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Scrolled bowls on the lathe


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#1 Susieq4131

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 07:27 AM

I bought a used lathe off Craigslist a Grizzly G1495. Inboard is 14 inches. Wasn't happy with the original tool rest that came with machine as it didn't reach around the bowls, but found a large curved tool rest from Woodcraft that works great.



I have been making scrolled bowls for awhile - cutting the rings of the bowl on the scroll saw and gluing them together and finishing them on the tilting spindle sander. This process which required strength to hold the bowl against the spindle was very hard on my thumbs. This resulted in my thumb joints being swollen and consequently my thumbs wouldn't bend at the joint. I didn't make bowls for several months, to give my thumbs a chance to heal and figured I would either give up bowl making or find an easier way, plus find a process that resulted in better symmetry. Symmetry was always a gamble on the tilting spindle sander. I came across a segmented bowl post on the internet which showed bowl rings glued together and finished on the lathe. I had found my solution.

I am new to turning. Fortunately my husband has done many projects on the lathe and has been teaching me.

Here are my first attempts at scrolled bowls finished on the lathe. Turning is easy on my thumbs, and the bowls are symmetrical! I have found my new passion.

Bowls pictured are each 10 inches in diameter and made from maple. Have a 12 1/2 inch bowl on the lathe I plan to finish this weekend.

SQ

Attached Thumbnails

  • Maple bowl with rings 500.jpg
  • 10 inch maple bowl 500.jpg


#2 Ace

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 11:33 AM

They look amazing. Glad you found a solution to your sore thumbs. What finish did you apply?

-Ace-

#3 Susieq4131

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Posted 24 September 2011 - 12:35 PM

They look amazing. Glad you found a solution to your sore thumbs. What finish did you apply?
oni
-Ace-


Thank you very much! I used USP grade mineral oil and beeswax. Got this recipe from a wooden toy maker who uses this on all their wooden toys. Makes a soft paste. I just wipe it on, let it set a few minute, and wipe it off. I apply multiple layers.

SQ

#4 Roger T

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 04:26 AM

Suzie,

You are hooked now!! Nice job on the bowls. Now find yourself some freshly fallen trees and try making bowls with green wood. Its about as much fun as ya can have with your clothes on! Turning green wood is a lot of fun. Are you power sanding your bowls now? Or holding the sandpaper in you hand while sanding?

Keep making chips, and it will get easier as you go along.

Roger

#5 Susieq4131

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Posted 25 September 2011 - 05:44 AM

Suzie,

You are hooked now!! Nice job on the bowls. Now find yourself some freshly fallen trees and try making bowls with green wood. Its about as much fun as ya can have with your clothes on! Turning green wood is a lot of fun. Are you power sanding your bowls now? Or holding the sandpaper in you hand while sanding?

Keep making chips, and it will get easier as you go along.

Roger

d


Thanks Roger, for the kind words and vote of confidence. You are correct, I have definitely been bitten by the turning bug. lol . Didn't realize what I was missing. I was using pieces of sandpaper but just purchased the Grex 2 inch air sander with the 3" and 5" extensions. It works great on the exteriors and interiors of the bowls. Have it hooked up to a husky 60 gallon air compressor so it performs beautifully. I make boxes and other items, so that sander is going to come in handy on and off the lathe.

SQ

#6 TimV

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 05:54 AM

SusieQ, That's a really nice pair of bowls! Isn't turning great? I've wanted to get into segmented bowl turning, but have been sidetracked by other projects.

It sounds like you already have some pretty good instruction and insight as you realized that a power sander can really help.

I have that same lathe. I'm pretty happy with it although I wish I could slow it down more than its minimum speed. I've had it walking with some pretty large unbalanced bowl blanks.

Feel free to go to the live page and watch the casters and join the chat: http://thewoodwhisperer.com/live/ There are several turners that cast, with Roger being the most notable and occasionally you'll catch me turning too.

#7 jHop

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Posted 30 September 2011 - 05:48 PM

How did you do the second bowl? It appears it's all from the same log, which is something I've been trying to accomplish but have little success with. (I have something else than log blanks in mind, though.)

#8 Susieq4131

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 12:04 PM

SusieQ, That's a really nice pair of bowls! Isn't turning great? I've wanted to get into segmented bowl turning, but have been sidetracked by other projects.

It sounds like you already have some pretty good instruction and insight as you realized that a power sander can really help.

I have that same lathe. I'm pretty happy with it although I wish I could slow it down more than its minimum speed. I've had it walking with some pretty large unbalanced bowl blanks.

Feel free to go to the live page and watch the casters and join the chat: http://thewoodwhisperer.com/live/ There are several turners that cast, with Roger being the most notable and occasionally you'll catch me turning too.


Tim, thanks so much! You have the same lathe? You are just the man I want to talk to. Have you set up your outboard yet? The size and threads are different than the inboard. The outboard size is 7/8" x 16 tpi LH. Any idea where I would find a faceplate to fit the outboard? Do you think the outboard tool rest is strong enough? Would appreciate any help you could provide.

I will have to check out the live page. Thanks for mentioning it.

SQ

#9 Susieq4131

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Posted 02 October 2011 - 01:20 PM

How did you do the second bowl? It appears it's all from the same log, which is something I've been trying to accomplish but have little success with. (I have something else than log blanks in mind, though.)



Bowl number two is not cut from a log - but rather a solid piece of wood. I make up bowl patterns and cut the rings out on a scroll saw. Correct cutting angle is calculated by using this equation: Bowl ring thickness divided by wood thickness = X This number (X) is located on a tangent chart which gives me the correct cutting angle. Correct cutting angle results in bowl rings fitting correctly - with little overhang. I measure everything in millimeters - the rings for the patterns and the wood thickness.

SQ

#10 TimV

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 06:26 AM

SusieQ, Yep, that's right the threads are different. Not only the diameter and pitch but also the direction. I have used the outboard side to turn yet. I did buy an adapter and made a 8" disc that I attached the adapter for the outboard side. This acts like a large handwheel for me to turn the spindle. Here's the link: http://www.grizzly.com/products/G3172 You can also buy an 8" faceplate that you can screw the adapter to: http://www.grizzly.com/products/G1633 That's about the only options I've seen for the left handed thread. Like you, I also question the stability of that split toolrest. To me, it seems like it would snap pretty easily. I also question the reach it has to get around a workpiece. I don't really expect to do any outboard turning.

I've maxed out the inboard size. I roughed out a large bowl blank at 14" once, the max size as listed in the specs. But when I mounted it on the faceplate on the lathe, I couldn't rotate all the way around. I guess I wasn't in the center of the blank. I had to rerough it down to 13" and that gave me clearance. Because it is very difficult to get the exact center on a 14" blank, I've made a mental note that the largest blank over the ways is 13" for me.

#11 Susieq4131

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 08:26 PM

SusieQ, Yep, that's right the threads are different. Not only the diameter and pitch but also the direction. I have used the outboard side to turn yet. I did buy an adapter and made a 8" disc that I attached the adapter for the outboard side. This acts like a large handwheel for me to turn the spindle. Here's the link: http://www.grizzly.com/products/G3172 You can also buy an 8" faceplate that you can screw the adapter to: http://www.grizzly.com/products/G1633 That's about the only options I've seen for the left handed thread. Like you, I also question the stability of that split toolrest. To me, it seems like it would snap pretty easily. I also question the reach it has to get around a workpiece. I don't really expect to do any outboard turning.

I've maxed out the inboard size. I roughed out a large bowl blank at 14" once, the max size as listed in the specs. But when I mounted it on the faceplate on the lathe, I couldn't rotate all the way around. I guess I wasn't in the center of the blank. I had to rerough it down to 13" and that gave me clearance. Because it is very difficult to get the exact center on a 14" blank, I've made a mental note that the largest blank over the ways is 13" for me.



SusieQ, Yep, that's right the threads are different. Not only the diameter and pitch but also the direction. I have used the outboard side to turn yet. I did buy an adapter and made a 8" disc that I attached the adapter for the outboard side. This acts like a large handwheel for me to turn the spindle. Here's the link: http://www.grizzly.com/products/G3172 You can also buy an 8" faceplate that you can screw the adapter to: http://www.grizzly.com/products/G1633 That's about the only options I've seen for the left handed thread. Like you, I also question the stability of that split toolrest. To me, it seems like it would snap pretty easily. I also question the reach it has to get around a workpiece. I don't really expect to do any outboard turning.

I've maxed out the inboard size. I roughed out a large bowl blank at 14" once, the max size as listed in the specs. But when I mounted it on the faceplate on the lathe, I couldn't rotate all the way around. I guess I wasn't in the center of the blank. I had to rerough it down to 13" and that gave me clearance. Because it is very difficult to get the exact center on a 14" blank, I've made a mental note that the largest blank over the ways is 13" for me.




Tim,

Thanks for the information. I have emailed this company about making a face plate for the outboard. http://bestwoodtools...epihetachr.html Will let you know if they can make one that will fit the outboard. I would prefer not to use an adapter as it seems to add length. I am going to try some washers on the outboard tool rest in hopes it will make it more stable.

I agree with you about the size of this lathe - it's not big enough. I just turned a 13 1/4 inch diameter bowl this week and it just barely cleared on the inboard. So it seems that is going to be the maximum diameter I am going to be able to turn on the inboard. And of course, I want to turn larger items. :)

Next project - a platter or a plate from one solid piece of wood. I would start it tonight, but dare not run the planer this late at night as my neighbors might run me out of town.


You might already be using this method, but here is the compass and straight edge method for finding the center of a circle that I find is quick and easy. I wouldn't be able to eye ball the center of a circle with any accuracy - even if my life depended on it. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wA3GMqeyJyk

Here is a little template I made for the blocks I glue to the bottom of my bowls which the face plate is attached to. The template was created for multiple sized blocks. I first attach the template to the block aligning the vertical and horizontal lines on this template to the vertical and horizontal lines I have on the bottom of the bowl after finding the center using a straight edge and a compass. The center blue circle fits nicely into the hole on the inboard face plate which is 1 inch - making it easier to align the face plate correctly to the block which is glued onto the bottom of the bowl.

face plate block 500jpeg.jpg <------------------------ Template is here and appears very faint until you click on it.


SQ

#12 Susieq4131

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 07:44 AM

SusieQ, Yep, that's right the threads are different. Not only the diameter and pitch but also the direction. I have used the outboard side to turn yet. I did buy an adapter and made a 8" disc that I attached the adapter for the outboard side. This acts like a large handwheel for me to turn the spindle. Here's the link: http://www.grizzly.com/products/G3172 You can also buy an 8" faceplate that you can screw the adapter to: http://www.grizzly.com/products/G1633 That's about the only options I've seen for the left handed thread. Like you, I also question the stability of that split toolrest. To me, it seems like it would snap pretty easily. I also question the reach it has to get around a workpiece. I don't really expect to do any outboard turning.

I've maxed out the inboard size. I roughed out a large bowl blank at 14" once, the max size as listed in the specs. But when I mounted it on the faceplate on the lathe, I couldn't rotate all the way around. I guess I wasn't in the center of the blank. I had to rerough it down to 13" and that gave me clearance. Because it is very difficult to get the exact center on a 14" blank, I've made a mental note that the largest blank over the ways is 13" for me.



Tim,

I heard back from Best Wood Tools and they can make the outboard face plate for $109.00. They agreed the 7/8" x 16TPI is an odd size but they can make it. I am ordering the face plate. While waiting for the face plate, will work on improving the tool rest so it's more stable.

As I told my husband, while arguing my case for the new face plate - the face plate is certainly a lot cheaper than buying a new lathe. :D

SQ

#13 TimV

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 07:19 AM

Thanks SusieQ,
Don't forget that the outboard threads are LEFT HANDED. Make sure that BestWoodTools can make the left hand 7/8x16. I'd hate for you to buy that faceplate, find out it won't thread, then have to convince your husband that you need a new lathe :o . Although, my wife wouldn't have to work very hard convincing me. :)

Thanks for the template and the video. That is handy. But, my issue was trying to rough cut a bowl blank from a log perfectly round at 14" on the bandsaw. Since I have variance in my cutting and variance in where exactly I place the faceplate, my maximum rough cut dimension is 13". Maybe with a flat board, I will approach 13-1/2" or 14" diameter.

#14 Susieq4131

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Posted 10 October 2011 - 04:48 PM

Thanks SusieQ,
Don't forget that the outboard threads are LEFT HANDED. Make sure that BestWoodTools can make the left hand 7/8x16. I'd hate for you to buy that faceplate, find out it won't thread, then have to convince your husband that you need a new lathe :o . Although, my wife wouldn't have to work very hard convincing me. :)

Thanks for the template and the video. That is handy. But, my issue was trying to rough cut a bowl blank from a log perfectly round at 14" on the bandsaw. Since I have variance in my cutting and variance in where exactly I place the faceplate, my maximum rough cut dimension is 13". Maybe with a flat board, I will approach 13-1/2" or 14" diameter.



Tim,

Yes, it's a left handed face plate they can make. So it is available - special order. But I chickened out and didn't order it. I think I need a little more guidance before I leap into outboard turning. But it is nice to know it can be made to order, if I decide to go that route.

I didn't know if that info about finding the center of a circle and the template would be helpful or not, but went ahead and posted it - as it's saved me lots of time. I can see how cutting a bowl blank on a band saw would be challenging.

SQ





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