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Forum topic by ckorkyrun89 posted 393 days ago 944 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ckorkyrun89

34 posts in 650 days


393 days ago

I have a big piece of Ambrosia Maple that I am working on turning into a bowl. It seems to be a little too rotten to turn very well. I am getting a lot of tearing as I am turning. I am sure there is a better way to stabilize it but will a mixture of water and an Elmers or Titebond glue work to stabilize it?

I have an older Craftsman tube style lathe which seems to have no rigidity what-so-ever and it really isn’t helping me with this piece of maple. I have it bolted to a frame made out of rail road ties which has helped some with vibrations but the lathe itself seems to be pretty flimsey.

My other question is in regards to the turning tools I am using. They are also older Craftsman tools. They don’t seem to be keeping any kind of edge on them. I have a slower speed bench grinder style setup with the white grinding wheel on it. Are these tools just not made from a hard steel? Is there anything I can do to make them better or should I just move on.

I have turned a handfull of bowls before but in my opinion I had nicer turning tools to do them with along with a carbide tool.

Thanks for any ideas.


13 replies so far

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8476 posts in 2275 days


#1 posted 393 days ago

work holding, rigidity, and tool cutting edge all play a major part here. it’s hard to judge the level of vibration you are experiencing without first hand experience, but you could try and stabilize your part with a steady rest perhaps? or seeing that this is a bowl – maybe by using your hand on the inside (for outside cuts) or outside (for inside cuts) to help stabilize it some more (for final finishing cuts of course)?

in regard to your tools – are those HSS (better) or carbon steel?
regardless, if you notice that they are losing their edge fairly quickly then obviously you might want to consider a tool that will retain it’s edge a bit longer (again, short…long… very hard to assess without having some numbers to it).

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1161 posts in 1486 days


#2 posted 392 days ago

To firm up the punky wood, use thin CA glue. It will soak into the wood and harden it and will not adversely affect the finish.

Good Luck!

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3726 posts in 2290 days


#3 posted 392 days ago

For carbide tools, check out Captain Eddie Castelin ( http://eddiecastelin.com/products_and_services ). He has a set called ‘Taste of Carbide’ that gets you started with carbide tools at a pretty reasonable price.

Using a glue/water mix as a stabilizer probably isn’t going to get you where you want to be. Herb’s suggestion to use CA is likely to yield much better results as it will penetrate the wood fibers and stabilize it to some degree. Just let the CA have time to completely cure.

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

View Rick M.'s profile

Rick M.

3873 posts in 1007 days


#4 posted 392 days ago

CA glue works best but for a large turning is prohibitively expensive. I used sanding sealer on spalted maple and it helped quite a bit although you may have to keep applying as you cut down the bowl.

-- |Statistics show that 100% of people bitten by a snake were close to it.|

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ckorkyrun89

34 posts in 650 days


#5 posted 392 days ago

Thanks for the replies.

I can’t tell what kind of steel the tools are but I think that they are pretty soft. They were probably budget tools when my Grandfather bought them.

I made a carbide tool similar to one of the Easy Wood Tools but I don’t have it with me where I live right now. I think that by itself would probably solve some of my problems.

I am getting tearout close to 1/4” deep. Will CA glue soak in that far? I have a feeling I might just need to toss this piece of wood.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3726 posts in 2290 days


#6 posted 392 days ago

If the tools were your grandfather’s, they are probably carbon steel. They can be honed razor sharp, but don’t hold the edge as well as HSS.

I keep a couple of sanding sealers in my shop … Zinsser’s Bullseye (shellac-based), and Deft (lacquer-based). If you use a sealer, give it plenty of time to cure.

I have an ash bowl (9% MC) in progress now that had some problems, so I gave it a heavy coat of Zinnser’s and let it sit for two days. When I started sanding, I was getting a gummy residue on the paper. I re-coated it, and let it sit for a week and that was enough to give me a sandable surface.

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

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

1971 posts in 1188 days


#7 posted 386 days ago

I had the same problem with some punky spalted Maple. I used about 1oz of thin CA glue when ever I needed it and I posted the bowl and small plate from the result.

You can see my post in woodturning

Arlin

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Shawn Masterson's profile

Shawn Masterson

1253 posts in 575 days


#8 posted 385 days ago

amateur here what’s CA glue??

View JustJoe's profile

JustJoe

1554 posts in 665 days


#9 posted 385 days ago

CA – California. It’s a type of hide glue made from the ground up remains of surfer dudes.
That, or it’s CA = cyanoacrylate (super glue).

The Dane – does one or the other (shellac or lacquer based) dry faster than the other, and how deep does it go before you have to stop and reapply?

-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3726 posts in 2290 days


#10 posted 385 days ago

JustJoe—Just a WAG, but I think it is about a horse apiece in terms of drying/curing time. I have a personal preference for shellac … I like the smell!

I think penetration/curing depends on how much you apply and temp/humidity. The project I mentioned above sat for 4 or 5 days. I’m not sure it needed that much, I just got distracted with other stuff while it was curing. Here it is:
Click for details

Oh, and I do use this stuff with proper ventilation and a NIOSH mask … but it does leave a hint of fragrance in the shop.

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

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

1971 posts in 1188 days


#11 posted 385 days ago

Dane

Very nicely done on the bowl and finial!!!

It looks like fit and finish is excellent.

Arlin

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View ckorkyrun89's profile

ckorkyrun89

34 posts in 650 days


#12 posted 368 days ago

Just to follow up, I went to Woodcraft and priced the CA glue. That stuff sure is expensive. I ended up using an angle grinder with a sanding wheel and smoothed out the exterior of the bowl. For some reason, the inside of the bowl did not have the same problem. I will post the bowl in a couple days.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

3726 posts in 2290 days


#13 posted 368 days ago

FWIW, you can find decent deals on CA glue … I buy mine from Starbond http://starbond.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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