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A quick turning question - and an introduction I guess

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Forum topic by Evangogh posted 10-06-2014 09:42 AM 1212 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Evangogh

126 posts in 789 days


10-06-2014 09:42 AM

Topic tags/keywords: turn turning lathe question safety help new welcome

Hey, all! I’m new to woodworking and am super excited about getting dirty and having fun in my shop… There is one catch though; I am one clumsy foooool. Don’t worry, I always wear my safety equipment and watch what I’m doing, bla bla… That being said, I’m fine with th BASIC safety guidelines, but one thing that keeps popping into my head is just how tight does my lathe need to be when I’m turning? I’m finding it difficult to find the happy medium; either too tight and my wood wobbles (not a pun! Ha) or it is too loose and won’t spin.

Anyway, I’m happy to have found a hobby I love and glad I found this site!

Also, any other not so well known tips would be greatly appreciated!

-- Turn on, brothers and sisters!!!


16 replies so far

View Kenbu's profile

Kenbu

29 posts in 1340 days


#1 posted 10-06-2014 11:39 AM

Evan,

Welcome to the forum. Could you describe your work mounting process and the centers you are using?

Ken

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

825 posts in 1189 days


#2 posted 10-06-2014 03:28 PM

If you are using a spur and tighten your wood between centers, and it wobbles, stop what you are doing. Remove the wood, bring up your tailstock to the headstock and get the dead/live center point as close to the spur point and check for alignment. If they meet on point, then you don’t have a problem. If they don’t meet, align them. I can’t tell you how, but I’m sure that someone here can…

Since you admitted to being new to turning, what is probably happening is just normal stuff you encounter in woodturning. Sometimes your wood can be so far out of balance the lathe could walk across floor, or you might have to dance with it until you can reach the switch to shut it off.

I usually tighten my stuff between centers by turning the tail stock screw a couple turns more after I’ve made solid contact with the wood I’m going to turn. A disclaimer to that. I use a tool that allows me to turn without fear of my piece ever coming out from between centers. I have had a couple pieces drop because I had my live center buried in bark. Not good, but that’s the way I do it….

The one thing I will say is, Respect the machine. Do Not be Afraid of it as you will never reach your full potential as a wood turner fearing the lathe. Welcome to LJ’s. Turn safely and good luck. .............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4448 posts in 3420 days


#3 posted 10-06-2014 05:08 PM

Not sure that I understand what you mean by “how tight does my lathe need to be”. Are you asking about the pressure you apply between centers, tightness of the jaws, clamping of the head or tail stock?
As Ricky used to say, ”’Splain yourself!”
Welcome aboard.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

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Nubsnstubs

825 posts in 1189 days


#4 posted 10-06-2014 05:25 PM

Evan, if you’re into pain, and have 19 minutes to spare, you could go to this thread entitled, “Using a Chuck Plate”, and watch the video. But, if you don’t like pain and don’t have the time, then go to reply #6. There are several pictures showing a mounting of one piece, the tool, and then a finished piece. It takes a lot of guess work out of how to mount blanks. .............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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Evangogh

126 posts in 789 days


#5 posted 10-06-2014 06:46 PM

Wow, thanks for the tips!

Bill, when I mentioned the tightness, I meant between the head and tailstock (still learning terminology – thanks Jerry!).

I just checked the alignment and both stocks are a nice mirror image of each other. I’m starting to think I am just cranking my tailstock (heh, I know words :D) too tight… I’m checking out the thread now.

-- Turn on, brothers and sisters!!!

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Evangogh

126 posts in 789 days


#6 posted 10-06-2014 06:53 PM

Good grief! I’m four minutes into the video and it is horribly obvious that I am tightening my tailstock WAY too much. (Am I saying that right or is there a better term than ‘tight’?)

-- Turn on, brothers and sisters!!!

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3122 days


#7 posted 10-06-2014 08:46 PM

Evangogh—Keep in mind that the ‘hold’ on the workpiece comes from the headstock … the tailstock only secures the piece to keep it from vibrating (which is why Jerry’s Chuck Plate works so well). The tailstock only needs to be tightened enough to keep the piece from slipping or vibrating.

Over-tightening the tailstock can lead to some nasty situations … I know a guy who reefed down his tailstock so hard he couldn’t get the live center to eject (not even with a knockout bar).

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

View CSmithWoodturnings's profile

CSmithWoodturnings

24 posts in 797 days


#8 posted 10-06-2014 09:11 PM

What I was taught, If turning between centers, buy a scratch awl or make one, and mark your centers on each end. punch the awl into your centers make small holes on the center of each end. Use a mallet to lightly hit your live spur into one end and mount your spindle. You don’t want to tighten to much between centers because it could end up damaging your bearings. If turning a bowl mounted on face plate, I always drill out the bark with a large forester bit where my tailstock will slide up. Bark can be pretty spongy and won’t provide as solid of a grip as the wood will. With bowls make sure you tighten a good bit so the piece has no chance of flying off. Hope this is some help.

View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

825 posts in 1189 days


#9 posted 10-06-2014 10:18 PM

Evan, 4 minutes?? You’re a better man than me, and I made the video….. What else would you like to know? I’ve got 1 terra byte of videos, mostly turning, and a few desert scenes…... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View Evangogh's profile

Evangogh

126 posts in 789 days


#10 posted 10-07-2014 12:44 AM

aw shucks :). I really appreciate the help!!!

The only thing that comes to mind right now is my four jaw chuck. My blanks keep slipping around on me. I may have just figured out what I’m doing wrong though; either my tannon (tanon?) is too long like in your video, or I’m wondering if there is too much grease and crud all over it. I got it from Woodcraft, it’s a nice Nova chuck, but when I opened it up the thing was CAKED in grease. Either way I guess it just is a matter of me using it over and over to get more used to it?

CSmith, I have one of those tools to find my center, but the majority of the wood I’m working with isn’t milled or anything. I mount my blank (or log I guess), spin it a few times, adjust, spin, adjust, etc… until I find a nice center. I’m under the impression that the mass/weight needs to be centered and not necessarily the center of the edges?

-- Turn on, brothers and sisters!!!

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3122 days


#11 posted 10-07-2014 01:32 AM

... my tannon (tanon?) ...

You mean ‘tenon’. Make sure the tenon isn’t bottoming out in the chuck, and by all means, clean the grease off.

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

View Evangogh's profile

Evangogh

126 posts in 789 days


#12 posted 10-07-2014 02:38 AM

WHEW! Okay! I just couldn’t imagine something being THAT greasy and actually working…

-- Turn on, brothers and sisters!!!

View hairy's profile

hairy

2384 posts in 2992 days


#13 posted 10-07-2014 01:13 PM

You might want to get with someone to show you how to turn. Starting out, the learning curve is straight up.

There’s plenty of info on the web. Some good, some real bad. Some good ones:

http://www.woodturningonline.com/Turning/Turning_articles.php

http://www.woodturner.org/

-- stay thirsty my friends...

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Evangogh

126 posts in 789 days


#14 posted 10-07-2014 06:28 PM

Thanks, Hairy, I will! I’ve been looking at some classes in woodcrafter (they seem to know what’s up. At least a LOT more than any other place I’ve been to). Half of the fun is experimenting, but I agree, there’s nothing wrong with a little guidance.

-- Turn on, brothers and sisters!!!

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3122 days


#15 posted 10-07-2014 10:10 PM

I’m not going to discourage you from taking classes at WoodCraft, but I would recommend you check out the Central Texas Woodturners in Austin.

They are an AAW (American Association of Woodturners) chapter, and meet at 7:00PM the 3rd Tuesday of each month at American Youthworks, 1901 East Ben White. Their website: http://www.ctwa.org/

I’m sure they would welcome you as a guest and prospective member, and provide you with a great opportunity to meet other turners in your area. Many AAW chapters have mentors or mentoring programs that are designed to help beginning turners develop and improve their skills.

-- 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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