jHop

OSB on the lathe

Recommended Posts

Normally, not a good idea. Turning OSB on the lathe is not really friendly. It tends to chip and shred, of course. So I've been trying to stabilize some chunks to turn. I've tried laying the CA on thick, laying it on thin, stacking, layering, stabilizing single pieces, and wrapping with tape to only stabilize areas.

The only two things I haven't done is attempt segmented stabilizing/ layout, and traditional hardening approaches.

I don't have photos, so all you are going to have to go by is my words. So let me pass along what I've learned, before I ask a couple questions and start a new disaster (I mean project, of course).

First off: don't apply too much CA. The only thing I did right was use a lid from a salsa jar, so the stack glued itself to the lid, instead of the bench. (The bench is MDF with only one coat of wax... I have no illusions about it's durability.)

I have a couple of pen blanks I'm trying to turn, and of course I'm out of time. (one project is due today, and is nowhere near ready for use.) I also have a few larger test pieces I'm planning.

While the CA seems to do well for small areas, and certainly made one face of a pen blank hard enough to be a pain, I can't imagine taking the time to soak an entire blank with it, or do anything resembling a large vessel like a vase or bowl. I think the better approach would be to cut the pen blank, drill it (keep it wrapped heavily under a lot of plastic wrap and clamped under scrap blocks and a hand screw clamp. Maybe. Just talkin' theory here.) and then apply coats of CA to both inner and outer surfaces.

Does anybody have any products or tips they use to stabilize large pieces? I can still get projects done in time for the weekend, but today's deadline is going to have to pass.

I'll try to get photos up by Friday. (busy schedule, right?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been waiting for this update!!

When I talked to the guy at the art show, he said he kept treating it with the glue. Perhaps he layered a coat and turned a bit. Then he added more glue. How much penetration do you expect to get on each application? Once you turn that depth, time for another coat?

He also mentioned something about a laminated beam. OSB isn't strong enough for that and an LVL has a very distinct look. My structural engineer can't think of an OSB looking laminated beam, so I don't know what he was talking about. Point being, perhaps he had a large chunk of something that was already stabilized.

I hope you get it figured out so I can borrow your wealth of knowledge on the subject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done a couple different styles to test which one is better. The penetration of CA on the OSB is better when applied to the sides, instead of across the face. I assume it has to do with the layering, but since OSB is chips, I'm not expecting much. I tried a light coat and a heavy coat. The heavy coat adhered the edges of the masking tape, and actually (Can't say that without thinking of Matt Vanderlist...) bowed the edges out.

I've been using the orange Hot Stuff CA glue until now. I'm actually going to consider using a couple more types of glue for a variety of styles.

I haven't cut the pieces apart yet, so I'm not certain about CA penetration throughout the samples. The thicker coat was more self leveling, which actually helps considering I still need to work on my hand saw skills. The thin coat sample did not have tape up over the edges, so I could see the penetration a little better, and it seems to go farther.

I've got another test going right now, and I'm going to check it in a few minutes. It's more of a 6 hour soak, versus the 24 hour test previously done. This is using the same sample pieces, just rotated 90 degrees, so we'll see how the same glue soaks into the faces of previously affected material.

(Perhaps I need to spend some time ripping a few samples on the table saw, so we have an accurate gauge later... then again, I'm no scientist.) Need to get batteries for the camera, so I can take some photos.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see this product at BORG it's called wood hardener don't remember the name though it says it penitrates into the wood, and makes soft woods harder. Pehaps that poduct might work, or maybe some penitrating epoxy ( this maybe hard on tools I don't know) good luck I'm interested in this thought prossess, I think OSB has an interesting look on the face of it not so much on the edge. I think in one of your earlier posts you spoke of a segmented turning. If you figure out how to stabilize the wood the segmented turning could be quite eye catching.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I, too, am looking forward to the segmented project, especially since my last attempt was ... disappointing. (If nothing else, the resulting explosion should be spectacular, right?) I will only be posting the results of the pen blank pieces, for a couple reasons. These do not have any sort of scientific examinations to them, so they are more of a "throw away" project right now. Perhaps Friday I shall restart the process, and attempt to document and proceed in a more ordered process.

I'm not posting the photos of the squares at this time, as I haven't really documented or planned the entire stage on that yet. For now, I will ask you to be patient, as I'm planning on posting the results to the main gallery. (hopefully tonight, as I'm falling asleep as I type this.) And I'm only doing one stage of the stabilization procedure at this time. I shall check out the hardener at the BORG next week. (Who knows? Maybe every two weeks - paychecks depending - a new stabilization process will be posted.)

So hold on to your snails, folks. This should be... interesting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So everybody should be treated to a view of this experiment, as I uploaded them into the Gallery. Whether you are following this experiment or not. Yes, I realize this is not the wisest approach, but the photos need to be posted, and this is the only way I know of - at this time - to enter them. If you are interested in following the photos at a closer inspection, they are in my Gallery, under the OSB on the Lathe photo, within my "Pens by the Wannabe" portion. (I think. It's late, and I need my shut eye.)

Feel free to comment. I think future photos will merely be posted under this thread, instead of subjecting every member of the forum to my failures. (It's okay to call them failures, as this is a pseudo-scientific experiment with no science attached. We learn from failures such as these. Probably the first thing we learn is to apply thin coats, and not in one sitting, unless you don't really want nostril hair. The second thing we learn is adequate ventilation is an absolute necessity, and a proper respirator is definately recommended. Since I don't have one at this time, I shall be proceeding with increased caution until I do.)

feel free to comment, complain, or criticize the approach and results. I do not have a video camera (although the iPod can record video, when adequately charged up) so I will not be filming the process. Then again, I don't think anybody really wants to sit around through six hours of (literally) watching glue dry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I cut open the blank with the heavy coat last night, to check absorption of the CA / hardener material. I was surprised to discover that there was absolutely no absorption in the area that I cut. Admittedly, I did choose the center, but - given the fact that the height of the CA over the top of the blank was lower than when it was applied, I assumed some would sink into the material. If it did, it did not do it there.

So, after my running around today, I'm going to set up a few more blocks of uniform size, and test various theories and times on hardening, absorption, and patience of my audience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen a turned candlestick from a member in my turner's group made out of laminated baltic birch ply. It was really neat, but I've never seen OSB used. I don't suspect you're getting any of the CA glue to penetrate because of the glue used to make the OSB. What about allowing the piece to soak in a bath of varnish for a couple of days or longer, then allow it to drip dry for several days thereafter? I wonder if the wood pieces would absorb the varnish. When varnish is cured, it acts like a glue between materials also.

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How deep is the penetration when you apply it to the edges?

less than 1/16".

Sorry about the delay in getting back to everybody on this. I work weekends, 10 plus hours days each, so I'm usually not interested in turning the computer on over the weekends. And, now that the temps are gone (my job involves tax returns), I can do more during the week.

I'm planning a couple test pieces using the CA solvent, soaking the strips of OSB before adding the CA to see if that changes penetration. I haven't considered the varnish yet... Any particular variety I should try?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any particular variety I should try?

I don't know. I'd probably use a inexpensive polyureathane thinned 50% with mineral spirits.

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, an inconvenient set back today...

I went down to the shop to cut more OSB for testing, and stopped because of what annoying thing was underfoot. As many people are aware, we've had an unusually rainy season. This has been a wet season, far wetter than usual for this area. The house I'm in is in a slight dip in the street, although I'm not at the bottom of a big hill. So the water rolls downhill to us, then to the drain to go further downhill. But as water sits, before the ground can completely soak it in, it does create havoc.

My shop is in the basement. And naturally, my basement leaks.

I currently have a puddle of water sitting in the midst of my lumber supply for a project, which I have been attempting to equalize in moisture. Now, I realize that the material is not going to swing too far one way or another. But I hesitate when the material is actually soaking up water...

And the point of this digression, is that the OSB testing has hit a momentary lull. Particularly since the table saw is sitting in the edges of this same puddle. So I'm testing a separate theory right now.

I'm not sitting there watching it right now, because I don't have the patience to watch glue dry. But I did try to time out how long it would take the CA I've been using to dry. I applied a medium coat, probably closer to thick, to the remaining side of the one blank I have left. (I cut the other into a pen blank, and glued that up as well. This will be turned as soon as the glue dries on the tubes. This will turn into a different test.)

I can safely state that the medium/thick coat takes longer than one hour to dry. I know this, because I was doing a few loads of laundry at the same time. The first load went for 30 minutes, the second for 25 minutes. There were still glossy pools of glue on the blank. (Sorry, no photos.) Most of the rest of the glue was still wet looking, but not glossy.

Incidentally, I don't know if this has been described yet, the CA does make the OSB look wet when applied. And when it dries, it does have a slight tint to the OSB, making it appear slightly water stained. (Pretty cool, if you ask me.) I pulled out the initial test squares, and noticed something interesting, which ties in with Tim's comment.

The solvent I used to separate the OSB from the jar lid has left a stain on the one test block. I'm going to try, for a future test (once the water recedes, anyway) to try soaking strips in various liquids before applying the hardeners. This does, of course, depend fully on the cutting strips of equal size on the (eventually dry) table saw.

So, I will check in the next fifteen minutes on the glue, but I probably won't be back to respond on it's results until later this evening. (Dinner to make, more laundry to do, people to pick up from various games/work/locations, etc.)

I'm deliberately testing this while doing laundry, by the way. I want to see what humidity will do to the materials while drying. I don't have actual numbers to report; eventually I'll actually get organized about this and report hard data like humidity levels and temperature, and maybe solution percentages.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was turning a pen made from one of the sample blanks today, and had my first major issue with CA. The blank split while I was still roughing out the round shape. Right down the middle. It split into four pieces, the two halves, one chunk, and one sliver. I'm not certain where the sliver came from, but all the other pieces can be manually fitted together.

The split occurred vertically, along the plies (I don't know what else to call them), and through both halves of coats of CA.

I have some photos, so give me a moment while I try to figure out how to put them in.

I did take a trip out to Lowes, looking for other stabilizer sources, following up on the previous tip. The only stabilizers I found were for rotted wood (Elmer's, to be precise), and fiberglass kits. I got lucky (seems to be a story of my life: whenever I just drop in someplace, the item I need most on that trip is on sale... Not always affordable, but usually on sale.) and found one bottle of the Elmer's Rotted Wood Stabilizer on clearance for $1.

To be fair, I haven't checked their website yet for the MSDS on this product, to see if the one I purchased is identical to the other one they have on their shelves. But I did examine both bottles, and the serial numbers, patent numbers, and reorder numbers are all identical. This does not guarantee that the formulae are identical, however, so I will do some further research on this subject.

So currently, the halves of the blank are sitting on the lathe, in the process of being glued back together. However, I did not add any clamping pressure. Not part of the experiment; I simply couldn't find my rubber bands.

I will post photos later, but I'm going to also start a separate sample blank using the Elmer's product.

(I also picked up some fiberglass resin hardener from 3M, and some fiberglass cream hardener from Bondo, but no fiberglass mixtures yet. That will have to wait for my respirator.)

post-655-0-51025200-1306362596_thumb.jpg

post-655-0-65599000-1306362620_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

alright. Last night I was a little irritated that I didn't have a whole lot of progress. I mean, sure, I've pointed out a lot of things not to do, but I don't have any real positive results. So, I went down to the shop and bludgeoned my way through another attempt at learning.

I don't have the photos yet. (Camera is upstairs, lathe is downstairs, haven't gone downstairs yet.) But, I did manage to do some turning on the OSB to the second half of the pen blank. (You can see it in the second photo of each of the previous two posts.) There are two things I did differently this time.

First, I switched out from a gouge to a scraping action. I initially used a 1/2" scraper to start rounding, and (having a bit of ADD) switched over to a 1" skew for faster results. And boy, do you get results.

The second is that I cranked the speed up on the lathe. All the way. I have a belt driven model, and I don't know where my manual has disappeared to, so I don't really know what speed it was going, but I assume it was somewhere around 1800 RPM.

I turned the skew so it was upside down. That is, the long point is at the bottom of the turning. And I know most manuals and books on turning state to turn the top portion of the wood while it is on the lathe, but with OSB I've discovered that you get better results when you turn into the bottom portion. I have the tool rest positioned so that it's roughly in line with the top edge of the brass tube as it sits on the mandrel, but I'm dipping the skew way down underneath this to cut into the retreating wood.

I turned quite a bit of the blank, even getting a large portion of it round, before I finally shut off the lathe. When I discovered that I had a large section of chip out that exposed the brass tube. (1/4" deep, by 3/16" wide, by roughly 3/8" long.) I experimented further by taking some of the sawdust shavings and more CA to fill out the hole I created. I haven't seen the results yet.

You get a lot of chips, and a lot of larger sawdust pieces, but I think this is to be expected given the nature of the material being used to turn. I will comment that a self-centering vise is going to be a necessity, as I drilled out the hole without one, and it definately has an impact on turning OSB. It's easier to get large chunks and chip out when the blank is off center; the base materials want to separate at speed.

I'm going to attempt more turning of both halves today. partly to see if the reassembly of the first half was successful, and partly to see how the sawdust gluing worked out, and partly because I really want to see how this will turn out. I plan on posting up a few photos this evening. I will suggest, for those who are experimenting on their own, that they brush up on skew chisel usage, as this will probably be the only tool that (I feel) will do an adequate job. (I can't wait for the sandpaper portion.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tragedy struck today...

I went to the lathe, feeling slightly saucy and ready to tackle this testing. Perhaps that was my undoing. I started with the blank segment that had not been reglued after splitting, and proceeded to turn it more with the skew. (I'll post more photos to the blog, but I'm giving a quick and dirty result here.) I learned several things today regarding turning OSB as a result of today's... results. First, the half that was not damaged exploded.

Not quite as badly as you might think: it split into three main pieces. And it did split along a glue line, between the plies, that was done by the manufacturer, not by me. (As the Satellite City product did not penetrate the material nearly as much as I had thought it might. Super T is a wonderful CA glue, don't get me wrong, but it's not going to completely soak through your wood.) Now, this provided several immediate results. First off, I could clearly see where the turning was going, and it was getting round (but not there yet. See my previous comment on self centering vises.). Secondly, the hole I had filled with sawdust and CA was still attached to the brass tube. Very little of it went with the plies. (This is leading me to further experiment with turning a product out of sawdust, but that's a project for a later date.) Third, I have discovered that I need to drastically improve a wide variety of my turning skills.

So I went back to the repaired blank, and started turning it. Long story short: it too had a dramatic separation. Not nearly as traumatic as the first blowout, but a large segment of the plies did spring free from the turning, leaving a gap in the blank still attached to the spindle. While it might be possible to reattach it, I'm not going to. It has served it's experimental purpose, and I have photographic evidence, so I don't need to keep the original any longer. Now, this was the piece that I started with the gouge, and stopped because the blank split. I used only the skew today, and had far better results, even on this damaged piece.

This leads me to my first truly educational observation about OSB. I used a technique on these pieces, and followed it up on the second blank (more later) for verification. Should you decide to try turning OSB, I recommend a very high speed. Also, OSB is a very sensitive wood. You absolutely cannot use an aggressive turning style to turn it. Let the material dictate the course of your turning, even if you have a design/plan in mind. Third, OSB is going to be a material that requires a scraping action rather than gouge action.

I have photos of the grind I have on my 1" skew. I also want to let everybody know that this is a part of the 8 piece turning tool set from Harbor Freight. I realize different manufacturers have different steel processes, so this might be a factor. As time progresses, I will use different tools to test this sub theory. I also have several photographs of the turning process, including a couple "side shots" to show my approach to the blank while it is on the lathe. I want to leave you with the results of what I'm going to term my first success: one turned spindle of OSB.

This was the second blank I was testing the CA hardening with, using Satellite City's Super T version of CA glue. (You know the stuff; the orange bottle.) I spread the glue on all four faces, but not from end to end. There is still the masking tape wrap around all four faces (visible in the photograph) that I did not get any glue under or onto. The blank did split, actually, when I inserted the 4 prong spur into the one end. I did not punch or drill holes for the live center or the prong end, figuring instead to utilize the voids that I figured would be in the OSB itself. I did not stop at any time to reapply any CA and stabilize the interior portions of the turning.

I finished the skew work, sanded through 600 grit, and applied one coat of BLO. I'm only going to post one photo here, but I will further document the process in a new sub-section of my blog here on WoodTalk Online. I will get that started this evening.

And it's results like this that have got me salivating to try more processes and products. Keep the ideas coming, and I'll show - to the best of my ability - what I can do with them.

post-655-0-05351800-1306448458_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent posts. I think it's great fun to experiment. Even if they don't turn out the way you want, usually you learn something that leads to something else. Keep it up!

A few thoughts:

So OSB is basically a bunch of thin wood chips held together with a binder. The problem that causes is that basically every chip in the piece is sealed on every edge by the binder. This is great in that it keeps any moisture from getting in to the small pieces, keeping it stable, and the binder gives it more strength than from just the wood alone, but that also means that trying to soak the piece in anything will only result in a tiny bit of the solution getting in the outermost layers that have had an edge cut to expose the relatively small sliver of wood inside. That's probably why you were having a bit of success with CA on the "end grain".

Speaking of end grain, I'm thinking that in a lot of way, that's more or less what you're dealing with. I guess it kind of has a direction like plywood, but with all the tiny pieces, I'll bet you have fibers sticking up in any cross section you could come up with, just more in the "long" direction. All that means is that you have to treat it like you would any other end grain, such as when turning a bowl, or a cross-grain piece. Scraping, as you had tried, seems to support this, and a long shear cut should also theoretically help. This may have to be done with a skew, like you mentioned, but not as a scraping cut, rather a long sheer cutting action, which brings me to my third thought...

I, too, have that set of HF tools, or rather I should say "had". I'm actually a proponent of harbor freight for a lot of basic tools, but in this case I threw them away. I found that I could actually bend them with my bare hands. They say high speed steel on them, but you are very unlikely to ever get what would be considered a truly "sharp" edge on them, and in this case, you need the sharpest possible edge and an extremely light cut, even when you are doing a scraping action. And for that matter, a scraper should have a burr edge on it to function properly (at least most configurations do), and those harbor freight tools just don't "cut it". Sorry, couldn't resist :P

Anyway, the blowouts you've been having fairly support the notion of dull tools. Believe me, I didn't know what a sharp tool was until I bought my first "quality" gouge. And even that isn't theoretically all that sharp from the factory. Grinding those harbor freight tools may make them look sharp, but I'm betting you're just smearing the steel around rather than shearing it off as happens with good tool steel. And even if you are getting them initially sharp, the binders in that OSB are a lot harder on your tools than the wood, so even with the best of tools you may have to make a pass or two, grind the edge, make a pass, grind the edge, etc. That's actually not that unusual of a practice for some of the harder, grittier woods. I'm having to do almost exactly that with some desert ironwood I'm turning right now. A couple minutes of work and it's back to the grinder. If you do a search on youtube, you can find lots of videos on sharpening that may help if you have more questions on that.

So my suggestion would be to go to some place like Woodcraft, if you can, and pick up a very basic skew, or even a gouge, that's a name-brand and see if that makes any difference. (in this case, Woodcraft has better selection and prices than Rockler) That's just a guess on my part because I've never played with OSB, but that would be my next step if I were continuing exploration.

Lastly, you say you turn it very fast. If you're turning pen blanks, that's probably good anyway because the diameter is so small, but are you feeling any heat buildup in the tip of the tool as you work it? It's surprising how little heat it takes for some of those binders to let go. You might not even realize it because it's in such a small area, but even if a tiny bit of that psuedo-end grain lets go and catches on the tool, that can lead to a big blow out.

Good luck with the experiments. If you keep it up, you could become the OSB Master! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are just trying to turn a pen blank its not a huge piece , try not treating it at all. drill and mount your blank like normal, break the edges with a small hand plane before you start turning it , getting it as octogonal/round (?) as possible. try starting with a strip of 60 grit of sandpaper. it should wear it down to be able to shape it and smooth out with higher grits when you get close to your bearings. i was gonna try it but i looked around and i dont have any OSB, but if i find some ill give it a shot. i think it would look really cool when it was done with a thick CA finish or maybe dyed and finished. Also make sure your wearing a respirator of some type of breathing protection, releaseing all those chemicals from the glue into the air cant be healthy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've put some further experimentation on hold for a few reasons; the respirator is only one of them. Even without any stabilizer, the OSB turns on the lathe. I'm going to try some slower speeds next, but at the fastest speed I am capable of, I can use a skew or a scraper without too many problems.

One side problem that happens while turning, at least using the spur, is that the stock will slip off the head spur periodically, especially under stress or aggressive cuts. If you back off the pressure on the tool and OSB, the stock begins to spin again. My lathe gives a little "whrrr" sound when the stock is losing it's hold on the head spur. I have not had any problems with the tailstock at all. And drilling the hole made no difference.

I have considered going octagonal on the stock, but the material I'm working with is only 1/2" nominal thickness, so I don't want to remove too much. Plus, the tools I have are not set up adequately for this yet.

Hopefully, I will be able to begin cutting more blanks for glue up and stabilization process testing. It would figure, after 7 weeks of rain, we have two uber high temperature days in a row. Unfortunately for me, the basement still hasn't dried out. And the largest leak was right under the table saw, where the cord was dangling on the floor. The second largest leak was near the laundry, and if I don't get it cleared up tomorrow, I might have several experiments going at the same time. I'm already afraid of having a laundry golem rumble out of the basement. (Have I mentioned I have teenage sons? How can they go through 8 pairs of socks in three days? Apiece!)

I did some sanding with the referenced Sample, and have considered just using sandpaper on a test sample. I expected the aggressive sanding at 100 grit; I was surprised to get just as much dust at 600 grit. I did not go up through the Micro Mesh pads I have as I felt the initial experiment had proven itself for the time being. (I do have that turner's sandpaper set that Woodcraft sells, plus a few other options I'll break out in future testing.)

One tidbit for others: be sure to check your material every so often for chip out and cracks. You can usually feel the chips separate, usually by tool but occasionally by impact elsewhere. And cracks do not always show up until later. I did not discover mine until after the BLO was applied. It seems to want to crack along the plies. And I inspected the Sample today, and had discovered quite a bit of standing dust had affixed itself to the finish while drying/curing, so that's one more thing I need to address in my shop.

I'm planning out the next stages of experimentation now, so if anybody has any suggestions for what they would like me to test, let me know. The schedule is kind of hectic this week, with one school ending this week and the other next, but I'm hoping to get back to turning by Friday at the latest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One last item tonight:

Mechanologist: you mentioned heat buildup in the tools. I cannot state that I have felt any heat buildup at all in the tool. However, I have noticed a small section of the skew heel turning color during the testing. The color was never more than a grey, approaching the light gray that charcoal gets right before the good heat. But it is definately a different grey than the tool.

I don't have a way of testing thermal ranges, so I cannot speculate what temperatures these are reaching.

One side thing I'm testing is how long I can go before needing to sharpen the skew. I realize this is not great, but since the skew has a "unique grind" on it, I do not want to mess with the bevel for a while. On the side with the smaller micro bevel, I have definately noticed some areas that appear to have been damaged due to larger chips or cross grain sections of the Sample: this supports Mechanologist's theory of Harbor Freight tool steel quality.

(Not that I ever doubted it. I didn't mind purchasing the HF set because I figured every turner goes through chisels periodically, and if I went through quite a bit of the cheap chisel learning how to properly sharpen it, then I wasn't out all that much money. My next planned tool purchase is an oval skew from Woodcraft - mostly because they are the closest shop to me - and probably in the 3/4" range. I do want to test out the carbide scraping tools, but that will have to wait.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have another suggestion for you. Laminate them the other direction. You have the "grain" going along the length of the pen. While this may be the standard for regular wood, the strength of the OSB is in the glued/compression direction. Remember, the glue in the OSB is stronger than the wood. Turning in direction you are is prone to chipping like planing up hill.

The bowl I saw that the guy turned was turned the opposite of what you have. This may be the key to his success.

I am really enjoying your posts!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One last item tonight:

Mechanologist: you mentioned heat buildup in the tools. I cannot state that I have felt any heat buildup at all in the tool. However, I have noticed a small section of the skew heel turning color during the testing. The color was never more than a grey, approaching the light gray that charcoal gets right before the good heat. But it is definately a different grey than the tool.

I don't have a way of testing thermal ranges, so I cannot speculate what temperatures these are reaching.

One side thing I'm testing is how long I can go before needing to sharpen the skew. I realize this is not great, but since the skew has a "unique grind" on it, I do not want to mess with the bevel for a while. On the side with the smaller micro bevel, I have definately noticed some areas that appear to have been damaged due to larger chips or cross grain sections of the Sample: this supports Mechanologist's theory of Harbor Freight tool steel quality.

(Not that I ever doubted it. I didn't mind purchasing the HF set because I figured every turner goes through chisels periodically, and if I went through quite a bit of the cheap chisel learning how to properly sharpen it, then I wasn't out all that much money. My next planned tool purchase is an oval skew from Woodcraft - mostly because they are the closest shop to me - and probably in the 3/4" range. I do want to test out the carbide scraping tools, but that will have to wait.)

Hmm... If you are getting any discoloration at all of the metal and you're sure it's not from something like getting OSB glue dust or something on it, then you've probably got heat. You don't really need to measure it precisely or anything. A good rule is to just use the tool for a bit, especially if you can see that discoloration happen, and then immediately take it away from the lathe and put your finger on it. If it's "uncomfortable" to touch, then it's probably too hot for the glue. If it's so hot that you burn your finger, well, then you've got bigger problems. You might want to just try holding your hand near the tip first to see if you feel any heat. I don't take responsibility for burns! This is something you should do only if you are pretty reasonably sure you DON'T have heat buildup and are just confirming. Does that make sense?

Your description about the sharpening of the skew is worrying me a bit. You say that you don't want to grind the bevel yet because you are afraid of changing the configuration. Does that mean that you've been using it all this time without any kind of sharpening, or am I misunderstanding? If the skew is from Harbor Freight and you've never sharpened it, then you absolutely do not have a sharp edge and it's no wonder things are exploding.

You need to get over your fear of sharpening and just learn how to do it. Run a permanent marker over the edge of the bevel so you can see where you're grinding, then with the grinder off, hold the blade to the wheel, and while holding it in that position, try to move your head around and look at it from different viewpoints to see if it looks like the right angle. Next, with the wheel still off, practice the motion of moving it back and forth to at least get the feel for the motion. Once you are satisfied with that, then turn the wheel on, go through that motion making one pass, then look at the edge. the permanent marker will help show where you are grinding so that you can adjust your hold. Once you get this down, you will only need to make one or two quick passes to make it sharp again. Remember, you aren't trying to grind a new bevel, you are just running the wheel along the existing edge to take off just enough to bring it back to a point. Don't worry so much about ruining the current grind on the tool. turners change the edge all the time, either on-purpose or inadvertantly. The chisel you have is perfect for practicing sharpening on. It is Harbor Freight after all. I also hope you have decent wheels on the grinder. You definitely want to use the finest grit you can.

And forgive me, but that brings up the point I'm going to make again: If you are using Harbor Freight turning tools to learn with, you must remember that you absolutely, positively, without fail, have never used a sharp tool. Not out of the box, not after you sharpen it, not ever. It is not quality tool steel and is incapable of holding an edge. If you were an expert sharpener, sure, you might be able to put an edge on it that you could cut a hair with (an actual test, by the way), but that is just an instantaneous test. Even with that edge, within a few seconds of putting that bad steel to the wood, it's going to be dull again. You might as well be trying to sharpen aluminum (which I've done, by the way). I say this from actual experience and controlled tests, not just heresay. Do you know any local turners? If you can find one that will let you try out one of his tools on his lathe, I think you will immediately notice the difference, and I think that difference will go a long way towards your success with the OSB, and everything else for that matter. Do you have a woodcraft near you? Most have classrooms, and I think if you went in and told them you were a beginning turner and just wanted to see what difference a quality tool would make, I think they would let you test one on one of their lathes for a few minutes. I think it would lead to a quick sale.

Anyway, if I'm saying things you already know, then I apologize, but it sounds like you're just starting out, so hopefully I'm being helpful. These are just very important points and hard to stress too much. Either way, I'll just shut up now :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do appreciate the lessons I'm getting as feedback. Both from the OSB and from all the people commenting. I would like to enter a rebuttal (mildly, of course) to Mechanologist regarding the tool bevel grind on the Harbor Freight tools.

I understand completely the tool quality is not there.

My deliberate point of reason for purchase of these tools was to get into the habit of sharpening the tools, getting the angles down, learning the differences between fingernail and traditional grinds, and to learn how to sharpen the skews. I figured that the skew would take the longest to learn how to sharpen, so I would grind off much of the tool, getting my muscle memory developed. I have experienced the rapid destruction of an edge on the HF tools, and have learned how to tell when the edge of the gouges is no longer sharp. As stated in your posts, this is fairly quickly. (Then again, fairly quickly is almost as fast as the time it takes the light bulb to illuminate when you flip the switch.)

Yes, I did regrind all the tools from the 8 tool set before using them. I even took both my skew chisels (1 inch and 1/2 inch) in to Woodcraft to go over the grinds and bevels I had managed to get into the tools. I did go asking what I had done wrong, and the general consensus was that, due to the steel quality, there was not much hope for ever getting a "perfect" bevel/grind on them; it was more important to be consistent with this level of tool. (I believe the level is somewhere below "entry level," for those who are interested.)

The 1 inch does not have a hollow grind on the edge.

This was achieved completely by hand, and strips of sand paper. Which explains why I call it a "unique grind." I do have photos of the bevels in my blog, where - on one side - you can clearly see that the micro bevel is nearly half the length of the bevel edge, and the other is a mere sliver.

I know I'm tempting fate by not resharpening the 1 inch skew, but I was hoping to see how long it would take, relatively speaking, to completely destroy an edge, and how long it takes to roughen the edge to the point of needing to be sharpened. As it happens, I have not felt the need to resharpen the skew too badly. What I have felt, I put down to the tool quality.

I do not have an accurate way of determining the angles of either the primary or micro bevels at this time. Hopefully soon, I might get that opportunity. Then again, I have a move coming up that has me scrambling for all sorts of things, and shop time has suffered drastically. And potential shop time is disappearing, as well. Not just because of my looming deadline, but because the potential location of residence does not have anywhere I might set up a shop. I'm seriously considering mobile bases simply because there are no other alternatives. My lathe will probably become the only power tool I own, and I'm seriously considering making a hand cranked grinder to assist this.

I'm not denying my entry level of skill. I am attempting to factor this in with my results, and have determined that OSB is something that can indeed be turned, but I'm working on development of several levels of skill while simultaneously developing even the standards to track progress in this experiment. If I sound frustrated, I'm merely venting at the sheer magnitude of the task, and not at any of the advice I get. I have an unfortunate tendency to bite off more than I should when tackling my projects. It's a trait my eldest has picked up, and I'm learning to curb both my instinctive habits of doing so and yelling at him for doing it. (That whole pot / kettle thing, you know.)

If nothing else, this is definately providing a baseline for results. Now to see what so called real tools can do.

(By the way, I'm currently nurturing three separate test squares for glue up and turning. I hope to have some results on these recipes / products within two weeks, but I'm not positive of the time line at this point.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try not to get too frustrated. It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job of what I'll call "organized" learning. I was being rather emphatic with my last post because a lot of times new people will try something out, have a really hard time of it, and not realize that it was the tools and not them. Clearly you have thought it through and know what to look for and how to qualify your results. Keep it up, and I hope you get the shop space issues worked out:)

Couldn't tell from a quick look at your blog, but with you mentioning microbevels, are you using some kind of honing guide and a flat (ie: sandpaper or sharpening stone) system? If you haven't seen it yet, you might want to check out This. With that jig, it should be pretty quick to pop the skew in, give it a few strokes, and be back to the lathe. It should keep both the bevel and skew angle you want and also avoid any kind of hollow grind. If you already have a jig, I'd love to see pictures of it. Of course with how large that skew is, given time I'll bet you'll be able to just lay it on the sharpening surface with the flat and just do it free hand.

Your methodology makes a lot more sense now. If you can take the worst tool you can get your hands on and get to the point where you're getting good results, then you've learned a lot and should get amazing results once you invest in better ones. A lot of people can get discouraged going that way. I've been a victim of that myself. Glad to see you're sticking with it.

Oh, and I apologize for not reading your blog first. That would have answered several of the questions I had. That's what I get for not being able to read the site as much as I used to :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

JHop,

I know I am a little late to the conversation, but I have a couple of suggestions for you to give some thought. For blanks that require throughout stabilization you should consider using some kind of pressure vessel. Normally air is pumped into the vessel which contains the piece to be stabilized and the stabalizing medium (CA Glue). Much information to be found on this very subject on the International Penturners Assoc. Website/Forum. Trying to stabilize such as you are doing will only result in the results you have been seeing. When the wicking action of the wood is satisfied, the piece will stop absorbing the glue, hence only about 1/16" of penetration. The CA glue needs to be more or less driven into the wood. Given the material you are working with, OSB, and the glues/resins involved with the manufacture of it, I don't know if even using a pressure pot will force the glue into the blank all throughout.

As far as your tooling choices go, well, thats been discussed in previous posts, but I would like to interject some thoughts on this as well. I believe that any properly sharpened tool will cut this material. Gouge, skew, even scraper. Its all a matter of how the tool is presented to the wood. If you are just jabbing the tip of the gouge into the wood, expecting it to cut nicely, I fear poor results. Roll the gouge on its side, and present the wing of the gouge to the wood as in a shear cutting mode, and you will see a difference.

I keep in my turning smock a diamond credit card hone. This is how i sharpen my skew. It takes me all of 45 seconds or so to put a shaving edge on it, and it truly will shave. If your skew is not shaving sharp, then i fear you will get poor results with it. Any tool in your arsenal should be as sharp as you can possibly get them. A dull tool will cause you no amount of grief.

I hope this gives you some additional information to put into your research. Take a little time and go to the IAP website and do some reading, and maybe post a question over there. These guys turn everything imaginable and likely have preceded you in the OSB quest.

Roger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.