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  • Direction of Grain??

    Tried to turn these 3 pieces of Cherry wood. Worked at 1,400rpm on this little 3.5” square....and two corners chipped off like crazy (as pictured) while the other 2 corners were smooth and perfect. What am I doing wrong?

    speed? Glued pieces w wrong orientation of grain? Did I just push in too hard too fast on the rough stock? I’m happy to hear any and all commentary!!!
    Attached Files
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  • #2

    Re: Direction of Grain??

    For the two chipped corners, the gouge is digging into the grain, can't be avoided. Sharper gouge, finer cuts and higher speed should help. Once the piece is round the chipping disappears but you will still find it's more prone to tear-out in those areas.
    Last edited by Art in Prince George; 05-22-2020, 01:26 AM.
    DoubleAron and beachburl like this.

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    • #3

      Re: Direction of Grain??

      You need to approach the cut from the sides. Always cut in the same direction as the grain. So turn your gouge so that the flute is at about 60 degree to vertical and start the cut back away from the corner but not cutting into solid wood. Then slowly pull the gouge to your left and away from the centre axis. Flip the gouge over and repeat from the other side. This will leave you with a bump in the middle of the cut surface. So repeat several times to get to the point where the wood is now spherical and you have removed the bump. Easier to show than to describe. Speed also matters, on a small piece like that I would be running the lathe around 1000rpm.
      beachburl, DoubleAron and KenL like this.

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      • #4

        Re: Direction of Grain??

        For some reason I think your tear out is due to deterioration in the wood quality.
        DoubleAron likes this.
        Egon
        from
        The South Shore, Nova Scotia

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        • #5

          Re: Direction of Grain??

          As Roundhead said, If you bring the tool in from the left towards the centre and from the right towards the centre, you will stand the best chance of cutting that wood without the blowout. You probably felt lots of shock on the tool handle when you created the tear out. If you go about it as he said, maybe around 1000 rpm (max) with a really sharp tool, you can turn that piece easily. I have turned red cedar, Douglas fir, basswood and even balsa on the lathe so cherry (even if a bit shaky) will turn easily. I would (I do!!) take the corners off with the band saw so that you start with an octagon rather than a square; something nearly circular is even better. By the by, that piece in the pictures is not likely recoverable since it looks (to me at least) pretty much shattered.

          Basically, if you can feel much of a thump on the tool handle, you are putting an even bigger thump into the wood which has rather little strength with the grain; it will therefore split pretty easily. If you push off into the unsupported wood at the ends, it will split easily too. That is the very property of wood that makes chopping a tree hard and splitting kindling easy! That seems simplistic but keeping it in mind will get you past some pretty brittle wood.

          Good luck and let us know how you make out.

          Ken
          DoubleAron likes this.

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          • #6

            Re: Direction of Grain??

            What tool are you using ??, and yes approach makes can change the severity of the chop-out, a sharp, yes real sharp gouge rather than a scraper will give the best outcome, try to have the gouge cut in a slicing manner, so cut instead of tear out.

            These cuts against the grain are hounding turners al the time with rough spots on both outside and more so on the inside of vessels.

            Keep on turning and change the way you go at it, keep stopping and looking to find what changes with what you just did, it can be hard to get a very nice smooth surface, but practice can make you better, just don’t give up

            I added a picture, it shows a bit of what I’m trying to say, hold the gouge flute at 9.30 to 10 o’clock and at a slight up-angle, so the gouge cuts without ripping the wood out, or less at least.

            Click image for larger version

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            Last edited by Leo Van Der Loo; 05-22-2020, 10:17 PM.
            KenL and DoubleAron like this.

            Have fun and take care
            Leo Van Der Loo

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            • #7

              Re: Direction of Grain??

              If you have a wood turning club near you go along, I have found I have to watch those who can turn, I go home and practice then go back and watch again and home again to practice whenever I see someone good turning I watch to see how they do it, I also watch those who are learning so I see what not to do, learn to use the gouge to cut not to scrape, but there are times when scraping is good just not all the time, cutting is rewarding.

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              • #8

                Re: Direction of Grain??

                Aron wrote”

                Hi Leo - thank you for your response. It was helpful. I was using brand new 1” roughing gouge. (I’ve upgraded from my starter chisel set)


                Aron, do not use a Spindle roughing gouge on side grain wood like you have here, The Spindle roughing gouge is strictly for use on spindle oriented wood, like a candle stick or table leg.

                On the wood you show the best tool is the bowl gouge, keep on turning and be safe.
                KenL likes this.

                Have fun and take care
                Leo Van Der Loo

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