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The secret to being a good turner

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Forum topic by RussellAP posted 04-08-2013 07:10 PM 1193 views 1 time favorited 36 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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RussellAP

2966 posts in 1038 days


04-08-2013 07:10 PM

Lest anyone think this subject deserves a better turner to write it, I agree. I’ve only been at it since November.

It takes about 3 months to understand that creating a good wood turning is 50% learning how to chuck wood, 35% sharpening, drying and finishing, 15% actual skill in turning.

If you don’t know how to hold your wood, you’re going to get hurt and most of what you turn isn’t going to come out right. The pen guys have it easy, but still, most chucks haven’t been made for pen turners and people have had to improvise.

I watch Capt Eddie, he has a video I think it’s #159, where he explains how to chuck a finial. You have to buy some stuff, but 30 – 40$ should be all.

You’ll need one of these colletts, I got a 3/8 and a 7/16. http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=4314&category= They have a number 2 Morse Taper. You just need one of those long 3/8 screw draw bar to use as a closer. I turned a handle for mine. The collet goes into the drive side of the lathe and you insert the closer from the left of the drive chuck and tighten it. It holds a piece of finial really well. Of course its always safe to turn between centers, so I use my drill chuck with a socket extension so as not to damage the wood.

Chucks will make you go broke, so shop around. Capt Eddie has some great buys on his page and he makes reference to other tools that are a steal for steel, git it.

For those of you thinking about getting into lathing, it’s more expensive than you will ever know. Make friends with someone who has a machine shop.

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


36 replies so far

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TheDane

3991 posts in 2414 days


#1 posted 04-08-2013 07:22 PM

RussellAP … depending on your lathe, you can make a draw bar out of a bolt or piece of threaded rod. I have a Delta 46-460 midi-lathe, and used a 10” carriage bolt.

You are correct … the cost of the lathe is pocket change compared to what you can spend on chucks, tools, and other accessories.

-- 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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TerryDowning

1025 posts in 869 days


#2 posted 04-08-2013 07:25 PM

Here is a great book on chucks. I highly recommend it.

http://www.amazon.com/Fixtures-Chucks-Woodturning-Everything-Secure/dp/1565235193/ref=sr12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365448970&sr=1-2&keywords=woodturning

Many of the solutions in this book are fairly low cost. There is an entire section on shop made fixtures and chucks.

-- - Terry

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lew

10161 posts in 2507 days


#3 posted 04-08-2013 07:36 PM

Russel,
You probably already know about this gentleman, but just in case…
http://www.davidreedsmith.com/Articles/AllWoodColletChuck/AllWoodColletChuck.htm

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

View Kreegan's profile

Kreegan

1452 posts in 898 days


#4 posted 04-08-2013 09:05 PM

I am reading Doc’s book right now actually. Just in the first few pages, I learned a lot. Highly worth reading.

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RussellAP

2966 posts in 1038 days


#5 posted 04-08-2013 09:40 PM

If it’s online, I’ll read it. I don’t do books anymore.

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

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TerryDowning

1025 posts in 869 days


#6 posted 04-08-2013 09:42 PM

Personally, I don’t have a computer in my shop (and I don’t want one). Print books are useful shop companions IMHO.

-- - Terry

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RussellAP

2966 posts in 1038 days


#7 posted 04-08-2013 09:46 PM

They are only useful if you can see them. My eyes won’t focus on print that small.

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

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1245 posts in 886 days


#8 posted 04-08-2013 09:55 PM

Russell disagree with your assessment! Mounting wood in a 4- jaw chuck about the simplest thing to do.

Like everyone, else still looking for that woodturning tool that will allow me to reach pinnacle of success. Think most folks concentrate on their tools & equipment than actual turning. Surprised, folks with more experience and expensive tools and equipment than me do not know much about the wood they turn.

The basics like sharpening & re-sharpening tools, grip, stance, and body movement all lifelong learning process. It can be said about finishing your turnings as well. Since no two pieces of wood even from the same tree exactly same you will never stop learning about the wood you use.

No matter what type of turning we do there are options. If had a ¼” collet chuck & ¼” drill rod would have perfect set up for turning pens. I have three pen mandrels but prefer to use a dead & live center.

I have two 4-jaw chucks but often start turning bowls between centers using my 2-prong drive & live center. Often will use that screw that came with my chucks instead. I often mount jam chucks in my 4-jaw chuck for reverse turning, also have several size donut chucks mounted on faceplates.

I seldom mount my drill chuck in the heads stock because they have a tendency to come out when least expect them to. Still drill my tool handles with drill chuck & bit mounted in headstock.

You will never gain much skill without lots of patience, practice and persistence.

-- Bill

View TerryDowning's profile

TerryDowning

1025 posts in 869 days


#9 posted 04-08-2013 09:57 PM

I do understand that.

If a print book offered on Amazon is not offered in electronic format, click the “I’d like to read this book on Kindle” link on the right side of the page under “Tell the Publisher” The more requests the publisher gets, the more likely they are to offer in that format.

-- - Terry

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Stephenw

273 posts in 1137 days


#10 posted 04-08-2013 10:55 PM

I have a large collection of MT2 collets because the spindle of my metal milling machine is MT2. What do you use them for on a wood lathe?

I have the Barracuda lathe chuck for my wood lathe.

-- http://www.garagebulletin.com/

View TheDane's profile (online now)

TheDane

3991 posts in 2414 days


#11 posted 04-08-2013 11:02 PM

Stephenw—They come in real handy for things with small tenons … stuff like finials, ornaments, etc.

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

View paratrooper34's profile

paratrooper34

760 posts in 1703 days


#12 posted 04-08-2013 11:04 PM

I don’t get it….is the secret to being a good turner making friends with someone who owns a machine shop? As someone who wants to get into turning, this was not helpful. What am I missing?

-- Mike

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TheDane

3991 posts in 2414 days


#13 posted 04-08-2013 11:09 PM

Mike—I think Russell did that tongue-in-cheek, but I’ll let him speak for himself.

As for my experience, I have found the guys in my local turner’s club a great resource. Along with the abundance of information on the web, they have helped and supported me as I get further into turning.

Another great resource has been the local tech schools where I have taken some classes. I don’t know about other areas, but in Wisconsin, veterans can sign up for classes in turning, woodworking, etc. for little or no tuition cost.

-- 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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Stephenw

273 posts in 1137 days


#14 posted 04-08-2013 11:17 PM

Collets don’t have much range. The wood has to be round and close to the collet diameter.

Here is the video RussellAP is talking about…

-- http://www.garagebulletin.com/

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RussellAP

2966 posts in 1038 days


#15 posted 04-08-2013 11:22 PM

Mike, it would help seeing the selection out there is dismal if you want something different. I’d love a livecenter that doesn’t have a point on it like most of them do. I’d like – and in fact I use – a 1/4 compression to 3/8 Pipe connector in the tail stock, but it doesn’t rotate. I’d like to see some sort of universal rotating live center that will accept whatever you want to put in it under 30$, or even 60$ for that matter. We’re getting ripped off of equipment you know. A machine shop buddy could save us $$.

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

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