Hook tool over the shoulder

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Hook tool over the shoulder

Postby Kevin Downing » Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:42 pm

I have made a bowl lathe and though it is likely I will not be using it for a few weekends I have a few questions. Right now it is flat packed away. Paul Atkin’s dual purpose lathe was the inspiration for mine having had tuition with him in September. I like the idea that I could add wedges to raise the bed to use it for spindles. I plan on eventually making a second set of poppets for spindles. I used 5x3s for the bed, 8x2s for the uprights, 6x2s under the uprights (flat against the ground) and 4x2 bracing as that is what was available to me. I ground the points down to a smooth cone on my tormek. They made a deep gouge in the grinding wheel so I have to dress the wheel to get it flat for chisels again.

The bed has ended up so high that on my test run that I had the hook tool over my shoulder rather than in the crook of my elbow. Still, that helps me stand straighter. On my sketches I planned to have the bowl centres at 1250mm above the floor. However, measuring it on the garage floor it has ended up 1275mm as I tend to crouch over my work and wanted to be a bit higher to begin with. I did not measure it when I assembled it outside so the bed might have wedged itself on the uprights higher again than 1275mm. I used a swinging arm treadle instead of a plank so I was standing lower down than I expected. A plank treadle and foot block for the stationary leg would elevate me. Just afraid my 20 foot hazel pole might not be powerful enough for a 6 inch or 8 inch bowl. My tool rests are way too long. An axe can sort that out, or just have bigger and smaller ones appropriate for whatever I am working.

I have yet to do a proper test using a blank for a 6 inch bowl. My uncle gave me some Apple logs which I am saving for bowls so I have sealed the ends with pva. I have some Holly and Birch logs which could yield a 6 inch bowl as a practise run. How does holly behave, would anyone recommend it for a bowl? How long should it be felled before working it? How about the lathe bed being so high that the tools are over my shoulder, is this recommended? I am guessing I’ll have difficulty with the inside of the bowl. Hmm, I wonder is there an optimum distance from bowl centres down to top of tool rest? Or just do it and see and tweak it to suit yourself? Is this the answer to all my questions, have a go and see how I get on?
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poppets.JPG
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bowl lathe disassembled.JPG
bowl lathe disassembled.JPG (71.63 KiB) Viewed 6595 times
bowl lathe1.JPG
bowl lathe1.JPG (88.16 KiB) Viewed 6596 times
bowl lathe testrun1.JPG
bowl lathe testrun1.JPG (83.84 KiB) Viewed 6594 times
bowl lathe testrun2.JPG
bowl lathe testrun2.JPG (41.2 KiB) Viewed 6595 times
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Re: Hook tool over the shoulder

Postby paul atkin » Thu Feb 18, 2010 3:05 pm

great looking lathe Kevin :D my tool rest is about 25mm below the iron centre point and it works fine,
http://paulatkin.co.uk/




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Re: Hook tool over the shoulder

Postby gavin » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:38 pm

And my centres are 75 mm over the poppet head. The tool rest is approx 30 mm so the fulcrum point is 45 mm below tool rest.
If you put your centres higher than Paul's suggestion of 25 mm, you can always pack a wedge beneath them if you find them too low.
But do heed Paul's comment that 25 mm works fine for him. So I don't think there are any 'right' answers to this.
Gavin Phillips


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Re: Hook tool over the shoulder

Postby Nicola Wood » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:02 pm

That looks great, well done. I think you just need to give it a go, see what problems you encounter, then float them out on here to see if anyone thinks modifying your lathe would help. Also, I would start with the birch as it is quite an easy wood to work with. Good luck!
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Re: Hook tool over the shoulder

Postby Kevin Downing » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:02 am

Thanks to Gavin and Nicola for your advice. I did turn a 4 inch diameter Birch firewood just to see was the lathe running OK on my first and only attempt. It was so small, barely bigger than the mandrel diameter that I had to finish the inside with a hook knife. Then it cracked that night so I went too thin. But I was only interested in getting the lathe operating. When I get time I'll try something that would yield a 6 inch bowl.
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Re: Hook tool over the shoulder

Postby robin wood » Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:35 am

Easiest size to practice on is around a 7" bowl so you want a log around 7.5-8" diameter. Much smaller and everything gets a bit tight between bowl and mandrel on the inside, much bigger and it gets hard work.
http://www.robin-wood.co.uk bowls, books and courses
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Re: Hook tool over the shoulder

Postby Kevin Downing » Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:10 pm

Thanks Robin. You have just saved me some grief before I even started.
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Re: Hook tool over the shoulder

Postby Kevin Downing » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:26 am

I eventually got around to some bowl turning. My original dual purpose lathe was way too heavy so I made this which is a 90mm thick plank with a slot cut in it with ash legs and poppets. The pva glue holding the metal end in the left poppet failed during the first bowl attempt which went off into the field and I replaced it with a taller poppet with a straight metal end and epoxy resin glue. I put the bowl in a plastic bag in a fridge but it went oval during repairs and I turned it to completion anyway and it is very furry. Paul told me that ash is not ideal for a first solo attempt and that tools needs to be razor sharp. I had a second go with ash which was a more recent felling and that is not as bad. I tried a piece of copper beech at the weekend and am happy enough with that. I'll post all three bowl photos shortly.
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NewPoppet.JPG
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BowlLathe3.JPG
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BowlLathe.jpg
BowlLathe.jpg (152.33 KiB) Viewed 6050 times
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Re: Hook tool over the shoulder

Postby Kevin Downing » Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:41 am

Attached are my first three bowls, about 5", 6" and 7" respectively. The copper beech has a picture of the tree it came from on it, cleverly taking during felling. How long do I leave a bowl before sealing with oil? I have walnut and linseed. I know that there is information about oils that cure but I did not notice any advice on timings of same.
Kevin
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FirstsoloBowl.jpg
FirstsoloBowl.jpg (161.85 KiB) Viewed 6050 times
Second_bowl.jpg
Second_bowl.jpg (103.98 KiB) Viewed 6050 times
Third_bowl_Copper_beech.jpg
Third_bowl_Copper_beech.jpg (125.17 KiB) Viewed 6050 times
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Re: Hook tool over the shoulder

Postby paul atkin » Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:56 pm

well done kevin,its more than a year since you spent the day here and a long break up to turning your first bowls on your own lathe. Your bowls already show great inprovement; its a bit like riding a bike really you wobble a bit after a long break but soon get back up to speed again. as for drying it depends on the wood, 4-10 weeks in a airy garage should do it; you will get better at judging this as you go on. another way is if you have some fine scales keep weighing until the weight drops no more. I prefer walnut oil on my own stuff and use linseed on my comercial stuff. Great looking lathe by the way :D keep us posted with further work
http://paulatkin.co.uk/




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