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Forum topic by Wildwood posted 384 days ago 689 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Wildwood

854 posts in 635 days


384 days ago

Few days ago responded to post on turning finials and mentioned start turning them between centers. Whether use spur drive/live center or chuck/live center will learn a lot. Besides turning a pleasing form finial need to learn about support while turning. Support comes from wood thickness, tailstock and hand support.

When turning a finial always strive to get as close to off the tool finish as possible. Final elements need to look sharp and crisp and not rounded over with sandpaper.

I was Fooling around yesterday afternoon with small piece of wood turning a finial between centers. No, not my best work and will be going in firewood bag have no plan to use it. While okay for message board posting if doing a show & tell or instant gallery might turn several before mounting on a turning.

!

http://i1338.photobucket.com/albums/o695/wildwood5/finials/IMG_1252_zpsb9614732.jpg!

-- Bill


13 replies so far

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Wildwood

854 posts in 635 days


#1 posted 384 days ago

After practice, turning finials eventually will want to start thinking about proportion and scale. Essentially, want your finial adding harmony to piece you are mounting it on. I still go by eye and often disappointed with my results. One of these days will break out my homemade Fibonacci gauge before glue sets up.

Started turning long graceful finials for mounting on bottom of Christmas ornaments. Soon learned those did not look good or go on a Christmas tree that well. So need a stand and place on mantle or table. Now turn short finials for Christmas ornaments. I had same experience with finials on box lids so shorten those too!

Plenty of good examples of finials on line, just print off a picture of one you would like to try and have fun with it.

Sorry about pictures in last post!

-- Bill

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TheDane

3423 posts in 2164 days


#2 posted 384 days ago

I have started turning finials with collet chucks and a live center. Collet chuck needs to be secured with a draw bar … I made my own draw bar out of a piece of 3/8×16 threaded rod and plastic knob.

With a collet chuck, you don’t waste as much wood, and you don’t have to work around the bulky scroll chuck or worry about hitting the spur center with your gouge or skew.

A good source for collet chucks is http://www.littlemachineshop.com

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

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Kreegan

1452 posts in 647 days


#3 posted 384 days ago

I turned my second ever finial today, just for practice. I turned between centers, just left a little nub to hold it on at both ends. It was a great chance to get more skew practice, which I always need.

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Wildwood

854 posts in 635 days


#4 posted 383 days ago

Rich, you finial looks lot better than my example nice work.

Jerry wasting wood and learning how to turn big part of the process!
All methods of holding wood on a lathe force you to think about amount of that waste before you start!

Since most lathes come with drive & live center does not cost more to waste wood to practice. My optional two prong drive center cost less than $30.

Real lesson from my original post is pleasing form, support, and close to off tool finish as possible. In my second post making a finial that is in harmony with whatever you are mounting it on.

Collet chucks make a nice addition to your tool collection many folks buy a basic chuck and shop around for collets. When started turning not un-common for folks including myself to make their own wood collet chucks for special purposes. Can still find instructions for making a collet chuck on line.

http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p/5/-/23/101/-/4400/Apprentice-Collet-Chuck/colet+chuck

http://www.woodturnerscatalog.com/p/5/-/23/101/-/1223/Beall-Complete-Collet-Chuck-Set/bealle+collet+chuck

http://www.pennstateind.com/store/LCDOWEL.html

-- Bill

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TheDane

3423 posts in 2164 days


#5 posted 383 days ago

Collet chucks from the Little Machine Shop are $10.50.

If you are turning poplar, maple, and other common domestic woods then the cost of the wood you are wasting is inconsequential.

But if you are turning finials out of cocobolo, rosewood, bubinga, ebony, and other exotics then you are talking a lot more than pocket change.

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

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Kreegan

1452 posts in 647 days


#6 posted 383 days ago

I have the set from PSI and am pretty happy with it. It’s a bit stiff and difficult to tighten fully at times. Before I got that, I had a couple of collets that I’d made out of PVC and a hose clamp. They worked well, but only for certain sizes (1/2 and 3/4 inch).

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woodbutcherbynight

1226 posts in 910 days


#7 posted 383 days ago

I save stuff like this, never know when you have need to use it for some odd project. That said you will now have to be creative and find a storage solution as we all seem to suffer from this disease, shopnotbigenough. (Laughing)

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

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TheDane

3423 posts in 2164 days


#8 posted 383 days ago

Rich … The collets I use are 1/4”, 3/8”, and 1/2”.

The smaller sizes come in handy for finials and icicles on ornaments:
Click for details

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

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TheDane

3423 posts in 2164 days


#9 posted 383 days ago

woodbutcherbynight—Storage is easy … I just put the small pieces right next to the ’darnifiknow’ and ’fog’ wood … two common species found in many woodturner’s shops!

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

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Wildwood

854 posts in 635 days


#10 posted 382 days ago

Gerry took me forever to find collect chucks on your link. Could not find inexpensive collect chuck or collets, can you link what you use?

http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/products.php?category=-721769108

Whole idea here is practice Gerry! Use a simple method to hold your wood, support while turning, work on off tool finish, and creating a pleasing form without sanding away elements. With practice eventually comes proportion and scale.

Gerry, never got around to selecting wood for real application. Okay whether using domestic or exotic, do not use wood with flaws like shown in my pictures. We never got around to color your domestic wood to look like ebony or ivory too!

-- Bill

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TheDane

3423 posts in 2164 days


#11 posted 382 days ago

Wildwood … see: http://www.littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=4314

I’m not disagreeing with you … I get it. Practice is good. All I am saying is that use of a collet chuck provides a tighter, firmer hold on small tenons and can result in a more graceful, delicate finial.

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

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 647 days


#12 posted 382 days ago

I looked on that site, Gerry. The PSI collet chuck that I have holds ER32 collets. I’ll have to order some to fill in the gaps. Thanks for the link!

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Wildwood

854 posts in 635 days


#13 posted 381 days ago

Gerry, several woodturning vendors carry collet chucks, hence my linking some vendors. For some small turnings no argument from me, collet chucks have their place especially for use on a mini lathe.

I started with almost 1” square piece of wood, that was destine to be a tulip until turned into a finial for practice. After some more turning now ready for firewood.

Everyone has a different approach:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9gog8oJggw

-- Bill

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