounted just off center to keep water from splashing on it. One is on the front side and one is on the back side. I also use a very powerful led flashlight with a magnetic base which fits will on the tailstock to see inside bowls.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2116 days

#4 posted 03-11-2013 06:20 PM

Just stick a piece of blue painters tape on one of the corners. It’ll stick out like a sore thumb. I do this on cole jaws.

View RussellAP's profile


3103 posts in 2256 days

#5 posted 03-11-2013 06:30 PM

Great idea Kreegan.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

View Cliff De Witt 's profile

Cliff De Witt

130 posts in 2662 days

#6 posted 03-11-2013 06:52 PM

Personally I just keep everything on the side of the tool rest that does not have wood.

Kind of hide behind the bar. You will be able to see most of the wood from the ghosts and way.

-- Trying to find an answer to my son’s question: “…and forming organic cellulose by spinning it on its axis is interesting, why?”

View bondogaposis's profile


4690 posts in 2320 days

#7 posted 03-11-2013 06:53 PM

If you go the strobe light route, throw in a disco ball too, ;-), and take pictures.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View REO's profile


928 posts in 2043 days

#8 posted 03-11-2013 07:04 PM

the problem with strobe is that it psychologically reduces the danger. If its not moving its safe. Years ago a fellow I knew thought it was cool to put on demonstrations with a table saw using a strobe. He was a little hard of hearing to start with and with the hearing protection on he couldn’t hear the saw running. He fired up the strobe and turned on the saw, but the ambient light was to bright so he asked someone to turn down the lights. when he turned back to the saw he noticed a little chunk next to the blade. he reached in to flick the piece out of the way with his finger forgetting that the saw was running, and lost a pea sized piece of the end. not that everyone would do that, but the perception of the danger is diminished without a frame of reference through hearing, feeling and sight. Just a little bit of bright color on the corners will help to clarify the boundary.

View mikema's profile


180 posts in 2555 days

#9 posted 03-11-2013 07:06 PM

I think you will be fine with out the strobe light. I have started out with a few square turnings, and they are easier to work with then you think. You will be able to tell where the corners are while it is turning without the strobe light.

As I am thinking about this, I would think the strobe light would make the turning more difficult. The strobe light would make it seem more discrete where turning is more continuous type movements.

-- Mike ---- Visit my woodworking blog:

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