Basic wood turning questions

As I start to get back into turning, I find that I have more basic questions than I can find answers for. Bought a few books but frankly, they just describe the parts of the lathe and what the basic tools do which I already knew.
What would be a good beginners book that gets more into technique and less on the history of the lathe?
What are good woods for a beginner to play with?
I have some oak cutoffs which went well. Some redwood which was soft but ok. Tried some Doug fir and even during roughing, it split along the grain lines. Also have maple, walnut & mahogany. Is there a place where I can get an idea which types of wood turn best and recommended speeds?
Other questions - is there a guideline as to how fast you can spin a certain size piece? What about if it's faceplate vs. spindle?
Lot's of basic questions. Been watching a lot of YouTube vids and they are helpful.
Don't mind reading but don't have time to get to 'meetings' so any good book recommendations will be helpful.
Sorry for the total newb questions but have to start somewhere. :)
Mainly plan on making cups and boxes and various knobs - might try a bowl at some point - not much interested in pens.
Thanx,
Vic
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Vic Baron wrote:

No idea ____________

Most anything that is straight grained and not so soft that it doesn't cut well. Walnut, hickory, maple, mahogany, poplar, etc. ____________

How big was the piece? Gouge or skew and how big? Spindle or face plate? I can't think of any reason fir should split. ________________

The bigger the piece, the slower you rotate it. At least I do. Once I get it round, I up the speed. If it shakes I slow it down. ________________

Hard to do a box on a lathe :)
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dadiOH
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On Wed, 05 Oct 2011 14:30:25 -0400, dadiOH wrote:

Well, no it isn't. See:
http://www.woodturns.com/articles/projects/lidded_box/index.htm
Now a square box - that's more difficult :-).
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Vic, the absolute best advice I can give is to go to
http://www.woodturner.org /
Find a group near you and attend on a regular basis.
As for the wood to turn, whatever is laying around. If it splits, you learn. If it does not split you learn.
Generally, the larger the piece, the slower you turn - it has to do with the speed of the edge of the piece and the kenetic energy that it can/does build up, which you do not want to release all of a sudden (the piece come flying off the lathe) Basically, slow until you get it roughed to the point where the lathe is not jumping across the floor and then you can gradually increase speed - IF you want to.
Get a wolverine type sharpening jig. A necessity.
Deb
Vic Baron wrote:

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Just get started. Use any kind of wood that you have and keep notes (create your own book). Sometimes learing by trial and error is the best approach. What works for on person does not work for another. A freind of mine can not use the lathe the same way I do I am 5'9" tall and he is 6'10" tall and another one (the best turner of the bunch) only has one arm. You can also check Taunton Press "Fine Woodworking" for videos. I have seen them and ther are good, but get them from different turners.

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I've pretty much come to that conclusion. Been reading and browsing and it seems that everyone has their pet way of doing things. Burnish or no burnish - scary sharp or grinder sharp - varying grind angles for the same tools. Since I have a lot of red oak cutoffs from varying woodworking projects, I'll just keep practicing.
I think I have enough good woodworking sense not to do anything really stupid or dangerous. I've always learned best by trial and error and even here in southern California I'll be needing some firewood soon. :)
Thanx!

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I'm a beginning turner too and I found this book to be quite helpful. Turning wood with Richard Raffan
Art
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In

Try Amazon.

Pine
Amazon again or a specalzed storefront.

DEFNITELY! Look at the specs for your lathe. It vares with the size/type/length/hardness of lathe material and sze/type/weght/balance of th piece you want to work on, and whether it can be spun arouns a center of gravity wthout too much vbration. Do NOT start wth gnarly wood! There are NO general rules of thumb, really.

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I probably have a dozen turning books, most picked up cheap at the used book store. I think these are the two best.
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
(Amazon.com product link shortened)17868825&sr=1-25 (get the dvd that goes with Raffan's book too. I found it a big help to read the words and look at the pictures, then view the actual procedure. YMMV.)
Ernie Conover had a couple woodturning books that were helpful to me.
Consider DVD's also. The Raffan VHS (hey, I've had it for a while) was very helpful. My local woodworking club's library had a set of Dennis White tapes. This man was absolutely awesome! At the time the tapes were made he was about as old as dirt, and had an economy of motion that was beautiful to behold. I would love to find another set of these cheap. Amazon has some of the volumes listed as used and Netflix says it has them on their internet service.
There are a lot of free videos on youtube. Here's a couple sites from my non-youtube bookmarks:
http://www.aroundthewoods.com / http://www.davidreedsmith.com/Articles.htm http://www.woodturningonline.com/Turning/Turning_articles.php http://www.harderwoods.com/gougejig.html
HTH. Reading all that should keep you out of trouble for a bit.
Regards, Roy
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Thanx to all. You've given me some good homework and some good advice. Now to get some wood and practice!
Vic
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