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TackleTester

Finally I got it......maybe

16 posts in this topic

Hey, I finally got a lathe, scroll saw, chisels, and some pretty nice wood. First of all, I am trying to carv a popper to start out with. I am having a problem with my lathe. I checked out the how-to tutorial and it was very helpful but my wood is extremely jagged and not smooth at all. Any suggestions as to what might be the problem. I'm sooo close. Thanks in advance.

Catch em up

Chris

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Chris, I've been looking into buying a lathe, so I've been doing tons of research. I'm assuming your chisels are new and sharp.

Is it possible that you didn't hammer your centers in far enough? I think this will cause your wood to wobble if they are off center and or the wood isn't chucked up tight enough.

I'm curious to hear the correct answer as well, so hopefully I don't run into this problem :wink:

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I have had this problem if the wood I am using has too large of a grain to it, like cedar. This causes chunks to fall out as the wood is removed. It may be too that your lathe tool is too aggressive and removing too much at one time. I would suggest trying two things, a harder wood and use a tool that takes off a bit less wood at one time.

jed

8O

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thanks for the reply woodsac! That is a possibility because I am using poplar which of course is very hard. And it has been slipping some, but it's so bad it's not even funny. I could give the piece of wood to a darn beaver and it would look better. Oh well, we'll see what everyone else says. Thanks

Catch em up

Chris

By the way the chisels are brand new.

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I don't do alot of turning but I might put alittle insight into it for you. First safety glasses, no loose jewery an sleeves rolled up. When mounting your wood make sure you are as close to center as possible on both ends. The woods needs to be tight to keep from slipping. Your tool rest needs to be as close as possible to your wood rotate the wood by hand making sure you have clearance. Slowly work your chisel, being to aggressive will cause gouging. The farther you go into the wood readjust your tool rest. Hope this helps.

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Good answers so far...

Loose stock creates chattering - make sure it's tight between centres

Softer cuts with less pressure.

Use a roughing gouge first to get your stock round - then you create your tapers.

Re-read Muskie Tom's advice re distance from tool rests, etc.

Create a center finding jig using some scraps and an old hacksaw blade or utility knife blade so that it looks like this:

05n1501s3.jpg

Lee Valley, http://www.leevalley.ca while costly has some of the finest tools around.

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First of all, hi to all. I have not been around for awhile. I have been working out of the country and would like to let everyone know how great it was to check in at this site whenever I could find a link I could get onto. I didn’t have time to write, but to just read what was going on made me feel like I was back home.

T Tester, I am not a master wood worker by any means, but have made a mountain of sawdust in my life. Poplar is a hard wood to get just right. Make sure it is totally dry. On a lathe it is best to start with square dimensioned stock, something like 1” x 1”, 2” x 2”, etc. and mark the center, try to get as close as possible. Then it is wise to get it as close to shape as you can. I use a block plane to knock the corners down and round off the stock. To mount the stock to the drive center and tail stock there is a tutorial here that will help.

The best tip I can give you is to move the tool rest as close as possible to the work and about an eighth of an inch above center. Set the rest and rotate the stock by hand to make sure it clears the rest with about a fourth of an inch clearance. Always make your cuts with the wood rotating toward you, never while it is moving away. This will help stop the grain ripping.

Follow all of the mentioned safety notes and wear eye protection. You need to go slow. Set your lathe on a slower speed and take small cuts. Keep your cutting edges sharp.

Jack

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Jack welcome back :) Good advice. Can you elaborate on the following for me:

Always make your cuts with the wood rotating toward you, never while it is moving away.

I've read that from a few different sources, but don't understand. The motor isn't multi-directional is it?

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Hi Jake, it is good to be back. I am happy to get back to my shop and make wood chips.

If you mount the tool rest at the center line or above, and close to your stock all of your cuts will be made as the wood is coming toward or down on the cutting edge. When you move the tool rest below the center or too far away from the material, if you raise the handle of the tool it permits the cutting edge to get below the center line of the work and you are trying to cut the wood as it is moving away from you.

I hope I explained this in a way to help understand. If not let me know and I will try again.

Years ago they would teach people to move the tool rest 2" - 3", or more away from the wood and if the cutting edge got below the center line of the wood it would grab the gouge and flip it around at great speed and tear a chunk out of your project and bing what ever got in the way of the flying tool.

Jack

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DUH :rolleyes:

Thanks! That makes perfect sense. I just couldn't picture it in my head. I could only picture turning on the opposite side of the lathe (moving away). I've never turned, I've just been reading up cause I'm getting ready to start.

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I use a lathe for a lot of tasks from lure building to rod making, and my favorite is just making sawdust.

There are some good lathes out there now and at a good price. You don't have to spend a bunch of money to get a quality tool. One tip is to buy good quality turning tools. They hold their edge better and are easier to keep sharp and that is a plus.

Jack

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I would highly suggest going to your local library and getting a few books on wod turning. That's what I did cause the last wood I turned was in the 60's in shop class.

You will find a wealth of information and tips and tricks you can "see".

Also covers woods, speeds, chisels and more. :)

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