Newsletter 22nd May 2013

Village Turners. lnfo for U3A members May 22nd 2013.

By Stan Knowles.

ln case anyone is interested, MAC Timber at Lower Benfield, just through Oundle, are having an open day on Sunday 26th May from 10am until 4pm, refreshments are available, well worth a visit, See his web site.

When turning a bowl, now that you are familiar with the tools, you should experiment with more elaborate shapes. Undercutting the inside will give a more pleasing look to your turning. The deeper the undercut, the more difficult it becomes. The inside should follow the outside in wall thickness. As you normally turn the outside first, so you must foresee the curvature of the inside.

The correct tools for the job which I would use are a bowl gouge and a side scraper, the latter has a rounded end and the side is cut away. I know some diehards frown on scrapers, but used properly gives excellent results. Scrapers are prone to leaving a rough surface, so don't take deep cuts and when you have the final shape, increase the revs and take the finest cuts that you can. If you want you can do the entire undercut with a side scraper, that way it is virtually impossible to get a dig in. You must keep the scraper  handle high and you can also tilt the tool on the tool rest until you feel the best cutting angle.

One thing about scrapers and skew chisels, when new, they have sharp corners, run a file along the edges to smooth out these areas, this will prevent it digging into the tool rest and damaging the surface of the rest. The tool rest itself may require resurfacing with a file from time to time. This will prevent the tools from sticking as you slide them along the rest, which would give an uneven surface to your work.

I would point out that all my comments and hints on woodturning are based on my own experience over the years. Other turners may disagree with me, so keep an open mind and listen to other turner's views. Use the best methods that you are happy with.

Some of you may seem surprised at the heavy and thick steel that good scrapers have, this is to prevent the tool vibrating. Any tool that vibrates will leave a rippled surface behind and the more overhang the tool has from the tool rest the more prone to vibration. The golden rule is to keep the tool rest as close as practical to the cutting surface.

Now that summer is not far away it can get pretty hot in the workshop and you may find yourself perspiring. lf a drop of sweat falls on your precious turning before you put the finish on, it will stain the wood badly. So keep cool.


That's your lot for this week. Stan.