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Thread: First Practice Wood Turning Project with a Few Observations and Questions

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    Senior Member blabbermouth ScoutHikerDad's Avatar
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    Default First Practice Wood Turning Project with a Few Observations and Questions

    First of all, I should have known better than to say I wasn't going to get into turning. Everything I've ever said I wasn't going to do, I ended up doing somehow! But once my woodworker friend put the hook in me with a bunch of shaving brush handles he turned for me, I just couldn't let it go.

    Anyway, I finally got the shop organized, a sunny spot near the AC picked out for my wife's comfort, and the machine set-up with some helpful advice and a bunch of videos. Our own Cudarunner Roy has been a constant source of help and advice as he is to everyone (and more stuff to order-I swear the guy has cost me thousands!). I kinda feel like that kid everyone hates who can't even make a G chord and his Mom buys him a $3000 Taylor guitar, but I know most on here agree with the old adage "Buy quality, and buy it once." That said, this machine is rock solid and very easy to use for a rank newbie: the banjo and tool-rest move freely and lock down solid, the variable speed control is very easy and responsive to use, the centers line up perfectly, and it runs vibration-free and almost dead silent.

    So after hours of newbie turning videos, it was time to see what I could accomplish. One tool demo video I watched had the guy making a shop mallet, which seemed like an easier way to start than a shaving brush! As my son works for our friend and neighbor the tree man a couple of doors down, I decided to bust my turning cherry on some plum they had recently brought home for smoking chips, so it was pretty green and soft, though quite chippy with different grain directions. I never made this much sawdust on all the wood scales I've made put together lol!
    Name:  Shop Mallet from Green Plum Limb on Lathe.jpg
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    Of the 5 HSS tools they talked us into, I used 3 the most: the 3/4" roughing gouge, the 3/4" skew (especially this one!), and the 3/8" slip gouge the most. That slip gouge also seemed very tricky to get a feel for.
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    Name:  Pinnacle Cryogenic HHS 3 Tools.jpg
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    Anyway, after more scary catches than I'm ready to admit (especially on that damn 3/4" roughing gouge and the slip gouge-yikes! ), this is what I ended up with:
    Name:  Shop Mallet from Green Plum Limb.jpg
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    Name:  Shop Mallet from Green Plum Limb on Lathe Closeup.jpg
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    I know it's far from perfect, and the mallet part is not proportional, but I'll take it for my 1st practice piece. Once I got down to round, I only had so much diameter to work with. I'm going to center it back in the lathe for sanding and a friction polish with some beeswax/linseed oil mix I have-should I wait until it's drier for this? If so, how long?

    A few Observations:
    -We're going back to Woodcraft Monday for the Laguna light attachment and some other stuff we suddenly can't do without.
    -Though word on the street is that a lot of people don't like skews, I found my 3/4" one extremely intuitive, and probably did 90% of the work with it. Apparently some do the majority of their work with a skew?
    -I've got a 300/600 diamond card on the way for sharpening, and already have some small slip stones, micro soft ark sticks, etc. for sharpening. I'm wondering if I can refine on a 2x72 1k grit diamond belt?

    A Few Questions:
    -Should I get my 3/4" skew radiused? I already know I will love this approach just from watching videos.
    -Any advice on rough tool speeds for the different tools?
    -Any other must-have tools? (Not that we need to spend any more money lol!)
    -Anybody ever try carbide tools? Seems like they're frowned upon, but much easier for beginners to use?

    As I told Roy, I am a total sponge for any and all info. As there seems to be a renewed interest lately in turning, if this thread were to become sort of a "Beginner's Tips for Turning" for all who find themselves falling down this hole, I would love that.

    Anyway, Happy Independence Day all-I'm about to go celebrate with a couple of IPA's and some pulled pork I smoked recently! My son and his buddies have already pissed off the neighbors and scared the dogs with some 5-inch mortar shells, so it could be an interesting night.
    Last edited by ScoutHikerDad; 07-04-2020 at 11:55 PM.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth ScoutHikerDad's Avatar
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    Just a quick follow-up. My wife and I agree that this guy's tutorial on grain direction, the 4 cuts (planing, peeling, slicing and scraping) as well as how to use the main tools effectively without disastrous gouges and catches, is by far the most useful one we've watched. I wish I had watched it before starting:

    I think I'll spend about a week practicing these cuts re the where, when and how to do each one to leave the finest finish.
    There are many roads to sharp.

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    Senior Member PaulFLUS's Avatar
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    There my friends are the words of a man who is totally stoked by the love of his new hobby. Good for you Aaron. Glad it's something you and the wife can enjoy together.
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    Now that you have went down that rabbit hole I don't expect to hear from you again until about X-Mas!

    Have fun.
    Randolph Tuttle, a SRP Mentor for residents of Minnesota & western Wisconsin

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    It sure is fun.
    Green timber will more than likely split, shrink and warp.
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    'with that said' cudarunner's Avatar
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    I went looking as in the back of my head I could recall something about having to use OR Highly Recommended to use Carbide when turning a certain man made material.

    I found this;

    https://www.woodturningz.com/downloa...structions.pdf
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    Senior Member blabbermouth ScoutHikerDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudarunner View Post
    I went looking as in the back of my head I could recall something about having to use OR Highly Recommended to use Carbide when turning a certain man made material.

    I found this;

    https://www.woodturningz.com/downloa...structions.pdf
    Thanks, Roy-So far I have only made razor scales with the inlace acrylester. As I recall, it felt just a bit softer and "gummier" than acrylic as I was working it up through the belts. I can see getting a 12-inch blank of this to use half for razor scales, and the other half for a matching shaving brush. I will probably invest in some carbide, but am pretty cleaned out at the moment lol!

    In fact, once my skills are up to the expensive tropical woods, I would like to make matching sets with cocobolo, ebony and similar tropical hardwoods: shaving bowl, straight (or DE/Mach III-type razor handle), and brush, all of the same material.

    My son the duck hunter is now also wanting to turn duck calls. This may morph into a family thing!
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    Giveaway Guru. Keeper of the Vault! Gasman's Avatar
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    Great thread Aaron. I did order the same lathe. I just habe to wait as its nowhere around my area in stock. I hope to leadn from your mistakes. Lol.

    I will check out that vid too. Congrats and hope to see more from your fun.
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    Late last nite I watched about 1/2 of that video. It is very good. Thanks for the link.
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    Senior Member blabbermouth ScoutHikerDad's Avatar
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    Wow, have I joined the ranks of the enablers? I hope that Roy will be proud lol, and I too hope to learn from my mistakes! Let us know when you're up and running, Jerry!
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