I'm just getting started in lathe work, turning spindles and legs. My lathe
is an old Craftsman that someone gave me years ago and I had to fit it with
a motor and had to construct a tool rest for it. It has a relatively short
bed, about 30 inches but will do what I want, at least for the short term.
My question is this. What's the trick to turning around the edge grain?
Say you have an octagonal blank that you want to leave octagonal for a short
distance on the end. You want to turn the rest of the octagon round and I
don't really have a problem with that. It's at that transition from the
rounded part to the octagonal part where I have trouble. You're basically
cutting the end grain as you transition up to the octagon. I'm using a
gouge right now but occasionally it wants to grab and cut a chunk out that's
hard to repair. The same thing seems to happen when trying to cut beads or
other transitions from smaller diameter to larger diameter. I've worked my
chisels over with an oil stone followed by a very fine aluminum oxide stone
and they seem good and sharp to me.
Maybe some of you experience lathe folks could give me a tip.
Welcome to the group Harry. Some one here is bound to be able to answer
your question but there is a better group for your question that has more to
do directly with lathe work.
head on over to
Check your local library for books
and videos on turning. Ernie
Conover has a video on turning
furniture parts - and shows
how to get a clean transition
from round to square - as in
the top part of a tabl leg.
There are a lot of different
types of gouges so your
"I'm using a gouge" isn't
enough information to provide
any useful help. In general
though, it's corners and points
that get a dig in/catch started.
ps - you're going to probably
need more than just a gouge.
You want to cut down grain, as you know, as that means you have the support
of uncut wood under what you're cutting.
Standard approaches include:
Mark the corners and make saw kerfs with the lathe off. Like a stop cut in
carving, it keeps you from overrunning and splintering out.
Use the tip of a skew, tip down, to start the shoulder. Pretty much the
same principle as the saw.
Cove with your gouge and then sneak back toward your desired transition
point, using standard nose and rolling motions.
It's a "pommel" cut. http://www.alanlacer.com/Videos.html First video.
Thanks for all of the input. I think I've figured out what a big part of my
problem is. I've been using the roughing gouge for this operation. My
roughing gouge is basically sharpened straight across with little fingernail
grind of the cutting edge. It's that corner that's catching. When I switch
to the shaping gouge, which has a considerable fingernail grind of the
sharpened edge, it's not grabbing unless I get careless. Always cutting
downhill is also a key thing.
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